Jennifer DeLuca

Jennifer DeLucaAssociate Professor
Office: MRB 237
Phone: 970-491-6718
Education: Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Research Title: Mechanisms of Mitotic Chromosome Segregation

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.

Selected Publications

Toledo CM^, Herman JA^, Olson JB, Ding Y, Corrin P, Girard EJ, Olson JM, Emili A, DeLuca JG*, and Paddison PJ*. 2013. BuGZ is required for Bub3 stability, Bub1 kinetochore function, and chromosome alignment. Developmental Cell. Jan 23, 2014 (Epub ahead of print) ^Co-first authors; *Co-corresponding senior authors

Caldas GV and DeLuca JG. 2013. KNL1: Bringing order to the kinetochore. Chromosoma, December 6, 2013 (Epub ahead of press). 

Caldas GV, DeLuca KF, and DeLuca JG. 2013. KNL1 facilitates phosphorylation of outer kinetochore proteins by promoting Aurora B kinase activity. Journal of Cell Biology. 203:957-69.


Caldas GV and DeLuca JG. 2013. Mad2 "opens" Cdc20 for BubR1 binding. Molecular Cell 51:3-4.

Earnshaw WC et al. 2013. Esperanto for histones: CENP-A, not CenH3, is the centromeric histone H3 variant. Chromosome Research 2013 21:101-106.

Ding Y, Hubert CG, Herman J, Corrin P, Toledo CM, Skutt-Kakaria K, Vazquez J, Basom R, Zhang B, Risler JK, Pollard SM, Nam DH, Delrow JJ, Zhu J, Lee J, DeLuca J, Olson JM, and Paddison PJ. 2012. Cancer specific requirement for BUB1B/BubR1 in human brain tumor isolates and genetically transformed cells. Cancer Discovery 3: 198-211.

Grover G, DeLuca K, Quirin S, DeLuca J, and Piestun R. 2012. Super-resolution photon-efficient imaging by nanometric double-helix point spread function localization of emitters (SPINDLE). Opt Express 20:26681-95

Varma D, Chandrasekaran D, Sundin LJR, Reidy KT, Wan X, Chasse DAD, Nevis KR, DeLuca JG, Salmon ED, and Cook JG. 2012. Recruitment of the human Cdt1 replication licensing protein by the loop domain of Hec1 is required for stable kinetochore microtubule attachment. Nature Cell Biology 14:593-603.  

Wiggan O, Shaw A, DeLuca JG*, and Bamburg JR*. 2012. ADF/Cofilin regulates actomyosin assembly through competitive inhibition of myosin II binding to F-actin. Developmental Cell 22:530-43. *equally contributing senior authors

DeLuca JG and Musacchio A. 2012. Structural organization of the kinetochore-microtubule interface. Current Opinion in Cell Biology 24: 48-56.

Wiggan O, DeLuca JG. 2011. FORMIN Stable Kinetochore-Microtubule Attachments. Dev Cell 20: 283-4

Sundin LJR, Guimaraes GJ, and DeLuca JG. 2011. The NDC80 complex proteins Nuf2 and Hec1 make distinct contributions to kinetochore-microtubule attachment in mitosis. Molecular Biology of the Cell 22: 759-68

DeLuca KF, Lens SMA, and DeLuca JG. 2011. Temporal changes in Hec1 phosphorylation control kinetochore-microtubule attachment stability in mitosis. Journal of Cell Science 124: 622-634

Sundin LJR and DeLuca JG. 2010. Kinetochores: NDC80 toes the line. Current Biology 20: R1083-R1085.

Posch M, Khoudoli GA, Swift S, King EM, DeLuca JG, and Swedlow JR. 2010. Sds22 regulates Aurora B activity and microtubule-kinetochore interactions at mitosis. Journal of Cell Biology 191: 61-74.

DeLuca JG. 2010. Kinetochore-Microtubule Dynamics and Attachment Stability. Methods Cell Biol. 97C:53-79.

DeLuca JG. 2010. Mitosis and the spindle assembly checkpoint. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 238-240.

Pavani SR, DeLuca JG, and Piestun R. 2009. Polarization sensitive, three dimensional, single-molecule imaging of cells with a double-helix system. Opt Express 17:19644-55.

Joglekar AP and DeLuca JG. 2009. Chromosome segregation: Ndc80 can carry the load. Curr Biol. 19:R404-7.

Guimaraes GJ and DeLuca JG. 2009. Connecting with Ska, a key complex at the kinetochore-microtubule interface. EMBO J. 28:1375-7.

Wan X, O'Quinn RP, Pierce HL, Joglekar AP, Gall WE, DeLuca JG, Carroll CW, Liu ST, Yen TJ, McEwen BF, Stukenberg PT, Desai A, and Salmon ED. 2009.Protein architecture of the human kinetochore microtubule attachment site. Cell. 137:672-84.

Guimaraes GJ, Dong Y, McEwen BF, and Deluca JG. 2008. Kinetochore-microtubule attachment relies on the disordered N-terminal tail domain of Hec1. Curr Biol. 18:1778-84.

Ciferri C, Pasqualato S, Screpanti E, Varetti G, Santaguida S, Dos Reis G, Maiolica A,Polka J, DeLuca JG, De Wulf P, Salek M, Rappsilber J, Moores CA, Salmon ED, and Musacchio A. 2008. Implication for kinetochore-microtuble attachment form the structure of an engineered Ndc80 complex. Cell, 133: 427-39.

Bahmanyar S, Kaplan DD, Deluca JG, Giddings TH Jr, O'Toole ET, Winey M, Salmon ED, Casey PJ, Nelson WJ, and Barth AI. 2008. beta-Catenin is a Nek2 substrate involved in centrosome separation. Genes Dev. 22:91-105.

DeLuca JG. 2007. Spindle microtubules: getting attached at both ends. Curr Biol. 17:R966-9.

DeLuca JG, Gall WE, Ciferri C, Cimini D, Musacchio A, Salmon ED. 2006. Kinetochore microtubule dynamics and attachment stability are regulated by Hec1. Cell 127:969-82.

DeLuca JG, Dong Y, Hergert P, Strauss J, Hickey JM, et al. 2005. Hec1 and Nuf2 are core components of the kinetochore outer plate essential for organizing microtubule attachment sites. Molecular Biology of the Cell 16: 519-31.

Ciferri C, DeLuca J, Monzani S, Ferrari KJ, Ristic D, Wyman C, Stark H, Kilmartin J, Salmon ED, Musacchio A. 2005. Architecture of the human Ndc80-Hec1 complex, a critical constituent of the outer kinetochore. Journal of Biological Chemistry 280:29088-95.

Salmon ED, Cimini D, Cameron LA, DeLuca JG. 2005. Merotelic kinetochores in mammalian tissue cells. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 360:553-68.

DeLuca JG, Salmon ED. 2004. Kinetochores: if you build it, they will come. Current Biology 14: R921-3.

Maiato H, DeLuca J, Salmon ED, and Earnshaw WC. 2004. The dynamic kinetochore-microtubule interface. Journal of Cell Science 117: 5461-77.

DeLuca JG, Howell BJ, Canman JC, Hickey JM, Fang G, and Salmon ED. 2003. Nuf2 and Hec1 are required for retention of the checkpoint proteins Mad1 and Mad2 to kinetochores. Current Biology 13: 2103-9.

DeLuca JG, Moree B, Hickey JM, Kilmartin JV, and Salmon ED. 2002. hNuf2 inhibition blocks stable kinetochore-microtubule attachment and induces mitotic cell death in HeLa cells. Journal of Cell Biology 159: 549-55.

Newton CN, DeLuca JG, Himes RH, Miller HP, Jordan MA, and Wilson L. 2002. Intrinsically slow dynamic instability of HeLa cell microtubules in vitro. Journal of Biological Chemistry 277: 42456-62.

DeLuca JG, Newton CN, Himes RH, Jordan MA, and Wilson L. 2001. Purification and characterization of native conventional kinesin, HSET, and CENP-E from mitotic HeLa cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry 276: 28014-21.

NIH PubMed Publications List