Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Kaverina, Irina N. , Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Lab Url:

Phone Number: (615) 936-5567


Kaverina, Irina's picture

Office Address   Mailing Address

3160 MRB III

3160 MRB III 37232-8240

Research Keywords
Microtubules; actin cytoskeleton; Golgi complex; vesicular trafficking; cell motility and polarity; live cell imaging; vascular biology; cancer and metastasis; insulin secretion

Research Description
Architecture of a eukaryotic cell largely depends on microtubules (MTs), 25-nm self-assembling polymers that serve as highways for organelle and molecular transport within a cell. During cell division, MTs drive chromosome segregation. In interphase cells, MTs position organelles and site-specific activities like actin assembly or proteolysis, thereby defining cell shape and polarity. For years, an intriguing question has been how MTs within a cell can perform multiple actions that are spatially and temporally distinct. We think that it can only be possible if functionally distinct subsets exist within the MT network and if these subsets are precisely localized within a cell.

Our lab is interested in:
1) Establishing principles of diversity and asymmetry within MT networks. We study the MT network as a combination of subsets of diverse origin, dynamics and molecular composition. We have recently discovered a novel MT population, which forms at Golgi complex and are distinct from the centrosomal MT array. Elucidating their molecular and functional properties is one of our close goals.
2) Understanding how variations in MT subsets are translated into specifics of cellular architecture and functioning. We aim to resolve general principles of this regulatory system as well as its cell-type-specific functions. In particular, we study MT-dependent regulation of: 1) Golgi complex organization and trafficking; 2) invasive podosomes in vascular smooth muscle cells; 3) insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells.

The astrophysicist Bernard Haisch once said "Advances are made by answering questions. Discoveries are made by questioning answers." This approach is very appealing to us. Our research is based on a set of dogma-challenging hypotheses that we test through a unique combination of cutting edge high-resolution microscopy techniques supported by molecular and biochemical approaches and merged with mathematical modeling.

Arnette, C, Efimova, N, Zhu, X, Clark, GJ, Kaverina, I. Microtubule segment stabilization by RASSF1A is required for proper microtubule dynamics and Golgi integrity. Mol Biol Cell, 25(6), 800-10, 2014.

Efimova, N, Grimaldi, A, Bachmann, A, Frye, K, Zhu, X, Feoktistov, A, Straube, A, Kaverina, I. Podosome-regulating kinesin KIF1C translocates to the cell periphery in a CLASP-dependent manner. J Cell Sci, 127(24), 5179-88, 2014.

Grimaldi, AD, Maki, T, Fitton, BP, Roth, D, Yampolsky, D, Davidson, MW, Svitkina, T, Straube, A, Hayashi, I, Kaverina, I. CLASPs are required for proper microtubule localization of end-binding proteins. Dev Cell, 30(3), 343-52, 2014.

Maia, AR, Zhu, X, Miller, P, Gu, G, Maiato, H, Kaverina, I. Modulation of Golgi-associated microtubule nucleation throughout the cell cycle. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken), 70(1), 32-43, 2013.

Zhu, X, Kaverina, I. Golgi as an MTOC: making microtubules for its own good. Histochem Cell Biol, 140(3), 361-7, 2013.

Vinogradova, T, Paul, R, Grimaldi, AD, Loncarek, J, Miller, PM, Yampolsky, D, Magidson, V, Khodjakov, A, Mogilner, A, Kaverina, I. Concerted effort of centrosomal and Golgi-derived microtubules is required for proper Golgi complex assembly but not for maintenance. Mol Biol Cell, 23(5), 820-33, 2012.

Kaverina, I, Straube, A. Regulation of cell migration by dynamic microtubules. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 22(9), 968-74, 2011.

Sung, BH, Zhu, X, Kaverina, I, Weaver, AM. Cortactin controls cell motility and lamellipodial dynamics by regulating ECM secretion. Curr Biol, 21(17), 1460-9, 2011.

Miller, PM, Folkmann, AW, Maia, AR, Efimova, N, Efimov, A, Kaverina, I. Golgi-derived CLASP-dependent microtubules control Golgi organization and polarized trafficking in motile cells. Nat Cell Biol, 11(9), 1069-80, 2009. PMCID:2748871

Vinogradova, T, Miller, PM, Kaverina, I. Microtubule network asymmetry in motile cells: Role of Golgi-derived array. Cell Cycle, 8(14), , 2009.

Efimov, A, Schiefermeier, N, Grigoriev, I, Ohi, R, Brown, MC, Turner, CE, Small, JV, Kaverina, I. Paxillin-dependent stimulation of microtubule catastrophes at focal adhesion sites. J Cell Sci, 121(Pt 2), 196-204, 2008.

Efimov, A, Kharitonov, A, Efimova, N, Loncarek, J, Miller, PM, Andreyeva, N, Gleeson, P, Galjart, N, Maia, AR, McLeod, IX, Yates, JR, Maiato, H, Khodjakov, A, Akhmanova, A, Kaverina, I. Asymmetric CLASP-Dependent Nucleation of Noncentrosomal Microtubules at the trans-Golgi Network. Dev Cell, 12(6), 917-30, 2007. PMCID:2705290

Rid, R, Schiefermeier, N, Grigoriev, I, Small, JV, Kaverina, I. The last but not the least: the origin and significance of trailing adhesions in fibroblastic cells. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton, 61(3), 161-71, 2005.

Kaverina, I, Krylyshkina, O, Small, JV. Microtubule targeting of substrate contacts promotes their relaxation and dissociation. J Cell Biol, 146(5), 1033-44, 1999. PMCID:2169483

Kaverina, I, Rottner, K, Small, JV. Targeting, capture, and stabilization of microtubules at early focal adhesions. J Cell Biol, 142(1), 181-90, 1998. PMCID:2133026

Postdoctoral Position Available

Postdoctoral Position Details
A variety of projects is available for postdoctoral research.

Updated Date

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