Dr Lakxmi Subramanian
Lecturer in Biochemistry
Email: email@example.comTelephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7701Room Number: Room 4.34, Fogg building
Awards & Honours
The main focus of the Subramanian Lab is to understand how chromosomes are accurately segregated during cell division. Chromosome mis-segregation can lead to aneuploidy and consequently cancer. It can also lead to conditions such as Down’s syndrome where an abnormal chromosome copy number following meiosis causes developmental defects. In order to be able to devise effective therapeutic strategies against the myriad of disorders that errors in chromosome integrity and copy number can cause, it is essential to study and fully dissect the process of chromosome segregation.
We are mainly interested in the regulation and function of centromeres, originally defined by Walther Flemming as the ‘primary constrictions’ on chromosomes. Centromeres play a key role in assembling kinetochores that attach to spindle microtubules to ensure accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis. Interestingly, centromeres are thought to be epigenetically inherited, as DNA sequence is neither necessary nor sufficient for centromere function. The Subramanian lab aims to answer the fundamental questions: what dictates the formation of a centromere, and how is it epigenetically inherited? Our current efforts are focussed on dissecting the mechanisms by which highly conserved centromere-specific proteins including Mis18, HJURP and associated factors mediate the establishment of a specialized chromatin state at centromeres, through the assembly of the centromere-specific histone protein CENP-A. We primarily use the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as our model organism of choice. Given the high level of conservation of centromere architecture and centromere proteins, future projects will involve translation of our findings from fission yeast into other model organisms.