Dylan T. Burnette, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


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Faculty Appointments
Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Ph.D., Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology , Yale University, New Haven, ConnecticutB.S., University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
Office Address
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
MRB3, Room 3130
465 21st Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37232-8240
Research Description
Our lab is interested in the role of contractile systems in cellular function. We are particularly interested in the role of myosin II, as it is the molecular motor responsible for generating contractile force. Myosin II-contractility is involved in a whole host of cellular functions required for proper organismal development, including cytokinesis, cell movement, cell shape, and muscle development.

We are currently focused on two areas- 1) We are studying the mechanisms underlying how myosin II-filaments assemble on the nano-scale inside of cells, and how these mechanisms contribute to the proper development of muscle sarcomeres. 2) We are also investigating the nature of the force balance between contraction and adhesion that allows a cell to move on surfaces with physiologically relevant geometries

Our studies typically require higher optical resolutions than conventional light microscopy techniques provide. Therefore, our lab employs a variety of advanced super-resolution microscopy including structured illumination microscopy (SIM), photo-activated localization microscopy (PALM), and scanning angle interference microscopy (SAIM).
Research Keywords
Cell physiology, Cardiac development, Super-resolution microscopy, Cell motility, Cell Shape
Burnette DT, Shao L, Ott C, Pasapera AM, Fischer RS, Baird MA, Der Loughian C, Delanoe-Ayari H, Paszek MJ, Davidson MW, Betzig E, Lippincott-Schwartz J. A contractile and counterbalancing adhesion system controls the 3D shape of crawling cells. J. Cell Biol [print-electronic]. 2014 Apr 4/14/2014; 205(1): 83-96. PMID: 24711500, PMCID: PMC3987145, PII: jcb.201311104, DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201311104, ISSN: 1540-8140.

Millis BA, Burnette DT, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Kachar B. Superresolution imaging with standard fluorescent probes. Curr Protoc Cell Biol. 2013; 60: Unit 21.8.. PMID: 24510788, PMCID: PMC3970242, DOI: 10.1002/0471143030.cb2108s60, ISSN: 1934-2616.

Cox S, Rosten E, Monypenny J, Jovanovic-Talisman T, Burnette DT, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Jones GE, Heintzmann R. Bayesian localization microscopy reveals nanoscale podosome dynamics. Nat. Methods. 2012 Feb; 9(2): 195-200. PMID: 22138825, PMCID: PMC3272474, PII: nmeth.1812, DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1812, ISSN: 1548-7105.

Burnette DT, Sengupta P, Dai Y, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Kachar B. Bleaching/blinking assisted localization microscopy for superresolution imaging using standard fluorescent molecules. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A [print-electronic]. 2011 Dec 12/27/2011; 108(52): 21081-6. PMID: 22167805, PMCID: PMC3248526, PII: 1117430109, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1117430109, ISSN: 1091-6490.

Burnette DT, Manley S, Sengupta P, Sougrat R, Davidson MW, Kachar B, Lippincott-Schwartz J. A role for actin arcs in the leading-edge advance of migrating cells. Nat. Cell Biol [print-electronic]. 2011 Apr; 13(4): 371-81. PMID: 21423177, PMCID: PMC3646481, PII: ncb2205, DOI: 10.1038/ncb2205, ISSN: 1476-4679.

Burnette DT, Ji L, Schaefer AW, Medeiros NA, Danuser G, Forscher P. Myosin II activity facilitates microtubule bundling in the neuronal growth cone neck. Dev. Cell. 2008 Jul; 15(1): 163-9. PMID: 18606149, PMCID: PMC2548298, PII: S1534-5807(08)00241-4, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2008.05.016, ISSN: 1878-1551.

Burnette DT, Schaefer AW, Ji L, Danuser G, Forscher P. Filopodial actin bundles are not necessary for microtubule advance into the peripheral domain of Aplysia neuronal growth cones. Nat. Cell Biol [print-electronic]. 2007 Dec; 9(12): 1360-9. PMID: 18026092, PII: ncb1655, DOI: 10.1038/ncb1655, ISSN: 1465-7392.

Medeiros NA, Burnette DT, Forscher P. Myosin II functions in actin-bundle turnover in neuronal growth cones. Nat. Cell Biol [print-electronic]. 2006 Mar; 8(3): 215-26. PMID: 16501565, PII: ncb1367, DOI: 10.1038/ncb1367, ISSN: 1465-7392.

Qin H, Burnette DT, Bae YK, Forscher P, Barr MM, Rosenbaum JL. Intraflagellar transport is required for the vectorial movement of TRPV channels in the ciliary membrane. Curr. Biol. 2005 Sep 9/20/2005; 15(18): 1695-9. PMID: 16169494, PII: S0960-9822(05)00966-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.08.047, ISSN: 0960-9822.

Redeker V, Levilliers N, Vinolo E, Rossier J, Jaillard D, Burnette D, Gaertig J, Bré MH. Mutations of tubulin glycylation sites reveal cross-talk between the C termini of alpha- and beta-tubulin and affect the ciliary matrix in Tetrahymena. J. Biol. Chem [print-electronic]. 2005 Jan 1/7/2005; 280(1): 596-606. PMID: 15492004, PII: M408324200, DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M408324200, ISSN: 0021-9258.

Matroule JY, Lam H, Burnette DT, Jacobs-Wagner C. Cytokinesis monitoring during development; rapid pole-to-pole shuttling of a signaling protein by localized kinase and phosphatase in Caulobacter. Cell. 2004 Sep 9/3/2004; 118(5): 579-90. PMID: 15339663, PII: S0092867404007950, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2004.08.019, ISSN: 0092-8674.

Zhang XF, Schaefer AW, Burnette DT, Schoonderwoert VT, Forscher P. Rho-dependent contractile responses in the neuronal growth cone are independent of classical peripheral retrograde actin flow. Neuron. 2003 Dec 12/4/2003; 40(5): 931-44. PMID: 14659092, PII: S0896627303007542, ISSN: 0896-6273.

Xia L, Hai B, Gao Y, Burnette D, Thazhath R, Duan J, Bré MH, Levilliers N, Gorovsky MA, Gaertig J. Polyglycylation of tubulin is essential and affects cell motility and division in Tetrahymena thermophila. J. Cell Biol. 2000 May 5/29/2000; 149(5): 1097-106. PMID: 10831613, PMCID: PMC2174830, ISSN: 0021-9525.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 5/14/2014
A postdoctoral position ia available applying superresolution microscopy to study the formation of myosin II-filaments within motile cells.