José R. Rodríguez Medina, Ph.D. Professor and Chairman

Myosin II function in cell division and fungal cell wall biogenesis.

Ph.D., 1986, Brandeis University
Phone: (787) 758-2525 ext. 2299

Research Interests

We have focused our recent studies on the identification of functional pathways required for resistance to Nikkomycin Z (NZ), an antifungal agent that inhibits cell wall chitin biosynthesis in budding yeast. Unlike wild-type cells that are relatively resistant to NZ (IC50=25mm), most myosin II-deficient (myo1Δ) strains of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae require chitin synthesis for survival and are hypersensitive to very low concentrations of NZ (IC50=6.25 mm). Through the use of genetics we are interested in identifying which functional pathways interact (indirectly or directly) with Myo1p in this hypersensitivity phenotype and thereby identify how myosin II functions can be related to cell integrity. We believe that what we learn about the mechanism of resistance to NZ in myo1Δ strains may be applicable to other antifungal drugs that target cell wall synthesis.

Recent Publications

  • F. E. Rivera-Molina, Y. Maldonado-De la Cruz, J. M. Ortíz-Betancourt and J.R. Rodríguez-Medina. 2,3-butanedione monoxime increases sensitivity to nikkomycin Z in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
    World J Microbiol Biotechnol, 2006, 22(3):255-260.
  • Díaz-Blanco NL, Rodríguez-Medina JR. Dosage rescue by UBC4 restores cell wall integrity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacking the myosin type II gene MYO1.
    Yeast, 2007, Apr; 24(4):343-55.
  • J. F. Rodríguez-Quiñones, R. A. Irizarry, Díaz-Blanco N., D., F. E. Rivera-Molina, Gómez-Garzón, and J. R. Rodríguez-Medina. Global mRNA expression analysis in myo1Δ strains of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveals cell integrity phenotypes.
    BMC Genomics, 2008, 9:34.
  • J. F. Rodríguez-Quiñones and J. R. Rodríguez-Medina. Differential gene expression signatures for cell wall integrity in chitin synthase II (chs2Δ) and myosin II (myo1Δ) deficient cytokinesis mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
    BMC Research Notes, 2009, 2:87.