Biomedical Research Education & Training
Faculty Member

Kenworthy, Anne K., Ph.D.
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

Lab Url: N/A

Phone Number: 615-322-6615

Email Address:

Kenworthy, Anne's picture
Academic history
B.A., Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Postdoctoral, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Postdoctoral, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Office Address   Mailing Address

718 Light Hall

718 Light Hall 0615

Research Keywords
membrane domains, lipid rafts, caveolae, endocytosis, advanced microscopy, FRAP, mathematical modeling, autophagy, Alzheimer's disease, host-pathogen interactions, pulmonary arterial hypertension

Research Description
One of the major goals of my research program is to understand the role of membrane microdomains such as lipid rafts and caveolae in health and disease. We address this question using a combination of live cell imaging, cell biology, biophysics, and biochemical approaches. Current projects ongoing in the lab include:

1. How do proteins and lipid cooperate to build functional raft domains?

2. How do bacterial toxins exploit lipid rafts as a mechanism to enter host cells?

3. How do cholesterol and lipid rafts contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's disease?

4. How do mutations in caveolin-1 and defects in caveolae cause human diseases such as breast cancer and pulmonary arterial hypertension?

We are also interested in diffusion, a fundamental process that underlies all cellular functions. We are working in collaboration with biomathematicians to develop widely accessible methods to calibrate, measure and quantify protein and lipid diffusion in living cells. We are also applying these approaches to study novel protein complexes in the autophagy pathway, a housekeeping mechanism used by cells to maintain homeostasis in times of starvation and stress.

Day, CA, Baetz, NW, Copeland, CA, Kraft, LJ, Han, B, Tiwari, A, Drake, KR, De Luca, H, Chinnapen, DJ, Davidson, MW, Holmes, RK, Jobling, MG, Schroer, TA, Lencer, WI, Kenworthy, AK. Microtubule motors power plasma membrane tubulation in clathrin-independent endocytosis. Traffic, 2015

Day, CA, Kenworthy, AK. Functions of cholera toxin B-subunit as a raft cross-linker. Essays Biochem, 57, 135-45, 2015

Prewitt, AR, Ghose, S, Frump, AL, Datta, A, Austin, ED, Kenworthy, AK, de Caestecker, MP. Heterozygous Null Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptor Type 2 Mutations Promote SRC Kinase-dependent Caveolar Trafficking Defects and Endothelial Dysfunction in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. J Biol Chem, 290(2), 960-71, 2015

Renard, HF, Simunovic, M, Lemi??re, J, Boucrot, E, Garcia-Castillo, MD, Arumugam, S, Chambon, V, Lamaze, C, Wunder, C, Kenworthy, AK, Schmidt, AA, McMahon, HT, Sykes, C, Bassereau, P, Johannes, L. Endophilin-A2 functions in membrane scission in clathrin-independent endocytosis. Nature, 517(7535), 493-6, 2015

Han, B, Tiwari, A, Kenworthy, AK. Tagging strategies strongly impact the fate of overexpressed caveolin-1. Traffic, 2014

Kraft, LJ, Nguyen, TA, Vogel, SS, Kenworthy, AK. Size, stoichiometry, and organization of soluble LC3-associated complexes. Autophagy, 10(5), 861-77, 2014

Mazerik, JN, Kraft, LJ, Kenworthy, AK, Tyska, MJ. Motor and tail homology 1 (Th1) domains antagonistically control myosin-1 dynamics. Biophys J, 106(3), 649-58, 2014

Song, Y, Kenworthy, AK, Sanders, CR. Cholesterol as a co-solvent and a ligand for membrane proteins. Protein Sci, 23(1), 1-22, 2014

Hanson, CA, Drake, KR, Baird, MA, Han, B, Kraft, LJ, Davidson, MW, Kenworthy, AK. Overexpression of caveolin-1 is sufficient to phenocopy the behavior of a disease-associated mutant. Traffic, 14(6), 663-77, 2013

Chinnapen, DJ, Hsieh, WT, te Welscher, YM, Saslowsky, DE, Kaoutzani, L, Brandsma, E, D''Auria, L, Park, H, Wagner, JS, Drake, KR, Kang, M, Benjamin, T, Ullman, MD, Costello, CE, Kenworthy, AK, Baumgart, T, Massol, RH, Lencer, WI. Lipid sorting by ceramide structure from plasma membrane to ER for the cholera toxin receptor ganglioside GM1. Dev Cell, 23(3), 573-86, 2012

Day, CA, Kenworthy, AK. Mechanisms underlying the confined diffusion of cholera toxin B-subunit in intact cell membranes. PLoS One, 7(4), e34923, 2012 PMCID:3325267

Day, CA, Kraft, LJ, Kang, M, Kenworthy, AK. Analysis of protein and lipid dynamics using confocal fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). Curr Protoc Cytom, Chapter 2, Unit2.19, 2012

Kang, M, Day, CA, Kenworthy, AK, DiBenedetto, E. Simplified equation to extract diffusion coefficients from confocal FRAP data. Traffic, 13(12), 1589-600, 2012

Kraft, LJ, Kenworthy, AK. Imaging protein complex formation in the autophagy pathway: analysis of the interaction of LC3 and Atg4B C74A in live cells using Forster resonance energy transfer and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. J Biomed Opt, 17(1), 011008, 2012 PMCID:3325267

Lapierre, LA, Ducharme, NA, Drake, KR, Goldenring, JR, Kenworthy, AK. Coordinated regulation of caveolin-1 and Rab11a in apical recycling compartments of polarized epithelial cells. Exp Cell Res, 318(2), 103-13, 2012 PMCID:3325267

Kang, M, DiBenedetto, E, Kenworthy, AK. Proposed correction to Feder''s anomalous diffusion FRAP equations. Biophys J, 100(3), 791-2; author reply 793-4, 2011

Cha, B, Zhu, XC, Chen, W, Jones, M, Ryoo, S, Zachos, NC, Chen, TE, Lin, R, Sarker, R, Kenworthy, AK, Tse, M, Kovbasnjuk, O, Donowitz, M. NHE3 mobility in brush borders increases upon NHERF2-dependent stimulation by lyophosphatidic acid. J Cell Sci, 123(Pt 14), 2434-43, 2010

Drake, KR, Kang, M, Kenworthy, AK. Nucleocytoplasmic distribution and dynamics of the autophagosome marker EGFP-LC3. PLoS One, 5(3), e9806, 2010

Kang, M, Day, CA, DiBenedetto, E, Kenworthy, AK. A quantitative approach to analyze binding diffusion kinetics by confocal FRAP. Biophys J, 99(9), 2737-47, 2010

Day, CA, Kenworthy, AK. Tracking microdomain dynamics in cell membranes. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1788(1), 245-53, 2009

Kang, M, Day, CA, Drake, K, Kenworthy, AK, DiBenedetto, E. A generalization of theory for two-dimensional fluorescence recovery after photobleaching applicable to confocal laser scanning microscopes. Biophys J, 97(5), 1501-11, 2009

Kiskowski MA, Hancock JF, Kenworthy AK. On the use of Ripley's K-function and its derivatives to analyze domain size. Biophys J, 97, 1095-103, 2009

Kang, M, Kenworthy, AK. A closed-form analytic expression for FRAP formula for the binding diffusion model. Biophys J, 95(2), L13-5, 2008 PMCID:2440465

Kenworthy, AK. Have we become overly reliant on lipid rafts? Talking Point on the involvement of lipid rafts in T-cell activation. EMBO Rep, 9(6), 531-5, 2008 PMCID:2427377

Korade, Z, Kenworthy, AK. Lipid rafts, cholesterol, and the brain. Neuropharmacology, 2008 PMCID:2638588

Korade, Z, Kenworthy, AK, Mirnics, K. Molecular consequences of altered neuronal cholesterol biosynthesis. J Neurosci Res, 87(4), 866-875, 2008

Wolf, AA, Jobling, MG, Saslowsky, DE, Kern, E, Drake, KR, Kenworthy, AK, Holmes, RK, Lencer, WI. Attenuated endocytosis and toxicity of a mutant cholera toxin with decreased ability to cluster ganglioside GM1 molecules. Infect Immun, 76(4), 1476-84, 2008 PMCID:2292862

Kenworthy, AK. Breaking up isn''t so hard to do. Biophys J, 93(9), 2984-5, 2007

Kenworthy, AK. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching studies of lipid rafts. Methods Mol Biol, 398, 179-92, 2007

Kiskowski, MA, Kenworthy, AK. In silico characterization of resonance energy transfer for disk-shaped membrane domains. Biophys J, 92(9), 3040-51, 2007 PMCID:1852346

Roland, JT, Kenworthy, AK, Peranen, J, Caplan, S, Goldenring, JR. Myosin Vb interacts with Rab8a on a tubular network containing EHD1 and EHD3. Mol Biol Cell, 18(8), 2828-37, 2007 PMCID:1949367

Bush, WS, Ihrke, G, Robinson, JM, Kenworthy, AK. Antibody-specific detection of caveolin-1 in subapical compartments of MDCK cells. Histochem Cell Biol, 126(1), 27-34, 2006

Hinow, P, Rogers, CE, Barbieri, CE, Pietenpol, JA, Kenworthy, AK, Dibenedetto, E. The DNA binding activity of p53 displays reaction-diffusion kinetics. Biophys J, 2006 PMCID:1479054

Kenworthy, AK. Fluorescence-based methods to image palmitoylated proteins. Methods, 40(2), 198-205, 2006

Goodwin, JS, Drake, KR, Remmert, CL, Kenworthy, AK. Ras diffusion is sensitive to plasma membrane viscosity. Biophys J, 89, 1398-1410, 2005 PMCID:1366624

Goodwin, JS, Drake, KR, Rogers, C, Wright, L, Lippincott-Schwartz, J, Philips, MR, Kenworthy, AK. Depalmitoylated Ras traffics to and from the Golgi complex via a nonvesicular pathway. J Cell Biol, 170(2), 261-72, 2005 PMCID:2171405

Goodwin, JS, Kenworthy, AK. Photobleaching approaches to investigate diffusional mobility and trafficking of Ras in living cells. Methods, 37(2), 154-64, 2005

Hess, S.T., Kumar, M., Verma, A., Farrington, J., Kenworthy, A., and Zimmerberg, J.. Quantitative electron microscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy of the membrane distribution of influenza hemagglutinin. J. Cell Biol., 169, 965-976, 2005

Kenworthy, AK. Fleeting glimpses of lipid rafts: how biophysics is being used to track them. J Investig Med, 53(6), 312-7, 2005

Kenworthy, Anne K, Nichols, Benjamin J, Remmert, Catha L, Hendrix, Glenn M, Kumar, Mukesh, Zimmerberg, Joshua, Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer. Dynamics of putative raft-associated proteins at the cell surface. J Cell Biol, 165(5), 735-46, 2004 PMCID:2172371

Kenworthy, Anne. Peering inside lipid rafts and caveolae. Trends Biochem Sci, 27(9), 435-7, 2002

Postdoctoral Position Available

Postdoctoral Position Details
Postdoctoral positions are currently available for highly motivated individuals to carry out research in two areas:

1. Postdoctoral position currently available to study the role of bacterial toxins in stabilizing and manipulating membrane rafts and mechanisms responsible for toxin entry into host cells via clathrin-independent endocytosis. Experience with live cell imaging, membrane trafficking, and/or model membrane systems is a plus.

2. Postdoctoral position available to develop methods to measure kinetic rate constants in single cells using quantitative fluorescence microscopy and apply these methods to study protein complex formation and reaction-diffusion events at the cellular level. Experience in mathematical modeling and/or FRAP, FCS, and photoactivation approaches is a plus.

To apply, please email your CV and the contact information for 3 references to

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