Greg Beitel Professor

Research Summary: 

My laboratory uses molecular/genetic approaches with Drosophila to investigate two areas: 1) Understanding how individual cells control their shapes and coordinate with other cells to create the complex epithelial tubular networks found in multicellular organisms. 2) Understanding how non-neuronal cells sense and respond to elevated levels of CO2 (hypercapnia) such as those present in patients with obstructive disease.  Our work has identified conserved genes that mediate hypercapnic suppression of innate immune responses in flies and mammals.

Selected Publications:

A comparison of nucleosome organization in Drosophila cell lines. Martin RL, Maiorano J, Beitel GJ, Marko JF, McVicker G, Fondufe-Mittendorf YN. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 1;12(6):e0178590. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178590. eCollection 2017. PMID:  28570602 

Identification of Drosophila Zfh2 as a mediator of hypercapnic immune regulation by a genome-wide RNAi screenHelenius IT, Haake RJ, Kwon YJ, Hu JA, Krupinski T, Casalino-Matsuda S.M., Sporn P.H.S., Sznajder JI, and Beitel GJ, 2016. J. Immunology, 196, 655-67. PMCID: PMC4707113

Focused screening identifies evoxine as a small molecule that counteracts CO2-induced immune suppressionHelenius IT, Nair A., Humberto T., Sznajder JI, Sporn PHS and Beitel GJ, 2016. J. Biomolecular Screening, 21, 363-71. PMCID: PMC5096368

Hypercapnia Inhibits Autophagy and Bacterial Killing in Human Macrophages by Increasing Expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xLCasalino-Matsuda SM, Nair A, Beitel GJ, Gates KL, Sporn PHS, 2015. J Immunol. 194, 5388-5396. PMCID: PMC4433787

Non-canonical roles for Yorkie and Drosophila Inhibitor of Apoptosis 1 in epithelial tube size controlRobbins RM, Gbur SC, Beitel GJ, 2014. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 18;9(7):e101609. PMCID: PMC4103782

Tubulogenesis.  Iruela-Arispe ML, Beitel GJ. Development. 2013 Jul;140(14):2851-5.

Hypercapnia impairs lung neutrophil function and increases mortality of murine Pseudomonas pneumoniaGates KL, Howell HA, Nair A, Vohwinkel C, Welch L, Beitel GJ, Hauser AR, Sznajder JI, Sporn PHS, 2013. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol., 49:821-8. PMID: 2377738.

Evolutionary conserved role of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase in CO2-induced epithelial dysfunction in human cells, rat lungs, diptera and nematodes. Vadász I, Dada L, Briva A, Helenius IT, Sharabi K, Welch L, Kelly AM, Grzesik B, Budinger S, Liu J, Seeger W, Beitel GJ, Gruenbaum Y, and Sznajder JI, 2012. PloS One, 7, e46696. doi: 10.1371. PMCID: PMC3466313

Drosophila Src regulates anisotropic apical surface growth to control epithelial tube size. Nelson KS, Khan Z, Molnár I, Mihály J, Kaschube M, Beitel GJ. Nat Cell Biol. 2012 Mar 25;14(5):518-25.

Elevated CO2 selectively inhibits interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor expression and decreases phagocytosis in the macrophage. Wang N, Gates KL, Trejo H, Favoreto S Jr, Schleimer RP, Sznajder JI, Beitel GJ, Sporn PH. FASEB J. 2010 Jul;24(7):2178-90.

Elevated CO2 suppresses specific Drosophila innate immune responses and resistance to bacterial infection. Helenius IT, Krupinski T, Turnbull DW, Gruenbaum Y, Silverman N, Johnson EA, Sporn PH, Sznajder JI, Beitel GJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Nov 3;106(44):18710-5.

Yurt, Coracle, Neurexin IV and the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase form a novel group of epithelial polarity proteins. Laprise P, Lau KM, Harris KP, Silva-Gagliardi NF, Paul SM, Beronja S, Beitel GJ, McGlade CJ, Tepass U. Nature. 2009 Jun 25;459(7250):1141-5. doi: 10.1038/nature08067.

Selected Honors:

Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship

Burroughs Wellcome Career Development Award