Professor & Department Head
306 Morrill Science Center IVN
Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 1984
Steven J. Sander, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology
418 Morrill Science Center IVN
University of Massachusetts
639 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9298
Our laboratory is interested in the processes of DNA replication, recombination and cell division in E. coli. In particular, we are interested in how these processes are coordinated. It has been recently shown that replication forks stop for a variety of mundane, housekeeping reasons as they replicate chromosomes. This happens both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. After stopping, these forks need to get repaired. This is thought to occur predominately by homologous recombination. Then after repair, these forks need to get up and running again. A special set of proteins call the Replication Restart Proteins form a multi-subunit complex at a repaired replication fork that helps to reload the replisome. In E. coli, the Replication Restart Proteins include PriA, PriB, PriC, DnaT, DnaC, and DnaB.
Our approach is a combination of genetics, molecular biology, cell biology and genomics. We use the power of genetics to look for connections between replication and recombination. We use molecular biology to engineer the chromosome both physically and genetically to test models for how replication forks collapse and get restarted. We use the Green and Red Fluorescent Proteins to monitor where in the cell do these processes occur and to measure gene expression in individual cells.
DNA Replication, Recombination and Cell Division in E. coli