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Vytas Bankaitis

Bankaitis, Vytas
Vytas Bankaitis
E.L. Wehner-Welch Foundation Chair in Chemistry, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine and of Biochemistry and Biophysics
108 Reynolds Medical Bldg.
Graduate Education
B.S., Edinboro University, 1978
M.S., Clemson University, 1980
Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill, 1984
Postdoc, California Institute of Technology, 1984-86
Professor, Univ. of N. Carolina
Joined Texas A&M in 2012

Lipid-mediated signal transduction

My laboratory is interested in the regulatory interfaces between novel lipid-mediated signal transduction pathways and important cellular functions. The focus of our work is the phosphatidylinositol/ phosphatidylcholine transfer proteins (PITPs), a ubiquitous but enigmatic class of proteins. Ongoing projects in the laboratory derive from a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses biochemical characterization of novel members of the metazoan PITP family, and the application of genetic, molecular and biophysical approaches to detailed structural and functional analyses of PITPs. The laboratory breaks down into two groups: a group that studies the mechanism of function of yeast PITPs, and a group that generates knockout mice and analyzes the function of specific PITP isoforms in the mammal. Our collective evidence indicates that PITPs coordinate key interfaces of lipid-driven metabolic reactions and intracellular signaling pathways in both yeast and mammals. Inappropriate regulation of these interfaces compromises membrane trafficking events, growth factor receptor function, cell growth control, and regulation of key developmental pathways. Because defects in any one of these pathways define recognized mechanisms cancer-potentiating mechanisms, PITPs represent essentially unstudied regulators whose dysfunction is likely to influence the activities of cellular processes required for cellular homeostasis. Of additional interest is our recent finding that one of our PITP-deficient mouse lines potentially provides a unique model for chylomicron retention disease, hypoglycemia and brain inflammatory disease. Relevant approaches that the laboratory employs include: molecular biology, protein and lipid biochemistry, confocal and electron microscopy, mouse gene knockout technology, and classical and molecular genetics.

Recent Publications

  1. Huang, J, Mousley, CJ, Dacquay, L, Maitra, N, Drin, G, He, C et al.. A Lipid Transfer Protein Signaling Axis Exerts Dual Control of Cell-Cycle and Membrane Trafficking Systems. Dev. Cell. 2018;44 (3):378-391.e5.
    doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2017.12.026. PubMed PMID:29396115. .

  2. Pries, V, Nöcker, C, Khan, D, Johnen, P, Hong, Z, Tripathi, A et al.. Target Identification and Mechanism of Action of Picolinamide and Benzamide Chemotypes with Antifungal Properties. Cell Chem Biol. 2017; :.
    doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.12.007. PubMed PMID:29307839. .

  3. Eisenberg-Bord, M, Mari, M, Weill, U, Rosenfeld-Gur, E, Moldavski, O, Castro, IG et al.. Identification of seipin-linked factors that act as determinants of a lipid droplet subpopulation. J. Cell Biol. 2018;217 (1):269-282.
    doi: 10.1083/jcb.201704122. PubMed PMID:29187527. PubMed Central PMC5748981.

  4. Grabon, A, Orłowski, A, Tripathi, A, Vuorio, J, Javanainen, M, Róg, T et al.. Dynamics and energetics of the mammalian phosphatidylinositol transfer protein phospholipid exchange cycle. J. Biol. Chem. 2017;292 (35):14438-14455.
    doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.791467. PubMed PMID:28718450. PubMed Central PMC5582838.

  5. Blank, HM, Perez, R, He, C, Maitra, N, Metz, R, Hill, J et al.. Translational control of lipogenic enzymes in the cell cycle of synchronous, growing yeast cells. EMBO J. 2017;36 (4):487-502.
    doi: 10.15252/embj.201695050. PubMed PMID:28057705. PubMed Central PMC5694946.

  6. Tribble, EK, Ivanova, PT, Grabon, A, Alb, JG Jr, Faenza, I, Cocco, L et al.. Quantitative profiling of the endonuclear glycerophospholipidome of murine embryonic fibroblasts. J. Lipid Res. 2016;57 (8):1492-506.
    doi: 10.1194/jlr.M068734. PubMed PMID:27256690. PubMed Central PMC4959864.

  7. Huang, J, Ghosh, R, Tripathi, A, Lönnfors, M, Somerharju, P, Bankaitis, VA et al.. Two-ligand priming mechanism for potentiated phosphoinositide synthesis is an evolutionarily conserved feature of Sec14-like phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylcholine exchange proteins. Mol. Biol. Cell. 2016;27 (14):2317-30.
    doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-04-0221. PubMed PMID:27193303. PubMed Central PMC4945147.

  8. Khan, D, McGrath, KR, Dorosheva, O, Bankaitis, VA, Tripathi, A. Structural elements that govern Sec14-like PITP sensitivities to potent small molecule inhibitors. J. Lipid Res. 2016;57 (4):650-62.
    doi: 10.1194/jlr.M066381. PubMed PMID:26921357. PubMed Central PMC4808773.

  9. Xie, Z, Jones, A, Deeney, JT, Hur, SK, Bankaitis, VA. Inborn Errors of Long-Chain Fatty Acid β-Oxidation Link Neural Stem Cell Self-Renewal to Autism. Cell Rep. 2016;14 (5):991-999.
    doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.01.004. PubMed PMID:26832401. PubMed Central PMC4749429.

  10. Bankaitis, VA. Unsaturated fatty acid-induced non-canonical autophagy: unusual? Or unappreciated? EMBO J. 2015;34 (8):978-80.
    doi: 10.15252/embj.201591392. PubMed PMID:25762589. PubMed Central PMC4406645.

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