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

  • 2903 South Building

  • http://www.cooperlab.wustl.edu

  • 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:

Yen, M., Qi, Z., Chen, X., Cooper, J.A., Mitra, R.D., & Onken, M.D.(2018). Transposase mapping identifies the genomic targets of BAP1 in uveal melanoma. BMC Med Genomics. 11(1): 97. PMCID: PMC6219186.

Onken, M.D., Makepeace, C.M., Kaltenbronn, K.M., Kanai, S.M., Todd, T.D., Wang, S., Broekelmann, T.J., Rao, P.K., Cooper, J.A., & Blumer, K.J.(2018). Targeting nucleotide exchange to inhibit constitutively active G protein α subunits in cancer cells. Sci Signal. 11(546): eaao6852. PMCID: PMC6279241.

Kim, J., & Cooper, J.A.(2018). Septins regulate junctional integrity of endothelial monolayers. Mol. Biol. Cell. 29(13): 1693-1703. PMCID: PMC6080707.

Kiehart, D.P., & Cooper, J.A.(2018). Contractile protein biochemistry in the Pollard Lab in Baltimore. Biophys Rev. 10(6): 1483-1485. PMCID: PMC6297093.

Johnson, B., McConnell, P., Kozlov, A.G., Mekel, M., Lohman, T.M., Gross, M.L., Amarasinghe, G.K., & Cooper, J.A.(2018). Allosteric Coupling of CARMIL and V-1 Binding to Capping Protein Revealed by Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange. Cell Rep. 23(9): 2795-2804. PMCID: PMC6282700.

Johnston, A.B., Hilton, D.M., McConnell, P., Johnson, B., Harris, M.T., Simone, A., Amarasinghe, G.K., Cooper, J.A., & Goode, B.L.(2018). A novel mode of capping protein-regulation by twinfilin. Elife. 7e41313. PMCID: PMC6249002.

Santiago-Tirado, F.H., Onken, M.D., Cooper, J.A., Klein, R.S., & Doering, T.L.(2017). Trojan Horse Transit Contributes to Blood-Brain Barrier Crossing of a Eukaryotic Pathogen. mBio. 8(1): e02183-16. PMCID: PMC5285505.

Stark, B.C., Lanier, M.H., & Cooper, J.A.(2017). CARMIL family proteins as multidomain regulators of actin-based motility. Mol. Biol. Cell. 28(13): 1713-1723. PMCID: PMC5491179.

Zhou, J.Y., Szasz, T.P., Stewart-Hutchinson, P.J., Sivapalan, J., Todd, E.M., Deady, L.E., Cooper, J.A., Onken, M.D., & Morley, S.C.(2016). L-Plastin promotes podosome longevity and supports macrophage motility. Mol. Immunol. 7879-88. PMCID: PMC5205537.

Lanier, M.H., McConnell, P., & Cooper, J.A.(2016). Cell Migration and Invadopodia Formation Require a Membrane-binding Domain of CARMIL2. J. Biol. Chem. 291(3): 1076-1091. PMCID: PMC4714192.

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.

Last Updated: 2/22/2019 8:53:17 AM

Model for CARMIL2 interactions with Vimentin at the Cell Edge
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