Michael V. Danilchik

Michael V. DanilchikMichael V. Danilchik, Ph.D. (U. Washington, 1982)


Research Interests: Developmental Aspects of Cytokinesis in Embryogenesis

In animal cells undergoing cytokinesis, cleavage furrowing haslong been recognized to be a microfilament-dependent process. Recently, we discovered a novel structure in the cleavage furrows of eggs of the frog Xenopus laevis, consisting of numerous bundles of radially arranged, acetylated microtubules emanating from the vicinity of the contractile ring. Microtubule-disrupting experiments unexpectedly revealed that cleavage's progression is entirely dependent on this structure. We hypothesize that it functions by recruiting vesicles to a site of new plasma membrane insertion at the furrow's leading edge. If so, this microtubule array may be involved in the selective targeting of exocytotic vesicles toward the nascent basolateral surfaces that separate dividing cells. Since all receptor-mediated, cell-cell interactions between the blastomeres of the early embryo depend on the composition of these basolateral surfaces, the mechanism of their formation is of great interest to developmental biologists; thus, we are presently examining the microtubule dependence of exocytosis of basolaterally targeted vesicles in the cleavage furrow.

Research Support

National Science Foundation

Representative Publications

Danilchik, M., Riegert, K, and Brown, E. (2006). Intrinsic chiral properties of the Xenopus egg cortex: An early indicator of left­-right asymmetry? Development 133, 4517­4526.

Danilchik MV, Bedrick SD, Brown EE, Ray K. Furrow microtubules and localized exocytosis in cleaving Xenopus laevis embryos. J Cell Sci. 2003 Jan 15;116(Pt 2):273-83.

Larkin K, Danilchik MV. Three-dimensional Analysis of Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope Sections Reveals an Array of Microtubules in the Cleavage Furrow of Sea Urchin Eggs. Microsc Microanal. 2001;7(3):265-275

Danilchik MV
, Brown EE, Larkin K, Ray K. Applications of confocal microscopy to study the roles of the cytoskeleton during early embryogenesis in amphibians. Microsc Microanal. 1999;5 Suppl 2:1076-7

Larkin K, Danilchik MV. Ventral cell rearrangements contribute to anterior-posterior axis lengthening between neurula and tailbud stages in Xenopus laevis. Dev Biol. 1999 Dec 15;216(2):550-60.

Larkin K, Danilchik MV. Microtubules are required for completion of cytokinesis in sea urchin eggs. Dev Biol. 1999 Oct 1;214(1):215-26.