John A. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor and Head
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

General Program

  • 314-362-0287

  • 314-362-4606

  • 314-669-5551

  • 8231

  • 2903 South Building


  • cell motility, cytoskeleton, actin, intermediate filament, microtubules, septin, cell migration

  • Molecular mechanisms of cell motility and cytoskeleton assembly

Research Abstract:

The long-term goal of our research is to understand the molecular basis of cell motility, including the role of motility in human disease, especially cancer. How do actin, microtubules and their motors control the shape and movement of cells? How are these elements of the cytoskeleton regulated by signals from the cell cycle machinery and from outside the cell? We study these questions in cultured human cells and zebrafish, using the strengths of each system. We utilize a variety of technical approaches encompassing genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. The major current focus of the lab is on actin assembly and membrane dynamics in animal cells. We are studying how actin-binding proteins regulated by signals from cancer-causing viruses and growth factors direct the polymerization of actin, which causes cells to move and change shape.

Selected Publications:

Lanier, M. H., P. McConnell & J. A. Cooper. 2016. Cell Migration and Invadopodia Formation Require a Membrane-binding Domain of CARMIL2. J Biol Chem. 291:1076-1091. PMCID: PMC4714192.

Lanier, M. H., T. Kim & J. A. Cooper. 2015. CARMIL2 is a novel molecular connection between vimentin and actin essential for cell migration and invadopodia formation. Mol Biol Cell. 26:4577-4588. PMCID: PMC4678016.

Edwards, M., McConnell, P., Schafer, D.A., & Cooper, J.A.(2015). CPI Motif Interaction is Necessary for Capping Protein Function in Cells. Nature Communications. 6:8415. PMCID: PMC4598739.

Stark, B. C. & J. A. Cooper. 2015. Differential expression of CARMIL-family genes during zebrafish development. Cytoskeleton. 72:534-541. PMCID: PMC4715748.

Mooren, O.L., Kim, J., Li, J., & Cooper, J.A.(2015). Role of N-WASP in Endothelial Monolayer Formation and Integrity. J. Biol. Chem. 290(30): 18796-18805. PMCID: PMC4513134.

Mukherjee, S., Kim, J., Mooren, O.L., Shahan, S.T., Cohan, M., & Cooper, J.A.(2015). Role of Cortactin Homolog HS1 in Transendothelial Migration of Natural Killer Cells. PLoS ONE. 10(2): e0118153. PMCID: PMC4344232.

Onken, M.D., Li, J., & Cooper, J.A.(2014). Uveal Melanoma Cells Utilize a Novel Route for Transendothelial Migration. PLoS ONE. 9(12): e115472. PMCID: PMC4266671.

Edwards, M., Zwolak, A., Schafer, D.A., Sept, D., Dominguez, R., & Cooper, J.A.(2014). Capping protein regulators fine-tune actin assembly dynamics. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 15(10): 677-689. PMCID: PMC4271544.

Mooren, O.L., Li, J., Nawas, J., & Cooper, J.A.(2014). Endothelial Cells Use Dynamic Actin to Facilitate Lymphocyte Transendothelial Migration and Maintain the Monolayer Barrier. Mol. Biol. Cell. 25(25): 4115-4129. PMCID: PMC4263454.

Edwards, M., Liang, Y., Kim, T., & Cooper, J.A.(2013). Physiological Role of the Interaction between CARMIL1 and Capping Protein. Mol. Biol. Cell. 24(19): 3047-3055. PMCID: PMC3784379.

Last Updated: 8/24/2016 4:59:17 PM

Model for CARMIL2 interactions with Vimentin at the Cell Edge
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