Anne's contribution to a major textbook with 285 chapters. My chapter contains all you ever wanted to know about microtubules and the proteins that bind and regulate them in a nutshell.
Straube, A. (2015)
Microtubules and Microtubule-Associated Proteins (MAPs)
Encyclopedia of Cell Biology, Volume 2: Organizational Cell Biology, 2016, Pages 539-547
[link] [request pdf]
wobbly phages as nanosensors
This paper demonstrates the use of a fluorescently-labelled and surface-anchored bacteriophage M13 to measure wall shear stress. Bacteriophage anchored on collagen-coated slides and the surface of endothelial cells were subjected to various levels of shear stress by modulating buffer flow through the imaging chamber.
Lobo, D.P. ,Wemyss, A.M., Smith, D.J., Straube, A., Betteridge, K.B., Salmon, A.H.J., Foster, R.R., Elhegni, H.E., Satchell, S.C., Little, H.A., Pacheco-Gomez, R., Simmons, M.J., Hicks, M.R., Bates, D.O., Rodger, A., Dafforn, T.R., & Arkill, K.P. (2015)
Direct detection and measurement of wall shear stress using a filamentous bio-nanoparticle.
Nano Research, doi: 10.1007/s12274-015-0831-x
chaperoning the spindle
We describe Nek6-dependent spindle recruitment of Hsp70, which is required for K-fibre stability and function. Data generated in the Straube lab suggest that the weak direct interaction of Hsp70 with microtubules is not affected by the Nek6-mediated phosphorylation at T66. Thus Hsp70 possibly acts by recruiting the chTOG/TACC3/Clathrin complex to spindle microtubules.
O'Regan, L., Sampson, J., Richards, M.W., Knebel, A., Roth, D., Hood, F.E., Straube, A., Royle, S.J., Bayliss, R. & Fry, A.M. (2015)
Hsp72 is targeted to the mitotic spindle by Nek6 to promote K-fiber assembly and mitotic progression.
The Journal of Cell Biology, 209: 349-358. doi:10.1083/jcb.201409151
Here, we identify a previously uncharacterised isoform of microtubule-associated protein MAP4, oMAP4, as a microtubule organising factor that is crucial for myogenesis. Depletion of oMAP4 impairs cell elongation and cell-cell fusion. oMAP4 is required for paraxial microtubule organisation in muscle cells and prevents dynein- and kinesin-driven microtubule-microtubule sliding. Purified oMAP4 aligns dynamic microtubules into antiparallel bundles that withstand motor forces in vitro.
Mogessie, B., Roth, D., Rahil, Z. and Straube, A. (2015)
A novel isoform of MAP4 organises the paraxial microtubule array required for muscle cell differentiation
eLife, 4: e05697. doi:10.7554/eLife.05697.
[link] | [PDF]
microtubule binding motif revealed
In this paper we identify the MT-binding domain in EML proteins. Daniel and Anne performed TIRF-based MT binding assays using full-length, mutant and truncation constructs of human EML1 fused to YFP. We show that EML contains a trimerisation domain that is required, but not sufficient for MT binding.
Richards, M.W., O'Regan, L., Roth, D., Montgomery, J.M., Straube, A., Fry, A.M. and Bayliss, R. (2015)
Microtubule association of EML proteins and the EML4-ALK variant 3 oncoprotein require an N-terminal trimerization domain
Biochemical Journal, 467: 529-536. doi:10.1042/BJ20150039
transport on the go
Alice and Anne review the literature implicating kinesins in cell migration. It turns out we know surprisingly little about which kinesin transports which cargo to support cell polarity and directed migration. What we do know, you'll find in here.
Bachmann, A. and Straube, A. (2015)
Kinesins in cell migration
Biochem Soc Trans, 43(1): 79-83.
[PDF] | [pubmed]
kinesin under MAP control
Here we show that the kinesin KIF1C is required for the de-novo formation of podosomes in vascular smooth muscle cells. We describe a pathway whereby activation of PKC results in the enrichment of CLASPs at microtubule ends, which stimulates KIF1C translocation to the cell periphery, where KIF1C localises to incipient podosome sites.
Efimova, N., Grimaldi, A., Bachmann, A., Frye, K., Zhu, X., Feoktistov, A., Straube, A. and Kaverina, I. (2014)
Podosome-regulating kinesin KIF1C translocates to the cell periphery in a CLASP-dependent manner.
Journal of Cell Science 127: 5179-5188. doi:10.1242/jcs.149633
tip tracking complications
In this paper we demonstrate that CLASPs modify the EB binding site at the microtubule lattice. Ben and Daniel demonstrate the removal of the EB binding site from the microtubule lattice through CLASPs using TIRF-based in vitro reconstitution experiments.
Grimaldi, A.D., Maki, T., Fitton, B.P., Roth, D., Yampolsky, D., Davidson, M.W., Svitkina, T., Straube, A., Hayashi, I. and Kaverina, I. (2014)
CLASPs are required for proper microtubule localization of end-binding proteins.
Developmental Cell, 30, 343-352.
In this paper we describe a computational framework to analyse and classify cell morphology. The approach uses a machine learning process based on the calculation of a shape similarity matrix and low-dimensional representation of cell shapes using diffusion map. We show that this approach is suitable for the highly variable cell shapes observed in migrating epithelial cells.
Jefferyes, S.D.R., Epstein, D.B.A., Straube, A., Rajpoot, N.M. (2013)
A novel framework for exploratory analysis of highly variable morphology of migrating epithelial cells.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013 Jul;2013:3463-3466, doi:10.1109/EMBC.2013.6610287
[link] [pubmed abstract]
composite microtubule binders
In this paper we demonstrate that TACC3 and clathrin form a composite microtubule binding site. Daniel and Anne did in vitro microtubule binding experiments of TACC3 and clathrin in the presence of AuroraA kinase to demonstrate the phosphorylation-dependent binding of the complex to microtubules.
Hood, F.E., Williams, S.J., Burgess, S.G., Richards, M.W., Roth, D., Straube, A., Pfuhl, M., Bayliss, R. & Royle, S.J. (2013)
Coordination of adjacent domains mediates TACC3–ch-TOG–clathrin assembly and mitotic spindle binding.
J. Cell Biol. 202:463-78
In this paper we investigate the flexural rigidity of microtubules that have been stabilised by Taxol, non-hydrolysable GTP analogs or two different microtubule-associated proteins, tau and MAP4. We find that Taxol and GTPγS make microtubules more flexible, while tau and GMP-CPP make them stiffer. We show that combinations of these stabilisers do not have additive effects, but rather one stabiliser dominates the mechanical properties. MAP4 is not changing rigidity per se, but limits the variability of rigidity between microtubules.
Hawkins T.L., Sept D., Mogessie B., Straube A. and Ross J.L. (2013)
Mechanical Properties of Doubly Stabilized Microtubule Filaments.
Biophysical Journal 104: 1517-1528
[link to pdf] [pubmed abstract][request pdf]
>> see all publications here
Anne Straube | PI
After a Diploma in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Hamburg, Germany, I joined the lab of Gero Steinberg at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and later at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg. Fo my PhD project I studied the microtubule cytoskeleton in the fungus Ustilago maydis, concentrating in particular on the dynamic re-organisation of microtubules during the cell cycle and on intracellular transport by the molecular motors dynein and kinesin, which carry traffic along microtubules. I then moved as a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Emmy Noether programme of the German Science Foundation (DFG) to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology in Edinburgh, where I worked with Andreas Merdes on the microtubule cytoskeleton in differentiating muscle cells. In 2007, after three years in Edinburgh, I started my own lab at the Marie Curie Research Institute (MCRI) in Oxted, Surrey. When the MCRI closed in 2010, I moved with my colleagues Rob Cross and Andrew McAinsh to the University of Warwick to found the Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology.
Daniel Roth | research assistant | funded by Wellcome Trust
EB proteins are the master integrators of the plus tip network. I study the biochemical differences between EB1, EB2 and EB3 and contribute to collaborative projects that require my expertise in in vitro microtubule dynamics assays.
Alice Bachmann | PhD student | funded by British Heart Foundation
I study the mechanisms by which the kinesin Kif1C promotes the formation of podosomes in vascular smooth muscle cells.
Nida Siddiqui | PhD student | funded by a Chancellor's International PhD scholarship
I study the organelle transporter Kif1C and how it is activated.
Gokhan Tut | PhD student | funded by the Medical Research Council
I study microtubule-based transport of viral capsids. I use Marek's disease virus and chicken embryonic fibroblasts as model system.
Jonathan Brandt | PhD student | funded by a WMS Scholarship
I study the changes in the host cytoskeleton upon infection with Marek's disease virus. In particular, I aim to understand the non-catalytic role of Us3 kinase on actin dynamics.
Meghana Kumar | Lister Institute summer student | funded by The Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine
I study the regulation of microtubule dynamics by Kif1C.
Gaëlle Letort | Software Developer | 2016
I developed image analysis routines to segment and measure microtubules in 3D superresolution images of human skeletal muscle cells.
I am currently a postdoc at the Institute Curie in Paris, France. [web]
I have a PhD in Computer Science and experience as a software developer with a specialty in human-computer interaction. I developed user-friendly software packages to analyse microtubule dynamics and cell shape.
I am currently senior scientific developer at zfx-innovation in Gargazzone, Italy. [web]
Ulrike Theisen | postdoctoral research fellow | 2008 - 2012
Kinesin motors perform the long-distance transport towards the plus end of microtubules. Thus kinesins are likely to be responsible for delivering polarity factors to the cell edges. I have identified Kif1C as the transporter for rearward transport of integrins in migrating cells and shown that this transport supports tail stability and rear drag, a mechanism important for directionally persistent cell migration in the absence of external guidance cues (Theisen et al., Dev Cell 2012).
I am currently a Marie Curie Fellow at Technische Universität Braunschweig and study neuronal migration in Zebrafish. [web]
Mike Downey | research associate | 2012-2013
I am a chemist and computer scientist by training and applied my expertise in semiautomatic image analysis to study how dynamic microtubules regulate cell shape and directional-persistent migration.
I moved on to be a postdoc in Till Bretschneider's group at the Warwick Systems Biology Centre and develop software tools for studying 3D cell shape dynamics.
I am now a software developer / data analyst in Birmingham.
Ben Fitton | PhD student | 2011 - 2016
Microtubule dynamics is characterised by phases of continuous growth and shrinkage and stochastic switches between these phases. I studied the transitions between growth and shrinkage phases, catastrophes and rescues, in detail using in vitro reconstitution of microtubule assembly/disassembly in the presence of EB proteins to detect the GTP cap.
I am currently on a civil service fast track apprenticeship applying my mathematical modelling skills to new kinds of problems.
Sam Jefferyes | PhD student | 2011-2015
Migrating cells adopt a variety of different shapes, which are determined by the cytoskeleton in response to the extracellular substrate. I developed machine learning algorithms for the unbiased quantification of cell morphology. I further analysed cell shape changes of migrating cells and developed models to predict cell behaviour from cell shape data alone.
I am currently software developer at quantumkdb in London - Glasgow - Ireland. [web]
Binyam Mogessie | PhD student
I investigated the role of MAP4 in cell division and muscle cell differentiation. I revealed a role for MAP4 in limiting force generation by cortical dynein in mitotic cells. This is important for spindle positioning (Samora, Mogessie et al., Nature Cell Biol 2011). I have also identified a novel MAP4 isoform required for the formation of antiparallel microtubule arrangement in differentiating muscle cells (Mogessie et al. eLife 2015).
I am now a postdoc with Melina Schuh at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. [web]
Hannah Gay | part-time technician | 2016
I tried to generate homologous repair constructs and guideRNAs for CRISPR/Cas9-mediated labelling of endogenous cytoskeleton proteins with fluorescent markers.
I am now a PhD student in Birmingham.
Ana Clark | part-time technician | 2015
I performed 2D/3D cell migration assays with human breast cancer cells.
I am now a PhD student in Oxford.
Zoe Redshaw | part-time technician | 2014
I selected stable human breast cancer cell lines.
I am now a postdoc in Nottingham.
Ainur Kakpenova | MSc by research student | 2014 - 2015
I studied spatial microtubule dynamics regulation in migrating cells.
I am now back at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan.
Jacopo Credi | Erasmus Mundus MSc in Complex Systems Science | 2015
I studied swarming behaviour of migrating cancer cells.
I am now undertaking the second year of my MSc at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.
Alina Finch| Rotation student Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Programme | 2015
I studied kinesin functions in cell migration.
I am now undertaking my PhD at Leicester.
Alexandra Matthews| Rotation student Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Programme | 2015
I studied kinesin functions in cell migration.
I am now undertaking my PhD at Birmingham.
Justyna Szyroka | Rotation student Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Programme | 2015
I studied changes in cell shape and motility of chicken embryonic fibroblasts upon infection with Marek's disease virus.
I am now undertaking my PhD at Warwick.
Diana Sifuentes Munch | Erasmus Mundus MSc in Complex Systems Science | 2014
I analysed correlations between cell shape and cell migration behaviour.
I am now undertaking the second year of my MSc at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.
Jessica Talbot | MSc in Complexity Science | 2014
I worked with Stefan Grosskinsky (Warwick Complexity Centre) to simulate cell migration and division on a 2D surface with a sequential lattice model.
I am now undertaking the second miniproject for my MSc.
Lewis Baker | MSc student MOAC | 2014
I studied actin dynamics in migrating cells and the correlation with growing microtubule ends in proximity of the cell cortex.
I am now a PhD student.
Scott Clarke | MSc student MOAC| 2014
I purified tubulin from human cells.
I am now a PhD student.
Rozita Adib | Rotation student Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Programme| 2014
I studied the effect of EML1 depletion on microtubule asymmetry in migrating cells.
I am now a PhD student with Andrew Fry at Leicester University.
Harriet Bell | MSc student Scientific Research and Communication| 2013
I studied the kinesin Kif1C and its interactors to find out how Kif1C transports vesicles along microtubules. In addition to my research I worked part time with the children's cancer team at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, University of Birmingham.
Nikita Nicholls | MSc student Systems Biology | 2012
I studied kinesins in spindle positioning.
I am now a PhD student in the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership.
Sarah Cosgriff | MSc student Systems Biology | 2011
I studied cell shape changes and actin dynamics at the cell front in migrating cells.
I am now administrator at STEMNET and work at the University of Birmingham's STEM Centre to coordinate work with schools in Birmingham and Solihull.
Robert Lockley | MSc student Systems Biology | 2011
I studied the directionality of microtubule assembly in migrating cells.
I am now a PhD student with Graham Ladds and Till Brettschneider at the University of Warwick.
Charlotte Carroll | rotation student Life Sciences PhD | 2011
I studied the competition between EB1, EB2 and EB3 at the microtubule plus end in vitro.
I am now a PhD student with Lorenzo Frigerio at the University of Warwick.
Harold Moyse | MSc student Systems Biology | 2011
I studied the migration of differentiating muscle cells.
I am now a PhD student with Neils Evans and Daniel Zehnder the University of Warwick.
Rachel Sheldon | MSc student MOAC | 2011
I studied the microtubule binding properties of EB proteins.
I am now a PhD student with Hugo van den Berg, Anatoly Shmygol and Andy Blanks at the University of Warwick.
| MSc student Systems Biology | 2010
I studied cell behaviour during contact inhibition of locomotion.
I am now a PhD student with Yuriy Pankratov at the University of Warwick.
Luke Edwards | summer student | 2013
I spent my summer in the cold room to establish single-step purification of human tubulin using an affinity column with TOG domains.
I am now a BSc student at Bristol University.
Zainab Rahil | summer student | 2012
I analysed microtubule directionality and orderliness in muscle cells (Mogessie et al. eLife 2015).
I am now a PhD student in the Leckband group at the University of Illinois.
Natalia Wasiluk | Erasmus student | 2010
I spent a training internship in my final year as an undergraduate in the Straube lab and established TIRF-based in vitro microtubule plus end tracking assays using EB1, EB2 and EB3.
Agnieszka Skalecka | summer student | 2008
As a summer student at the Marie Curie Research Institute, I characterised EB3-specific interacting proteins.
I am now a PhD student in Jacek Jaworski's lab at the IIMCB in Warsaw, Poland [web] [email]
Andrew McAinsh | CMCB | Warwick
Andrew and I collaborate since I started my lab at the Marie Curie Research Institute. We share an interest in live cell imaging and what microtubules do when they arrive at subcellular structures, the kinetochore or the cell cortex. We have successfully combined our expertise investigating MAP4 and CLASP1 and dynein in mitotic spindle positioning (Samora et al., Nature Cell Biology, 2011).
Jenny Ross | UMass | Amherst
Jenny and I first met at the "Microtubule Dynamics" workshop I organised at the Marie Curie Research Institute. We met later at the EMBL Microtubule conference and decided to do some work together. Jenny has helped us with dynein gliding assays to prove the direct role of MAP4 in controlling dynein force generation (Samora et al., Nature Cell Biology, 2011) and we have provided her lab with MAP proteins to study the mechanical properties of microtubules in the presence of various microtubule stabilisers (Hawkins et al., Biophysical Journal, 2013).
Andrew Fry and Richard Bayliss | Leicester University
Andrew, Richard and I collaborate on the structure and function of EML proteins, microtubule-associated proteins that form oncogenic fusion proteins with tyrosine kinases (Richards et al., Biochem J 2015).
Irina Kaverina | Vanderbilt University
Irina and I share an interest in how dynamic microtubules control directional cell migration. We have recently documented our ideas on this in a review article (Kaverina & Straube, Seminars Cell Dev Biol, 2011). We held a joint lab retreat in May 2012 and currently collaborate on the role of microtubules and the motor Kif1C in podosome formation (Efimova et al., J Cell Science 2014) and on the microtubule plus tip complex (Grimaldi et al., Developmental Cell 2014).
Ekkehard Straube | Physik | Universität Halle
My father is a (retired) theoretical physicist who applies his knowledge of polymer physics to the analysis of our cell migration tracks. He has contributed a directional persistence analysis program to our recent paper on the role of Kif1C-mediated stabilisation of trailing adhesions in directed cell migration (Theisen et al., Developmental Cell, 2012).
Nasir Rajpoot | Computer Sciences | Warwick
Nasir and I co-supervise a systems biology PhD project into the analysis of shape variations of migrating cells with the aim to understanding the relationship of cell shape and migratory behaviour, to explore and quantify morphological phenotypes and shape fluctuations over time (Jefferyes et al., Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2013).
Steve Royle | CMCB | Warwick
Since becoming office neighbours, Steve and I have started to collaborate on aspects of clathrin's microtubule binding properties (Hood et al., Journal of Cell Biology, 2013). In the future we want to exploit our complementary expertise to understand the handing over of vesicles from clathrin-mediated endocytosis to microtubule-based transport.
Computes different measures of directional persistence of cell migration from tracking data, i.e. XY positions over time.
This contains documentation as pdf file, two programme files in C and two test datasets. The programs can be compiled and run on Mac (requires Xcode to be installed) and Linux from the Terminal without any additional software. Please see the original publication for more detail: Theisen et al. (2012) Developmental Cell 23:1153-1166.
NOTE: The modified Kymograph tool written by Arne Seitz and used in our studies can now be found here.
Uses PlusTipTracker output to determine microtubule growth orientation relative to a user-specified axis of the cell. The script will plot a map of tracks overlaid onto an image of the cell colour-coded for their directionality. It will also generate a histogram with the relative frequency of angles and determine the Kuiper statistics relative to a random distribution.
This is Matlab function that has been tested to run on MATLAB_R2012b. Please see description in the MATLAB function itself and the original publications for more detail: Theisen et al. (2012) Developmental Cell 23:1153-1166 and Mogessie et al. (2015) eLife.
>> more coming soon...
Project Grant | Leverhulme Trust
How microtubule plus tip trackers couple polymer assembly to cargo transport
Co-Applicants: Marco Polin and Robert Cross
Â£256,434 - 2017 to 2020
Investigator Award in Science | Wellcome Trust
Self-organisation of acentrosomal microtubule arrays
Â£943,108 - 2016 to 2021
Lister Research Prize | The Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine
Microtubule-actin crosstalk in cell migration
Â£200,000 - 2014 to 2019
Warwick Quantitative Biomedicine Programme Seed Fund | Wellcome Trust / University of Warwick
Microtubule control of cell and tissue morphology
Â£25,000 - 2015 to 2016
PhD studentship | British Heart Foundation
Kinesin-control of podosome formation of vascular smooth muscle cells
Â£105,584 - 2013 to 2016
Programme Grant | Marie Curie Cancer Care
Mechanisms of directional cell migration and differentiation
Â£630,000 - 2009 to 2013
Core Funding | Marie Curie Cancer Care
Cytoskeletal Organisation Laboratory
2007 to 2009
Brazil Partnership Fund | Santander / University of Warwick
Collaboration with Deborah Schechtman - Phosphoregulation of tubulin assembly
Â£8,700 - 2014 to 2016
Collaboration Fund | EPSRC Grand Challenge network "Understanding the Physics of Life"
Collaboration with Massimo Antognozzi - Lateral Motion Force Microscopy of microtubule dynamics
Â£2,405 - 2014
Research Development Fund | University of Warwick
Breast cancer cell migration
Â£9,000 - 2014 to 2015
Strategic Partnership Fund | University of Warwick
Collaboration with Irina Kaverina (Vanderbilt) - Microtubules in directional migration
Â£10,000 - 2011 to 2012
Joint Warwick-QMUL Awards for Collaborative Research
Collaboration with Ann Wheeler (QMUL) - Superresolution imaging of +TIPs
Â£29,123 - 2012 to 2013
>> Microtubule brick modelling
Our school outreach programme includes building models of intracellular molecular machines from construction toy bricks. If you are interested in hosting a visit from us, please do get in touch.
top | Second generation brick model of a polymerising microtubule end, alpha-tubulin in black, GTP-bound beta-tubulin in yellow, GDP-bound beta-tubulin in red.
>> Pictures from the exhibition of our Art & Science project "The Fox Got You" with Françoise Sergy in the Oxford Botanic Garden from 4th July to 31st August 2015.
left | Anne explains the wonders of microtubule research and how microtubule-targeting drugs work - at the public event during the exhibition at the Oxford Botanic Garden.
Impressions from the exhibition describing 5 medicinal plants and their use in research and the clinic.
Please visit the website documenting the entire project including the laboratory visits. There is a lot to learn how to grow the plants that make important medicines and to be impressed by the MRC units giant LEGO enzyme!
more coming soon...
In the future you will find here:
>> Instructions how to build a microtubule from LEGO bricks and images of our first and second generation microtubule models.
>> Plain english explanations of our research projects.
There are a number of opportunities to join our eggceptional team of scientists. We are an interdisciplinary and international group, united by the love of science, our famous cakeclub and any other eggcellent morale boosting activities.
One Wellcome Trust-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellow position is available immediately to work on an interdisciplinary project ranging from live cell imaging in human skeletal muscle cells to single molecule biophysics of microtubule crosslinkers and computer simulations. Applications from physical sciences background as well as cell biology / biochemistry are welcome. Please get in touch with your CV and a brief statement of research interests.
One Leverhulme Trust-funded Research Assistant position is available to measure molecular forces of microtubule transport. Postgraduate or postdoctoral candidates with relevant experience in biochemistry and biophysics please get in touch with your CV and a brief statement of research interests.
Application deadline 22nd November 2016: Job details and link to application form here.
One Leverhulme Trust-funded PhD student position is available to develop data analysis and mathematical models of microtubule tip tracking transport. Please get in touch with your CV and a brief statement of research interests.
Application deadline 15th November 2016: FindaPhD advert here.
PhD students and postdocs
In addition to a number of scholarship and fellowship opportunities for excellent students and postdocs, I will have an opening for another postdoc and a PhD student coming up shortly. If you are motivated to work in an interdisciplinary environment, have a background in biology, physics, maths or computer science and are enthusiastic about our research, then please get in touch with your CV and a brief statement of research interests.