Nikolina Sekulic Group (Structural Biology and Chromatin) started at the Biotechnology Centre of Oslo, now NCMM, January 2016.
CENP-A nucleosome (PDB 3AN2). Illustration: Nikolina Sekulic.
The Sekulic Group is interested in understanding molecular mechanisms that ensure genomic stability during mitosis. During mitosis, duplicated chromosomes are held together at a special region of the chromosome, the centromere.
On the top of the centromere, a protein megacomplex – kinetochore – forms to connect duplicated chromosomes to the microtubules emanating from opposite poles of the dividing cell. Only when all the chromosomes attach correctly to microtubules, the sister chromatids are separated and travel to the poles of the dividing cell. Mistakes leading to inaccurate chromosome segregation during cell division are often catastrophic or result in aneuploidy, which is associated with cancer.
We are interested in understanding the molecular basis of centromere architecture, how centromere recruits enzymes with important roles during mitosis and, finally, what are the molecular mechanisms behind (de)activation of key mitoic enzymes (kinases and phosphatases).
Our Lab is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation in structural biology and mass spectroscopy. We also collaborate closely with experts in yeast genetics and cell cycle regulation.