Sam Research summary

Flagella (also termed cilia) are microtubule-based protrusions of the plasma membrane that are central to many biological processes. Flagella have three distinct domains defined by the arrangement of their microtubules: the basal body that is embedded in the cytoplasm, the axoneme that protrudes from the cell body, and the transition zone (TZ) that links the two. The TZ has key roles in flagellum function and is the location of a plethora of protein and complexes that are associated with human inherited disease of the cilia.

My lab is interested in how flagella are built and how the TZ nucleates axonemal strictures that are essential for motility. To study this process, we use a protozoan pathogen called the trypanosome. Trypanosomes cause devastating human and livestock diseases. However, they are also a superb model system to study fundamental eukaryotic biology. We also use cultured


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Dean, S., Moreira-Leite, F., and Gull, K (2019) Basalin is an evolutionarily unconstrained protein revealed via a conserved role in flagellum basal plate function. eLife 8:e42282
Open Access

Dean, S., Sunter, J. and Wheeler, S. (2016) Genome-wide protein localisation in the trypanosome. Trends in Parasitology 33(2), 80-82.
Open Access

Dean, S., Moreira-Leite, F., Varga, V. and Gull, K. (2016) Cilium transition zone proteome reveals compartmentalisation and differential dynamics of ciliopathy complexes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113(35) E5135-E5143.
Open Access