Michael A Frohman

Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States

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Publications (149)898.84 Total impact

  • Yi Zhang, Michael A Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Phospholipase D enzymes have long been proposed to play multiple cell biological roles in cancer. With the generation of phospholipase D1 (PLD1)-deficient mice and the development of small molecule PLD-specific inhibitors, in vivo roles for PLD1 in cancer are now being defined, both in the tumor cells and in the tumor environment. We review here tools now used to explore in vivo roles for PLD1 in cancer and summarize recent findings regarding functions in angiogenesis and metastasis.
    The Journal of biological chemistry. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Aldosterone is the mineralocorticoid that is responsible for sodium retention, thus increased blood volume and pressure. Excessive production of aldosterone results in high blood pressure, as well as renal disease, stroke, and visual loss via both direct effects and effects on blood pressure. Weight gain is often associated with increased blood pressure but it remains unclear how obesity increases blood pressure. Obese patients typically have higher lipoprotein levels; moreover, some studies have suggested that aldosterone levels are also elevated and represent a link between obesity and hypertension. Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) functions to transport triglycerides from the liver to peripheral tissues. Although previous studies have demonstrated that VLDL can stimulate aldosterone production, the mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unclear. Here we show for the first time that phospholipase D (PLD) is involved in VLDL-induced aldosterone production in both a human adrenocortical cell line (HAC15) and primary cultures of bovine zona glomerulosa cells. Our data also reveal that PLD mediates steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein and aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) expression via increasing the phosphorylation (activation) of their regulatory transcription factors. Finally, by using selective PLD inhibitors, our studies suggest that both PLD1 and PLD2 isoforms play an important role in VLDL-induced aldosterone production.
    Endocrinology 06/2014; · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • Elizabeth E.‐J. Ha, Michael A. Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Although great progress has been made in identifying key protein factors that regulate mitochondrial morphology through mediating fission and fusion, signaling lipids are increasingly being recognized as important in the process as well. We review here roles that have been proposed for the signaling and bulk lipids cardiolipin, phosphatidic acid, lysophosphatidic acid, diacylglycerol, and phosphatidylethanolamine and the enzymes that generate or catabolize them in the regulation of mitochondrial morphology in yeast and mammals. Mutations in some of these enzymes are causal in a number of disease settings, highlighting the significance of controlling the lipid environment in this setting. © 2014 BioFactors, 2014
    BioFactors 04/2014; · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have suggested that phosphatidic acid (PA), a cone-shaped phospholipid that can generate negative curvature of lipid membranes, participates in mitochondrial fusion. However, precise mechanisms underling the production and consumption of PA on the mitochondrial surface are not fully understood. Phosphatidic acid-preferring phospholipase A1 (PA-PLA1) is the first identified intracellular phospholipase A1 and preferentially hydrolyzes PA in vitro. Its cellular and physiological functions have not been elucidated. In this study, we show that PA-PLA1 regulates mitochondrial dynamics. PA-PLA1, when ectopically expressed in HeLa cells, induced mitochondrial fragmentation, whereas its depletion caused mitochondrial elongation. The effects of PA-PLA1 on mitochondrial morphology appear to counteract those of MitoPLD, a mitochondria-localized phospholipase D that produces PA from cardiolipin. Consistent with high levels of expression of PA-PLA1 in testis, PA-PLA1 knockout mice have a defect in sperm formation. In PA-PLA1-deficient sperm, the mitochondrial structure is disorganized and an abnormal gap structure exists between the mid and principal pieces. A flagellum is bent at that position, which leads to a loss of motility. Our results suggest a possible mechanism of PA regulation on the mitochondrial membrane, and demonstrate an in vivo function of PA-PLA1 in the organization of mitochondria during spermiogenesis.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently showed that mice lacking the lipid signaling enzyme phospholipase (PL) D1 or both PLD isoforms (PLD1 and PLD2) were protected from pathological thrombus formation and ischemic stroke, whereas hemostasis was not impaired in these animals. We sought to assess whether pharmacological inhibition of PLD activity affects hemostasis, thrombosis, and thrombo-inflammatory brain infarction in mice. Treatment of platelets with the reversible, small molecule PLD inhibitor, 5-fluoro-2-indolyl des-chlorohalopemide (FIPI), led to a specific blockade of PLD activity that was associated with reduced α-granule release and integrin activation. Mice that received FIPI at a dose of 3 mg/kg displayed reduced occlusive thrombus formation on chemical injury of carotid arteries or mesenterial arterioles. Similarly, FIPI-treated mice had smaller infarct sizes and significantly better motor and neurological function 24 hours after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. This protective effect was not associated with major intracerebral hemorrhage or prolonged tail bleeding times. These results provide the first evidence that pharmacological PLD inhibition might provide a safe therapeutic strategy to prevent arterial thrombosis and ischemic stroke.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 07/2013; · 6.34 Impact Factor
  • Yelena Altshuller, Qun Gao, Michael A. Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria, normally tubular and distributed throughout the cell, are instead found in spermatocytes in perinuclear clusters in close association with nuage, an amorphous organelle composed of RNA and RNA-processing proteins that generate piRNAs. piRNAs are a form of RNAi required for transposon suppression and ultimately fertility. MitoPLD, another protein required for piRNA production, is anchored to the mitochondrial surface, suggesting that the nuage, also known as intermitochondrial cement, needs to be juxtaposed there to bring MitoPLD into proximity with the remainder of the piRNA-generating machinery. However, the mechanism underlying the juxtaposition is unknown. Gasz, a multidomain protein of known function found in the nuage in vertebrates, is required for piRNA production and interacts with other nuage proteins involved in this pathway. Unexpectedly, we observed that Gasz, in nonspermatogenic mammalian cells lines, localizes to mitochondria and does so through a previously unrecognized conserved C-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence. Moreover, in this setting, Gasz is able to recruit some of the normally nuage-localized proteins to the mitochondrial surface. Taken together, these findings suggest that Gasz is a nuage-localized protein in spermatocytes that facilitates anchoring of the nuage to the mitochondrial surface where piRNA generation takes place as a collaboration between nuage and mitochondrial-surface proteins.
    ISRN Cell Biology. 07/2013; 2013.
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    ABSTRACT: Cell migration and phagocytosis ensue from extracellular-initiated signaling cascades that orchestrate dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. The reorganization is mediated by effector proteins recruited to the site of activity by locally-generated lipid second messengers. Phosphatidic acid (PA), a membrane phospholipid generated by multiple enzyme families including Phospholipase D (PLD), has been proposed to function in this role. Here, we show that macrophages prepared from mice lacking either of the classical PLD isoforms PLD1 or PLD2, or wild-type macrophages whose PLD activity has been pharmacologically inhibited, display isoform-specific actin cytoskeleton abnormalities that likely underlie decreases observed in phagocytic capacity. Unexpectedly, PA continued to be detected on the phagosome in the absence of either isoform and even when all PLD activity was eliminated. However, a disorganized phagocytic cup was observed as visualized by imaging PA, F-actin, Rac1, an organizer of the F-actin network, and DOCK2, a Rac1 activator, suggesting that PLD-mediated PA production during phagocytosis is specifically critical for the integrity of the process. The abnormal F-actin reorganization additionally impacted neutrophil migration and extravasation from the vasculature into interstitial tissues. Although both PLD1 and PLD2 were important in these processes, we also observed isoform-specific functions. PLD1-driven processes in particular were observed to be critical in transmigration of macrophages exiting the vasculature during immune responses such as those seen in acute pancreatitis or irritant-induced skin vascularization.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e55325. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Chia-Ying Yang, Michael A Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria, once viewed as functioning relatively autonomously in the cell, have increasingly been recognized to be involved in numerous signaling networks that impact on a wide range of cell biological processes. In addition to the many types of proteins that mediate these pathways, the importance of signaling functions regulated via lipids and lipid second messengers generated on the mitochondrial surface is also becoming well appreciated. We focus here on phosphatidic acid, a lipid second messenger produced via several different pathways that can in turn stimulate the formation of multiple other bioactive lipids. Taken together, fascinating roles for phosphatidic acid and the connected lipids in mitochondrial function and interaction with other organelles are being uncovered. These pathways present new opportunities for the development of therapeutic approaches relevant to reproduction, metabolism, and neurodegenerative disease.
    The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 05/2012; 44(8):1346-50. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    Mary Osisami, Wahida Ali, Michael A Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Phospholipase D3 (PLD3) is a non-classical, poorly characterized member of the PLD superfamily of signaling enzymes. PLD3 is a type II glycoprotein associated with the endoplasmic reticulum, is expressed in a wide range of tissues and cells, and undergoes dramatic upregulation in neurons and muscle cells during differentiation. Using an in vitro skeletal muscle differentiation system, we define the ER-tethering mechanism and report that increased PLD3 expression enhances myotube formation, whereas a putatively dominant-negative PLD3 mutant isoform reduces myotube formation. ER stress, which also enhances myotube formation, is shown here to increase PLD3 expression levels. PLD3 protein was observed to localize to a restricted set of subcellular membrane sites in myotubes that may derive from or constitute a subdomain of the endoplasmic reticulum. These findings suggest that PLD3 plays a role in myogenesis during myotube formation, potentially in the events surrounding ER reorganization.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33341. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis inhibitors, which target tumor cells, confer only short-term benefits on tumor growth. We report that ablation of the lipid signaling enzyme phospholipase D1 (PLD1) in the tumor environment compromised the neovascularization and growth of tumors. PLD1 deficiency suppressed the activation of Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways by vascular endothelial growth factor in vascular endothelial cells, resulting in decreased integrin-dependent cell adhesion to, and migration on, extracellular matrices, as well as reduced tumor angiogenesis in a xenograft model. In addition, mice lacking PLD1 incurred fewer lung metastases than did wild-type mice. Bone marrow transplantation and binding studies identified a platelet-derived mechanism involving decreased tumor cell-platelet interactions, in part because of impaired activation of α(IIb)β(3) integrin in platelets, which decreased the seeding of tumor cells into the lung parenchyma. Treatment with a small-molecule inhibitor of PLD1 phenocopied PLD1 deficiency, efficiently suppressing both tumor growth and metastasis in mice. These findings reveal that PLD1 in the tumor environment promotes tumor growth and metastasis and, taken together with previous reports on the roles of PLD in tumor cell-intrinsic adaptations to stress, suggest the potential use of PLD inhibitors as cancer therapeutics.
    Science Signaling 01/2012; 5(249):ra79. · 7.65 Impact Factor
  • Huiyan Huang, Michael A Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that frequently undergo fusion and fission, the balance of which is critical for proper cellular functioning and viability. Most studies on mitochondrial fusion and fission mechanisms have focused on proteins thought to physically mediate the events. However, dynamic changes in membrane phospholipids also play roles in facilitating the fusion and fission events. This chapter will review the importance of lipids in mitochondrial dynamics and some of the methods that can be used to study the function of lipids in mitochondrial fusion and fission.
    Methods in cell biology 01/2012; 108:131-45. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    Qun Gao, Michael A Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Phospholipase D (PLD), a superfamily of signaling enzymes that most commonly generate the lipid second messenger Phosphatidic Acid (PA), is found in diverse organisms from bacteria to man and functions in multiple cellular pathways. A fascinating member of the family, MitoPLD, is anchored to the mitochondrial surface and has two reported roles. In the first role, MitoPLD-generated PA regulates mitochondrial shape through facilitating mitochondrial fusion. In the second role, MitoPLD performs a critical function in a pathway that creates a specialized form of RNAi required by developing spermatocytes to suppress transposon mobilization during meiosis. This spermatocyte-specific RNAi, known as piRNA, is generated in the nuage, an electron-dense accumulation of RNA templates and processing proteins that localize adjacent to mitochondria in a structure also called intermitochondrial cement. In this review, we summarize recent findings on these roles for MitoPLD functions, highlighting directions that need to be pursued to define the underlying mechanisms.
    BMB reports 01/2012; 45(1):7-13. · 1.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rapamycin-sensitive mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex, mTORC1, regulates cell growth in response to mitogenic signals and amino acid availability. Phospholipase D (PLD) and its product, phosphatidic acid, have been established as mediators of mitogenic activation of mTORC1. In this study, we identify a novel role for PLD1 in an amino acid-sensing pathway. We find that amino acids activate PLD1 and that PLD1 is indispensable for amino acid activation of mTORC1. Activation of PLD1 by amino acids requires the class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase hVps34, which stimulates PLD1 activity through a functional interaction between phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate and the Phox homology (PX) domain of PLD1. Furthermore, amino acids stimulate PLD1 translocation to the lysosomal region where mTORC1 activation occurs in an hVps34-dependent manner, and this translocation is necessary for mTORC1 activation. The PX domain is required for PLD1 translocation, mTORC1 activation, and cell size regulation. Finally, we show that the hVps34-PLD1 pathway acts independently of, and in parallel to, the Rag pathway in regulating amino acid activation of mTORC1.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 10/2011; 195(3):435-47. · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Orexin receptors potently signal to lipid messenger systems, and our previous studies have suggested that PLD would be one of these. We thus wanted to verify this by direct measurements and clarify the molecular mechanism of the coupling. Orexin receptor-mediated PLD activation was investigated in CHO cells stably expressing human OX(1) orexin receptors using [(14) C]-oleic acid-prelabelling and the transphosphatidylation assay. Orexin stimulation strongly increased PLD activity - even more so than the phorbol ester TPA (12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate), a highly potent activator of PLD. Both orexin and TPA responses were mediated by PLD1. Orexin-A and -B showed approximately 10-fold difference in potency, and the concentration-response curves were biphasic. Using pharmacological inhibitors and activators, both orexin and TPA were shown to signal to PLD1 via the novel PKC isoform, PKCδ. In contrast, pharmacological or molecular biological inhibitors of Rho family proteins RhoA/B/C, cdc42 and Rac did not inhibit the orexin (or the TPA) response, nor did the molecular biological inhibitors of PKD. In addition, neither cAMP elevation, Gα(i/o) nor Gβγ seemed to play an important role in the orexin response. Stimulation of OX(1) receptors potently activates PLD (probably PLD1) in CHO cells and this is mediated by PKCδ but not other PKC isoforms, PKDs or Rho family G-proteins. At present, the physiological significance of orexin-induced PLD activation is unknown, but this is not the first time we have identified PKCδ in orexin signalling, and thus some specific signalling cascade may exist between orexin receptors and PKCδ.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 06/2011; 165(4b):1109-23. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mammalian Phospholipase D MitoPLD facilitates mitochondrial fusion by generating the signaling lipid phosphatidic acid (PA). The Drosophila MitoPLD homolog Zucchini (Zuc), a proposed cytoplasmic nuclease, is required for piRNA generation, a critical event in germline development. We show that Zuc localizes to mitochondria and has MitoPLD-like activity. Conversely, MitoPLD(-/-) mice exhibit the meiotic arrest, DNA damage, and male sterility characteristic of mice lacking piRNAs. The primary function of MitoPLD seems to be the generation of mitochondrial-surface PA. This PA in turn recruits the phosphatase Lipin 1, which converts PA to diacylglycerol and promotes mitochondrial fission, suggesting a mechanism for mitochondrial morphology homeostasis. MitoPLD and Lipin 1 have opposing effects on mitochondria length and on intermitochondrial cement (nuage), a structure found between aggregated mitochondria that is implicated in piRNA generation. We propose that mitochondrial-surface PA generated by MitoPLD/Zuc recruits or activates nuage components critical for piRNA production.
    Developmental Cell 03/2011; 20(3):376-87. · 12.86 Impact Factor
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    X Peng, M A Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Phospholipase D (PLD), a superfamily of signalling enzymes that most commonly generate the lipid second messenger phosphatidic acid, is found in diverse organisms from bacteria to humans and functions in multiple cellular pathways. Since the early 1980s when mammalian PLD activities were first described, most of the important insights concerning PLD function have been gained from studies on cellular models. Reports on physiological and pathophysiological roles for members of the mammalian PLD superfamily are now starting to emerge from genetic models. In this review, we summarize recent findings on PLD functions in these model systems, highlighting newly appreciated connections of the superfamily to cancer, neuronal pathophysiology, cardiovascular topics, spermatogenesis and infectious diseases.
    Acta Physiologica 03/2011; 204(2):219-26. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate-5-kinase (PI4P5K) has been proposed to facilitate regulated exocytosis and specifically insulin secretion by generating phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)). We sought to examine the role of the α isoform of PI4P5K in glucohomeostasis and insulin secretion. The response of PI4P5Kα(-/-) mice to glucose challenge and a type 2-like diabetes-inducing high-fat diet was examined in vivo. Glucose-stimulated responses and PI4P5Kα(-/-) pancreatic islets and β-cells were characterized in culture. We show that PI4P5Kα(-/-) mice exhibit increased first-phase insulin release and improved glucose clearance, and resist high-fat diet-induced development of type 2-like diabetes and obesity. PI4P5Kα(-/-) pancreatic islets cultured in vitro exhibited decreased numbers of insulin granules docked at the plasma membrane and released less insulin under quiescent conditions, but then secreted similar amounts of insulin on glucose stimulation. Stimulation-dependent PIP(2) depletion occurred on the plasma membrane of the PI4P5Kα(-/-) pancreatic β-cells, accompanied by a near-total loss of cortical F-actin, which was already decreased in the PI4P5Kα(-/-) β-cells under resting conditions. Our findings suggest that PI4P5Kα plays a complex role in restricting insulin release from pancreatic β-cells through helping to maintain plasma membrane PIP(2) levels and integrity of the actin cytoskeleton under both basal and stimulatory conditions. The increased first-phase glucose-stimulated release of insulin observed on the normal diet may underlie the partial protection against the elevated serum glucose and obesity seen in type 2 diabetes-like model systems.
    Diabetes 02/2011; 60(2):454-63. · 7.90 Impact Factor
  • Oladapo Yeku, Michael A Frohman
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid Amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) provides an inexpensive and powerful tool to quickly obtain full-length cDNA when the sequence is only partially known. Starting with an mRNA mixture, gene-specific primers generated from the known regions of the gene and non-specific anchors, full-length sequences can be identified in as little as 3 days. RACE can also be used to identify alternative transcripts of a gene when the partial or complete sequence of only one transcript is known. In the following sections, we outline details for rapid amplification of 5(') and 3(') cDNA ends using the "new RACE" technique.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2011; 703:107-22. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although macroautophagy is known to be an essential degradative process whereby autophagosomes mediate the engulfment and delivery of cytoplasmic components into lysosomes, the lipid changes underlying autophagosomal membrane dynamics are undetermined. Here, we show that phospholipase D1 (PLD1), which is primarily associated with the endosomal system, partially relocalizes to the outer membrane of autophagosome-like structures upon nutrient starvation. The localization of PLD1, as well as the starvation-induced increase in PLD activity, are altered by wortmannin, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, suggesting PLD1 may act downstream of Vps34. Pharmacological inhibition of PLD and genetic ablation of PLD1 in mouse cells decreased the starvation-induced expansion of LC3-positive compartments, consistent with a role of PLD1 in the regulation of autophagy. Furthermore, inhibition of PLD results in higher levels of Tau and p62 aggregates in organotypic brain slices. Our in vitro and in vivo findings establish a role for PLD1 in autophagy.
    Nature Communications 12/2010; 1:142. · 10.02 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

11k Citations
898.84 Total Impact Points


  • 1994–2013
    • Stony Brook University
      • • Center for Developmental Genetics
      • • Department of Pharmacological Sciences
      Stony Brook, New York, United States
  • 1998–2010
    • Stony Brook University Hospital
      Stony Brook, New York, United States
  • 2009
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Tsukuba
      • Institute of Basic Medical Sciences
      Tsukuba, Ibaraki-ken, Japan
  • 1996–2006
    • State University of New York
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2002–2005
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2003
    • Hackensack University Medical Center
      Hackensack, New Jersey, United States
  • 1999
    • Molecular and Cellular Biology Program
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 1989–1993
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Division of Hospital Medicine
      • • Department of Anatomy
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 1990
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States