Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Rose-Hulman Institute Of Technology (2005)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of California Irvine (2011)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications

  • Sorting out the trash: the spatial nature of eukaryotic protein quality control CURRENT OPINION IN CELL BIOLOGY Sontag, E. M., Vonk, W. I., Frydman, J. 2014; 26: 139-146


    Failure to maintain protein homeostasis is associated with aggregation and cell death, and underies a growing list of pathologies including neurodegenerative diseases, aging, and cancer. Misfolded proteins can be toxic and interfere with normal cellular functions, particularly during proteotoxic stress. Accordingly, molecular chaperones, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy together promote refolding or clearance of misfolded proteins. Here we discuss emerging evidence that the pathways of protein quality control (PQC) are intimately linked to cell architecture, and sequester proteins into spatially and functionally distinct PQC compartments. This sequestration serves a number of functions, including enhancing the efficiency of quality control; clearing the cellular milieu of potentially toxic species and facilitating asymmetric inheritance of damaged proteins to promote rejuvenation of daughter cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331860400018

    View details for PubMedID 24463332

  • Exogenous delivery of chaperonin subunit fragment ApiCCT1 modulates mutant Huntingtin cellular phenotypes PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Sontag, E. M., Joachimiak, L. A., Tan, Z., Tomlinson, A., Housman, D. E., Glabe, C. G., Potkin, S. G., Frydman, J., Thompson, L. M. 2013; 110 (8): 3077-3082


    Aggregation of misfolded proteins is characteristic of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington disease (HD). The CCT/TRiC (chaperonin containing TCP-1/TCP-1 ring) chaperonin complex can inhibit aggregation and cellular toxicity induced by expanded repeat Huntingtin (mHtt) fragments. The substrate-binding apical domain of CCT/TRiC subunit CCT1, ApiCCT1, is sufficient to inhibit aggregation of expanded repeat mHtt fragments in vitro, providing therapeutic promise for HD. However, a key hurdle in considering ApiCCT1 as a potential treatment is in delivery. Because ApiCCT1 has a region of similarity to the HIV Tat protein cell-transduction domain, we tested whether recombinant ApiCCT1 (ApiCCT1(r)) protein could enter cells following exogenous delivery and modulate an established panel of mHtt-mediated cell-based phenotypes. Cell fractionation studies demonstrate that exogenous ApiCCT1(r) can penetrate cell membranes and can localize to the nucleus, consistent with a strategy that can target both cytosolic and nuclear pathogenic events in HD. ApiCCT1(r) application does indeed modulate HD cellular phenotypes by decreasing formation of visible inclusions, fibrillar oligomers, and insoluble mHtt derived from expression of a truncated mHtt exon 1 fragment. ApiCCT1(r) also delays the onset of inclusion body formation as visualized via live imaging. ApiCCT1(r) reduces mHtt-mediated toxicity in immortalized striatal cells derived from full-length knock-in HD mice, suggesting that therapeutic benefit may extend beyond effects on aggregation. These studies provide the basis for a potentially robust and unique therapeutic strategy to target mHtt-mediated protein pathogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1222663110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000315954400093

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