Susanne M. Rafelski

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The nucleus is a definitive feature of eukaryotic cells, comprising twin bilamellar membranes, the inner and outer nuclear membranes, which separate the nucleoplasmic and cytoplasmic compartments. Nuclear pores, complex macromolecular assemblies that connect the two membranes, mediate communication between these compartments. To explore the morphology,(More)
The polar distribution of the ActA protein on the surface of the Gram-positive intracellular bacterial pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes, is required for bacterial actin-based motility and successful infection. ActA spans both the bacterial membrane and the peptidoglycan cell wall. We have directly examined the de novo ActA polarization process in vitro by(More)
Mitochondria must grow with the growing cell to ensure proper cellular physiology and inheritance upon division. We measured the physical size of mitochondrial networks in budding yeast and found that mitochondrial network size increased with increasing cell size and that this scaling relation occurred primarily in the bud. The mitochondria-to-cell size(More)
Listeria monocytogenes causes a serious food-borne disease due to its ability to spread from the intestine to other organs, a process that is poorly understood. In this study we used 20 signature-tagged wild-type clones of L. monocytogenes in guinea pigs in combination with extensive quantitative data analysis to gain insight into extraintestinal(More)
All cellular materials are partitioned between daughters at cell division, but by various mechanisms and with different accuracy. In the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the mitochondria are pushed to the cell poles by the spindle. We found that mitochondria spatially reequilibrate just before division, and that the mitochondrial volume and DNA-containing(More)
Crawling cells of various morphologies displace themselves in their biological environments by a similar overall mechanism of protrusion through actin assembly at the front coordinated with retraction at the rear. Different cell types organize very distinct protruding structures, yet they do so through conserved biochemical mechanisms to regulate actin(More)
The astounding structural complexity of a cell arises from the action of a relatively small number of genes, raising the question of how this complexity is achieved. Self-organizing processes combined with simple physical constraints seem to have key roles in controlling organelle size, number, shape and position, and these factors then combine to produce(More)
We have examined the process by which the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes initiates actin-based motility and determined the contribution of the variable surface distribution of the ActA protein to initiation and steady-state movement. To directly correlate ActA distributions to actin dynamics and motility of live bacteria, ActA was(More)
Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogenic bacterium that moves within infected cells and spreads directly between cells by harnessing the cell's dendritic actin machinery. This motility is dependent on expression of a single bacterial surface protein, ActA, a constitutively active Arp2,3 activator, and has been widely studied as a biochemical and biophysical(More)
The morphology of mitochondrial networks is complex and highly varied, yet vital to cell function. The first step toward an integrative understanding of how mitochondrial morphology is generated and regulated is to define the interdependent geometrical features and their dynamics that together generate the morphology of a mitochondrial network within a(More)