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Antje Heese

Antje Heese

Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry

E-mail: heesea at
Office address: 117 Schweitzer Hall
Office phone: 573-882-3831
Lab address: 221 Schweitzer Hall
Lab phone: 573-882-1708

My lab is interested in elucidating the role of membrane trafficking in plant innate immunity. Recent studies indicate that membrane trafficking plays an integral part in plant defenses against invading pathogens because mutations in several plant membrane trafficking components lead to reduced pathogen resistance.

In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, innate immunity against bacteria is in part mediated by FLS2, a plasma membrane localized receptor-like kinase. FLS2 perceives a 22 aa-peptide (flg22) derived from flagellin, the building block of the bacterial flagellum. Recognition of flg22 induces defense signaling responses and contributes to plant disease resistance by restricting bacterial invasion. Elicitation with flg22 also leads to ligand-induced endocytosis and degradation of FLS2. However, so far components of the endocytic machinery required for FLS2 internalization and degradation remain largely unknown. My lab is using a combination of protein biochemical, cell biological and molecular biological approaches to identify and characterize proteins functioning in FLS2 endocytosis as well as in other flg22-dependent membrane trafficking events.


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Lu D, Lin W, Gao X, Wu S, Cheng C, Avila J, Heese A, Devarenne TP, He P, and Shan L. Direct ubiquitination of pattern recognition receptor FLS2 attenuates plant innate immunity. Science 2011, 332 (6036), pp. 1439-1442.

Backues SK, Korasick DA, Heese A, Bednareka SY. The arabidopsis dynamin-related protein2 family is essential for gametophyte development. Plant Cell 2010;22(10):3218-3231.

Korasick DA, McMichael C, Walker KA, Anderson JC, Bednarek SY and Heese A. Novel functions of Stomatal Cytokinesis-Defective 1 (SCD1) in innate immune responses against bacteria. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2010;285(30):23342-23350. 

Shan L, He P, Li J, Heese A, Peck SC, Nurnberger T, Martin GB, Sheen J. Bacterial effectors target the common signaling partner BAK1 to disrupt multiple MAMP receptor-signaling complexes and impede plant immunity. Cell Host and Microbe 2008;4:17-27.

Heese A, Hann DR, Gimenez-Ibanez S, Jones AME, He K, Li J, Schroeder JI, Peck SC, Rathjen JP. The receptor-like kinase SERK3/BAK1 is a central regulator of innate immunity in plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2007;104: 12217-12222.

Heese A, Ludwig AA, Jones JDG. Rapid phosphorylation of a syntaxin during the Avr9/Cf-9-race-specific signaling pathway. Plant Physiology 2005;138: 2406-2416.

Heese-Peck A, Pichler H, Zanolari B, Watanabe R, Daum G and Riezman H. Multiple functions of sterols in yeast endocytosis. Molecular Biology of the Cell 2002;13: 2664-80.

Emter R, Heese-Peck A, and Kralli A. ERG6 and PDR5 regulate small lipophilic drug accumulation in yeast cells via distinct mechanisms. FEBS Lett. 2002;19: 521: 57-61.

D'Hondt K, Heese-Peck A, and Riezman H. Protein and lipid requirements for endocytosis. Annual Review of Genetics 2000;34: 255-295.

Munn AL, Heese-Peck A, Stevenson BJ, Pichler H and Riezman H. Specific sterols required for the internalization step of endocytosis in yeast. Molecular Biology of the Cell 1999;10: 3943-3957.


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