James E Rothman PhD

Fergus F. Wallace Professor of Cell Biology and Professor of Chemistry and Residential College Associate Fellow in Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Chairman, Department of Cell Biology; Director, Nanobiology Institute

Research Interests

Elucidating the underlying mechanisms of vesicular transport within cells; Secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters

Current Projects

  1. The biophysical mechanisms of membrane fusion.
  2. Regulation of vesicle fusion in synaptic transmission.
  3. Structural and functional organization of the Golgi apparatus.

Research Summary

We take an interdisciplinary approach, which includes cell-free biochemistry, single molecule biophysics, and super-resolution optical imaging of single events/single molecules in the cell and in cell-free formats. The overall goal is to understand transport pathways form structural mechanism to cellular physiology. We have a strong interest in new lab members who bring backgrounds in protein biochemistry, organic chemistry, biophysics, and bio-engineering.


Selected Publications

  • Kümmel, D., Krishnakumar, S.S., Radoff, D.T., Li, F., Giraudo, C.G., Pincet, F., Rothman, J.E., and Reinisch, K.M. 2011. Complexin Cross-links perfusion SNAREs into a Zig-Zag Array. 2011. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 18:927-33.
  • Krishnakumar, S.S., Radoff, D.T., Kümmel, D, Giraudo,C.G., Li, F., Khandan, L., Baguley, S.W., Coleman, J., Reinisch, K.M., Pincet, F., and Rothman, J.E. "A Conformational Switch in Complexin is Required for Synaptotagmin to Trigger Synaptic Fusion" Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (2011) 18, 933-40.
  • Li, F., Pincet, F., Perez, E., Giraudo, C.G., Tareste, D., and Rothman, J.E. " Complexin Activates and Clamps SNAREpins by a Common Mechanism Involving an Intermediate Energetic State" Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (2011) 18, 941-46.
  • Lavieu, G., Orci, L., Shi, L., Geiling, M., Ravazzola, M., Wieland, F., Cosson, P. and Rothman, J. E. “Induction of cortical endoplasmic reticulum by dimerization of a coatomer-binding peptide anchored to endoplasmic reticulum membranes” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (2010) 107, 6876-81.
  • Karatekin, E., Di Giovanni, J., Iborra, C., Coleman, J., O'Shaughnessy, B., Seagar, M. and Rothman, J. E. “A fast, single-vesicle fusion assay mimics physiological SNARE requirements” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (2010) 107, 3517-21

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