Ruprecht-Karls-Universit├Ąt Heidelberg
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Schiebel0518 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Schiebel, Elmar
Application deadline:
15. Oct 2018
Start of PhD project:
1. Nov 2018

Project description:

Cooperation between microtubule polymerases and gamma-tubulin
Microtubules are highly dynamic polymers with essential functions in chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, cell migration, transport and ciliogenesis. Drugs that target microtubules are used in cancer therapy indicating the therapeutic potential of the microtubule system.

Microtubules assemble through the polymerisation of tubulin at centrosomes. The gamma-tubulin complex (gamma-TuC) cooperates with the XMAP215/ch-TOG/Stu2 family of microtubule polymerases in microtubule assembly. Recently, we have shown (eLife, under revision) that the microtubule polymerase Stu2 directly interacts with the gamma-TuC in order to add the first tubulin molecules to the gamma-tubulin ring. Here we will extend this work to the structural and functional analysis of gamma-tubulin complexes with bound microtubule polymerase.

Applications should be sent via Email to Prof. Elmar Schiebel ( and contain the following documents (in English): CV, motivation letter, two references.
1 Lin, T. C et al. MOZART1 and gamma-tubulin complex receptors are both required to turn gamma-TuSC into an active microtubule nucleation template. J. Cell Biol 215, 823-840. pii:jcb.201606092 (2017).

2 Chinen, T. et al. The gamma-tubulin-specific inhibitor gatastatin reveals temporal requirements of microtubule nucleation during the cell cycle. Nat Commun 6, 8722, doi:10.1038/ncomms9722 (2015).

3 Lin, T. C. et al. Cell-cycle dependent phosphorylation of yeast pericentrin regulates gamma-TuSC-mediated microtubule nucleation. Elife 3, e02208, doi:10.7554/eLife.02208 (2014).

4 Gombos, L. et al. GTP regulates the microtubule nucleation activity of gamma-tubulin. Nat Cell Biol 15, 1317-1327, doi:ncb2863 [pii]10.1038/ncb2863 (2013).

5 Erlemann, S. et al. An extended ╬│-tubulin ring functions as a stable platform in microtubule nucleation. J Cell Biol 197, 59-74, doi:jcb.201111123 [pii]10.1083/jcb.201111123 (2012).


Lin, T. C., Neuner, A. & Schiebel, E. Targeting of gamma-tubulin complexes to microtubule organizing centers: conservation and divergence. Trends Cell Biol 25, 296-307, doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2014.12.002 (2015).
Methods that will be used:
The PhD student will use biochemical approaches, super resolution microscopy (STED), electron microscopy (negative stain and cryo-EM), CRISPR/Cas9 technology and live cell imaging to study microtubules assembly in yeast and human cells.
Cooperation partners:
Successful candidates will be part of an international team of PhD students and postdocs that works at the forefront of scientific research.
Personal qualifications:
Highly motivated PhD students with a background in biochemistry, cell biology or molecular biology should apply.