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Faculty Investigator

Dr. Lisa A. Elferink, PhD

Lisa A. Elferink, Ph.D.

Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Edna Seinsheimer Levin Endowed Professorship in Cancer Studies
email: laelferi@utmb.edu

Trafficking and Receptor Signaling

Our research program focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms linking membrane trafficking with receptor-signaling.  Membrane trafficking is important for normal neural and cell function, including neurotransmitter release, neurite extension, cell migration and invasion during normal development or migration, and pathogen entry by phagocytosis. Recent studies have shown a requirement for early endocytic trafficking in ligand-activated receptor signaling.  Using a combination of molecular (e.g. mutagenesis), genetic (yeast-two hybrid), biochemical (protein-protein interactions) and cellular (recombinant viruses, confocal microscopy and digital imaging) approaches, we are examining functionally important protein-protein interactions for trafficking through early endosomes and how they regulate the signaling properties of receptor-tyrosine kinases.  Understanding these processes is critical for defining how the endocytic trafficking of receptor tyrosine kinases regulates normal cell function.  Our goal is to identify novel targets for drug development aimed at treating human diseases involving aberrant receptor signaling in vivo.

Selected Publications

Thomas DM, Elferink LA.  Functional Analysis of the C2A Domain of Synaptotagmin 1:Implications for Calcium Regulated Secretion. J Neurosci 18:3511-3520, 1998.

Zuk P, Elferink LA.  Rab15 mediates an early endocytic event in Chinese hamster ovary cells. J Biol Chem 274:22303-22312, 1999.

Thomas DM, Ferguson GD, Herschman HR, Elferink LA.  Functional and biochemical analysis of the C2 domain of Synaptotagmin IV. Mol Biol Cell 10:2285-2295, 1999.

Ferguson GD, Thomas DM, Elferink LA, Herschman HR.  Synthesis, degradation and subcellular localization of synaptotagmin IV, a neuronalimmediate early gene product. J Neurochem 72:1821-1831, 1999.

Zuk P, Elferink LA.  Rab15 differentially regulates early endocytic trafficking. J Biol Chem 275:26754-26764, 2000.

Xu W, Shy M, Kamholtz J, Elferink LA, Lilien J, Balsamo J.  Mutations in the cytoplasmic domain of PO reveal a role for PKC-mediated phosphorylation in adhesion and myelination. J Cell Biol 155:439-446, 2001.

Strick DJ, Francescutti DM, Zhao Y, Elferink LA.  Mammalian suppressor of Sec4 modulates the inhibitory effect of rab15 during early endocytosis. J Biol Chem 277:32722-32729, 2002.

Cohen R, Elferink LA, Atlas D. The C2A domain of synaptogamin alters the kinetics of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels Cav1.2 and Cav2.3. J Biol Chem 278:9258-66, 2003.

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