Erika Holzbaur


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638A Clinical Research Building

415 Curie Boulevard

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Description

Our laboratory is focused on the microtubule-based motor cytoplasmic dynein and its activator dynactin. Dynein and dynactin are required for vesicular trafficking, mitotic spindle assembly, and development of polarity. We are interested in 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, cellular transfection assays, live cell microscopy, and development and characterization of transgenic mouse models for motor neuron disease.

Degrees & Education

Degrees & Education

PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 1987

BS, College of William and Mary, 1982

Honors & Awards

William Maul Measey Endowed Professor

Jane M. Glick Teaching Award

Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award

Keith R. Porter Fellowship Award

Established Investigator of the American Heart Association

Pfizer Award for Research Excellence

NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, NINDS

Frank Malette Award for Graduate Distinction in Biochemistry

Phi Beta Kappa

Other Perelman School of Medicine Affiliations

Pennsylvania Muscle Institute

Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences

Professional Affiliations

American Society for Cell Biology

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Recent Publications
January 12, 2023
Ensembles of human myosin-19 bound to calmodulin and regulatory light chain RLC12B drive multi-micron transport
Roberto Dominguez, Ph.D., Michael Ostap, Ph.D., Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Pollard LW, Coscia SM, Rebowski G, Palmer NJ, Holzbaur ELF, Dominguez R, Ostap EM. J Biol Chem. 2023 Jan 12:102906. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2023.102906. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36642185.
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January 6, 2023
Single-Molecule Studies of Motor Adaptors Using Cell Lysates
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Fenton AR, Cason SE, Holzbaur ELF. Methods Mol Biol. 2023;2623:97-111. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-2958-1_7. PMID: 36602682.
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November 1, 2022
Spatiotemporal analysis of axonal autophagosome-lysosome dynamics reveals limited fusion events and slow maturation
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Cason SE, Mogre SS, Holzbaur ELF, Koslover EF. Mol Biol Cell. 2022 Nov 1;33(13):ar123. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E22-03-0111. Epub 2022 Aug 31. PMID: 36044338
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May 30, 2022
Selective motor activation in organelle transport along axons.
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Cason SE, Holzbaur ELF. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2022 May 30. doi: 10.1038/s41580-022-00491-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35637414.
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April 5, 2022
ALS-associated KIF5A mutations abolish autoinhibition resulting in a toxic gain of function
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Desiree M Baron, Adam R Fenton, Sara Saez-Atienzar, Anthony Giampetruzzi, Aparna Sreeram, Shankaracharya, Pamela J Keagle, Victoria R Doocy, Nathan J Smith, Eric W Danielson, Megan Andresano, Mary C McCormack, Jaqueline Garcia, Valérie Bercier, Ludo Van Den Bosch, Jonathan R Brent, Claudia Fallini, Bryan J Traynor, Erika L F Holzbaur, John E Landers DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110598
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March 29, 2022
Proteomic profiling shows mitochondrial nucleoids are autophagy cargo in neurons: implications for neuron maintenance and neurodegenerative disease
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Juliet Goldsmith, Erika Holzbaur DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2022.2056865
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January 13, 2022
Brain-derived autophagosome profiling reveals the engulfment of nucleoid-enriched mitochondrial fragments by basal autophagy in neurons
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Goldsmith J, Ordureau A, Harper JW, Holzbaur ELF
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May 14, 2021
Actin mixes up mitochondria for inheritance
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Moore AS, Holzbaur ELF. Nature. 2021 May 14. doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-01115-7. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34002073
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May 20, 2021
Sequential dynein effectors regulate axonal autophagosome motility in a maturation-dependent pathway
Roberto Dominguez, Ph.D., Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Cason SE, Carman PJ, Van Duyne C, Goldsmith J, Dominguez R, Holzbaur ELF.J Cell Biol. 2021 Jul 5;220(7):e202010179. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202010179. Epub 2021 May 20. PMID: 34014261
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May 24, 2021
Cytoskeletal regulation guides neuronal trafficking to effectively supply the synapse
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Aiken J, Holzbaur ELF.Curr Biol. 2021 May 24;31(10):R633-R650. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.02.024.PMID: 34033795 Review.
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June 15, 2021
ALS- and FTD-associated missense mutations in TBK1 differentially disrupt mitophagy
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Harding O, Evans CS, Ye J, Cheung J, Maniatis T, Holzbaur ELF. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Jun 15;118(24):e2025053118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2025053118. PMID: 34099552
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September 10, 2021
Structural basis for membrane recruitment of ATG16L1 by WIPI2 in autophagy
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Strong LM, Chang C, Riley JF, Boecker CA, Flower TG, Buffalo CZ, Ren X, Stavoe AK, Holzbaur EL, Hurley JH. Elife. 2021 Sep 10;10:e70372. doi: 10.7554/eLife.70372.PMID: 34505572
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October 27, 2021
Microtubule dynamics influence the retrograde biased motility of kinesin-4 motor teams in neuronal dendrites
Melike Lakadamyali, Ph.D., Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D., Michael Ostap, Ph.D.
Masucci EM, Relich PK, Lakadamyali M, Ostap EM, Holzbaur ELF.Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Oct 27:mbcE21100480. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E21-10-0480. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34705476
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March 3, 2021
Actin cables and comet tails organize mitochondrial networks in mitosis
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Moore AS, Coscia SM, Simpson CL, Ortega FE, Wait EC, Heddleston JM, Nirschl JJ, Obara CJ, Guedes-Dias P, Boecker CA, Chew TL, Theriot JA, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Holzbaur ELF -
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March 18, 2021
Increased LRRK2 kinase activity alters neuronal autophagy by disrupting the axonal transport of autophagosomes
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Boecker CA, Goldsmith J, Dou D, Cajka GG, Holzbaur ELF - DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.02.061
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April 19, 2021
Cega: a single particle segmentation algorithm to identify moving particles in a noisy system
Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D.
Masucci EM, Relich PK, Ostap EM, Holzbaur ELF, Lakadamyali M. - DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E20-11-0744
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