Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

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Linda Barthel of the Raymond Lab.
Members of the Chapman Lab.
Michael O'Connor of the Chapman Lab.
Members of the Jakob Lab.

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The Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology strives to develop new knowledge through basic research about the function of living organisms with focus on the molecular and cellular levels of all branches of life - bacteria, plants, and animals. Our faculty research strengths are animal physiology and neurobiology, biochemistry, cell biology, developmental biology, microbiology and plant molecular biology. We are home to the undergraduate concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology that graduates nearly 200 students per year. Our General Public and Pre-College Students section offers answers to questions about biology. We hope you find our site informative!
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MCDB News
Undergraduates
and their faculty adviser, Ray Barbehenn, helped explain an observation that had puzzled insect ecologists who study gypsy moth caterpillars. Read more.

MCDB News
Elaina Breznau,
a graduate student in the Miller Lab, was recently awarded a Journal of Cell Science Travelling Fellowship. Read more.

MCDB News
Lilia Popova,
a member of the Schiefelbein Lab, has been selected as a 2013 Intel Science Talent Search Finalist. Read more.

MCDB News
MCDB Professors
James Bardwell, Jianming Li, and Eran Pichersky have been named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows. Read more.

MCDB News
Adnan Syed,
a PhD student in the Boles Lab, was recently awarded an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. Read more.

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Professor Emeritus
Sally Allen
passed away November 13, 2012 at age 86 after a brief illness. Sally was professor of biology for over 30 years and was a tireless and dedicated researcher and lecturer. Read more.

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TPC Proteins Are Phosphoinositide- Activated Sodium-Selective Ion Channels in Endosomes and Lysosomes
Cell, Volume 151, Issue 2, 12 October 2012, Pages 372-383
Xiang Wang, Xiaoli Zhang, Xian-ping Dong, Mohammad Samie, Xinran Li, Xiping Cheng, Andrew Goschka, Dongbiao Shen, Yandong Zhou, Janice Harlow, Michael X. Zhu, David E. Clapham, Dejian Ren, Haoxing Xu

Mammalian two-pore channel proteins (TPC1, TPC2; TPCN1, TPCN2) encode ion channels in intracellular endosomes and lysosomes and were proposed to mediate endolysosomal calcium release triggered by the second messenger, nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). By directly recording TPCs in endolysosomes from wild-type and TPC double-knockout mice, here we show that, in contrast to previous conclusions, TPCs are in fact sodium-selective channels activated by PI(3,5)P2 and are not activated by NAADP. Moreover, the primary endolysosomal ion is Na+, not K+, as had been previously assumed. These findings suggest that the organellar membrane potential may undergo large regulatory changes and may explain the specificity of PI(3,5)P2 in regulating the fusogenic potential of intracellular organelles.

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