Arash Bashirullah, PhD

Credentials: Pharmaceutical Sciences

Position title: Associate Professor


Phone: 608-890-1851

Organ System/Disease Focus
Dysfunction of professional secretory cells
Aligned Research Focus
Cellular and developmental biology; basic stem cell science

Bashirullah Lab

Research Description

Progression through developmental transitions and maintenance of homeostatic physiology in adult organisms both require exquisite control of inter-organ communication. This communication is carried out by professional secretory cells, which are specialized for stimulus-dependent release of specific cargo proteins via regulated exocytosis. Given the central importance of this process, it is not surprising that defects in regulated exocytosis underlie many common and debilitating human diseases in neurons and in endocrine and exocrine organs. However, with the exception of the membrane fusion events that occur during cargo release, many cellular processes during regulated exocytosis remain poorly understood. Chemical mutagenesis screens in our lab looking for mutations that disrupt progression through development have revealed novel genetic regulators that are required for regulated exocytosis but function prior to cargo release. In these mutant strains, secretory cargo is produced but is not secreted, a phenotype highly reminiscent of defects observed in secretory diseases like type 2 diabetes and others. Collectively, these newly-identified genes outline previously uncharacterized cellular pathways that prepare secretory granules for exocytosis and will likely provide novel insights into the etiology of secretion based diseases.

Selected References:
  1. Neuman, S.D., T.P. Levine, and A. Bashirullah (2022). A novel superfamily of bridge-like lipid transfer proteins.

Trends in Cell Biology

  1. Neuman, S.D., Jorgensen, J.R., Cavanagh, A.T., Smyth, J.T., Selegue, J.E., Emr, S.D., and A. Bashirullah(2022). The Hob proteins are novel and conserved lipid binding proteins at ER-PM contact sites.

Journal of Cell Science135(5):jcs259086

  1. Neuman, S.D., Lee, A.R., Selegue, J.E., Cavanagh, A.T., and A. Bashirullah(2021). A novel function for Rab1 and Rab11 during secretory granule maturation.

Journal of Cell Science134(15):jcs259037.

  1. Neuman, S.D., E.L. Terry, J.E. Selegue, A.T. Cavanagh, & A. Bashirullah. (2021). Mistargetting of secretory cargo in retromer-deficient cells.

Disease Models & Mechanisms, 14:dmm046417.