Jennifer DeLuca Professor

Office: Mrb 237

Phone: (970) 491-6718


Google Scholar:


  • B.S., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara


Accurate chromosome segregation during mitosis is necessary to prevent genetic instability and aneuploidy that are associated with cancer and many types of birth defects. Central to nearly all mitotic events are kinetochores, which are large proteinaceous structures located at the primary constriction, or centromere region, of mitotic chromosomes. Kinetochores are the sites where microtubules of the mitotic spindle attach to chromosomes, and they are responsible for producing force at this attachment site for chromosome movements during mitosis. Kinetochores also function to monitor these attachments and activate a cell-cycle checkpoint which inhibits anaphase onset until all chromosomes are properly bi-oriented and aligned at the metaphase plate.

Research in this lab will focus on understanding how the vertebrate kinetochore accomplishes these remarkable tasks during mitosis using a combination of cell biological, biochemical, and proteomic approaches, with special emphasis on high resolution light microscopy. Current studies are focused on the role of the highly conserved Ndc80 complex in kinetochore-microtubule attachment and regulation of chromosome movement. In addition, we are studying how protein kinases at the vertebrate kinetochore contribute to accurate chromosome segregation in mitosis.


  • Aurora A kinase phosphorylates Hec1 to regulate metaphase kinetochore-microtubule dynamicsDeLuca KF, Meppelink A, Broad AJ, Mick JE, Peersen OB, Bayrak S, Lens SM, and DeLuca JGJournal of Cell Biology 217:163-177, 2018
  • 'Wait Anaphase' signals are not confined to the mitotic spindleHeasley LR, Markus SM, and DeLuca JGMolecular Biology of the Cell 28:1186-1194, 2017
  • Cofilin regulates nuclear architecture through a Myosin-II dependent mechanotransduction moduleWiggan O, Schroder B, Krapf D, Bamburg JR, and DeLuca JGScientific Reports 7:40953, 2017
  • Stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment is sufficient to silence the spindle assembly checkpoint in human cellsTauchman, EC, Boehm FJ, and DeLuca JGOpen Biology 5:150160., 2015
  • The RZZ complex requires the N-terminus of KNL1 to mediate optimal Mad1 kinetochore localization in human cellsCaldas GV, Lynch TR, Anderson R, Afreen S, Varma D, and DeLuca JGOpen Biology 5:150160., 2015
  • Multisitephosphorylation of the NDC80 complex gradually tunes its microtubule-binding affinityZaytsev AV, Mick JE, Maslennikov E, Nikashin B, DeLuca JG, and Grishchuk ELMolecular Biology of the Cell 26:1829-44., 2015
  • Accurate phosphoregulation of kinetochore-microtubule affinity requires unconstrained molecular interactionsZaytsev AV, Sundin LJR, DeLuca KF, Grishchuk EL, and DeLuca JGJournal of Cell Biology 206:45-59., 2014
  • BuGZ is required for Bub3 stability, Bub1 kinetochore function, and chromosome alignmentToledo CM, Herman JA, Olson JB, Ding Y, Corrin P, Girard EJ, Olson JM, Emili A, DeLuca JG, and Paddison PJDevelopmental Cell 28:282-94, 2014
  • KNL1 facilitates phosphorylation of outer kinetochore proteins by promoting Aurora B kinase activityCaldas GV, DeLuca KF, and DeLuca JGJournal of Cell Biology 203:957-69., 2013
  • Temporal changes in Hec1 phosphorylation control kinetochore-microtubule attachment stability in mitosisDeLuca KF, Lens SMA, and DeLuca JGJournal of Cell Science 124: 622-34., 2011