Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

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


Kenworthy, Anne's picture

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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