Dr. Tsaffrir Zor

ביוכימיה וביולוגיה מולקו סגל אקדמי בכיר
Dr. Tsaffrir Zor
Phone: 03-6407192
Another phone: 03-6406906
Fax: 03-6407192
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 520



  • 1989-1991: B.Sc., Chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem , Israel.
  • 1992-1997: Ph.D., Biochemistry (Signal Transduction by G-proteins), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
  • 1998-2003: Post-doctoral research, Structural Biology (transcription regulation), The Scripps Research  Institute, La-Jolla, California, USA.


Current research grants

  • USA–Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Involvement of ceramide kinase and ceramide-1-phosphate in cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) activation in stimulated macrophages, 10/2012-10/2016, $102,000


Research Interests

Regulation of TNFα and IL-10 expression in macrophages: The pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα plays a pivotal role in orchestrating innate immune responses that enable us to overcome infections. On the other hand, unregulated production of TNFα may lead to chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. In addition, excess of TNFα also contributes to the development of numerous inflammation-linked diseases such as asthma, diabetes, cardiac failure, stroke, and cancer. The anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 has a key role in limiting the inflammatory response. In our laboratory we study the regulation of TNFα and IL-10 expression and release. Our research focuses on signal transduction pathways, such as cAMP, that reciprocally regulate production of these pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Immune manipulation by the bacterial molecule C12-HSL: The bacterial quorum sensing molecule N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C12-HSL) has critical roles in both inter-bacterial communication and inter-kingdom signaling. The ability of C12-HSL to down-regulate production of the key pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα in stimulated macrophages was suggested to contribute to the establishment of chronic infections by opportunistic Gram-negative bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In our laboratory we study the mechanisms by which C12-HSL manipulates critical signal transduction pathways regulating TNFα and IL-10 expression and secretion in LPS-stimulated macrophages.

Roles of sphingolipids in macrophages – The sphingolipid ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) regulates key activities of macrophages, including migration (extra-cellularly, via an unidentified GPCR) and Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production (intra-cellularly via cPLA2 stimulation). Our laboratory studies the mechanisms of these activities.

Recent Publications

For a full list of publications


Selected recent publications


Yifat Glucksam-Galnoy, Roy Sananes, Nava Silberstein, Pnina Krief, Vladimir V. Kravchenko, Michael M. Meijler and Tsaffrir Zor, The bacterial quorum-sensing signal molecule N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone reciprocally modulates pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in activated macrophages, Journal of Immunology, 2013, 191, 337-344. (pdf)


Dorit Avni, Yifat Glucksam and Tsaffrir Zor , The Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 modulates cytokine expression in mouse macrophages via p50 nuclear factor kappa B inhibition, in a PI3K-independent mechanism, Biochemical Pharmacology, 2012, 83, 106-114. (pdf)


Meir Goldsmith, Ala Daka, Nadia F. Lamour, Roi Mashiach, Yifat Glucksam, Charles E. Chalfant, Michael M. Meijler and Tsaffrir Zor, A ceramide analog inhibits cPLA2 activity and consequent PGE2 formation in LPS-stimulated macrophages, Immunology Letters, 2011, 135, 136-143. ( pdf )


Dorit Avni , Orna Ernst , Amir Philosoph and Tsaffrir Zor , Role of CREB in modulation of TNF a and IL-10 expression in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages, Molecular Immunology , 2010, 47, 1396-1403. ( pdf )


Orna Ernst and Tsaffrir Zor, Linearization of the Bradford protein assay, Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2010, 38, doi: 10.3791/1918. (video article link) (pdf)


Dorit Avni, Amir Philosoph, Michael M. Meijler and Tsaffrir Zor, The ceramide-1-phosphate analog PCERA-1 modulates TNFα and IL-10 production in macrophages via the cAMP-PKA-CREB pathway in a GTP-dependent manner, Immunology, 2010, 129, 375-385. (pdf)


Maya Levi, Michael M. Meijler, Antonio Gómez-Muñoz, and Tsaffrir Zor , Distinct receptor-mediated activities in macrophages for natural ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) and for phospho-ceramide analogue-1 (PCERA-1), Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 2010, 314, 248-255. (pdf)


Meir Goldsmith, Dorit Avni , Orna Ernst , Yifat Glucksam, Galit Levy-Rimler, Michael M. Meijler and Tsaffrir Zor , Synergistic IL-10 induction by LPS and the ceramide-1-phosphate analog PCERA-1 is mediated by the cAMP and p38 MAP kinase pathways,Molecular Immunology 2009, 46, 1979-1987. (pdf)


Dorit Avni , Meir Goldsmith, Orna Ernst , Roi Mashiach, Tove Tuntland , Michael M. Meijler, Nathanael Gray, Hugh Rosen and Tsaffrir Zor , Modulation of TNFα , IL-10 and IL-12p40 levels by a ceramide-1-phosphate analog, PCERA-1, in-vivo and ex-vivo in primary macrophages, Immunology Letters, 2009, 123, 1-8(pdf)


Meir Goldsmith, Dorit Avni , Galit Levy-Rimler, Roi Mashiach, Orna Ernst , Maya Levi , Bill Webb, Michael M. Meijler, Nathanael S. Gray, Hugh Rosen and Tsaffrir Zor , A ceramide-1-phosphate analogue, PCERA-1, simultaneously suppresses tumour necrosis factor-α and induces interleukin-10 production in activated macrophages, Immunology, 2009, 127, 103-115. (pdf)

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