Francis J. McNally

image of Francis J. McNally

Professor

Departments

Molecular & Cellular Biology

Offices and Labs

3167 Life Sciences
(530) 754-8018
3117 Life Sciences
(530) 754-8022

Degrees

1990 PhD Biochemistry University of California, Berkeley
1984 BA Biochemical Sciences Princeton University

Research Interests

Mechanisms of Asymmetric Cell Division during Female Meiosis

Meiosis is a process by which animals, plants and fungi reduce chromosome number four-fold to produce haploid gametes. In females of both plants and animals, only one of four sets of chromosomes segregated during meiosis is inherited by a gamete. In animals, this asymmetric inheritance is mediated by asymmetric meiotic spindle positioning and highly asymmetric cell divisions that yield a large haploid egg. We are interested in the mechanisms that mediate these asymmetric divisions and utilize C. elegans because both meiotic divisions can be filmed in utero using fluorescent protein fusions and time-lapse imaging. We use a combination of classical genetics, RNAi and biochemistry to elucidate the roles of proteins that regulate microtubule-based motility, microtubule organization and microtubule dynamics in meiotic cell division.

Department and Center Affiliations

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Specialties / Focus

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Cell Division and the Cytoskeleton
  • Chromosome Dynamics and Nuclear Function
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Meiosis
  • Reproductive Biology

Labs

McNally website

Teaching Interests

Cell biology.

Courses

MCB 144 Mechanisms of Cell Division (Winter)
MCB 212 Cellular biochemistry (Winter)

Publications

10/19/2017 10:29:00 AM
  • Vargas E, McNally K, Friedman JA, Cortes DB, Wang DY, Korf IF, McNally FJ. (2017) Autosomal Trisomy and Triploidy Are Corrected During Female Meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics .
  • Panzica MT, Marin HC, Reymann AC, McNally FJ. (2017) F-actin prevents interaction between sperm DNA and the oocyte meiotic spindle in C. elegans. The Journal of cell biology 216(8):2273-2282.
  • Flynn JR, McNally FJ. (2017) A casein kinase 1 prevents expulsion of the oocyte meiotic spindle into a polar body by regulating cortical contractility. Molecular biology of the cell 28(18):2410-2419.
  • McNally KP, Panzica MT, Kim T, Cortes DB, McNally FJ. (2016) A novel chromosome segregation mechanism during female meiosis. Molecular biology of the cell 27(16):2576-89.
  • Crowder ME, Flynn JR, McNally KP, Cortes DB, Price KL, Keuhnert PA, Panzica MT, Andaya A, Leary JA, McNally FJ. 2015.  Dynactin-dependent cortical dynein and spherical spindle shape correlate temporally with meiotic spindle rotation in C. elegans. Mol Biol Cell. 26: 3030-3046.

  • Cortes DB, McNally KL, Mains PE, McNally FJ.  2015.  The asymmetry of female meiosis reduces the frequency of inheritance of unpaired chromosomes.  eLife 2015;4:e06056.

  • McNally K, Berg E, Cortes DB, Hernandez V, Mains PE, McNally FJ.(2014).Katanin maintains meiotic metaphase chromosome alignment and spindle structure in vivo and has multiple effects on microtubules in vitro. Mol Biol Cell. 25:1037-49.
  • McNally FJ. (2013). Mechanisms of spindle positioning. J Cell Biol. 200:131-40.
  • McNally, K., Fabritius, A.S., Ellefson, M.L., Flynn, J.R., Milan, J.A. and McNally, F.J. (2012) Kinesin-1 prevents capture of the oocyte meiotic spindle by the sperm aster. Developmental Cell 22: 788-789.
  • O'Donnell L, Rhodes D, Smith SJ, Merriner DJ, Clark BJ, Borg C, Whittle B, O'Connor AE, Smith LB, McNally FJ, de Kretser DM, Goodnow CC, Ormandy CJ, Jamsai D, O'Bryan MK. (2012). An essential role for katanin p80 and microtubule severing in male gamete production.PLoS Genet. 2012;8(5):e1002698
  • Ellefson ML, McNally FJ. (2011) CDK-1 inhibits meiotic spindle shortening and dynein-dependent spindle rotation in C. elegans. J Cell Biol. 193:1229-44.
  • Fabritius AS, Flynn JR, McNally FJ. (2011). Initial diameter of the polar body contractile ring is minimized by the centralspindlin complex. Dev Biol. 359:137-48.
  • Loughlin R, Wilbur JD, McNally FJ, Nédélec FJ, Heald R. (2011). Katanin contributes to interspecies spindle length scaling in Xenopus. Cell. 147:1397-407.
  • Fabritius, A.S., Ellefson, M.L., and McNally, F.J. 2011. Nuclear and spindle positioning during oocyte meiosis. Curr Opin Cell Biol. In press.
  • McNally KP, McNally FJ. (2011) The spindle assembly function of Caenorhabditis elegans katanin does not require microtubule-severing activity. Mol Biol Cell. 22:1550-60.
  • McNally, K.L., Martin, J.L., Ellefson, M., McNally, F.J. 2010. Kinesin-dependent transport results in polarized migration of the nucleus in oocytes and inward movement of yolk granules in meiotic embryos. Dev. Biol. 339: 126-140.
  • Roll-Mecak, A., McNally, F.J. 2010. Microtubule-severing enzymes. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 22: 96-103.
  • Ellefson, M.L., and F.J. McNally. 2009. Kinesin-1 and cytoplasmic dynein act sequentially to move the meiotic spindle to the oocyte cortex in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mol. Biol. Cell 20: 2722-2730.
  • Meyerzon, M., Fridolfsson, H.N., Ly, N., McNally, F.J., Starr, D.A. 2009. UNC-83 is a nuclear-specific cargo adaptor for kinesin-1-mediated nuclear migration. Development. 136: 2725-2733.
  • Johnson, J.L., Lu, C., Raharjo, E., McNally, K., McNally, F.J., Mains, P.E. 2009. Levels of the ubiquitin ligase substrate adaptor MEL-26 are inversely correlated with MEI-1/katanin microtubule-severing activity during both meiosis and mitosis. Dev Biol. 330: 349-357.
  • McNally, K., Audhya, A., Oegema, K., McNally, F.J. 2006. Katanin controls mitotic and meiotic spindle length. J. Cell Biol. 175: 881-891.
  • Yang, H., Mains, P.E., and F.J. McNally. 2005. Kinesin-1 mediates translocation of the meiotic spindle to the oocyte cortex through KCA-1, a novel cargo adapter. J. Cell Biol. 169: 447-457.
  • McNally, K.L., and F.J. McNally. 2005. Fertilization initiates the transition from anaphase I to metaphase II during C. elegans meiosis. Dev. Biol. 282: 218-230.
  • Yang, H., McNally, K., and F.J. McNally. 2003. MEI-1/Katanin is Required for Translocation of the Meiosis I Spindle to the Oocyte Cortex in C. elegans. Dev. Biol. 260: 245-259..