Cell & Developmental Biology
faculty photo

Erfei Bi, Ph.D.

Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Department: Cell and Developmental Biology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Room 1156, BRB II/III
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6058
Office: 215-573-6676
Fax: 215-898-9871
Lab: 215-573-6677
Education:
B.S.
Wuhan University, P. R. China, 1985.
Ph.D.
University of Kansas Medical Center, 1991.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests

Development of Eukaryotic Cell Polarity and Mechanisms of Cytokinesis

Key words: Cell polarity, cytokinesis, septins, actin cytoskeleton, Cdc42 signaling, exocytosis, and morphogenesis

Research Description

Research in our laboratory is aimed at elucidating the general mechanisms of polarity development and cytokinesis, two fundamental processes essential for all cellular life. We investigate these problems using the model organism, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and employing an integrated approach involving genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry.

Cell polarization or the formation of distinct cellular domains is essential for development. The conserved small GTPase Cdc42 plays a central role in polarity establishment and maintenance in eukaryotic organisms ranging from yeast to humans. One major goal of our research is to determine how Cdc42 controls polarized assembly of actin cables and septin ring, which guide secretion and restricts cortical factors to a specific cellular domain, respectively. Another major goal is to determine how Cdc42 activity is regulated in time and space by its guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) and multiple GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) during polarity development.

Cytokinesis in fungi and animal cells is achieved by the concerted actions of a contractile actomyosin ring (AMR) and targeted membrane deposition/extracellular matrix remodeling at the division site. Our goal is to determine how the AMR is assembled and how the AMR is spatiotemporally coupled to membrane trafficking or localized ECM remodeling during cytokinesis.

Rotation projects: interested students are welcome to discuss possible rotation projects.

Current members of the lab

Lin Feng, Visiting Associate Professor
Yogini Bhavsar-Jog, Postdoctoral Researcher

Selected Publications

Okada Satoshi, Leda Marcin, Hanna Julia, Savage Natasha S, Bi Erfei, Goryachev Andrew B: Daughter cell identity emerges from the interplay of Cdc42, septins, and exocytosis. Developmental cell 26(2): 148-61, Jul 2013.

Wloka Carsten, Vallen Elizabeth A, Thé Lydia, Fang Xiaodong, Oh Younghoon, Bi Erfei: Immobile myosin-II plays a scaffolding role during cytokinesis in budding yeast. The Journal of cell biology 200(3): 271-86, Feb 2013.

Oh Younghoon, Schreiter Jennifer, Nishihama Ryuichi, Wloka Carsten, Bi Erfei: Targeting and functional mechanisms of the cytokinesis-related F-BAR protein Hof1 during the cell cycle. Molecular biology of the cell 24(9): 1305-20, May 2013.

Bi Erfei, Park Hay-Oak: Cell polarization and cytokinesis in budding yeast. Genetics 191(2): 347-87, Jun 2012.

Oh Younghoon, Chang Kuang-Jung, Orlean Peter, Wloka Carsten, Deshaies Raymond, Bi Erfei: Mitotic exit kinase Dbf2 directly phosphorylates chitin synthase Chs2 to regulate cytokinesis in budding yeast. Molecular biology of the cell 23(13): 2445-56, Jul 2012.

Wloka Carsten, Nishihama Ryuichi, Onishi Masayuki, Oh Younghoon, Hanna Julia, Pringle John R, Krauß Michael, Bi Erfei: Evidence that a septin diffusion barrier is dispensable for cytokinesis in budding yeast. Biological Chemistry 392(8-9): 813-29, Aug 2011.

Oh Younghoon, Bi Erfei: Septin structure and function in yeast and beyond. Trends in cell biology Dec 2010.

Fang Xiaodong, Luo Jianying, Nishihama Ryuichi, Wloka Carsten, Dravis Christopher, Travaglia Mirko, Iwase Masayuki, Vallen Elizabeth A, Bi Erfei: Biphasic targeting and cleavage furrow ingression directed by the tail of a myosin II. The Journal of cell biology 191(7): 1333-50, Dec 2010.

Nishihama Ryuichi, Schreiter Jennifer H, Onishi Masayuki, Vallen Elizabeth A, Hanna Julia, Moravcevic Katarina, Lippincott Margaret F, Han Haesun, Lemmon Mark A, Pringle John R, Bi Erfei: Role of Inn1 and its interactions with Hof1 and Cyk3 in promoting cleavage furrow and septum formation in S. cerevisiae. The Journal of cell biology 185(6): 995-1012, Jun 2009.

Tong, Zongtian. Gao, Xiang-Dong. Howell, Audrey S. Bose, Indrani. Lew, Daniel J. Bi, Erfei.: Adjacent positioning of cellular structures enabled by a Cdc42 GTPase-activating protein-mediated zone of inhibition. Journal of Cell Biology 179(7): 1375-84, Dec 31 2007.

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Last updated: 08/27/2014
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
 

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
1150 BRB II
421 Currie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Tel: (215) 573-9306
Fax: (215) 898-9871
Email: whatever@mail.med.upenn.edu