Patricia Wadsworth

Photograph of First Last


Contact Info

Phone: 413-545-4877
Office: 458 Morrill IV South


B.S., St. Lawrence University, 1977
Ph.D., Dartmouth College, 1983


1983-1986, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Research Interests

Cell Division and Cytoskeleton

Microtubules are intracellular polymers that are required for several vital processes in eukaryotic cells including mitosis, intracellular transport and the maintenance of asymetric cell shape. The goal of the research in this lab is to elucidate the mechanism(s) by which microtubules contribute to these diverse phenomena. Current work focuses on understanding the assembly and disassembly behavior of microtubules in living cells. To analyze microtubule behavior in living cells, we have prepared fluorescent and caged fluorescent analogs of tubulin, the subunit protein of the microtubules. These probes are micro-injected into living cells and the dynamic behavior of the resulting fluorescent microtubules is followed using fluorescence microscopy and digital recording techniques. Using these techniques, we have directly observed the dynamic changes in microtubules as cells progress through the mitotic cycle and demonstrated that the dynamic behavior of interphase microtubules is cell type specific. Future research will examine the regulation of microtubule dynamics throughout the cell cycle and the contribution of microtubule assembly and disassembly behavior to chromosome motion during mitosis. In addition, we have recently demonstrated that the dynamic behavior of interphase microtubules is cell type specific. Molecules which interact with microtubules to generate both the distinct microtubule behavior and the specific arrangement of microtubules in diverse cells throughout development will also be determined.

Representative Publications

Ma, N., Titus, J., Gable, A., Ross, J. L., Wadsworth, P. 2011. TPX2 regulates the localization and activity of Eg5 in the mammalian mitotic spindle . Journal of Cell Biology, 195: 87-98.

Gable, A., Qiu, M. , Titus, J. ,Balchand, S., Ferenz, N. P., Ma, N., Fagerstrom, C., Ross, J. L., Yang, G., Wadsworth, P. 2012. Dynamic reorganization of Eg5 in the mammalian spindle throughout mitosis requires dynein and TPX2. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 23: 1254-1266.

Ferenz, N., N. Ma, W.-L. Lee, and P. Wadsworth. 2010a. Imaging Protein Dynamics in Live Mitotic Cells. Methods, in press.

Ferenz, N.P., A. Gable, and P. Wadsworth. 2010b. Mitotic Functions of Kinesin-5. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 21: 255-259.

Ma, N., S. Tulu, N. Ferenz, C. Fagerstrom, A. Wilde, and P. Wadsworth. 2010. Poleward Transport of TPX2 in mammalian spindles requires Eg5, dynein and microtubule flux. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 21: 979-988.

Ferenz, N., R. Paul, C. Fagerstrom, A. Mogilner, and P. Wadsworth. 2009. Dynein antagonizes Eg5 by crosslinking and sliding antiparallel microtubules. Current Biology, 19: 1833-1838.

Murthy, K., and P. Wadsworth. 2008. Dual Role for Microtubules in Regulating Cortical Contractility during Cytokinesis. Journal of Cell Science, 121: 2350-2359.

Tulu, U.S., C. Fagerstrom, N.P. Ferenz, and P. Wadsworth. 2006. Molecular requirements for kinetochore-associated microtubule formation in mammalian cells. Current Biology, 16: 536-541.

Murthy, K., and P. Wadsworth. 2005. Myosin-II-dependent localization and dynamics of F-actin during cytokinesis. Current Biology, 15: 724-731.

Tulu, U.S., N. Rusan, and P. Wadsworth. 2003. Peripheral, non-centrosome-associated microtubules contribute to spindle formation in centrosome containing cells. Current Biology, 13: 1894-1899.

Landen, J.W., Lang, R., McMahon, S.J., Rusan, N., Yvon, A.C., Adams, A.W., Sorcinelli, M., Campbell, R., Bonaccorsi, P., Wadsworth, P. Archer, D.R., Ansel, J., Armstrong, C.A. and H. Joshi. 2002. The tubulin binding agent noscapine for the treatment of murine melanoma. Cancer Research, 62: 4109-4119.

Rusan, N., Tulu, U.S., Fagerstrom, C. and P. Wadsworth. 2002. Microtubule rearrangment in prophase/prometaphase cells requires cytoplasmic dynein. Journal of Cell Biology, 158: 997-1003.

Yvon, A.C., walker, J.W., Danowski, B.A., Fagerstrom, C., Khojakov, A. and P. Wadsworth. 2002. Centrosome reorientation in wound edge cells is cell type specific. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 13: 1871-1880.