Mark Peifer is documenting the flora of Alamance
County, North Carolina, where he resides. The University of North Carolina
Herbarium has approximately 470 specimens collected by Dr. Peifer, but that
number will increase as he continues his collecting activities. He frequently
collects with his daughters, Rose Lorraine Peifer and Lillian Claire
McCormick, and with his spouse, Carol Ann McCormick.
B. A. St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
Ph.D. Harvard University, Cambridge,
Massachusetts 1988 Thesis title: "Analysis of the abx/bx and bxd/pbx
regulatory regions of the ultrabithorax gene" Advisor: Welcome Bender,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
initial appointment, 1992; Welsh Distinguished Professor in the Biology
Department, 2001-2005; Hooker Distinguished Professor 2006. He aspires to be named “Curator of Alamance
County Plants” for the UNC Herbarium.
Biomedical science has twin goals; to explain the
many amazing properties of our own bodies and those of other animals, and to
use this information to reveal the causes of disease and to suggest possible
treatments. We work at the interface between cell and developmental biology,
focusing on the epithelial tissues that form the basic architectural unit of
our bodies and of those of other animals. Epithelial tissues like skin, lung,
colon, and breast are affected in many cancers. To explore underlying causes
of epithelial tumors and to understand the basic cellular machinery that
links cell adhesion, signal transduction and cytoskeletal regulation, we
focus on the Armadillo/ß-catenin protein. It is mutated in colon and other
cancers, and it is also critical for normal embryonic development. Cancer
results from alterations in normal cell behaviors. Drosophila Armadillo and
its vertebrate homolog ß-catenin play key roles both in cell-cell adherens
junctions, initiating the formation of epithelial tissues, and as transducers
of Wingless/Wnt family cell-cell signals. We study these processes in the
fruit fly Drosophila, combining classical and molecular genetics with cell
biology and biochemistry, and thus capitalizing on the speed of this model
system and its synergy with vertebrate cell biology.
McCartney, B.M., Price, M.H., Webb, R., ,
Hayden, M.A., Holot, L., Zhou, M, Bejsovec, A., and Peifer, M. (2006).
Testing hypotheses for the functions of APC family proteins using null and
truncation alleles in Drosophila. Development 133: 2407-2418.
Price, M.H., Roberts, D.M., McCartney, B.M.,
Jezuit, E., and Peifer, M. (2006). Cytoskeletal dynamics and cell signaling
during planar polarity establishment in the Drosophila embryonic denticle.
Journal of Cell Science, in press.
Gates, J., and Peifer, M. (2005). Can 1000
reviews be wrong? Actin, alpha-catenin and adherens junctions. Cell 123,
Fox, D.T., Homem, C.C.F., Myster, S.H., Wang,
F., Bain, E.E., and Peifer, M. (2005). Rho1 Regulates Drosophila Adherens
Junctions Independently of p120ctn. Development 132, 4819-4831.
Harris, T.J.C., and Peifer, M. (2005). The
positioning and segregation of apical cues during epithelial polarity
establishment in Drosophila. Journal of Cell Biology 170, 813-823.
McEwen,D.G., and Peifer, M. (2005). Puckered, a
Drosophila MAPK phosphatase, ensures cell viability by antagonizing
JNK-induced apoptosis. Development 132, 3935-3946.
Harris, T.J.C., and Peifer, M. (2004).
Decisions, decisions: beta-catenin chooses between adhesion and
transcription. Trends in Cell Biology15, 2345-237.
Harris, T.J.C., and Peifer, M. (2004). Adherens
junction-dependent and -independent steps in the establishment of epithelial
cell polarity in Drosophila. Journal of Cell Biology165, 135-147.
Grevengoed, E.E., Fox, D.T., Gates, J., and
Peifer, M. (2003). Balancing different types of actin polymerization at
distinct sites: Roles for Abelson kinase and Enabled. Journal of Cell Biology
McCartney, B.M., and Peifer, M. (2003). Stem
Cells in the News: CNN and APC Make Headlines. Developmental Cell 5, 532-4.
Myster, S.H., Cavallo, R., Anderson, C.T., Fox,
D.T., and Peifer, M. (2003). Drosophila p120catenin plays a supporting role
in cell adhesion but is not an essential adherens junction component. The
Journal of Cell Biology 160, 433-449.
Peifer, M. (2002). Developmental Biology: Colon
construction. Nature 420, 274-276.
Peifer, M., and McEwen, D.G. (2002). The ballet
of morphogenesis: unveiling the hidden choreographers. Cell 109, 271-274.
Akong, K. McCartney., B.M., and Peifer, M. (2002). Drosophila APC1 and APC2
have overlapping roles in the larval brain despite their distinct
intracellular localizations. Developmental Biology 250, 71-90.
Akong, K., Grevengoed, E.E., Price, M.H.,
McCartney., B.M., Hayden, M.A., DeNofrio, J.C. and Peifer, M. (2002).
Drosophila APC1 and APC2 playoverlapping roles in Wingless signaling in the
embryo and imaginal discs. Developmental Biology 250, 91-100.
Grevengoed, E.E., Loureiro, J.J., Jesse, T.L.,
and Peifer M. (2001). Abelson kinase regulates epithelial morphogenesis in
Drosophila. Journal of Cell Biology , 155, 1185-1197.
McCartney, B.M., McEwen, D.G., Grevengoed, E.,
Maddox, P., Bejsovec, A., Peifer, M. (2001). Drosophila APC2 and Armadillo
participate in tethering mitotic spindles to cortical actin. Nature Cell
Biology 3, 933-938.
Simcha, I., Kirkpatrick, C., Sadot, E.,
Shtutman, M. Polevoy, G., Geiger, B., Peifer, M., and Ben-Ze’ev, A. (2001).
Cadherin Sequences that Inhibit ß-catenin Signaling: a Study in Yeast and Mammalian
Cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell 12: 1177-88.
Tepass, U., Truong, K., Godt, D., Ikura, M.,
Peifer, M. (2000). Cadherins in embryonic and neural morphogenesis. Nature
Reviews: Molecular Cell Biology 1: 91-100.
Adam, J.C., Pringle, J.R., and Peifer, M.
(2000). Evidence for functional differentiation among Drosophila septins in
cytokinesis and cellularization. Molecular Biology of the Cell 11: 3123-3135.
Peifer, M. (2000). Travel bulletin: traffic jams
cause tumors. Science 289: 67-69.
McEwen, D.G., Cox, R.T., and Peifer, M. (2000).
The canonical Wg and JNK signaling cascades collaborate to promote both
dorsal closure and ventral patterning. Development 127: 3607-3617.
Cox, R.T., McEwen, D.G., Myster, D.G., Duronio,
R.J., Loureiro, J., and Peifer, M. (2000). A screen for mutations that
suppress the phenotype of Drosophila armadillo, the b-catenin homolog.
Genetics 155: 1725-1740.
McCartney, B.M., and Peifer, M. (2000). Teaching
tumor suppressors new tricks. Nature Cell Biol. 2: E58-60.
Peifer, M., and Polakis, P. (2000). Wnt
signaling in oncogenesis and embryogenesis: A look outside the nucleus.
Science 287: 1606-1609.
Peifer, M., and Tepass, U. (2000). Cell Biology:
Which way is up? Nature 403: 611-612.
McCartney, B., Dierick, H.A., Kirkpatrick, C.,
Moline, M.M., Baas, A., Peifer, M., and Bejsovec, A. (1999) Drosophila APC2
is a cytoskeletally-associated protein that regulates Wingless signaling in
the embryonic epidermis. Journal of Cell Biology 146: 1303-1318.
Peifer, M. (1999). Signal transduction: Neither
straight nor narrow. Nature 400: 213-215.
Cox, R.T., Pai, L.-M., Kirkpatrick, C., Stein,
J., and Peifer, M. (1999). Roles of the C-terminus of Armadillo in Wingless
signaling in Drosophila. Genetics 153: 319-332.
Cox, R.T., Pai, L.-M., Miller, J.R., Orsulic,
S., Stein, J., McCormick, C.A., Audeh, Y., Wang, W., Moon, R.T., and Peifer,
M. (1999). Membrane-tethered Drosophila Armadillo cannot transduce Wingless
signal on its own. Development 126: 1327-1335.
Lu, Q., Paredes, M., Medina, M., Zhou, J.,
Cavallo, R., Peifer, M., Orecchio, L. and Kosik, K.S. (1999). Delta-catenin,
an adhesive junction-associated protein which promotes cell scattering. J.
Cell Biol. 144: 519-532.
van Es, J.H., Kirkpatrick, C., van de Wetering,
M., Molenaar, M., Miles, A., Kuipers, J., Destree, O., Peifer, M., and
Clevers, H. (1999). Identification of APC2, a homologue of the adenomatous
polyposis coli tumour suppressor. Current Biology 9: 105-108.
Cavallo, R.A., Cox, R.T., Moline, M.M., Roose,
J., Polevoy, G.A., Clevers, H., Peifer, M., and Bejsovec, A. (1998).
Drosophila TCF and Groucho interact to repress Wingless signaling activity.
Nature 395: 604-608.
Loureiro, J., and Peifer, M. (1998). The roles
of Armadillo, a Drosophila catenin, during central nervous system
development. Current Biology 8: 622-632.
Pai, L.-M., Orsulic, S., Bejsovec, A. and
Peifer, M. (1997). Negative regulation of Armadillo, a Wingless effector in
Drosophila. Development 124: 2255-2266.
van de Wetering, M., Cavallo, R., Dooijes, D.,
van Beest, M., van Es, J., Loureiro, J., Ypma, A., Hursh, D., Jones, T.,
Bejsovec, A., Peifer, M., Mortin, M., and Clevers, H. (1997). Armadillo
co-activates transcription driven by the product of the Drosophila segment
polarity gene dTCF. Cell 88: 789-799.
Peifer, M. (1997). ß-catenin as oncogene--the
smoking gun. Science 275: 1752-1753.
Orsulic, S., and Peifer, M. (1996). An in vivo
structure-function study of Armadillo, the ß-catenin homolog, reveals both
separate and overlapping regions of the protein required for cell adhesion
and for Wingless signaling. J. Cell Biol. 134: 1283-1301.
Cox, R., Kirkpatrick, C., and Peifer, M. (1996).
Armadillo is required for adherens junction assembly, cell polarity and
morphogenesis during Drosophila embryogenesis. J. Cell Biol. 134: 133-148.
Pai, L.-M., Kirkpatrick, C., Blanton, J., Oda,
H., Takeichi, M., and Peifer, M. (1996). a-catenin and DE-cadherin occupy
distinct binding sites on Drosophila Armadillo that differ substantially in
size. J. Biol. Chem. 271: 32411-32420.
Fares, H., Peifer, M., and Pringle, J.P. (1995).
Localization and possible functions of Drosophila septins. Mol. Biol. Cell 6:
Peifer, M. (1995) Cell adhesion and signal
transduction--the Armadillo connection (review). Trends Cell Bio. 5: 224-229.
Kirkpatrick, C., and Peifer, M. (1995) Not just
glue- cell-cell junctions as cellular signaling centers (review). Curr. Opin.
Genet. Devel. 5: 56-65.
Rauskolb, C., Smith, K., Peifer, M., and Wieschaus,
E. (1995) extradenticle determines segmental throughout Drosophila
development. Development 121: 3663-3673.
Peifer, M., Pai, L.-M., and Casey, M. (1994).
Phosphorylation of the Drosophila adhesive junction protein Armadillo: roles
for Wingless signal and Zeste white-3 kinase. Dev. Biol. 166: 543-556.
Peifer, M., Sweeton, D., Casey, M., and
Wieschaus, E. (1994) wingless signal and Zeste-white 3 kinase trigger
opposing changes in the intracellular distribution of Armadillo. Development