Cell Cycle Regulation

Mónica Bettencourt-Dias

The Cell Cycle Regulation laboratory is interested in general principles of biology concerning the assembly and maintenance of complex subcellular structures, as well as their variations, which can occur during development, disease and evolution. Researchers use complex cytoskeletal assemblies, such as centrioles and cilia, as study subjects.

Centrioles are microtubule-based cylinders that form centrosomes and cilia, structures involved in many functions, from cell division to motility.  Centrosome defects are seen in many cancers, while abnormalities in cilia lead to many diseases including polycystic kidneys and infertility.

Finally, centrioles and cilia are highly conserved throughout the eukaryotic tree of life, but have been lost in a variety of species, being an excellent study case to research the evolution of eukaryotic cellular structures.

Using multidisciplinary approaches the laboratory identified critical mechanisms regulating centriole and cilia assembly, maintenance and function. They have also characterized the mechanisms involved in the variation of those structures during development and evolution, and in human disease.

 


Publications