Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

Daniel M. Suter

Daniel M.  Suter Profile Picture

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Ph.D. University of Zurich, 1995

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Integrative Neuroscience
Membrane Biology

Current Research Interests:

Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell migration is a major goal in modern biology. Cell movements play a critical role during development, adult life, and in various diseases. Important examples include the growing tip of a nerve cell process, the neuronal growth cone, and the invasive behavior of cancer cells. Our laboratory is currently focusing on the mechanisms of neuronal growth cone motility and guidance. We use two main model systems, Aplysia and zebrafish. Using the large Aplysia neurons in culture, we investigate how the growth cone integrates its sensor, signaling, and motility functions to achieve directional movements towards target cells and establish functional connections. Specifically, we would like to understand how extracellular signals, such as from cell adhesion molecules, are transduced inside the cell to affect the underlying cytoskeleton. These changes ultimately determine speed and direction of growth cone movement. Our current studies aim at the understanding of two different types of chemical signaling, Src tyrosine kinases and reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling, in addition to mechanical signaling in neurite growth. In the ROS project, we also take advantage of zebrafish embryo to image and manipulate early nervous system development in vivo. We use a combination of quantitative live cell imaging, cell biological, biophysical, molecular and biochemical techniques to investigate the dynamics and function of adhesion, signaling, and cytoskeletal proteins, and to quantify forces involved in cell migration. We hope that our research will not only improve our understanding of the basic cell biology of neuronal growth cones, but also assist in the development of treatments that support axonal regeneration in nervous system diseases and injuries.

Selected Publications:

Weaver, C. J., Y. F. Leung, and D. M. Suter. 2016. Expression dynamics of NADPH oxidases during early zebrafish development. J. Comp. Neurol. 524(10):2130-41.

Ren, Y., and D. M. Suter. 2016. Increase in growth cone size correlates with decrease in neurite growth rate. Neural Plast.

Miller, K. E., and D. M. Suter. 2016. Editorial: Neuronal Mechanics and Transport. Front. Cell. Neurosci. 10:1. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2016.00001.

He, Y., Y. Ren, B. Wu, B. Decourt, A.C. Lee, A. Taylor, and D. M. Suter. 2015. Src and cortactin promote lamellipodia protrusion and filopodia formation and stability in growth cones. Mol. Biol. Cell. 26(18):3229-44.

Athamneh, A. I. M., A. X. Cartagena-Rivera, A. Raman, and D. M. Suter. 2015. Substrate deformation predicts neuronal growth cone advance. Biophys. J. 109(7):1358-71.

Athamneh, A. I. M., and D. M. Suter. 2015. Quantifying mechanical force in axonal growth and guidance. Front. Cell. Neurosci., 9:359. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00359

Munnamalai, V., C. J. Weaver, C. E. Weisheit, P. Venkatraman, Z. S. Agim, M. T. Quinn, and D. M. Suter. 2014. Bidirectional interactions between NOX2-type NADPH oxidase and the F-actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones. J. Neurochem. 130(4):526-40.

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