Home | News | Directories | Calendar | Maps | Contact Us | Webmail
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Advanced Search

Philip Arthur Rea, D.Phil.

Philip Arthur Rea, D.Phil.

faculty photo
Professor of Biology
Department: Biology

Contact information
216/217/219 Leidy Laboratories
3740 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 898-0807
Fax: (215) 898-8780
B.Sc. Hons (Biology)
University of Sussex, UK, 1978.
D.Phil. (Plant Biochemistry)
University of Oxford, UK, 1982.
Permanent link
Perelman School of Medicine > Faculty > Search

Description of Research Expertise

Energy-dependent transport and cellular detoxification processes

Our research activities center on the molecular biology, cellular biochemistry and proteomics of vacuolar function with special emphasis on membrane transport proteins and the enzymic machinery responsible for the detoxification of xenobiotics, including heavy metals. Long-term objectives are to identify the proteins concerned and elucidate their mechanisms of action and regulatory characteristics. Our approach is that of the 'basic biologist' - we are searching for general principles, not just principles applicable to plants. Not content with simply identifying things, our quest is for mechanistic insights regardless of the organism in which they are to be gained. Most of our studies therefore entail parallel molecular and biochemical manipulations of several model systems including the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. It is through the application of this approach that we have been able to make fundamental contributions toward understanding a remarkably broad range of transport and related phenomena of general relevance. These include:

(1) ABC transporters -
Identification and molecular characterization of glutathione S-conjugate pumps (GS-X pumps) in yeast and plants.

(2) Phytochelatin-dependent heavy metal detoxification -
Molecular cloning and in vitro reconstitution of the enzyme phytochelatin (PC) synthase (AtPCS1).

(3) Pyrophosphate-energized proton pumps -
Elucidation of the basic organization and core catalytic capabilities of proton-translocating inorganic pyrophosphatases (V-PPases), a novel class of proton pump.

(4) Vacuolar proteomics -
Now that the Arabidopsis genome sequencing project has been completed, we are building on the expertise and resources we have assembled for the purification of intact vacuoles, analysis of their membrane and luminal protein composition, and elucidation of the mode of uptake of a broad range of complex organic molecules to provide the Arabidopsis research community, in particular, and the biological research community, in general, with an intelligible and integrated virtual vacuole database.

Description of Other Expertise

Coordination of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Life Sciences & Management Program and general science writing.

Selected Publications

Rea, P.A. : A farewell to bacterial ARMs? Nature Biotechnol. 23: 1085-1087, 2005.

Orsomando, G., Diaz de la Garza, R., Green, B.J., Peng, M., Rea, P.A., Ryan, T.J., Gregory, J.F., Hanson, A.D.: Plant g-glutamyl hydrolases and folate polyglutamates. Characterization, compartmentation and co-occurrence in vacuoles. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 28877-28884, 2005.

Vatamaniuk, O.K., Bucher, E.A., Sundaram, M.V., Rea, P.A.: CeHMT-1, a putative phytochelatin transporter, is required for cadmium tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans. J. Biol. Chem., 280: 23684-23690. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 23684-23690, 2005.

Rea, P.A.: Papain’s long-lost cousin, phytochelatin synthase, in stereo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA XX: XXX-XXX, 2005.

Rea, Philip A. (with photographs by Christopher Griffith and verse by Walt Whitman): Fall Hardcover, 11.25 x 14.25 inches, 80 pages, 48 four-color photographs. Powerhouse Publishers, New York. ISBN 1-57687-226-2. 2004.

Rea, P.A., Vatamaniuk, O.K., Rigden, D.J.: Weeds, worms and more: papain's long-lost cousin, phytochelatin synthase. Plant Physiol. 136: 2463-2474, 2004.

Vatamaniuk, O.K., Mari, S., Lang, A., Chalasani, S., Demkiv, L.O., Rea, P.A.: Phytochelatin synthase, a dipeptidyl transferase that undergoes multisite acylation with g-glutamylcysteine during catalysis. Stoichiometric and site-directed mutagenic analysis of AtPCS1-catalyzed phytochelatin synthesis. J. Biol. Chem. 279: 22449-22460, 2004.

Green, B.J., Rea, P.A.: Rapid isolation of high quality plant RNA using the Eppendorf Perfect RNATM, Eukaryotic, Mini Kit. Eppendorf Technical Update, Application No. 2. 2: 2, 2004.

Rea, P.A.: Ion Genomics. Natural Biotechnol 21: 1149-1151, 2003.

Maathuis, F.J.M., Filatov, V., Krijger, G.C., Herzyk, P., Axelsen, K.B., Chen, S., Green, B.J., Madagan, K.L., Sánchez-Fernández, R., Forde, B., Palmgren, M.G., Rea, P.A., Williams, L.E., Sanders, D., Amtmann, A. : Transcriptome analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana cation transport. Plant J. 65: 675-692, 2003.

back to top
Last updated: 12/04/2005
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania