Andrea Musacchio

Andrea Musacchio

Director, Mechanistic Cell Biology


Leibniz Prize 2020 awarded to Andrea Musacchio

On 9 November, Prof. Dr. Andrea Musacchio was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2020 by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for his pioneering structural biological work on the distribution of genetic material during cell division. The prize is endowed with 2.5 million euros and is the most important scientific award in Germany.

Research Interests

Mechanistic Cell Biology >

We investigate the molecular basis of cell division in eukaryotes. We are concerned with different aspects of the process of cell division, with specific topics ranging from the organization of the microtubule cytoskeleton, and most notably the mitotic spindle to the organization of centromeres and kinetochores. Our primary interest is to unveil the molecular mechanisms that drive these processes, so to be able eventually to manipulate them meaningfully. Most of our projects combine biochemical reconstitution with biophysical investigations and cellular analyses, so to provide testable mechanism-based hypotheses that allow making significant forays into the unknown. For this, we foster a broad methodological portfolio, which now includes classical methods in structural biology, mass spectrometry, biochemistry and biophysics and cell culture.

Selected Publications

Piano V, Alex A, Stege P, Maffini S, Stoppiello GA, Huis In 't Veld PJ, Vetter IR, Musacchio A (2021). CDC20 assists its catalytic incorporation in the mitotic checkpoint complex.  Science

Pan D, Walstein K, Take A, Bier D, Kaiser N, Musacchio A (2019). Mechanism of centromere recruitment of the CENP-A chaperone HJURP and its implications for centromere licensing. Nature Communications
doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12019-6.

Alex A, Piano V, Polley S, Stuiver M, Voss S, Ciossani G, Overlack K, Voss B, Wohlgemuth S, Petrovic A, Wu Y, Selenko P, Musacchio A, Maffini S (2019). Electroporated recombinant proteins as tools for in vivo functional complementation, imaging, and chemical biology. ELife
doi: 10.7554/eLife.48287

Pesenti ME, Prumbaum D, Auckland P, Smith CM, Faesen AC, Petrovic A, Erent M, Maffini S, Pentakota S, Weir JR, Lin YC, Raunser S, McAinsh AD, Musacchio A (2018). Reconstitution of a 26-Subunit Human Kinetochore Reveals Cooperative Microtubule Binding by CENP-OPQUR and NDC80. Mol Cell 
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.07.038. 

Mosalaganti S, Keller J, Altenfeld A, Winzker M, Rombaut P, Saur M, Petrovic A, Wehenkel A, Wohlgemuth S, Müller F, Maffini S, Bange T, Herzog F, Waldmann H, Raunser S & Musacchio A (2017). Structure of the RZZ complex and molecular basis of its interaction with Spindly. J Cell Bio 216(4):961-981
doi: 10.1083/jcb.201611060.

Faesen AC, Thanasoula M, Maffini S, Breit C, Müller F, van Gerwen S, Bange T, Musacchio A (2017). Basis of catalytic assembly of the mitotic checkpoint complex. Nature
doi: 10.1038/nature21384.

Pan D, Klare K, Petrovic A, Take A, Walstein K, Singh P, Rondelet A, Bird AW, Musacchio A (2017). CDK-regulated dimerization of M18BP1 on a Mis18 hexamer is necessary for CENP-A loading. eLife 6:e23352.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.23352.

Pan D, Klare K, Petrovic A, Take A, Walstein K, Singh P, Rondelet A, Bird AW, Musacchio A (2017). CDK-regulated dimerization of M18BP1 on a Mis18 hexamer is necessary for CENP-A loading. eLife 6:e23352.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.23352.

Huis In 't Veld PJ, Jeganathan S, Petrovic A, Singh P, John J, Krenn V, Weissmann F, Bange T, Musacchio A (2016). Molecular basis of outer kinetochore assembly on CENP-T. eLife 5:e21007.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.21007.

Petrovic A, Keller J, Liu Y, Overlack K, John J, Dimitrova YN, Jenni S, van Gerwen S, Stege P, Wohlgemuth S, Rombaut P, Herzog F, Harrison SC, Vetter IR, and Musacchio A (2016). Structure of the MIS12 Complex and Molecular Basis of Its Interaction with CENP-C at Human Kinetochores. Cell 167(4):1028-1040.e15.

Weir JR, Faesen AC, Klare K, Petrovic A, Basilico F, Fischböck J, Pentakota S, Keller J, Pesenti ME, Pan D, Vogt D, Wohlgemuth S, Herzog F, Musacchio A (2016). Insights from biochemical reconstitution into the architecture of human kinetochores. Nature 537(7619):249-253.
doi: 10.1038/nature19333.

Klare K, Weir JR, Basilico F, Zimniak T, Massimiliano L, Ludwigs N, Herzog F & Musacchio A (2015). CENP-C is a blueprint for constitutive centromere-associated network assembly within human kinetochores. J Cell Biol 210:11-22.
doi: 10.1083/jcb.201412028.

Krenn V, Overlack K, Primorac I, van Gerwen S & Musacchio A (2014). KI motifs of human Knl1 enhance assembly of comprehensive spindle checkpoint complexes around MELT repeats. Curr Biol 24:29-39.
doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.046.

Basilico F, Maffini S, Weir JR, Prumbaum D, Rojas AM, Zimniak T, De Antoni A, Jeganathan S, Voss B, van Gerwen S, Krenn V, Massimiliano L, Valencia A, Vetter IR, Herzog F, Raunser S, Pasqualato S & Musacchio A (2014). The pseudo GTPase CENP-M drives human kinetochore assembly. Elife 8:e02978.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.02978.

Petrovic A, Mosalaganti S, Keller J, Mattiuzzo M, Overlack K, Krenn V, De Antoni A, Wohlgemuth S, Cecatiello V, Pasqualato S, Raunser S & Musacchio A (2014). Modular Assembly of RWD Domains on the Mis12 Complex Underlies Outer Kinetochore Organization. Mol Cell 53:591-605.
doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.01.019.

Primorac I, Weir JR, Chiroli E, Gross F, Hoffmann I, van Gerwen S, Ciliberto A & Musacchio A (2013). Bub3 reads phosphorylated MELT repeats to promote spindle assembly checkpoint signalling. Elife 2:e01030.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.01030.

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