Neal Alto earned his PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from the Oregon Health and Sciences University in 2003. He was then appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California San Diego. In 2007, he became an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at UT Southwestern.
The Alto laboratory is interested in the cross species communication between bacterial pathogens and human signal transduction systems. Many bacteria mediate infectious disease by changing the biochemical events in the host cell interior. In once common scenario, bacteria inject virulence factors directly into a particular host cell compartment. These “effectors,” as they are commonly known, will chemically modify or directly mimic host-signaling enzymes such as kinases, phosphatases, or GTPases.
The changes in host cellular environment elicited by each bacterial effector protein are what alter the host physiology leading to severe infectious disease. Dr. Alto and his associates use recombinant DNA techniques, protein chemistry, model genetic systems to study the actions of bacterial virulence factors.
- Western Washington University (1996), Cell Biology
- Graduate School
- Oregon Health Science University (2003), Cell Biology
- Human Signal Transduction
- Mechanisms of Toxins and Effectors
- Microbioal Pathogenesis
- Ras Super-family GTPases
- Myristoylome Profiling Reveals a Concerted Mechanism of ARF GTPase Deacylation by the Bacterial Protease IpaJ.
- Burnaevskiy N, Peng T, Reddick LE, Hang HC, Alto NM Mol. Cell 2015 Mar
- Bacteria Fighting Back: How Pathogens Target and Subvert the Host Innate Immune System.
- Reddick LE, Alto NM Mol. Cell 2014 Apr 54 2 321-328
- Selective protection of an ARF1-GTP signaling axis by a bacterial scaffold induces bidirectional trafficking arrest.
- Selyunin AS, Reddick LE, Weigele BA, Alto NM Cell Rep 2014 Mar 6 5 878-91
- Proteolytic elimination of N-myristoyl modifications by the Shigella virulence factor IpaJ.
- Burnaevskiy N, Fox TG, Plymire DA, Ertelt JM, Weigele BA, Selyunin AS, Way SS, Patrie SM, Alto NM Nature 2013 Mar
- Identification of F-actin as the dynamic hub in a microbial-induced GTPase polarity circuit.
- Orchard RC, Kittisopikul M, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF, Süel GM, Alto NM Cell 2012 Feb 148 4 803-15
- The assembly of a GTPase-kinase signalling complex by a bacterial catalytic scaffold.
- Selyunin AS, Sutton SE, Weigele BA, Reddick LE, Orchard RC, Bresson SM, Tomchick DR, Alto NM Nature 2011 Jan 469 7328 107-11
- Structural insights into host GTPase isoform selection by a family of bacterial GEF mimics.
- Huang Z, Sutton SE, Wallenfang AJ, Orchard RC, Wu X, Feng Y, Chai J, Alto NM Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2009 Aug 16 8 853-60
- Enteropathogenic E. coli Effectors EspG1/G2 Disrupt Microtubules, Contribute to Tight Junction Perturbation and Inhibit Restoration.
- Glotfelty LG, Zahs A, Hodges K, Shan K, Alto NM, Hecht GA Cell. Microbiol. 2014 Jun
- Thinking outside the Osp(G)--kinase activation by E2-ubiquitin.
- de Jong MF, Alto NM EMBO J. 2014 Jan
- Subversion of cell signaling by pathogens.
- Alto NM, Orth K Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 2012 Sep 4 9 a006114