Clifford L. Slayman, PhD

Professor of Cellular And Molecular Physiology

Research Organizations

Cellular & Molecular Physiology: Membrane Biophysics | Membrane Proteins - Ion Channels | Membrane Proteins - Pumps and Transporters

Research Summary

Our research into the molecular mechanisms of charge-dependent transport across biological membranes is directed toward two classes of proton pumps (P-type and V-type), a family of proton-coupled potassium transporters (TRK proteins), and a peculiar group of potassium channels which form as intramembrane homodimers (TOKs). All of these are studied in microorganisms, especially fungi, made accessible by full-genome sequences and by advanced electrophysiological techniques. A new, completely unexpected, direction for this research as been the investigation of interactions between specific membrane proteins and the rapidly growing catalogue of small proteins known as “host-defense peptides” or Ribosomally synthesized AntiMicrobial peptides (“RAMPs”). Some of these kill microorganisms by directly forming membrane pores, but more act by stealth, subverting the functions of surface proteins by reaction from the cell interior. One group of RAMPs, the salivary histatins, kills each of our three current “model” organisms: Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Neurospora crassa, by a different molecular route.

Selected Publications

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Contact Info

Clifford L. Slayman, PhD
Mailing Address
PO Box 208026
333 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8026