Dzwokai Zach Ma
I conducted my graduate research at the Chemistry Department of UC Berkeley where I worked on gene regulation and DNA supercoiling in bacteria with Dr. J. Hearst, as well as bacterial multi-drug transporters with Dr. H. Nikaido. I then became a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Dr. Lily Jan at UC San Francisco and studied the trafficking of potassium channels in neurons. I started my research group at UC Santa Barbara in 2004.
The current research in our lab is centered in two areas:
(1) Membrane trafficking/cell migration and histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methyltransferases. Covalent modifications of histones regulate the structure and function of chromatin. Among them, methylation of H3K4 is associated with actively transcribed genes and thus extensively studied. Unexpectedly, we have discovered that a pool of mDpy-30, a common subunit of many H3K4 methyltransferases, resides at the Golgi apparatus and it plays a role in membrane trafficking and cell migration. We are investigating the mechanism by which mDpy-30 regulates these events.
(2) AGS3 and addiction. A major difficulty in the treatment of drug addiction is the prevention of relapse. Whereas AGS3 protein, a G-protein regulator, is implicated in the modulation of recurring cocaine- and alcohol-seeking behavior in animal models of addiction, the cellular event(s) controlled by AGS3 remain incompletely characterized. Our lab has shown a link between AGS3 and Golgi structure/function and we are dissecting the pathway involved. Our long term goal is to elucidate how AGS3 regulates addictive behavior.
Groves, B., Gong, Q., Xu, Z., Huntsman, C., Li, D., Nguyen, C., and Ma. D. (2007), A specific role of AGS3 in the surface expression of plasma membrane proteins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104: 18103-10108.
Gong, Q., Huntaman, C., and Ma, D. Clathrin-independent internalization and recycling. (2008), Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 12: 126-144.
Xu, Z., Gong, Q., Xia, B., Groves, B., Mu, D., Seaman, M., and Ma. D. (2009), A role of histone H3 lysine 4 methyltransferase components in endosomal trafficking. Journal of Cell Biology, 186: 343-353. (This paper is highlighted by the Journal of Cell Biology and Faculty of 1000 Biology).
Groves, B., Abrahamsen, H., Clingan, H., Frantz, M., Mavor, J., Bailey, J., and Ma. D. (2010), An inhibitory role of the G-protein regulator AGS3 in mTOR-dependent macroautophagy. PLOS ONE, 5: e8877.
Xia, B., Joubert, A., Groves, B., Djavaherian, D., Awe, J., Mu, D., Cherfils, J., and Ma. D. (2010), Modulation of cell adhesion and migration by a histone methyltransferase subunit and its interacting proteins. PLoS One, 5: e11771.
Xu, Z., Xia, B., Gong, Q., Bailey, J., Groves, B., Mu, D., Radeke, M., Wood, S., Szumlinski, K., and Ma. D. (2010), Identification of a deubiquitinating enzyme as a novel AGS3-interacting protein. PLoS One, 5: e9725.
Bailey, J., Fields, Cheng, K., Lee, A., Wagenaar, A., Lagrois, R., Schmidt, B., Xia, B., and Ma. D. (2015), WD Repeat-Containing Protein 5 (WDR5) Localizes to the Midbody and Regulates Abscission. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 14: 8987-9001.
Bailey, J., Nguyen, H., Lakhani, A., and Ma. D. (2016), Unconventional function of histone H3 lysine 4 methyltransferase subunits. Frontiers in Biology, 11: 10-18
Ma, D., George, C., Nomburg, J., Pfaller, C., Cattaneo, R., and Samuel, C. (2017), Unconventional function of histone H3 lysine 4 methyltransferase subunits. Journal of Virology, 92: e01726-17. (This paper is highlighted by the Journal of Virology)
Vural, A., Oner, S., Fadillioglu, D., Kelesoglu, F., Ma, D., and Lanier, S. (2018), Role of G-proteins and S/T Phosphorylation Sites in the Transition of Activator of G-Protein Signaling 3 to Cell Puncta. Journal of Cell Science. in press.