Erika L.F. Holzbaur, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Physiology
Department: Physiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
630 Clinical Research Building
415 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6085
Office: 215 573-3257
Fax: 215 573-5851
B.S. (Chemistry/History)
College of William and Mary, 1982.
Ph.D. (Biochemistry)
Pennsylvania State University, 1987.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Microtubule-based motility.

Key words: Dynein, cytoplasmic dynein, dynactin, microtubule motors, microtubules, microtubule dynamics, EB1.

Description of Research
Our laboratory is focused on the microtubule-based motor cytoplasmic dynein and its activator dynactin. Dynein and dynactin are required for vesicular trafficking, microtubule organization, mitotic spindle assembly, and development of polarity. We are interested in the mechanisms of force production and motor function, mechanisms of cargo coupling and regulation, effects of dynein and dynactin on dynamics of the cytoskeleton, and the analysis of neurodegenerative diseases resulting from impairments in dynein/dynactin function. Disruptions in dynein/dynactin function cause motor neuron degeneration and muscle atrophy, leading to motor neuron diseases similar to ALS. Approaches in the lab include in vitro motility assays for motors, microtubules and organelles, biochemical and cellular assays for binding partners, live cell microscopy, and development and characterization of transgenic mouse models for motor neuron disease.

Rotation Projects
1. Investigating mechanisms of cargo coupling of cytoplasmic dynein.
2. Investigating the coordinated regulation of bidirectional microtubule-based transport.
3. Investigating the role of the microtubule plus end-binding protein EB1 in mediating cytoskeletal dynamics.
4. Investigating the cellular effects of dynactin mutations linked to motor neuron disease.
5. Investigating the role of axonal transport in motor neuron disease.

Lab personnel:
Juliane Caviston – Graduate Student
Jennifer Levy – Graduate Student
Jenny Ross, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow
Eran Perlson, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow
Ram Dixit, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow
Erica Chevalier-Larsen, Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow
Karen Wallace, VMD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Sheila Antony, BS - Research Specialist
Mariko Tokito, MS - Research Specialist

Selected Publications

Perlson Eran, Jeong Goo-Bo, Ross Jenny L, Dixit Ram, Wallace Karen E, Kalb Robert G, Holzbaur Erika L F: A switch in retrograde signaling from survival to stress in rapid-onset neurodegeneration. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 29(31): 9903-17, Aug 2009.

Caviston Juliane P, Holzbaur Erika L F: Huntingtin as an essential integrator of intracellular vesicular trafficking. Trends in cell biology 19(4): 147-55, Apr 2009.

Dixit Ram, Barnett Brian, Lazarus Jacob E, Tokito Mariko, Goldman Yale E, Holzbaur Erika L F: Microtubule plus-end tracking by CLIP-170 requires EB1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106(2): 492-7, Jan 2009.

Dixit Ram, Levy Jennifer R, Tokito Mariko, Ligon Lee A, Holzbaur Erika L F: Regulation of dynactin through the differential expression of p150Glued isoforms. The Journal of biological chemistry 283(48): 33611-9, Nov 2008.

Levy Jennifer R, Holzbaur Erika L F: Dynein drives nuclear rotation during forward progression of motile fibroblasts. Journal of cell science 121(Pt 19): 3187-95, Oct 2008.

Caviston Juliane P, Ross Jennifer L, Antony Sheila M, Tokito Mariko, Holzbaur Erika L F: Huntingtin facilitates dynein/dynactin-mediated vesicle transport. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104(24): 10045-50, Jun 2007.

Perlson Eran, Maday Sandra, Fu Meng-Meng, Moughamian Armen J, Holzbaur Erika L F: Retrograde axonal transport: pathways to cell death? Trends in neurosciences 33(7): 335-44, Jul 2010.

Hendricks Adam G, Perlson Eran, Ross Jennifer L, Schroeder Harry W, Tokito Mariko, Holzbaur Erika L F: Motor Coordination via a Tug-of-War Mechanism Drives Bidirectional Vesicle Transport. Current biology : CB Apr 2010.

Schroeder Harry W, Mitchell Chris, Shuman Henry, Holzbaur Erika L F, Goldman Yale E: Motor Number Controls Cargo Switching at Actin-Microtubule Intersections In Vitro. Current biology : CB Apr 2010.

Holzbaur Erika L F, Goldman Yale E: Coordination of molecular motors: from in vitro assays to intracellular dynamics. Current opinion in cell biology 22(1): 4-13, Feb 2010.

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Last updated: 01/17/2014
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