Michael Glaser


321 Roger Adams Lab
Office: (217) 333-3960
Fax: (217) 244-5858

Mail to: Department of Biochemistry
419 Roger Adams Lab B-4
600 S Mathews Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
Lab Page

Michael Glaser

Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry


B.S. 1966 Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D. 1971 Univ. of California, San Diego
Postdoc. 1971-74 Washington Univ. Medical School

Growth factor and hormone regulation of myelin synthesis; membrane domains and signal transduction

Growth Factor and Hormone Regulation of Myelin Synthesis in Neuronal Co-cultures. The myelin sheath is a unique component of the nervous system. Either a Schwann cell in the peripheral nervous system or an oligodendrocyte in the central nervous system is capable of forming myelin. There is extensive signaling and cross talk between the myelin-forming cell and the neuron to control the various stages of myelin formation, i.e., cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Of particular interest are the growth factors and hormones that regulate these stages. Steroid hormones, such as progesterone, have been shown to play a role in the regulation of myelin synthesis. The mRNAs for the enzymes that make progesterone are induced at the onset of myelin synthesis. Changes in gene expression caused by steroid hormones are being examined to identify additional signal transduction molecules that control myelin formation.

Signal Transduction and the Activation of Protein Kinase C. One major theme of our research concerns a new model of membrane structure involving the existence of lipid and protein domains. It is proposed that many components of signal transduction pathways are organized into functional domains. When a growth factor or hormone stimulates a cell, it first binds to a receptor in the plasma membrane and this triggers a cascade of events that depends on the type of cell. If the components are organized into a domain this would greatly increase the specificity and efficiency of the process. This has been most closely studied with the membrane factors that activate protein kinase C and result in the phosphorylation of target proteins. The activators, substrates, and the enzyme can be organized into domains that produce faster rates of reaction. This also provides a novel level of regulation for the signal transduction process.

I no longer accept graduate or undergraduate students for laboratory research projects.

Representative Publications

Rodriguez-Waitkus, P.M., LaFollette, A.J., Ng. B.K., Zhu, T.S., Conrad, H.E., and Glaser, M. (2003) ASteroid Hormone Signaling Between Schwann Cells and Neurons Regulates the Rate of Myelin Synthesis,@ Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1007, 340-348.

Wanaski, S.P., Ng, B.K., and Glaser, M. (2003) ACaveolin Scaffolding Region and the Membrane Binding Region of Src Form Lateral Membrane Domains,@ Biochemistry 42, 42-56

Ruan, Q., Chen, Y., Gratton, E., Glaser, M., and Mantulin, W.W. (2002) ACellular Characterization of Adenylate Kinase and its Isoform: Two-Proton Excitation Fluorescence Imaging and Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy,@ Biophys. J. 83, 3177-3187

Bonafe, C.F., Glaser, M., Voss, E.W., Weber, G., and Silva, J.L. (2000) "Virus Inactivation by Anilinonaphthalene Sulfonate Compounds and Comparison With Other Ligands," Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 275, 955-961. [Abstract]

Chan, J.R., Rodriguez-Waitkus, P.M., Ng, B.K., Liang, P., and Glaser, M. (2000) "Progesterone Synthesized by Schwann Cells During Myelin Formation Regulates Neuronal Gene Expression," Mol. Biol. Cell. 11, 2283-2295. [Abstract]

Chan, J.R., Phillips, L.J. II, and Glaser, M. (1998) "Glucocorticoids and Progestins Signal the Initiation and Enhance the Rate of Myelin Formation," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95, 10459-10464. [Abstract]

Complete Publications List