Viktor Kirik, assistant professor of the School of Biological Sciences, will present “Regulation of cell growth and division by the microtubule cytoskeleton” as part of the School of Biological Sciences Seminar Series.

When: 4 p.m. Thursday October 30, 2014
Where: 210 Moulton Hall

Abstract of Kirik’s presentation:

“Plants impress us with variety in colors, architecture, organ shape, and size. To acquire a specific form, cell division and cell expansion have to be spatially and temporally controlled both at the level of organs and tissues and at the level of individual cells. My research investigates mechanisms regulating plant growth focusing on molecular events that organize the cell cytoskeleton and drive formation of the cell wall. In my lab we use live-cell imaging to study the role of microtubule nucleation in hormone-induced microtubule reorientation into transverse arrays. We found that efficient microtubule nucleations are required for rapid reorientation kinetics. Using a genetic approach we discovered that a signaling pathway involving PP2A phosphatase regulates the formation of new microtubules in the process known as microtubule nucleation. We have discovered that the B” regulatory subunit of the PP2A specifically promotes the branching mode of nucleation, indicating that the geometry of nucleation is regulated by posttranslational mechanisms. Genetic enhancer-suppressor screens conducted in my lab have identified putative components of the TON2/PP2A regulatory pathway, laying a foundation for future studies.”