Clifford L. Slayman PhD

Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Biographical Info

A.B. Kenyon College 1958; Ph.D. Rockefeller University 1963

A long interest in the physical aspects of membrane transport processes—especially in phenomena related to charge transport—focuses now on proton “pumps,” proton-coupled cation transporters, and potassium channels in the plasma membranes of fungi, particularly Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida albicans (a pathogen), and Neurospora crassa. Structure-function analysis of proteins in these organisms is now possible, because of complete genome sequencing, and the laboratory is using site-directed mutagenesis and heterologous expression to analyze functional differences among analogous proteins in the three species. Novel and surprising properties have emerged, for example the development of enormous steady-state membrane voltages (exceeding 350 mV), mediation of active potassium transport by coupling to proton movements, and chloride channeling through potassium transporters. Also, a major current line of investigation is into the mechanisms by which small cationic peptides (so-called RAMPs) produced by a wide variety of plant and animal cells, become lethal to microorganisms, serving thereby as prototypes for new classes of therapeutic drugs.

Rivetta, A., Slayman C.L., & Kuroda, T., 2005. Quantitative modeling of chloride conductance in the TRK potas­sium transporters of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biophys. J. 89:2412-2426.

Roller, A., Natura, G., Bihler, H., Slayman, C.L., & Bertl, A., 2008. Functional consequences of leucine and tyro­sine mutations in the dual pore motifs of the yeast K+ channel, Tok1p. Pflügers Arch.— Europ.J.Physiol. 456:883-896.

Miranda, M., Bashi, E., Vylkova, S., Edgerton, M., Slayman, C., & Rivetta, A., 2009. Conservation and dispersion of sequence and function in fungal TRK potassium transporters: Focus on Candida albicans. FEMS Yeast Res. 9:278-292.

Baev, D., Rivetta, A., Vylkova, S., Sun, J.N., Zeng, G.-F., Slayman, C.L., & Edgerton, M., 2004. The TRK1 potassium transporter is the critical effector for killing of Candida albicans by the cationic protein, Histatin 5. J. Biol. Chem. 279: 55060-55072.

Education & Training

Rockefeller University (1963)

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