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), Biochemistry
- Graduate School
- Oregon Health Science Uni (2003), Cell Biology
- Human Signal Transduction
- Mechanisms of Toxins and Effectors
- Microbioal Pathogenesis
- Ras Super-family GTPases
- Pathogenic ubiquitination of GSDMB inhibits NK cell bactericidal functions.
- Hansen JM, de Jong MF, Wu Q, Zhang LS, Heisler DB, Alto LT, Alto NM, Cell 2021 Jun 184 12 3178-3191.e18
- Oxysterols provide innate immunity to bacterial infection by mobilizing cell surface accessible cholesterol.
- Abrams ME, Johnson KA, Perelman SS, Zhang LS, Endapally S, Mar KB, Thompson BM, McDonald JG, Schoggins JW, Radhakrishnan A, Alto NM, Nat Microbiol 2020 07 5 7 929-942
- A NIK-SIX signalling axis controls inflammation by targeted silencing of non-canonical NF-?B.
- Liu Z, Mar KB, Hanners NW, Perelman SS, Kanchwala M, Xing C, Schoggins JW, Alto NM Nature 2019 Mar
- Shigella flexneri suppresses NF-?B activation by inhibiting linear ubiquitin chain ligation.
- de Jong MF, Liu Z, Chen D, Alto NM Nat Microbiol 2016 1 7 16084
- 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
- 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
- Accessible cholesterol is localized in bacterial plasma membrane protrusions.
- Abrams ME, Johnson KA, Radhakrishnan A, Alto NM, J Lipid Res 2020 Dec 61 12 1538
- A systematic exploration of the interactions between bacterial effector proteins and host cell membranes.
- Weigele BA, Orchard RC, Jimenez A, Cox GW, Alto NM Nat Commun 2017 Sep 8 1 532