LY lab

Ly Lab

Cell state transitions


What we study:

Cell State Transitions During Cell Growth and Division

Our lab is interested in cell state transitions in human cells using the mitotic cell division cycle as our principal model.

The major phases of the mitotic cell division cycle are G1, S, G2, and M. Cells can also enter a reversible quiescent state, called G0. M-phase, or mitosis, can be further resolved into discrete subphases based on changes in cellular architecture that can be visualized by light microscopy, or by immunostaining for specific molecular signaling events, such as phosphorylation of histone H3 (e.g. at residues serine 10 and serine 28) and degradation of cyclin proteins (e.g. cyclin A and cyclin B). Some, but not all, signaling events that specifically mark mitotic subphases have also been shown to be regulatory drivers of cell state transitions. While the cell division cycle is largely linear, recent studies suggest that gap phases of the cell cycle are characterized by bifurcations in cell fate trajectories, leading to heterogeneous, temporally aligned cell states. 

We aim to use systems-level approaches to characterise cellular states at the molecular level.

Our lab combines quantitative mass spectrometry with techniques from other disciplines (cell biology, immunology) to analyse cellular state.

Comprehensive, molecular definitions of cell state and identity can be obtained using quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Recent developments in mass spectrometry (MS) enable the high throughput identification and quantitation of thousands of proteins in a single analysis. Static and dynamic parameters of proteins can be measured, including post translational modifications and protein half-life.

The lab uses Fluorescence-Assisted Cell Sorting (FACS) to identify and purify cells with specific cellular states for comprehensive proteome analysis in addition to conventional approaches measuring proteome changes over time.  




Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology

University of Edinburgh


Selected Publications

Proteomic analysis of cell cycle progression in asynchronous cultures, including mitotic subphases, using primmus.

eLife 2017, e27574

T. Ly, A. Whigham, R. Clarke, A.J. Brenes, B. Estes, D. Madhessian, E. Lundberg, P. Wadsworth, A.I. Lamond

proteomic analysis of the response to cell cycle arrests in human myeloid leukemia cells

eLife 2015, 04534

T. Ly, A. Endo, A.I. Lamond

A proteomic chronology of gene expression through the cell cycle in human myeloid leukemia cells

eLife 2014, e01630

T. Ly, Y. Ahmad, A. Shlien, D. Soroka, A. Mills, M.J. Emanuele, M.R. Stratton, A.I. Lamond