University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Peter Walter, PhD

Peter Walter, PhD

Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry/Biophysics, UCSF; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Hematopoietic Malignancies

Research Summary

My laboratory seeks a molecular understanding of how cells control the quality of their proteins and organelles during homeostasis and stress. We are identifying the machinery and mechanisms that ensure proper protein synthesis, folding, and targeting, as well as the pathways that allow organelles to communicate and regulate their abundance. Additionally, we aim to understand how the rewiring of these processes leads to, or prevents, the progression of disease. My laboratory uses a diverse array of approaches, ranging from biochemical reconstitution to genetics, to fuel our search for fundamental discoveries in cell biology. An NIH R01 (GM32384) has been funding our biochemical and mechanistic efforts on protein targeting and translocation since the inception of my group in 1983. A second NIGMS R01 grant funded our efforts on genetic approaches on the topic (R01 GM37485). I decided to return and not renew that grant in 2000, after I was appointed as HHMI Investigator. We maintained GM32384 at a modest funding level. Website: walterlab.ucsf.edu

Education

Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany, Vordiplom, 1976, Chemistry
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, M.Sc., 1977, Organic Chemistry
The Rockefeller University, New York, Ph.D., 1981, Cell Biology


Professional Experience

  • 1976-1977
    Direct Exchange Fellow, Vanderbilt University, in the laboratory of Dr. T.M. Harris
  • 1977-1981
    Graduate Fellow, The Rockefeller University, in the laboratory of Dr. G. Blobel
  • 1981-1982
    Postdoctoral Fellow, The Rockefeller University, in the laboratory of Dr. G. Blobel
  • 1982-1983
    Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Cell Biology, The Rockefeller University
  • 1983-1986
    Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco
  • 1986-1991
    Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
  • 1991-present
    Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, UCSF
  • 1997-present
    Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • 2001-present
    Chair, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics Department, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 1983
    Searle Scholar Award
  • 1988
    Eli Lilly Award for Fundamental Research in Biological Chemistry
  • 1988
    Passano Award
  • 1989
    Alfred P. Sloan Award
  • 1993
    NIH MERIT Award
  • 1996
    Harvey Lecturer, Rockefeller University, New York
  • 1998
    American Academy of Microbiology (elected Fellow)
  • 1998
    Feodor-Lynen-Lecture, Mosbach Kolloquium, Germany
  • 2001
    American Academy of Arts & Sciences (elected Fellow)
  • 2004
    National Academy of Sciences (elected Member)
  • 2004
    European Molecular Biology Organization (elected Associate Member)
  • 2004
    Virchow Lecture, Universität Würzburg
  • 2005
    Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences (with Dr. Kazutoshi Mori)
  • 2005
    George E. Palade Distinguished Lecture, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • 2006
    47th Stadtler Lecture, University of Texas
  • 2006
    Leopoldina Academy of Scientists (elected member)
  • 2012
    Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, UCSF
  • 2014
    Lasker Basic Medical Research Award
  • 2014
    Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, UCSF
  • 2015
    Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science

Selected Publications

  1. Karagöz GE, Acosta-Alvear D, Nguyen HT, Lee CP, Chu F, Walter P. An unfolded protein-induced conformational switch activates mammalian IRE1. Elife. 2017 Oct 03; 6.
    View on PubMed
  2. Cohen N, Breker M, Bakunts A, Pesek K, Chas A, Argemí J, Orsi A, Gal L, Chuartzman S, Wigelman Y, Jonas F, Walter P, Ernst R, Aragón T, van Anken E, Schuldiner M. Iron affects Ire1 clustering propensity and the amplitude of endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling. J Cell Sci. 2017 Aug 09.
    View on PubMed
  3. Chou A, Krukowski K, Jopson T, Zhu PJ, Costa-Mattioli M, Walter P, Rosi S. Inhibition of the integrated stress response reverses cognitive deficits after traumatic brain injury. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Aug 01; 114(31):E6420-E6426.
    View on PubMed
  4. Castillo K, Rojas-Rivera D, Lisbona F, Caballero B, Nassif M, Court FA, Schuck S, Ibar C, Walter P, Sierralta J, Glavic A, Hetz C. BAX inhibitor-1 regulates autophagy by controlling the IRE1a branch of the unfolded protein response. EMBO J. 2017 Jun 01; 36(11):1640.
    View on PubMed
  5. Placzek AN, Prisco GV, Khatiwada S, Sgritta M, Huang W, Krnjevic K, Kaufman RJ, Dani JA, Walter P, Costa-Mattioli M. eIF2a-mediated translational control regulates the persistence of cocaine-induced LTP in midbrain dopamine neurons. Elife. 2016 Dec 13; 5.
    View on PubMed
  6. Rao M, Okreglak V, Chio US, Cho H, Walter P, Shan SO. Multiple selection filters ensure accurate tail-anchored membrane protein targeting. Elife. 2016 Dec 07; 5.
    View on PubMed
  7. Sherbenou DW, Aftab BT, Su Y, Behrens CR, Wiita A, Logan AC, Acosta-Alvear D, Hann BC, Walter P, Shuman MA, Wu X, Atkinson JP, Wolf JL, Martin TG, Liu B. Antibody-drug conjugate targeting CD46 eliminates multiple myeloma cells. J Clin Invest. 2016 Dec 01; 126(12):4640-4653.
    View on PubMed
  8. Walter P, Yamamoto KR. Science as a Way of Knowing: From Protein Machines to Evidence-Based Decisions. Cell. 2016 Sep 22; 167(1):16-19.
    View on PubMed
  9. Sabnis AJ, Guerriero CJ, Olivas V, Sayana A, Shue J, Flanagan J, Asthana S, Paton AW, Paton JC, Gestwicki JE, Walter P, Weissman JS, Wipf P, Brodsky JL, Bivona TG. Combined chemical-genetic approach identifies cytosolic HSP70 dependence in rhabdomyosarcoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Aug 09; 113(32):9015-20.
    View on PubMed
  10. Plate L, Cooley CB, Chen JJ, Paxman RJ, Gallagher CM, Madoux F, Genereux JC, Dobbs W, Garza D, Spicer TP, Scampavia L, Brown SJ, Rosen H, Powers ET, Walter P, Hodder P, Wiseman RL, Kelly JW. Small molecule proteostasis regulators that reprogram the ER to reduce extracellular protein aggregation. Elife. 2016 Jul 20; 5.
    View on PubMed
  11. Gallagher CM, Garri C, Cain EL, Ang KK, Wilson CG, Chen S, Hearn BR, Jaishankar P, Aranda-Diaz A, Arkin MR, Renslo AR, Walter P. Ceapins are a new class of unfolded protein response inhibitors, selectively targeting the ATF6a branch. Elife. 2016 Jul 20; 5.
    View on PubMed
  12. Gallagher CM, Walter P. Ceapins inhibit ATF6a signaling by selectively preventing transport of ATF6a to the Golgi apparatus during ER stress. Elife. 2016 Jul 20; 5.
    View on PubMed
  13. Placzek AN, Molfese DL, Khatiwada S, Viana Di Prisco G, Huang W, Sidrauski C, Krnjevic K, Amos CL, Ray R, Dani JA, Walter P, Salas R, Costa-Mattioli M. Translational control of nicotine-evoked synaptic potentiation in mice and neuronal responses in human smokers by eIF2a. Elife. 2016 Mar 01; 5.
    View on PubMed
  14. Huang W, Placzek AN, Viana Di Prisco G, Khatiwada S, Sidrauski C, Krnjevic K, Walter P, Dani JA, Costa-Mattioli M. Translational control by eIF2a phosphorylation regulates vulnerability to the synaptic and behavioral effects of cocaine. Elife. 2016 Mar 01; 5.
    View on PubMed
  15. Starck SR, Tsai JC, Chen K, Shodiya M, Wang L, Yahiro K, Martins-Green M, Shastri N, Walter P. Translation from the 5' untranslated region shapes the integrated stress response. Science. 2016 Jan 29; 351(6272):aad3867.
    View on PubMed
  16. Hearn BR, Jaishankar P, Sidrauski C, Tsai JC, Vedantham P, Fontaine SD, Walter P, Renslo AR. Structure-Activity Studies of Bis-O-Arylglycolamides: Inhibitors of the Integrated Stress Response. ChemMedChem. 2016 Apr 19; 11(8):870-80.
    View on PubMed
  17. Elvekrog MM, Walter P. Dynamics of co-translational protein targeting. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2015 Dec; 29:79-86.
    View on PubMed
  18. Peschek J, Acosta-Alvear D, Mendez AS, Walter P. A conformational RNA zipper promotes intron ejection during non-conventional XBP1 mRNA splicing. EMBO Rep. 2015 Dec; 16(12):1688-98.
    View on PubMed
  19. Lang AB, John Peter AT, Walter P, Kornmann B. ER-mitochondrial junctions can be bypassed by dominant mutations in the endosomal protein Vps13. J Cell Biol. 2015 Sep 14; 210(6):883-90.
    View on PubMed
  20. Acosta-Alvear D, Cho MY, Wild T, Buchholz TJ, Lerner AG, Simakova O, Hahn J, Korde N, Landgren O, Maric I, Choudhary C, Walter P, Weissman JS, Kampmann M. Paradoxical resistance of multiple myeloma to proteasome inhibitors by decreased levels of 19S proteasomal subunits. Elife. 2015 Sep 01; 4:e08153.
    View on PubMed

Go to UCSF Profiles, powered by CTSI