Margaux Audett

Margaux Audett
Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Advisor: Thomas Maresca, PhD.
Education: Quinnipiac University, MS, Med Lab Sciences, 2014
Gettysbury College, BS, Biology, 2011

Research Summary

Kinetochore proteins in the spindle assembly checkpoint during cell division

The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) prolongs cell division until every chromosome is bioriented within the spindle. Chromosome biorientation, in which sister kinetochores are attached to dynamic microtubules from opposite spindle poles, is the configuration that best ensures each daughter cell receives the correct number of chromosomes. The kinetochore is a  complex of many proteins that mediates microtubule attachment and serves as a molecular hub for coordinating SAC signaling.

The kinetochore protein KNL1 (dmSpc105) recruits SAC signaling molecules and is required for robust SAC signaling in a conserved manner. The C-terminus of KNL1 is sufficient for kinetochore localization and associates with a core network of proteins that are required for microtubule attachment.

The goal of my work is to further investigate the role of KNL1 in the SAC and its function in coordinating kinetochore proteins. Gaining a better understanding of the SAC is critical in elucidating the causes of chromosome abnormalities like Down Syndrome and cancer.