The Reyes Lab aims to understand the function of molecular machines as they work inside the cell
Our group uses single-molecule approaches in live cells to infer the spatial organization and dynamics of proteins and DNA. Our current focus is on the understanding of the molecular machines that duplicate the genome. Surprisingly, there are still fundamental aspects about these important machines that we do not know about. For example, we are still unsure about the architecture of these machines on DNA. We are also unclear about aspects on the timing at which these machines assemble and disassemble, and what are the factors that determine their stability during the often-long path to completion of chromosomal replication, among other things.
We use the unicellular organisms, Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae , as model organisms for bacteria and eukaryotes, respectively. As most of the proteins in the replisome of bacteria do not share common ancestry to those in eukaryotes, even though they accomplish similar tasks, studying both organisms allow us to probe the function of their unrelated machines. Their replisomes are the best characterised by biochemical and genetic methods in their respective phyla. Finally, these organisms are also two of the most widely used genetic models, giving us access to many genetic tools that we use to change the intracellular conditions in a control manner.