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Robert Brambl

Emeritus Professor


Research Interests

Our laboratory is using cells of Neurospora crassa and techniques of genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology to study the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression at the level of translation. We wish to identify nucleus-encoded proteins that are involved in the recruitment of specific mRNAs into the mitochondrial translational system. We also are interested in the synthesis and assembly of protein components of the mitochondrial respiratory membrane and in post-translational modifications of these mitochondrial proteins, such as fatty acylation, that may be involved in their enzymatic function. In another project in our laboratory, we are studying the the cellular localization and function of the heat shock proteins, or chaperones, and the role of the heat shock response in protecting cells against physical stress. We are identifying cellular components with which these chaperones interact, and by targeted gene disruption, we are determining the contributions of these chaperones to organelle assembly and metabolism in normal and stressed cells. Most recently we have studied cell signaling pathways involved in physical and nutritional stress and responses to stress, such as apoptosis and autophagy.

Selected Publications

Brambl, R. (2009) Fungal physiology and the origins of molecular biology  Microbiology 155:3799-3809.

Plesofsky, N. Levery, S. B., Castle, S. A., and Brambl, R. (2008) Stress-induced cell death is mediated by ceramide synthesis in Neurospora crassa. Eukaryotic Cell 7:2147-2159.

Kleidon, J., Plesofsky, N., and Brambl, R. 2003. Transcripts and transcript-binding proteins in mitochondria of Neurospora crassa. Mitochondrion 2:345-360.

Plesofsky, N. and Brambl, R. 2002. Analysis of interactions between domains of a small heat shock protein, Hsp30, of Neurospora crassa. Cell Stress & Chaper, 7:374-386.

Plesofsky, N., Gardner, N., Videira, A, and Brambl, R. 2000. NADH dehydrogenase in Neurospora crassa contains myristic acid covalently linked to the ND5 subunit peptide. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1495: 223-230.

Plesofsky, N. and Brambl, R. 1999. Glucose metabolism in Neurospora is altered heat shock and by disruption of HSP30. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1449:73-82.

Plesofsky, N., Gardner, N., Lill, R., and Brambl, R. 1999. Disruption of the gene for Hsp30, an alpha-crystallin-related heat shock protein of Neurospora crassa, causes defects in import of proteins into mitochondria. Biol. Chem. 380: 1231-1236.

Plesofsky-Vig, N. and Brambl, R. 1998. Characterization of an 88-kDa heat shock protein of Neurospora crassa that interacts with Hsp30. J. Biol. Chem. 273: 11335-11341.

Plesofsky-Vig, N. and Brambl, R. (1995) Disruption of the gene for hsp30, an a-crystallin-related heat shock protein of Neurospora crassa, causes defects in thermotolerance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 92: 5032-5036.

Vassilev, A. O., Plesofsky-Vig, N., and Brambl, R. (1995) Cytochrome c oxidase in Neurospora crassa contains myristic acid covalently linked to subunit 1. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA 92: 8680-8684.

Bittner-Eddy, P., Monroy, A., and Brambl, R. (1994) Expression of mitochondrial genes in the germinating conidia of Neurospora crassa. J. Mol. Biol. 235: 881-897.

Hopf, N., N. Plesofsky-Vig, and R. Brambl (1992) The heat shock response of pollen and other tissues of maize. Plant Molec. Biol. 19: 623-630.

Plesofsky-Vig, N., J. Vig, and R. Brambl (1992) Phylogeny of the alpha-crystallin-related heat shock proteins.  J. Mol. Evol. 35: 537-545.


638 Biological Sciences
1445 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108