Bruce McKee, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, along with his students, postdoctoral fellows, and laboratory technicians, published a paper in the February 8th issue of the Journal of Cell Biology: “SOLO: a meiotic protein required for centromere cohesion, co-orientation, and SMC1 localization in Drosophila.” Most of the studies reported in the article were carried out by the lead author, Rihui Yan, who earned his Ph.D. last year in McKee’s laboratory and is now a postdoctoral fellow.
McKee, a former head of the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, conducts research primarily on the mechanisms underlying meiosis, using fruit flies as his study organism. Meiosis is the process, leading to sexual reproduction, by which cells divide and split the number of chromosomes in each cell in half to produce gametes (male and female cells) in animals or spores in plants and other organisms. Mistakes in chromosome division during meiosis are responsible for a large fraction of miscarriage, infertility and genetic disease in humans. McKee and colleagues hope that better understanding of the mechanisms of meiotic chromosome division obtained through studies of proteins like SOLO that control key steps in the process will lead eventually to treatments that will improve reproductive outcomes.
Yan R, Thomas SE, Tsai J, Yamada Y, and McKee BD (2010). SOLO: a meiotic protein required for centromere cohesion, co-orientation, and SMC1 localization in Drosophila. Journal of Cell Biology 183(3): 335-349.
Thomas SE and McKee BD (2009). Analysis of chromosome dynamics and chromosomal proteins in Drosophila spermatocytes. Methods in Molecular Biology 558: 217-234.
McKee BD (2008). Does cohesin regulate developmental gene expression in Drosophila? Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105: 12097-12098.
McKee BD (2008). Homolog pairing and segregation in Drosophila meiosis, pp. 56-68 in Genome Dynamics, vol. 5: Meiosis in Higher Eukaryotes. R. Benavente and Jean-Nicolas Volff, editors, Karger Press.
Thomas SE and McKee BD (2007). Meiotic pairing and disjunction of mini-X chromosomes in Drosophila is mediated by 240bp rDNA repeats and the homolog conjunction proteins SNM and MNM. Genetics 177: 785-799.
Soltani-Bejnood M, Thomas SE, Villeneuve L, Schwartz K, Hong C, and McKee BD (2007). Role of the mod(mdg4) common region in homolog segregation in Drosophila. Genetics 176: 161-180.
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