Torsten Wittmann, PhD

Cell and Tissue Biology
+1 415 476-3037
The Wittmann Lab is interested in the mechanisms by which the microtubule cytoskeleton controls complex cell behaviors such as polarity, migration, and division. Specifically, we are analyzing the function and phosphoregulation of +TIPs, a diverse group of proteins that can specifically bind to the ends of growing microtubules, and are essential to link dynamic microtubule ends to other intracellular structures. We are employing high end fluorescent imaging methods, and are also developing novel tools to manipulate intracellular protein activities.

Growth cone advance requires EB1 as revealed by genomic replacement with a light-sensitive variant.


Dema A, Charafeddine RA, Rahgozar S, van Haren J, Wittmann T

The E3 ligase TRIM1 ubiquitinates LRRK2 and controls its localization, degradation, and toxicity.

The Journal of cell biology

Stormo AED, Shavarebi F, FitzGibbon M, Earley EM, Ahrendt H, Lum LS, Verschueren E, Swaney DL, Skibinski G, Ravisankar A, van Haren J, Davis EJ, Johnson JR, Von Dollen J, Balen C, Porath J, Crosio C, Mirescu C, Iaccarino C, Dauer WT, Nichols RJ, Wittmann T, Cox TC, Finkbeiner S, Krogan NJ, Oakes SA, Hiniker A

Controlling Cell Shape and Microtubule Organization by Extracellular Matrix Micropatterning.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Dema A, Rahgozar S, Siquier L, van Haren J, Wittmann T

pHLARE: A New Biosensor Reveals Decreased Lysosome pH in Cancer Cells.

Molecular biology of the cell

Webb BA, Aloisio FM, Charafeddine RA, Cook J, Wittmann T, Barber DL

Neurotoxic microglia promote TDP-43 proteinopathy in progranulin deficiency.


Zhang J, Velmeshev D, Hashimoto K, Huang YH, Hofmann JW, Shi X, Chen J, Leidal AM, Dishart JG, Cahill MK, Kelley KW, Liddelow SA, Seeley WW, Miller BL, Walther TC, Farese RV, Taylor JP, Ullian EM, Huang B, Debnath J, Wittmann T, Kriegstein AR, Huang EJ

Lights, cytoskeleton, action: Optogenetic control of cell dynamics.

Current opinion in cell biology

Wittmann T, Dema A, van Haren J

Optogenetic Control of Microtubule Dynamics.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

van Haren J, Adachi LS, Wittmann T

Tau repeat regions contain conserved histidine residues that modulate microtubule-binding in response to changes in pH.

The Journal of biological chemistry

Charafeddine RA, Cortopassi WA, Lak P, Tan R, McKenney RJ, Jacobson MP, Barber DL, Wittmann T

Local control of intracellular microtubule dynamics by EB1 photodissociation.

Nature cell biology

van Haren J, Charafeddine RA, Ettinger A, Wang H, Hahn KM, Wittmann T

The glycolytic enzyme phosphofructokinase-1 assembles into filaments.

The Journal of cell biology

Webb BA, Dosey AM, Wittmann T, Kollman JM, Barber DL

GSK3-mediated CLASP2 phosphorylation modulates kinetochore dynamics.

Journal of cell science

Pemble H, Kumar P, van Haren J, Wittmann T

Autophagy in adhesion and migration.

Journal of cell science

Kenific CM, Wittmann T, Debnath J

Abstract 243: Investigating microtubule growth dynamics in patient-derived metastatic prostate cancer cells.

Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics

Alexandre Matov, Johan de Rooij, Jay Gatlin, Julia Rohrberg, Nikta Ahmad, Rahul Aggarwal, Jeff Simko, Andrei Goga, Charles Ryan, Torsten Wittmann

Doublecortin Is Excluded from Growing Microtubule Ends and Recognizes the GDP-Microtubule Lattice.

Current biology : CB

Ettinger A, van Haren J, Ribeiro SA, Wittmann T

NBR1 enables autophagy-dependent focal adhesion turnover.

The Journal of cell biology

Kenific CM, Stehbens SJ, Goldsmith J, Leidal AM, Faure N, Ye J, Wittmann T, Debnath J

Migration of Founder Epithelial Cells Drives Proper Molar Tooth Positioning and Morphogenesis.

Developmental cell

Prochazka J, Prochazkova M, Du W, Spoutil F, Tureckova J, Hoch R, Shimogori T, Sedlacek R, Rubenstein JL, Wittmann T, Klein OD

Enzymatically Generated CRISPR Libraries for Genome Labeling and Screening.

Developmental cell

Lane AB, Strzelecka M, Ettinger A, Grenfell AW, Wittmann T, Heald R

Neuronal deletion of GSK3ß increases microtubule speed in the growth cone and enhances axon regeneration via CRMP-2 and independently of MAP1B and CLASP2.

BMC biology

Liz MA, Mar FM, Santos TE, Pimentel HI, Marques AM, Morgado MM, Vieira S, Sousa VF, Pemble H, Wittmann T, Sutherland C, Woodgett JR, Sousa MM

CLASPs link focal-adhesion-associated microtubule capture to localized exocytosis and adhesion site turnover.

Nature cell biology

Stehbens SJ, Paszek M, Pemble H, Ettinger A, Gierke S, Wittmann T

Host cell polarity proteins participate in innate immunity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.

Cell host & microbe

Tran CS, Eran Y, Ruch TR, Bryant DM, Datta A, Brakeman P, Kierbel A, Wittmann T, Metzger RJ, Mostov KE, Engel JN

Expression of an expanded CGG-repeat RNA in a single pair of primary sensory neurons impairs olfactory adaptation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Human molecular genetics

Juang BT, Ludwig AL, Benedetti KL, Gu C, Collins K, Morales C, Asundi A, Wittmann T, L'Etoile N, Hagerman PJ

Concepts in quantitative fluorescence microscopy.

Methods in cell biology

Waters JC, Wittmann T

Fluorescence live cell imaging.

Methods in cell biology

Ettinger A, Wittmann T

Quantitative imaging in cell biology. Preface.

Methods in cell biology

Waters JC, Wittmann T

LIS1 controls mitosis and mitotic spindle organization via the LIS1-NDEL1-dynein complex.

Human molecular genetics

Moon HM, Youn YH, Pemble H, Yingling J, Wittmann T, Wynshaw-Boris A

Host microtubule plus-end binding protein CLASP1 influences sequential steps in the Trypanosoma cruzi infection process.

Cellular microbiology

Zhao X, Kumar P, Shah-Simpson S, Caradonna KL, Galjart N, Teygong C, Blader I, Wittmann T, Burleigh BA

Microtubule dynamics regulation contributes to endothelial morphogenesis.


Lyle KS, Corleto JA, Wittmann T

Targeting and transport: how microtubules control focal adhesion dynamics.

The Journal of cell biology

Stehbens S, Wittmann T

+TIPs: SxIPping along microtubule ends.

Trends in cell biology

Kumar P, Wittmann T

Multisite phosphorylation disrupts arginine-glutamate salt bridge networks required for binding of cytoplasmic linker-associated protein 2 (CLASP2) to end-binding protein 1 (EB1).

The Journal of biological chemistry

Kumar P, Chimenti MS, Pemble H, Schönichen A, Thompson O, Jacobson MP, Wittmann T

Imaging intracellular protein dynamics by spinning disk confocal microscopy.

Methods in enzymology

Stehbens S, Pemble H, Murrow L, Wittmann T

Dynamic actin remodeling during epithelial-mesenchymal transition depends on increased moesin expression.

Molecular biology of the cell

Haynes J, Srivastava J, Madson N, Wittmann T, Barber DL

Chlamydia trachomatis co-opts GBF1 and CERT to acquire host sphingomyelin for distinct roles during intracellular development.

PLoS pathogens

Elwell CA, Jiang S, Kim JH, Lee A, Wittmann T, Hanada K, Melancon P, Engel JN

Analysis of microtubule dynamic instability using a plus-end growth marker.

Nature methods

Matov A, Applegate K, Kumar P, Thoma C, Krek W, Danuser G, Wittmann T

Analysis of microtubule polymerization dynamics in live cells.

Methods in cell biology

Gierke S, Kumar P, Wittmann T

GSK3beta phosphorylation modulates CLASP-microtubule association and lamella microtubule attachment.

The Journal of cell biology

Kumar P, Lyle KS, Gierke S, Matov A, Danuser G, Wittmann T

SnapShot: Microtubule regulators II.


Lyle K, Kumar P, Wittmann T

SnapShot: Microtubule Regulators I.


Lyle K, Kumar P, Wittmann T

EBs clip CLIPs to growing microtubule ends.

The Journal of cell biology

Wittmann T

Cofilin activity downstream of Pak1 regulates cell protrusion efficiency by organizing lamellipodium and lamella actin networks.

Developmental cell

Delorme V, Machacek M, DerMardirossian C, Anderson KL, Wittmann T, Hanein D, Waterman-Storer C, Danuser G, Bokoch GM

Microtubule cytoskeleton: a new twist at the end.

Current biology : CB

Wittmann T, Desai A

Eg5 causes elongation of meiotic spindles when flux-associated microtubule depolymerization is blocked.

Current biology : CB

Shirasu-Hiza M, Perlman ZE, Wittmann T, Karsenti E, Mitchison TJ

Characterization of the TPX2 domains involved in microtubule nucleation and spindle assembly in Xenopus egg extracts.

Molecular biology of the cell

Brunet S, Sardon T, Zimmerman T, Wittmann T, Pepperkok R, Karsenti E, Vernos I

Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics in Migrating Cells: A New Role for Rho GTPases.

Cell Motility

Torsten Wittmann, Clare M. Waterman-Storer

Regulation of microtubule destabilizing activity of Op18/stathmin downstream of Rac1.

The Journal of biological chemistry

Wittmann T, Bokoch GM, Waterman-Storer CM

Regulation of leading edge microtubule and actin dynamics downstream of Rac1.

The Journal of cell biology

Wittmann T, Bokoch GM, Waterman-Storer CM

A high-speed multispectral spinning-disk confocal microscope system for fluorescent speckle microscopy of living cells.

Methods (San Diego, Calif.)

Adams MC, Salmon WC, Gupton SL, Cohan CS, Wittmann T, Prigozhina N, Waterman-Storer CM

Toward reconstitution of in vivo microtubule dynamics in vitro.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology

Andersen SS, Wittmann T

Cell motility: can Rho GTPases and microtubules point the way?

Journal of cell science

Wittmann T, Waterman-Storer CM

The spindle: a dynamic assembly of microtubules and motors.

Nature cell biology

Wittmann T, Hyman A, Desai A

TPX2, A novel xenopus MAP involved in spindle pole organization.

The Journal of cell biology

Wittmann T, Wilm M, Karsenti E, Vernos I

Motor proteins regulate force interactions between microtubules and microfilaments in the axon.

Nature cell biology

Ahmad FJ, Hughey J, Wittmann T, Hyman A, Greaser M, Baas PW