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The control of archaeal cell shape by tubulin-family proteins (DP160101076)

Funding: 2016: $149,600
2017: $142,200
2018: $152,100

Project Member(s): Duggin, I.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2016

Summary: Cell theory has been a cornerstone of biology for over 150 years. Yet how early cells developed into modern forms is still a mystery. The primitive and poorly understood third domain of life, Archaea, should hold clues. Recently, proteins were discovered in archaea that are related to the tubulin proteins of all higher organisms, which provide the structural framework of cells, essential for survival. This project expects to: (1) reveal the basis of how the archaeal tubulin proteins control cell shape in response to environmental change, and (2) develop a new paradigm for archaeal cell biology. The outcomes will provide new insights into the evolution and diversity of cell structure and function.


Walsh, JC, Angstmann, CN, Bissonā€Filho, AW, Garner, EC, Duggin, IG & Curmi, PMG 2019, 'Division plane placement in pleomorphic archaea is dynamically coupled to cell shape', Molecular Microbiology, vol. 112, no. 3, pp. 785-799.
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Liao, Y, Ithurbide, S, de Silva, RT, Erdmann, S & Duggin, IG 2018, 'Archaeal cell biology: diverse functions of tubulin-like cytoskeletal proteins at the cell envelope', Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 547-559.
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Aylett, CHS & Duggin, IG 2017, 'The Tubulin Superfamily in Archaea' in Prokaryotic Cytoskeletons, Springer International Publishing, Germany, pp. 393-417.
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Keywords: archaea, tubulin, CetZ, microbiology

FOR Codes: Structural Biology (incl. Macromolecular Modelling), Microbiology not elsewhere classified, Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences, Expanding Knowledge in Technology, EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE