Professor Ligon's lab is working to understand one of the key elements of cellular structure - the microtubule network. This dynamic network not only provides structural support for all cellular functions, but it also serves as an essential cellular organizing principle. For example, in stem cells, asymmetric cell divisions in the stem cell niche are crucial for fate determination. It is thought that interactions between the microtubule network and the cell cortex orients the mitotic spindle and allows for these asymmetric divisions, but the precise molecular mechanisms of these microtubule-cortex interactions are not known. Through her research, Dr. Ligon is working to elucidate these mechanisms.
Ligon LA, Holzbaur EL. Microtubules tethered at epithelial cell junctions by dynein facilitate efficient junction assembly. Traffic. 2007 Jul;8(7):808-19. Epub 2007 Jun 5.
Ligon LA, Shelly SS, Tokito MK, and Holzbaur EL. Microtubule binding proteins CLIP-170, EB1, and p150Glued form distinct plus-end complexes. FEBS Letters. 2006;580(5):1327-32.
Ligon LA, Karki S, Tokito M, and Holzbaur EL. Dynein binds to -catenin and may tether microtubules at adherens junctions. Nature Cell Biology, 2001;3(10):913-917.