UW madison
UW School of Medicine and Public Health
Carbone Cancer Center

Aussie Suzuki, Ph.D.

Aussie Suzuki
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Cancer Genetics & Epigenetic Mechanisms Program Member - UW Carbone Cancer Center
Steering Committee - UW-Madison Optical Imaging Core

Suzuki Lab Website

B.S., 2005, Pharmacology, Kyushu University, Japan
Ph.D., 2010, Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, Japan
Postdoctoral research: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

6533 Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research
Office - 608-262-1686; Lab - 608-262-8008
Research Description: 

During cell division, sister chromatids must be divided equally into two daughter cells to maintain genome stability. In order to achieve accurate chromosome segregation, microtubules need to be properly assembled at a specific chromosome site that is called the kinetochore. A kinetochore is a macromolecular protein complex on centromeric chromatin which contains critical epigenetic marks. Improper microtubule-kinetochore attachment causes aneuploidy, micronuclei, and numerous developmental diseases.  These disorders demonstrate how understanding the mechanisms underlying faithful chromosome segregation is important for various fields of study.

Aneuploidy is particularly important, as ~90% of solid tumors show aneuploidy. However, it remains unclear how cells achieve accurate chromosome segregation, what causes aneuploidy, and how chromosomal instability (including aneuploidy) contributes to carcinogenesis and cancer progression.

Our lab focuses on discovering the molecular mechanisms underlying force production, mitotic checkpoint control, and error correction in accurate cell division, with a focus on the role of the highly conserved Ndc80 complex. We recently developed a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer)-based Ndc80 tension biosensor, which allows us to measure cellular tension using light microscopy. Using this tension biosensor, we will elucidate the mechanisms of how kinetochores produce and transmit force for accurate chromosome segregation. In addition, we are committed to understanding how the loss of centromere/kinetochore integrity causes carcinogenesis and cancer progression. We recently found that the CENP-H/I complex, which is a member of core-kinetochore proteins, is overexpressed in primary colon cancer and its expression levels inversely correlate with the stage of cancer progression. We are investigating the functions of CENP-H/I complex in cancer. In order to reveal centromere/kinetochore functions, our lab uses advanced light and electron microscopy techniques. Our techniques include quantitative confocal microscopy to measure cellular protein copy number, light-sheet microscopy for high spatial/temporal live cell imaging, various super-resolution microscopes (SIM/STORM/STED) for nm-scale analysis, FRET-based tension biosensor, FRAP/TIRF system for cellular protein dynamics, and immuno-electron microscopy.

Selected Recent Publications: 


Agarwal S, Smith KP, Zhou Y, Suzuki A, McKenney RJ, Varma D. Cdt1 stabilizes kinetochore-microtubule attachments via an Aurora B kinase-dependent mechanism. J Cell Biol. 2018 Aug 28. pii: jcb.201705127. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201705127. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30154187.

Bonacci T, Suzuki A, Grant GD, Stanley N, Cook JG, Brown NG, Emanuele MJ. Cezanne/OTUD7B is a cell cycle-regulated deubiquitinase that antagonizes the degradation of APC/C substrates. EMBO J. 2018 Aug 15;37(16). pii: e98701. doi: 10.15252/embj.201798701. Epub 2018 Jul 4. PubMed PMID: 29973362; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6092620.

Fadero TC, Gerbich TM, Rana K, Suzuki A, DiSalvo M, Schaefer KN, Heppert JK, Boothby TC, Goldstein B, Peifer M, Allbritton NL, Gladfelter AS, Maddox AS, Maddox PS. LITE microscopy: Tilted light-sheet excitation of model organisms offers high resolution and low photobleaching. J Cell Biol. 2018 May 7;217(5):1869-1882. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201710087. Epub 2018 Feb 28. PubMed PMID: 29490939; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5940309.

Suzuki A, Gupta A, Long SK, Evans R, Badger BL, Salmon ED, Biggins S, Bloom K. A Kinesin-5, Cin8, Recruits Protein Phosphatase 1 to Kinetochores and Regulates Chromosome Segregation. Curr Biol. 2018 Aug 24. pii: S0960-9822(18)31122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.08.038. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30174190.

Suzuki A, Long SK, Salmon ED. An optimized method for 3D fluorescence co-localization applied to human kinetochore protein architecture. Elife. 2018 Jan 11;7. pii: e32418. doi: 10.7554/eLife.32418. PubMed PMID: 29323636; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5764572.

Suzuki A, Varma D. Cell Division: The Unattached Kinetochore Wears an Expansive RZZ Coat. Curr Biol. 2018 Nov 5;28(21):R1250-R1252. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.10.001. PubMed PMID: 30399347.


Mills CA, Suzuki A, Arceci A, Mo JY, Duncan A, Salmon ED, Emanuele MJ. Nucleolar and spindle-associated protein 1 (NUSAP1) interacts with a SUMO E3 ligase complex during chromosome segregation. J Biol Chem. 2017 Oct 20;292(42):17178-17189. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.796045. Epub 2017 Sep 12. PubMed PMID: 28900032; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5655498.

Takada M, Zhang W, Suzuki A, Kuroda TS, Yu Z, Inuzuka H, Gao D, Wan L, Zhuang M, Hu L, Zhai B, Fry CJ, Bloom K, Li G, Karpen GH, Wei W, Zhang Q. FBW7 Loss Promotes Chromosomal Instability and Tumorigenesis via Cyclin E1/CDK2-Mediated Phosphorylation of CENP-A. Cancer Res. 2017 Sep 15;77(18):4881-4893. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-1240. Epub 2017 Jul 31. PubMed PMID: 28760857; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5743019.


Lera RF, Potts GK, Suzuki A, Johnson JM, Salmon ED, Coon JJ, Burkard ME. Decoding Polo-like kinase 1 signaling along the kinetochore-centromere axis. Nat Chem Biol. 2016 Jun;12(6):411-8. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2060. Epub 2016 Apr 4. PubMed PMID: 27043190; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4871769.

Pilaz LJ, McMahon JJ, Miller EE, Lennox AL, Suzuki A, Salmon E, Silver DL. Prolonged Mitosis of Neural Progenitors Alters Cell Fate in the Developing Brain. Neuron. 2016 Jan 6;89(1):83-99. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.12.007. PubMed PMID: 26748089; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4706996.

Suzuki A, Badger BL, Haase J, Ohashi T, Erickson HP, Salmon ED, Bloom K. How the kinetochore couples microtubule force and centromere stretch to move chromosomes. Nat Cell Biol. 2016 Apr;18(4):382-92. doi: 10.1038/ncb3323. Epub 2016 Mar 14. PubMed PMID: 26974660; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4814359.


Suzuki A, Badger BL, Salmon ED. A quantitative description of Ndc80 complex linkage to human kinetochores. Nat Commun. 2015 Sep 8;6:8161. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9161. PubMed PMID: 26345214; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4569735.


Ishiguro K, Kim J, Shibuya H, Hernández-Hernández A, Suzuki A, Fukagawa T, Shioi G, Kiyonari H, Li XC, Schimenti J, Höög C, Watanabe Y. Meiosis-specific cohesin mediates homolog recognition in mouse spermatocytes. Genes Dev. 2014 Mar 15;28(6):594-607. doi: 10.1101/gad.237313.113. Epub 2014 Mar 3. PubMed PMID: 24589552; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3967048.

Suzuki A, Badger BL, Wan X, DeLuca JG, Salmon ED. The architecture of CCAN proteins creates a structural integrity to resist spindle forces and achieve proper Intrakinetochore stretch. Dev Cell. 2014 Sep 29;30(6):717-30. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.08.003. PubMed PMID: 25268173; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4237209.


Varma D, Wan X, Cheerambathur D, Gassmann R, Suzuki A, Lawrimore J, Desai A, Salmon ED. Spindle assembly checkpoint proteins are positioned close to core microtubule attachment sites at kinetochores. J Cell Biol. 2013 Sep 2;202(5):735-46. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201304197. Epub 2013 Aug 26. PubMed PMID: 23979716; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3760617.


Nishino T, Takeuchi K, Gascoigne KE, Suzuki A, Hori T, Oyama T, Morikawa K, Cheeseman IM, Fukagawa T. CENP-T-W-S-X forms a unique centromeric chromatin structure with a histone-like fold. Cell. 2012 Feb 3;148(3):487-501. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.11.061. PubMed PMID: 22304917; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3277711.

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