Alexander G Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences; Professor, MCDB
Lab Address: 6314 LSI
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
We study protein targeting to the yeast vacuole, an organelle analogous to the mammalian lysosome. Aminopeptidase I (API) is targeted to the organelle by an alternative pathway, directly from the cytoplasm. Using biochemical approaches we have determined that API import involves a vesicular intermediate. Purification of the cytoplasmic vesicles that contain API will identify components involved in vesicle formation and targeting. We have also used a genetic approach to identify mutants in the API targeting pathway. These mutants are called "CVT" for cytoplasm to vacuole targeting defective. We are analyzing the CVT gene products to determine their role in the API import process. Many of the CVT mutants overlap with mutants defective in autophagy, an essential process that allows cell survival under starvation conditions. Our studies will provide information about the molecular basis of these targeting pathways.
Dr. Klionsky received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He was a Professor of Microbiology at the University of California, Davis until 2000 and held a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997-1998. Dr. Klionsky joined the Life Sciences Institute in 2002 and was appointed as the Abram Sager Collegiate Professor of Life Sciences in 2003. He received the Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars from the National Science Foundation in 2003 and was named an Education Mentor by the National Academies in 2006. Dr. Klionsky was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2009 and is currently the Alexander G. Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences.
Field(s) of Study
- Molecular and Cell Biology, Protein Targeting, Organelle Biogenesis, Autophagy
Areas of Focus