Triscia Wharton Hendrickson, Ph.D.


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I am interested in the mechanisms that regulate cell motility. My work focuses on understanding the biological processes involved in controlling the activity of the minus-end microtubule directed motor dynein. Towards that end I have taken advantage of the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , a biochemically and genetically amenable model system. Normal Chlamydomonas cells contain two flagella (the biochemical equivalent of cilia), which beat to generate movement through the use of the microtubule motor dynein. Flagella dyneins are divided into two classes, outer arm dyneins, which are responsible for force generation, and inner arm dyneins, which regulate the activity of the enzyme. A subset of inner arm dynein, I1, is particularly interesting in that it has been shown to be necessary for the regulation of dynein activity through phosphorylation of one its subunits, the intermediate chain IC138. My previous studies have included the cloning and characterization of IC138 and one of its mutants, bop5-1 (Hendrickson et al . (2004) Mol. Biol. Cell 15: 5431-5442 ). My immediate interests include identifying the key phosphoresidues in IC138, identifying which regions of the protein are involved in interactions with other I1 subunits, and further understanding of the role of IC138 in the regulation of dynein activity.


E-mail Triscia W. Hendrickson