Vanderbilt University School of
Webb, Donna J , Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Associate Professor of Cancer Biology
Phone Number: (615) 936-8274
U6211 MRBIII, 465 21st Avenue South
VU Station B, Box 35-1634 37235
Cell migration, cancer, cytoskeleton, neurobiology, learning and memory, synapse formation, signal transduction, synaptic plasticity, mental retardation, Alzheimers disease, hippocampus
Signal Transduction Pathways that Regulate Adhesion and Cytoskeletal Dynamics in Migration and Synapse Formation, Cell biology, Neurobiology
My laboratory is interested in cell migration, which plays a pivotal role in many important phenomena including cancer, mental retardation and embryonic development. We are studying the signaling pathways that regulate adhesion and cytoskeletal dynamics in a variety of normal and cancer cells since this could lead to new targets for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics. A special focus in my lab is understanding the signaling pathways that regulate the formation of dendritic spines and synapses in the central nervous system. The dynamics of these spines is an exciting frontier in neuroscience because it contributes to synaptic plasticity, which underlies cognitive functions, such as learning and memory.
Gao, Y, Majumdar, D, Jovanovic, B, Shaifer, C, Lin, PC, Zijlstra, A, Webb, DJ, Li, D. A versatile valve-enabled microfluidic cell co-culture platform and demonstration of its applications to neurobiology and cancer biology. Biomed Microdevices, 13(3), 539-48, 2011.
Majumdar, D, Gao, Y, Li, D, Webb, DJ. Co-culture of neurons and glia in a novel microfluidic platform. J Neurosci Methods, 196(1), 38-44, 2011.
Majumdar, D, Nebhan, CA, Hu, L, Anderson, B, Webb, DJ. An APPL1/Akt signaling complex regulates dendritic spine and synapse formation in hippocampal neurons. Mol Cell Neurosci, 46(3), 633-44, 2011.
Gant-Branum, RL, Broussard, JA, Mahsut, A, Webb, DJ, McLean, JA. Identification of phosphorylation sites within the signaling adaptor APPL1 by mass spectrometry. J Proteome Res, 9(3), 1541-8, 2010. PMCID:2845304
Lin, WH, Nebhan, CA, Anderson, BR, Webb, DJ. Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) induces actin assembly in dendritic spines to promote their development and potentiate synaptic strength. J Biol Chem, 285(46), 36010-20, 2010.
Svitkina, T, Lin, WH, Webb, DJ, Yasuda, R, Wayman, GA, Van Aelst, L, Soderling, SH. Regulation of the postsynaptic cytoskeleton: roles in development, plasticity, and disorders. J Neurosci, 30(45), 14937-42, 2010. PMCID:3074493
Bristow, JM, Sellers, MH, Majumdar, D, Anderson, B, Hu, L, Webb, DJ. The Rho-family GEF Asef2 activates Rac to modulate adhesion and actin dynamics and thereby regulate cell migration. J Cell Sci, 122(Pt 24), 4535-46, 2009. PMCID:2787464
Lin, WH, Webb, DJ. Actin and Actin-Binding Proteins: Masters of Dendritic Spine Formation, Morphology, and Function. Open Neurosci J, 3, 54-66, 2009. PMCID:2921857
Broussard, JA, Webb, DJ, Kaverina, I. Asymmetric focal adhesion disassembly in motile cells. Curr Opin Cell Biol, 20(1), 85-90, 2008.
Wegner, AM, Nebhan, CA, Hu, L, Majumdar, D, Meier, KM, Weaver, AM, Webb, DJ. N-WASP and the Arp2/3 complex are critical regulators of actin in the development of dendritic spines and synapses. J Biol Chem, , , 2008. PMCID:2414292
Peacock JG, Miller A.L., Bradley W.D., Rodriguez O.C., Webb D.J., and Koleske A.J.. The Abl-Related Gene Tyrosine Kinase Acts through p190RhoGAP to Inhibit Actomyosin Contractility and Regulate Focal Adhesion Dynamics upon Adhesion to Fibronectin. Mol. Biol. Cell. , 18, 3860-3872, 2007.
Webb, DJ, Zhang, H, Majumdar, D, Horwitz, AF. alpha 5 integrin signaling regulates the formation of spines and synapses in
hippocampal neurons. J Biol Chem, 282, 6929-6935, 2007. PMCID:2750863
Lieu, AS, Li, JZ, Webb, DJ, Hankins, GR, Howng, SL, Helm, GA. Functions of G protein-coupled receptor kinase interacting protein 1 in human
neuronal (NT2N) cells. J Neurosurg, 105(1), 103-10, 2006.
Mayhew, MW, Webb, DJ, Kovalenko, M, Whitmore, L, Fox, JW, Horwitz, AF. Identification of protein networks associated with the PAK1-betaPIX-GIT1-paxillin
signaling complex by mass spectrometry. J Proteome Res, 5(9), 2417-23, 2006.
Nayal, A, Webb, DJ, Brown, CM, Schaefer, EM, Vicente-Manzanares, M, Horwitz, AR. Paxillin phosphorylation at Ser273 localizes a GIT1-PIX-PAK complex and regulates
adhesion and protrusion dynamics. J Cell Biol, 173(4), 587-9, 2006. PMCID:2063867
Webb, DJ, Kovalenko, M, Whitmore, L, Horwitz, AF. Phosphorylation of serine 709 in GIT1 regulates protrusive activity in cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 346(4), 1284-8, 2006.
Webb, DJ, Mayhew, MW, Kovalenko, M, Schroeder, MJ, Jeffery, ED, Whitmore, L, Shabanowitz, J, Hunt, DF, Horwitz, AF. Identification of phosphorylation sites in GIT1. J Cell Sci, 119(Pt 14), 2847-50, 2006.
Bryce, NS, Clark, ES, Leysath, JL, Currie, JD, Webb, DJ, Weaver, AM. Cortactin promotes cell motility by enhancing lamellipodial persistence. Curr Biol, 15(14), 1276-85, 2005.
Schroeder, MJ, Webb, DJ, Shabanowitz, J, Horwitz, AF, Hunt, DF. Methods for the detection of paxillin post-translational modifications and
interacting proteins by mass spectrometry. J Proteome Res, 4(5), 1832-41, 2005.
Vicente-Manzanares, M, Webb, DJ, Horwitz, AR. Cell migration at a glance. J Cell Sci, 118(Pt 21), 4917-9, 2005.
Webb, DJ, Schroeder, MJ, Brame, CJ, Whitmore, L, Shabanowitz, J, Hunt, DF, Horwitz, AR. Paxillin phosphorylation sites mapped by mass spectrometry. J Cell Sci, 118(Pt 21), 4925-9, 2005.
Webb, DJ, Zhang, H, Horwitz, AF. Cell migration: an overview. Methods Mol Biol, 294, 3-11, 2005.
Zhang, H, Webb, DJ, Asmussen, H, Niu, S, Horwitz, AF. A GIT1/PIX/Rac/PAK signaling module regulates spine morphogenesis and synapse
formation through MLC. J Neurosci, 25(13), 3379-88, 2005.
Nayal, A, Webb, DJ, Horwitz, AF. Talin: an emerging focal point of adhesion dynamics. Curr Opin Cell Biol, 16(1), 94-8, 2004.
Webb, DJ, Donais, K, Whitmore, LA, Thomas, SM, Turner, CE, Parsons, JT, Horwitz, AF. FAK-Src signalling through paxillin, ERK and MLCK regulates adhesion disassembly. Nat Cell Biol, 6(2), 154-61, 2004.
Wiseman, PW, Brown, CM, Webb, DJ, Hebert, B, Johnson, NL, Squier, JA, Ellisman, MH, Horwitz, AF. Spatial mapping of integrin interactions and dynamics during cell migration
by image correlation microscopy. J Cell Sci, 117(Pt 23), 5521-34, 2004.
Webb, D.J., Donais, K., Murase, S., Asmussen, H., and Horwitz, A.F. Regulation of Cell Migration in Vitro and in Vivo. Cell Behaviour: Control and Mechanism of Motility, 2003.
Webb, DJ, Brown, CM, Horwitz, AF. Illuminating adhesion complexes in migrating cells: moving toward a bright
future. Curr Opin Cell Biol, 15(5), 614-20, 2003.
Webb, DJ, Horwitz, AF. New dimensions in cell migration. Nat Cell Biol, 5(8), 690-2, 2003.
Zhang, H, Webb, DJ, Asmussen, H, Horwitz, AF. Synapse formation is regulated by the signaling adaptor GIT1. J Cell Biol, 161(1), 131-42, 2003. PMCID:2172873
Ma, Z, Thomas, KS, Webb, DJ, Moravec, R, Salicioni, AM, Mars, WM, Gonias, SL. Regulation of Rac1 activation by the low density lipoprotein receptor-related
protein. J Cell Biol, 159(6), 1061-70, 2002. PMCID:2173989
Manabe, R, Kovalenko, M, Webb, DJ, Horwitz, AR. GIT1 functions in a motile, multi-molecular signaling complex that regulates
protrusive activity and cell migration. J Cell Sci, 115(Pt 7), 1497-510, 2002.
Mettenburg, JM, Webb, DJ, Gonias, SL. Distinct binding sites in the structure of alpha 2-macroglobulin mediate the
interaction with beta-amyloid peptide and growth factors. J Biol Chem, 277(15), 13338-45, 2002.
Webb, DJ, Asmussen, H, Murase, S, Horwitz, AF. Cell migration in slice cultures. Methods Cell Biol, 69, 341-58, 2002.
Webb, DJ, Parsons, JT, Horwitz, AF. Adhesion assembly, disassembly and turnover in migrating cells -- over and
over and over again. Nat Cell Biol, 4(4), E97-100, 2002.
Laukaitis, CM, Webb, DJ, Donais, K, Horwitz, AF. Differential dynamics of alpha 5 integrin, paxillin, and alpha-actinin during
formation and disassembly of adhesions in migrating cells. J Cell Biol, 153(7), 1427-40, 2001. PMCID:2150721
Ma, Z, Webb, DJ, Jo, M, Gonias, SL. Endogenously produced urokinase-type plasminogen activator is a major determinant
of the basal level of activated ERK/MAP kinase and prevents apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. J Cell Sci, 114(Pt 18), 3387-96, 2001.
Webb, DJ, Thomas, KS, Gonias, SL. Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 functions as a urokinase response modifier
at the level of cell signaling and thereby promotes MCF-7 cell growth. J Cell Biol, 152(4), 741-52, 2001. PMCID:2195772
Garber, TR, Gonias, SL, Webb, DJ. Interleukin-4 and IL-10 bind covalently to activated human alpha2-macroglobulin
by a mechanism that requires Cys949. J Interferon Cytokine Res, 20(2), 125-31, 2000.
Gonias, SL, Carmichael, A, Mettenburg, JM, Roadcap, DW, Irvin, WP, Webb, DJ. Identical or overlapping sequences in the primary structure of human alpha(2)-macroglobulin
are responsible for the binding of nerve growth factor-beta, platelet-derived growth factor-BB, and transforming
growth factor-beta. J Biol Chem, 275(8), 5826-31, 2000.
Nguyen, DH, Webb, DJ, Catling, AD, Song, Q, Dhakephalkar, A, Weber, MJ, Ravichandran, KS, Gonias, SL. Urokinase-type plasminogen activator stimulates the Ras/Extracellular signal-regulated
kinase (ERK) signaling pathway and MCF-7 cell migration by a mechanism that requires focal adhesion kinase,
Src, and Shc. Rapid dissociation of GRB2/Sps-Shc complex is associated with the transient phosphorylation
of ERK in urokinase-treated cells. J Biol Chem, 275(25), 19382-8, 2000.
Webb, DJ, Nguyen, DH, Gonias, SL. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase functions in the urokinase receptor-dependent
pathway by which neutralization of low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein promotes fibrosarcoma
cell migration and matrigel invasion. J Cell Sci, 113 ( Pt 1), 123-34, 2000.
Webb, DJ, Roadcap, DW, Dhakephalkar, A, Gonias, SL. A 16-amino acid peptide from human alpha2-macroglobulin binds transforming
growth factor-beta and platelet-derived growth factor-BB. Protein Sci, 9(10), 1986-92, 2000. PMCID:2144455
Nguyen, DH, Catling, AD, Webb, DJ, Sankovic, M, Walker, LA, Somlyo, AV, Weber, MJ, Gonias, SL. Myosin light chain kinase functions downstream of Ras/ERK to promote migration
of urokinase-type plasminogen activator-stimulated cells in an integrin-selective manner. J Cell Biol, 146(1), 149-64, 1999. PMCID:2199739
Webb, DJ, Nguyen, DH, Sankovic, M, Gonias, SL. The very low density lipoprotein receptor regulates urokinase receptor catabolism
and breast cancer cell motility in vitro. J Biol Chem, 274(11), 7412-20, 1999.
Kralovich, KR, Li, L, Hembrough, TA, Webb, DJ, Karns, LR, Gonias, SL. Characterization of the binding sites for plasminogen and tissue-type plasminogen
activator in cytokeratin 8 and cytokeratin 18. J Protein Chem, 17(8), 845-54, 1998.
Webb, DJ, Gonias, SL. A modified human alpha 2-macroglobulin derivative that binds tumor necrosis
factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta with high affinity in vitro and reverses lipopolysaccharide toxicity
in vivo in mice. Lab Invest, 78(8), 939-48, 1998.
Webb, DJ, Wen, J, Karns, LR, Kurilla, MG, Gonias, SL. Localization of the binding site for transforming growth factor-beta in human
alpha2-macroglobulin to a 20-kDa peptide that also contains the bait region. J Biol Chem, 273(21), 13339-46, 1998.
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