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 SD, Terry EL, Selegue JE, Cavanagh AT, Bashirullah A. Mistargeting of secretory cargo in retromer-deficient cells. Dis Model Mech. 2020 Dec 29;. doi: 10.1242/dmm.046417.
  2. Vasudevan D, Neuman SD, Yang A, Lough L, Brown B, Bashirullah A, Cardozo T, Ryoo HD. Translational induction of ATF4 during integrated stress response requires noncanonical initiation factors eIF2D and DENR. Nat Commun. 2020 Sep 16;11(1):4677.
  3. Neuman SD, Bashirullah A. Hobbit regulates intracellular trafficking to drive insulin-dependent growth during Drosophila development. Development. 2018 Jun 11;145(11).
  4. Kang Y, Neuman SD, Bashirullah A. Tango7 regulates cortical activity of caspases during reaper-triggered changes in tissue elasticity. Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 19;8(1):603.