Makkuni Jayaram

Jayaram, Makkuni
Professor in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology



Main Office: NMS 2.116
Phone: (512) 471-0966

Alternate Office: NMS 2.210
Phone: (512) 471-5537

Mailing Address:
The University of Texas at Austin
Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
2506 Speedway Stop A5000
Austin, TX 78712-1191

Research Lab Students:
    Graduate Student
  • Chang, Keng-Ming - Graduate Student
  • Cui, Hong - Graduate Student
  • Liu , Yen-Ting - Graduate Student
    Post Doctoral
  • Ghosh, Santanu - Post Doctoral
  • Hajra, Sujata - Post Doctoral
  • Sau, Soumitra - Post Doctoral
  • Ma, Chien Hui - Staff

  • Research Summary:

    We study the molecular mechanisms by which extrachromosomal DNA elements maintain themselves stably and at relatively high copy numbers without endangering their host organisms. The model system we employ is the 2 micron plasmid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The plasmid has a copy number of approximately 60 per cell, and is rarely lost during cell division. The high plasmid stability is ensured by a partitioning system that includes two plasmid proteins and a cis-acting DNA locus. The plasmid also utilizes an amplification mechanism to compensate for rare stochastic downward fluctuations in copy number. A site-specific DNA recombination system encoded by the plasmid is responsible for this copy number control.

    The research projects in the laboratory explore recombination mechanisms, test models for recombination mediated DNA amplification and examine plasmid segregation using tools of molecular genetics and cell biology.

    Research Images:

    Sister-to-sister segregation of the yeast plasmid - The yeast plasmid is a multicopy benign parasite DNA element that exploits the chromosome segregation machinery for its stable persistence. Tagging reporter plasmids with two colors, red and green, reveals a ssiter-to-sister segregation mechanism: red from red and green from green.

    2010Kachroo, A. H., Ma, C. H., Rowley, P. A., Maciaszek, A. D., Guga, P. and Jayaram, M., Restoration of catalytic functions in Cre recombinase mutants by electrostatic compensation between active site and DNA substrate, Nucleic Acids Res. in press.
    2010Rowley, P. A., Kachroo, A. H., Ma, C. H., Maciaszek, A. D., Guga, P. and Jayaram, M., Electrostatic suppression allows tyrosine site-specific recombination in the absence of a conserved catalytic arginine, J. Biol. Chemin press.
    2010Ghosh, S. K., Huang, C. H., Hajra, S., and Jayaram, M., Cohesin embraces 2 micron plasmid sisters in a tri-linked catenane complex, Nucleic Acids Res. 38:570-584.
    2009Kachroo, A., Jayaram, M. and Rowley, P. A., Metabolic Engineering without plasmids, Nat Biotech 8:729-731.
    2009Ma, C. H., Kachroo, A. H., Maciaszek, A., Guga, P. and Jayaram, M., Reactions of Cre with methylphosphonate DNA: similarities and contrasts with Flp and vaccinia topoisomerase, PLoS One 4:e7248.
    2009Ma, C. H., Rowley, P. A., Maciaszek, A., Guga, P. and Jayaram, M., Active site electrostatics protect genome integrity by blocking abortive hydrolysis during DNA recombination, Embo J. 28:1745-1756.
    2009Cui, H., Ghosh, S. K., and Jayaram, M., The selfish 2 micron plasmid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae utilizes the nuclear motor Kip1p but not Cin8p for its localization and equal segregation, J. Cell Biol. 185:251-264.
    2007Jayaram, M., Split target specificity of ResT: a design for protein delivery, site selectivity and regulation of enzyme activity , Mol. Microbiol. 64:574-579.
    2007Du, Q., Livshits, A., Kwiatek, A., Jayaram, M., and Vologodskii, A. , Protein induced local DNA bends regulate global topology of recombination products, J. Mol. Biol. 368:170-182.
    2007Ma, C. H., Kwiatek, A., Bolusani, S., Voziyanov, Y., and Jayaram, M., Unveiling hidden catalytic activities of the conserved His-trp-III in tyrosine recombinases, J. Mol. Biol. 368:183-196.
    2006 Hajra, S. Ghosh, S. K., and Jayaram, M., The centromere-specific histone variant Cse4p (CENP-A) is essential for chromatin architecture at the yeast 2 micron circle partitioning locus., J. Cell Biol. 174:779-790.
    2006Bolusani, S, Ma, C. H., Paek, A., Konieczka, J., Jayaram, M., and Voziyanov, Y. , Evolution of a site-specific variant that utilizes native genomic sequences as recombination target sites., Nucleic Acids Res. i34:5259-5269.
    2005Yin, Z., Jayaram, M., Pathania, S., and Harshey, R. M., The Mu transposase wraps distant DNA sites within a functional transpososome in the absence of DNA supercoiling, J. Biol. Chem. 280:6149-6156.
    2005Dobson, M. J., Pickett, A. J., Velmurugan, S., Pinder, J. B., Barrett, L. A., Jayaram, M. and Chew, J. S., The 2 micron plasmid causes cell death in Saccharomyces with a mutation in Ulp1 protease , Mol. Cell. Biol. 25:4299-4310.
    2005Mehta, S., Yang, X. M., Jayaram, M,, and Velmurugan, S., A novel role for the mitotic spindle in promoting DNA segregation in yeast: promoting 2 micron plasmid-cohesin association, Mol. Cell. Biol. 25:4283-4298.
    2004Jayaram, M. Mehta, S. Uzri, D. and Velmurugan, S., Site-specific recombination and partitioning systems in the stable high-copy propagation of the 2 micron yeast plasmid, Prog. Nucleic Acids Res Mol. Biol. 77:127-172.
    2004Yang, X.M., Mehta, S. Uzri, D., Jayaram, M. and Velmurugan, S., Mutations in a partitioning protein and altered chromatin structure at the partitioning locus prevent cohesin recruitment by the Saccharomyces cerevisiae plasmid and cause plasmid missegregation, Mol. Cell. Biol. 24:5290-5303.
    2004Konieczka, J., Paek, A., Jayaram, M. and Voziyanov, Y., Recombination of hybrid target sites by binary combinations of Flp variants: Mutations that foster interprotomer collaboration and enlarge substrate tolerance, J. Mol. Biol. 339:365-378.

Search PubMed for more publications by Prof. Name
(a new browser window will open)
"Caution, this search may require more information to be accurate or specific. Check authors and institution carefully."

Max Docs:  Pub. Date limit: 
CMB Graduate Program