Laura Lackner Assistant Professor

Research Summary:

In the Lackner Lab, we study how mitochondria are positioned in cells. Central to mitochondrial positioning are molecular tethers, which function to anchor mitochondria to specific cellular sites. While tethering of mitochondria is observed in cells from yeast to neurons, very little is known about this positioning mechanism. Using multidisciplinary biochemical, cytological, and genetic approaches, we are working to elucidate the molecular mechanism, regulation, and physiological significance of mitochondrial tethering.

Selected Publications:

Mitochondrial anchors: Positioning mitochondria and more. Kraft LM, Lackner LL. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2017.

The mechanisms and functions of interorganelle interactionsLackner LL, Voeltz GK. Mol. Biol Cell. 2017, March 15 Vol 28 no. 703-704.

Num1 anchors mitochondria to the plasma membrane via two domains with different lipid binding specificities. Ping HA, Kraft LM, Chen W, Nilles, AE, Lackner LL. The Journal of Cell Biology. 2016, May 30. Vol 213, No 5 513-524

Shaping the dynamic mitochondrial network. Lackner, LL. BMC Biology. 2014; 12:35.

Determining the shape and cellular distribution of mitochondria: the integration of multiple activities. Lackner LL. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2013 August;25(4):471-476.

Endoplasmic reticulum-associated mitochondria–cortex tether functions in the distribution and inheritance of mitochondria. Lackner LL, Ping H, Graef M, Murley A, and Nunnari J. PNAS. 2013 February 5;110(6):E458-E467.

ER Tubules Mark Sites of Mitochondrial Division. Friedman JR, Lackner LL, West M, DiBenedetto JR, Nunnari J, and Voeltz GK. Science. 2011 October 21;334(6054):358-362.

ER-associated mitochondrial division links the distribution of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA in yeast. Murley A, Lackner LL*, Osman C*, West M, Voeltz GK, Walter P and Nunnari J. eLife 2013 May 14;2:e00422. *equal contribution.

Conformational changes in Dnm1 support a contractile mechanism for mitochondrial fission. Mears JA, Lackner LL, Fang S, Ingerman E, Nunnari J, and Hinshaw JE. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 2011