Title: Faculty & research interests





Rodney J Rothstein
Rodney J Rothstein, PhD
Full Member

Department: Genetics and Development

HHSC 1608

Personal Website

Disease Models: Cancer

Stem Cell Categories: Adult stem cells, Cancer stem cells

Model Organisms: Yeast

Themes: Stem Cell Biology

Dr. Rothstein's lab is interested in lineage specification. Asymmetric cell division is of fundamental importance in biology because it allows adult stem cells to establish separate cell lineages during the development of multicellular organisms. Using fluorescent tags they have shown that components of the yeast kinetochore (the protein complex that anchors chromosomes to the mitotic spindle) and a spindle pole protein divide asymmetrically in a single post-meiotic lineage, unlike haploid or diploid vegetatively dividing cells. This phenotype suggests a kinetochore-specific mechanism for the selective segregation of sister chromatids to daughter cells in order to establish different cell lineages or fates. This work in yeast has provided the first description of a defined single cellular lineage in a microbial system that mimics the repeated asymmetric divisions of a stem cell lineage. Their system therefore serves as a microbial model for adult stem cells and the development of multicellular organisms and is of broad interest to the stem cell field. It is important to study the stem cell-like asymmetric division that they have discovered in a micro-organism, since it will now be possible to apply all of the tools of yeast molecular genetics and cell biology to this evolutionarily conserved process.


Bernstein, K.A., Gangloff, S., and Rothstein, R.
The RecQ DNA Helicases in DNA Repair. Ann. Rev. Genetics 44:393-417. (2010)

Thorpe, P.H., Bruno, J. and Rothstein, R.
Kinetochore asymmetry defines a single yeast lineage. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106:6673-6678. (2009)

Thorpe, P.H., Bruno, J. and Rothstein, R.
Modeling stem cell asymmetry in yeast. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 73:81-88. (2008)

Alvaro, D.A., Lisby, M. and Rothstein, R.
Genome-wide analysis of Rad52 foci reveals diverse mechanisms impacting recombination. PLoS Genetics 3:2439-49. (2007)

Lisby, M., Barlow, J.H., Burgess, R.C. and Rothstein, R.
Choreography of the DNA damage response: spatiotemporal relationships among checkpoint and repair proteins. Cell 118:699-713. (2004)

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