Prof. Uri Ashery

מחלקה לנוירוביולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Uri Ashery
Phone: 03-6409827
Fax: 03-6407643
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences




Postdoctoral Research; Max Planck Institute- Gottingen, Germany

1990-1996 Ph.D.; Neurobiology, Hebrew University
1987-1990 B.Sc.; Biology and Chemistry, Hebrew University


Academic Appointments:

2001-2005 Lecturer; Neurobiology, Tel Aviv University
2005-present Senior Lecturer; Neurobiology, Tel Aviv University


Research Interests

Our current research interests are the molecular mechanisms of synaptic function under normal and pathological conditions.  The human brain is composed of more than a trillion nerve cells whose signal-carrying protrusions are interconnected at special points of contact called synapses. Neurotransmitter release at the synapse is a multi-step process that is coordinated by a large number of synaptic proteins and depends on proper protein-protein interactions. Modulation of these processes is believed to underlie the processes of learning and memory. Our main interest is to study the molecular mechanisms of these processes under normal conditions and during neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington and Alzheimer diseases.


In the last years we have been investigating the function of key synaptic proteins in these processes using molecular biology, electrophysiology, biochemistry, Ca2+ imaging and computer simulation techniques. We took advantages of a unique experimental approach that allows efficient manipulations of the level and composition of specific proteins using overexpression and knock down approach. The approach allows studying structure-function relationships of synaptic proteins and their role in normal and pathological conditions. We perform detail electrophysiological and fluorescent measurements from chromaffin cells and neurons and compare the phenotype cells expressing the different mutated proteins. Specifically, we investigate the function of Munc13, Munc18, tomosyn, PLD and DOC2 in exocytosis. Our long-term goal is to correlate changes in protein expression to synaptic plasticity and learning and memory processes.


Please read the following link for a more detailed research description.


Recent Publications

Selected Publications

Ashery, U., Betz, A., Xu, T., Brose, N. & Rettig, J. An efficient method for infection of adrenal chromaffin cells using the Semliki Forest virus gene expression system. Eur J Cell Biol 78, 525-532 (1999).


Ashery, U. et al. Munc13-1 acts as a priming factor for large dense-core vesicles in bovine chromaffin cells. EMBO J 19, 3586-3596 (2000).


Yizhar, O. et al. Tomosyn inhibits priming of large dense-core vesicles in a calcium-dependent manner. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101, 2578-2583 (2004).


Mezer, A., Nachliel, E., Gutman, M. & Ashery, U. A new platform to study the molecular mechanisms of exocytosis. J Neurosci 24, 8838-8846 (2004).


Groffen, A. J., Friedrich, R., Brian, E. C., Ashery, U. & Verhage, M. DOC2A and DOC2B are sensors for neuronal activity with unique calcium-dependent and kinetic properties. J Neurochem 97, 818-833 (2006).


Ashery, U., Yizhar, O., Rotblat, B. & Kloog, Y. Nonconventional trafficking of Ras associated with Ras signal organization. Traffic 7, 119-126 (2006).


Ashery, U. et al. Spatiotemporal Organization of Ras Signaling: Rasosomes and the Galectin Switch. Cell Mol Neurobiol 26, 471-495 (2006).


Mezer, A. et al. Systematic search for the rate constants that control the exocytotic process from chromaffin cells by a Genetic Algorithm. Biochim Biophys Acta 1763, 345-355 (2006).


Nili, U. et al. Munc18-1 phosphorylation by protein kinase C potentiates vesicle pool replenishment in bovine chromaffin cells. Neuroscience 143, 487-500 (2006).


Rotblat, B., Yizhar, O., Haklai, R., Ashery, U. & Kloog, Y. Ras and its signals diffuse through the cell on randomly moving nanoparticles. Cancer Res 66, 1974-1981 (2006).


Gladycheva, S. E. et al. Receptor-mediated regulation of tomosyn-syntaxin 1A interactions in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. J Biol Chem 282, 22887-22899 (2007).


Singer-Lahat, D. et al. K+ channel facilitation of exocytosis by dynamic interaction with syntaxin.  J Neurosci 27, 1651-1658 (2007).


Yizhar, O. et al. Multiple functional domains are involved in tomosyn regulation of exocytosis. J Neurochem 103, 604-616 (2007).


Zeniou-Meyer, M. et al. PLD1 production of phosphatidic acid at the plasma membrane promotes exocytosis of large dense-core granule at a late stage. J Biol Chem 282, 21746-21757 (2007).


Zikich D. Junge H. Brose N. and Ashery U. Calmodulin regulates vesicle refilling via ubMunc13-2. J. Neurosci (2008) In Press.


Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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