Ulrich Tepass

faculty_img Academic Title: Professor

Campus: St. George

CSB Appointment: Full

Primary Undergraduate Department:
Cell & Systems Biology

Graduate Programs:
Cell & Systems Biology
Developmental Biology

Education:
Ph.D. University of Cologne 1990

 

Mailing Address
Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto
25 Harbord St.
Toronto, ON M5S 3G5
Canada

 

Contact Information
Office phone: 416-978-5712
Office: RW 619A
Lab: RW 616/617/619
Lab phone: 416-978-3678
Email: u.tepass@utoronto.ca
URL: http://labs.csb.utoronto.ca/tepass

 

Research Areas
Cell Biology
Developmental Biology
Functional Genomics
Genetics
Molecular Biology
Systems Biology

 

Research

Finding out how cells adopt specific shapes and organize themselves into tissues and organs in multicellular organisms is one of the most exciting questions in modern biology with profound implications for human health. Our work focuses on epithelial cells, the basic building blocks of all animals that are major components of many organs such as skin, gut, kidney or the retina. These cells form two-dimensional sheets that separate different compartments of the body. Cell polarity is a key feature of simple and more complex epithelial cells such as photoreceptor cells. We also investigate the mechanisms of adhesion between epithelial cells that binds cells into tissues. Both cell polarity and cell adhesion are areas of intense research in current cell biology. Some of the main questions that we pursue are: How do epithelial cells establish and maintain their polar organization, and how is epithelial polarity lost during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions? How do epithelial cells adhere to each other and move along each other without compromising epithelial tissue integrity? How do photoreceptor cells establish different, functionally and structurally distinct plasma membrane region? Defects in cell polarity and cell adhesion of epithelial cells cause many diseases. Our research currently explores genetic models for cancer and blindness. In fact, more than 80% of all human cancer cases are caused by the abnormal behaviour of epithelial cells. Blindness results often from death of the retina that is caused by defects in the polarity and adhesion of the epithelial cells of the retina.

 

Publications

2013

Top
Monomeric α-catenin links cadherin to the actin cytoskeleton.Desai R, Sarpal R, Ishiyama N, Pellikka M, Ikura M, Tepass U.Nat. Cell Biol. 2013 Mar;15(3):261-73
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2012

Top
The apical polarity protein network in Drosophila epithelial cells: regulation of polarity, junctions, morphogenesis, cell growth, and survival.Tepass U.Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 2012;28:655-85
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Mutational analysis supports a core role for Drosophila α-catenin in adherens junction function.Sarpal R, Pellikka M, Patel RR, Hui FY, Godt D, Tepass U.J. Cell. Sci. 2012 Jan;125(Pt 1):233-45
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2011

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Novel insights into epithelial polarity proteins in Drosophila.Laprise P, Tepass U.Trends Cell Biol. 2011 Jul;21(7):401-8
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2010

Top
Cdc42 and vesicle trafficking in polarized cells.Harris KP, Tepass U.Traffic 2010 Oct;11(10):1272-9
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Adherens junctions: from molecules to morphogenesis.Harris TJ, Tepass U.Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 2010 Jul;11(7):502-14
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Epithelial polarity proteins regulate Drosophila tracheal tube size in parallel to the luminal matrix pathway.Laprise P, Paul SM, Boulanger J, Robbins RM, Beitel GJ, Tepass U.Curr. Biol. 2010 Jan;20(1):55-61
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2009

Top
Molecular evolution of SPARC: absence of the acidic module and expression in the endoderm of the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis.Koehler A, Desser S, Chang B, MacDonald J, Tepass U, Ringuette M.Dev. Genes Evol. 2009 Oct;219(9-10):509-21
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Drosophila laminins act as key regulators of basement membrane assembly and morphogenesis.Urbano JM, Torgler CN, Molnar C, Tepass U, López-Varea A, Brown NH, de Celis JF, Martín-Bermudo MD.Development 2009 Dec;136(24):4165-76
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FERM proteins in animal morphogenesis.Tepass U.Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 2009 Aug;19(4):357-67
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Yurt, Coracle, Neurexin IV and the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase form a novel group of epithelial polarity proteins.Laprise P, Lau KM, Harris KP, Silva-Gagliardi NF, Paul SM, Beronja S, Beitel GJ, McGlade CJ, Tepass U.Nature 2009 Jun;459(7250):1141-5
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Breaking a temporal barrier: signalling crosstalk regulates the initiation of border cell migration.Godt D, Tepass U.Nat. Cell Biol. 2009 May;11(5):536-8
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The germline stem cells of Drosophila melanogaster partition DNA non-randomly.Karpowicz P, Pellikka M, Chea E, Godt D, Tepass U, van der Kooy D.Eur. J. Cell Biol. 2009 Jul;88(7):397-408
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Drosophila convoluted/dALS is an essential gene required for tracheal tube morphogenesis and apical matrix organization.Swanson LE, Yu M, Nelson KS, Laprise P, Tepass U, Beitel GJ.Genetics 2009 Apr;181(4):1281-90
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2008

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Cdc42 and Par proteins stabilize dynamic adherens junctions in the Drosophila neuroectoderm through regulation of apical endocytosis.Harris KP, Tepass U.J. Cell Biol. 2008 Dec;183(6):1129-43
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2007

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The FERM protein Epb4.1l5 is required for organization of the neural plate and for the epithelial-mesenchymal transition at the primitive streak of the mouse embryo.Lee JD, Silva-Gagliardi NF, Tepass U, McGlade CJ, Anderson KV.Development 2007 Jun;134(11):2007-16
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Adherens junctions in Drosophila retinal morphogenesis.Tepass U, Harris KP.Trends Cell Biol. 2007 Jan;17(1):26-35
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2006

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The agrin/perlecan-related protein eyes shut is essential for epithelial lumen formation in the Drosophila retina.Husain N, Pellikka M, Hong H, Klimentova T, Choe KM, Clandinin TR, Tepass U.Dev. Cell 2006 Oct;11(4):483-93
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The FERM protein Yurt is a negative regulatory component of the Crumbs complex that controls epithelial polarity and apical membrane size.Laprise P, Beronja S, Silva-Gagliardi NF, Pellikka M, Jensen AM, McGlade CJ, Tepass U.Dev. Cell 2006 Sep;11(3):363-74
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2005

Top
Drosophila melanogaster Cad99C, the orthologue of human Usher cadherin PCDH15, regulates the length of microvilli.D'Alterio C, Tran DD, Yeung MW, Hwang MS, Li MA, Arana CJ, Mulligan VK, Kubesh M, Sharma P, Chase M, Tepass U, Godt D.J. Cell Biol. 2005 Nov;171(3):549-58
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Essential function of Drosophila Sec6 in apical exocytosis of epithelial photoreceptor cells.Beronja S, Laprise P, Papoulas O, Pellikka M, Sisson J, Tepass U.J. Cell Biol. 2005 May;169(4):635-46
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Talin's second persona.Tepass U, Godt D.Nat. Cell Biol. 2005 May;7(5):443-4
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Mutations in Drosophila sec15 reveal a function in neuronal targeting for a subset of exocyst components.Mehta SQ, Hiesinger PR, Beronja S, Zhai RG, Schulze KL, Verstreken P, Cao Y, Zhou Y, Tepass U, Crair MC, Bellen HJ.Neuron 2005 Apr;46(2):219-32
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2004

Top
Function of Rho GTPases in embryonic blood cell migration in Drosophila.Paladi M, Tepass U.J. Cell. Sci. 2004 Dec;117(Pt 26):6313-26
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The cell fate determinant numb interacts with EHD/Rme-1 family proteins and has a role in endocytic recycling.Smith CA, Dho SE, Donaldson J, Tepass U, McGlade CJ.Mol. Biol. Cell 2004 Aug;15(8):3698-708
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Sinuous is a Drosophila claudin required for septate junction organization and epithelial tube size control.Wu VM, Schulte J, Hirschi A, Tepass U, Beitel GJ.J. Cell Biol. 2004 Jan;164(2):313-23
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2003

Top
Hand-me-downs. Transmitting anterior-posterior asymmetry from older to younger egg follicles.Godt D, Tepass U.Dev. Cell 2003 Oct;5(4):525-7
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Organogenesis: keeping in touch with the germ cells.Godt D, Tepass U.Curr. Biol. 2003 Sep;13(17):R683-5
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CRB1 is essential for external limiting membrane integrity and photoreceptor morphogenesis in the mammalian retina.Mehalow AK, Kameya S, Smith RS, Hawes NL, Denegre JM, Young JA, Bechtold L, Haider NB, Tepass U, Heckenlively JR, Chang B, Naggert JK, Nishina PM.Hum. Mol. Genet. 2003 Sep;12(17):2179-89
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Claudin complexities at the apical junctional complex.Tepass U.Nat. Cell Biol. 2003 Jul;5(7):595-7
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Gliotactin, a novel marker of tricellular junctions, is necessary for septate junction development in Drosophila.Schulte J, Tepass U, Auld VJ.J. Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;161(5):991-1000
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Interactions between the crumbs, lethal giant larvae and bazooka pathways in epithelial polarization.Tanentzapf G, Tepass U.Nat. Cell Biol. 2003 Jan;5(1):46-52
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2002

Top
Adherens junctions: new insight into assembly, modulation and function.Tepass U.Bioessays 2002 Aug;24(8):690-5
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Cell sorting in animal development: signalling and adhesive mechanisms in the formation of tissue boundaries.Tepass U, Godt D, Winklbauer R.Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 2002 Oct;12(5):572-82
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Interaction between EGFR signaling and DE-cadherin during nervous system morphogenesis.Dumstrei K, Wang F, Shy D, Tepass U, Hartenstein V.Development 2002 Sep;129(17):3983-94
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Cellular morphogenesis: slow-as-molasses accelerates polarized membrane growth.Beronja S, Tepass U.Dev. Cell 2002 Apr;2(4):382-4
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Crumbs, the Drosophila homologue of human CRB1/RP12, is essential for photoreceptor morphogenesis.Pellikka M, Tanentzapf G, Pinto M, Smith C, McGlade CJ, Ready DF, Tepass U.Nature 2002 Mar;416(6877):143-9
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