Laura Lackner Associate 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:

Lackner LL. (2019) The expanding and unexpected functions of mitochondria contact sites. Trends in Cell Biology in press doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2019.02.009.

Kraft LM and Lackner LL. (2019) A conserved mechanism for mitochondria-dependent dynein anchoring. Molecular Biology of the Cell 30:691-702.

Chen W, Ping HA, and Lackner LL. (2018) Direct membrane binding and self-interaction contribute to Mmr1 function in mitochondrial inheritance. Molecular Biology of the Cell 29:2346-2357.

Schmit HL*, Kraft LM*, Lee-Smith CF*, and Lackner LL. (2018) The role of mitochondria in anchoring dynein to the cell cortex extends beyond clustering the anchor protein. Cell Cycle 17:1345-1357. *equal contribution

Kraft LM and Lackner LL. (2018) Mitochondrial anchors: positioning mitochondria and more. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 500:2-8.

Kraft LM and Lackner LL. (2017) Mitochondrial-driven assembly of a cortical anchor for mitochondria and dynein. Journal of Cell Biology 216:3061-3071. 

Ping HA, Kraft LM, Chen W, Nilles AE, and Lackner LL. (2016) Num1 anchors mitochondria to the plasma membrane via two domains with different lipid binding specificities. Journal of Cell Biology 213:513-524.

Lackner LL. (2014) Shaping the dynamic mitochondrial network. BMC Biology 12:35.

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

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