Erfei Bi

faculty photo
Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Department: Cell and Developmental Biology

Contact information
Room 1156, BRB II/III
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6058
Office: 215-573-6676
Fax: 215-746-8791
Lab: 215-573-6677
Graduate Group Affiliations
Wuhan University, P. R. China, 1985.
University of Kansas Medical Center, 1991.
Post-Graduate Training
Postdoctoral Fellow, Yeast Cell Biology and Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992-1997.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests

Mechanisms of Cell Polarization and 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 cell polarization and cytokinesis using both yeast and mammalian cell models and a multidisciplinary approach combining genetics, imaging, biochemistry, and computational modeling.

Cell polarization is essential for development and survival. The small GTPase Cdc42 plays a central role in this fundamental process in 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 play an essential role in establishing and maintaining a distinct membrane 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 action of a contractile actomyosin ring (AMR) and targeted membrane deposition that is coupled with extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling (or septum formation in yeast) at the division site. Our goal is to determine how AMR assembly, constriction, and disassembly is controlled, and how the AMR is coordinated in time and space with membrane trafficking and localized ECM remodeling during cytokinesis.

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

Current members of the lab

Yogini Bhavsar-Jog, Postdoc
Kangji Wang, Postdoc
Hiroki Okada, Postdoc
Xi Chen, Postdoc
Xudong Duan, Visiting Graduate Student

Selected Publications

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.

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

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, 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.

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.

Wang Ting, Yanger Kilangsungla, Stanger Ben Z, Cassio Doris, Bi Erfei: Cytokinesis defines a spatial landmark for hepatocyte polarization and apical lumen formation. Journal of cell science 127(Pt 11): 2483-92, Jun 2014.

Ong Katy, Wloka Carsten, Okada Satoshi, Svitkina Tatyana, Bi Erfei: Architecture and dynamic remodelling of the septin cytoskeleton during the cell cycle. Nature communications 5: 5698, Dec 2014.

Feng Zhonghui, Okada Satoshi, Cai Guoping, Zhou Bing, Bi Erfei: Myosin‑II heavy chain and formin mediate the targeting of myosin essential light chain to the division site before and during cytokinesis. Molecular biology of the cell 26(7): 1211-24, Apr 2015.

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Last updated: 02/03/2016
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