Studying the role of unconventional myosins in cellular processes.

The role of Dictyostelium Myosin 7 in filopodia initiation.

Dictyostelium Myosin 7 (DdMyo7) is essential for initiation and formation of filopodia. The goal of this project is to determine how DdMyo7 and actin interaction proteins such as VASP 'cooperate' during the initial steps of filopodia formation. 

DdMyo7 Lever Arm and Dimerization.

The region between the motor domain and tail is the lever arm which transduces force. The length of the lever arm is important for motor velocity and step size, and also controls the spacing between motor heads of dimers. The goal of this project is to characterize the motor properties of DdMyo7 and how these properties impact filopodia formation with a combination of in vivo and in vitro tools. This is in collaboration with the Houdusse Lab and Sivaramakrishnan Lab. 

Structural Studies of MyTHFERM domains.

Structural Studies of MyTHFERM domains.


Petersen et. al PNAS (2016)

MF structure

Planelles-Herrero et. al. PNAS (2016)