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Terry O'Halloran

Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor Emeritus
Molecular Biosciences

Using molecular, genetics and imaging to study how membrane traffic impacts health and disease in normal and in cancer cells

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Research Summary:

The membranes of eukarytoic cells are in continual flux, trafficking receptors and other proteins to their appropriate intracellular destinations. This process is important to signal transduction, cancer, and development. The overall goal of my lab is to understand how membrane traffic is regulated in normal cells and how this process goes awry in diseased cells. Our research is designed to identify and understand the cellular proteins that form, direct and regulate traffic. Currently, we are focusing on the proteins that form the structural coat of endocytic vesicles, with a particular focus on the clathrin coat. Our strategies include phenotypic analysis of cells harboring mutant clathrin, use of video microscopy to track labeled proteins in living cells, and genetic screens to isolate genes that function in endocytosis. As model systems we use the soil ameoba, Dictyostelium discoideum,. This unicellular organism offers genetic advantages as well as robust membrane trafficking pathways. We also use cultured mammalian cell lines to translate our research into a complex eukaryotic cellular model.


2012 Sosa RT, Weber MM, Wen Y, O'Halloran TJ, A single β adaptin contributes to AP1 and AP2 complexes and clathrin function in Dictyostelium, Traffic 13: 305-16

2010 Brady RJ, Damer CK, Heuser JE, O'Halloran TJ, Regulation of Hip1r by epsin controls the temporal and spatial coupling of actin filaments to clathrin-coated pits., J Cell Sci. 123: 3652-61 

2009 Wen Y, Stavrou I, Bersuker K, Brady RJ, De Lozanne A, O'Halloran TJ., AP180-mediated trafficking of Vamp7B limits homotypic fusion of Dictyostelium contractile vacuoles., Mol Biol Cell 20: 4278-88 

2008 Brady RJ, Wen Y, O'Halloran TJ., The ENTH and C-terminal domains of Dictyostelium epsin cooperate to regulate the dynamic interaction with clathrin-coated pits, J Cell Sci 121: 3433-44 

2007 Repass, S.L, Brady, R.J., O'Halloran, T.J., Dictyostelium Hip1r contributes to spore shape and requires epsin for phosphorylation and localization, Journal of Cell Science 120: 3977-3988

2006 Stavrou, I., O�Halloran, T.J. , The monomeric clathrin assembly protein, AP180, regulates contractile vacuole size in Dictyostelium discoideum. , Molecular Biology of the Cell 17: 5381-5389