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The labs core interest is the kinetochore. These are adaptive, multi-layered mechanochemical machines that assemble at the centromere of each sister chromatid and engage on their outer face with the plus ends of k-fibres, microtubule bundles that emanate from the spindle poles.We envision the kinetochore as a set of interacting springs, clutches and motors and the problem of kinetochore mechanism as one of understanding how these functional modules assemble, disassemble and interact with one another to give rise to the emergent properties of the kinetochore. Approaches in the McAinsh lab include live-cell microscopy, computational image analysis, mathematical modelling and in vitro reconstitution.
Chris Smith shows how kinetochores are a swivel joint that aids connection to the mitotic spindle.
>> Smith A.C., McAinsh A.D. and Burroughs N.J. eLife 2016 5:e16159 | [Open Access]
Hauke Drechsler reveals that Kif15 is a multi-function motor that can rearrange microtubule networks, track plus-ends and control dynamics.
>> Drechsler H, McAinsh AD. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 113:E1635-44 | [Open Access]
Together with Nigel Burroughs we reveal how kinetochores use a force-sensitive molecular clock to decide when to switch direction - a key requirement for chromosome positioning in mitosis.
>> Burroughs NJ, Harry EF, McAinsh AD. Elife. 2015 4:e09500 | Open access PDF
Jess Patel reveals how kinetochores operate differently during meiosis in humans and how this may explain chromosome errors as maternal age increases.
>> Patel J, Tan SL, Hartshorne GM, McAinsh AD. Biol Open. 2015 5:178-84 | open access
Burroughs and McAinsh use mathematical modelling to infer the forces controlling kinetochore motion.
>> Armond JW, Harry EF, McAinsh AD, Burroughs NJ. PLoS Comput Biol. 2015 11:e1004607. | open access