Research Theme: Molecular Motors

Molecular motors are ubiquitous across all kingdoms of life. They are essential for DNA and RNA metabolism, trafficking of cargo across the cytoskeleton of higher eukaryotic cells, and numerous other contractile and force-dependent functions in the cell. To understated the mechanism of action and their cellular functions of these motors, we combine detailed enzyme reaction investigation that addresses how the utilization of ATP hydrolysis plays a role in their enzymatic adaptation. We exploit genetic manipulation, cell biology approaches, and in particular fluorescence microscopy to study their cellular function, regulation and dynamics in cells. Our lab utilizes advanced methodologies in recombinant DNA, protein engineering and novel protein expression/purification systems as well as state of the art instrumentation and methods for biophysical characterization of enzymes.Our group is highly diverse, composed of researchers coming from many different backgrounds such as biology, chemistry, and engineering; working together to study the challenging world of molecular motors.

Our motto:

We combine cell biology, biochemistry, and biophysical disciplines of research to learn how molecular motors carry out their function

Myosin 19 from cells to biophysical characterization 

Mutating the class specific Trp140 to the consensus Val abolishes Myo19 localization to filopodia in response to H2O2. The Myo19W140V mutation lowered the duty ratio of the motor ~6-fold as revealed by detailed enzymology and impaired its ability to transfer mitochondria.