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Rankin, Susannah

Susannah Rankin, Ph.D.

Susannah Rankin, Ph.D.

Associate Member
Cell Cycle & Cancer Biology Research Program

Lab website:

In my lab, we study the manner in which cells control the key events of cell division. When cells divide, either in order to develop new tissues or to replace aging or defective cells, a precise and highly complex series of cellular events must be carefully coordinated. This coordination ensures that newly forming cells inherit the appropriate components and thus are able to function properly. In the course of experiments developed to better understand the control of cell division, we have identified a novel gene that is necessary to ensure accurate chromosome segregation to newly forming cells. Because the chromosomes carry essentially all genetic information within a cell, their accurate segregation during cell division is critical. In addition, errors in chromosome segregation are known to play an important role in the development of tumors, making a better understanding of this process a very worthy endeavor. Our lab uses several approaches to understand further the regulation of chromosome segregation. These include biochemical analyses using extracts from eggs of the frog Xenopus laevis and time-lapse image analysis of cultured cells.

B.A., Reed College, Portland, OR, 1985
Ph.D., Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, 1995

Honors and Awards
1993-1994 Mortimer Sackler Scholar, Tufts University
1995-1998 Post-doctoral Fellow, Jane Coffin Childs Fund for Biomedical Research
1998-2000 Post-doctoral Fellow, Charles A. King Trust Medical Foundation
2008 Pew Foundation Scholar in Biomedical Research

Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2006.

I am interested in sister chromatid cohesion and how cell cycle progression coordinates this process. Though first observed and appreciated many decades ago, the mechanism of sister chromatid cohesion remains poorly understood. The study of chromatid cohesion has been hampered by several factors: features buried in the complexity of chromatin structure, inadequate assays, redundant mechanisms, and a lack of sequence conservation among species.

We recently discovered a cell cycle-regulated protein, sororin, that is required for sister chromatid cohesion in vertebrates. In my laboratory we are investigating the mechanism of action of sororin and how it functions in the context of other known cohesion factors and activities. We are also pursuing a broad-based inquiry into sister chromatid cohesion and the effects of its failure on genome stability in higher eukaryotes.


Recent Publications

Rankin S. Complex elaboration: making sense of meiotic cohesin dynamics. FEBS J 2015. [Abstract] EPub

Sivakumar S, Daum JR, Tipton AR, Rankin S, Gorbsky GJ. The Spindle and kinetochore-associated (Ska) complex enhances binding of the Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C) to chromosomes and promotes mitotic exit. Mol Biol Cell 25:594-605, 2014. [Abstract]

Ouyang Z, Zheng G, Song J, Borek DM, Otwinowski Z, Brautigam CA, Tomchick DR, Rankin S, Yu H. Structure of the human cohesin inhibitor Wapl. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:11355-11360, 2013. [Abstract]

Selected Publications

Daum JR, Potapova TA, Sivakumar S, Daniel JJ, Flynn JN, Rankin S, Gorbsky GJ. Cohesion fatigue induces chromatid separation in cells delayed at metaphase. Curr Biol 21:1018-1024, 2011. [Abstract]

Wu FM, Nguyen JV, Rankin S. A conserved motif at the C terminus of sororin is required for sister chromatid cohesion. J Biol Chem 286:3579-3586, 2011. [Abstract]

Lafont AL, Song J, Rankin S. Sororin cooperates with the acetyltransferase Eco2 to ensure DNA replication-dependent sister chromatid cohesion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107:20364-20369, 2010. [Abstract]

Rankin S, Ayad NG, Kirschner MW. Sororin, a substrate of the anaphase-promoting complex, is required for sister chromatid cohesion in vertebrates. Mol Cell 18:185-200, 2005. [Abstract]

Rankin S, Kirschner MW. The surface contraction waves of Xenopus eggs reflect the metachronous cell-cycle state of the cytoplasm. Curr Biol 7:451-454, 1997. [Abstract]

Ross LO, Rankin S, Shuster MF, Dawson DS. Effects of homology, size and exchange of the meiotic segregation of model chromosomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 142:79-89, 1996. [Abstract]

View all publications in PubMed

Cell Cycle and Cancer Biology Research Program, MS 48
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Phone: (405) 271-8190
Fax: (405) 271-7312


Eulalia Maria Lima Da Silva, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Reem Alomer
Graduate Student

Jingrong Chen
Senior Research Assistant

Gene Chao
Network & Computer Systems Administrator

Gerry McElroy
Laboratory Assistant