Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
Hamilton, ON, Canada
A.B. (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Ph.D. (Columbia University, N.Y)
Postdoctoral Fellow (Cornell University, N.Y.)
Visiting Scientist: Yale University, CT
Visiting Scientist: Campomar Research Institute (Buenos Aires)
Avanti Award from the Biophysical Society for seminal studies in
Senior Investigator Award of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Fellow of the Biophysical Society
Honorary Fellow of the Spanish Biophysical Society
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEMBRANE PROPERTIES AND BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION
Many cell processes are intimately linked to their membranes. These include signal transduction phenomena, as well as the
action of drugs and cytotoxic agents. We are studying the molecular properties of biological membranes and their biological
function including the phosphatidylinositol cycle and the mechanisms by which the lipid intermediates of this cycle become
enriched in specific acyl chains. The first step in this cycle is catalyzed by diacylglycerol kinase (DGK). In mammals there are
10 known isoforms of this enzyme, each having a different function and structure. Several disease processes have a
connection with changes in expression of one or more of these isoforms each of which have specific roles in cells. We are
also studying membrane curvature and the role of the acyl transferase enzyme, tafazzin, in determining the acyl chain
composition of cardiolipin. Mutations in tafazzin lead to an inherited disease, Barth syndrome, in which patients suffer from
altered cardiolipin and defective mitochondrial function. The roles of mitochondrial membrane curvature properties in
processes connected to apoptosis is also under investigation.
1. Kagan, V.E., Jiang, J., Huang, Z., Tyurina, Y.Y., Desbourdes, C., Cottet-Rousselle, C., Dar, H.H., Verma, M., Tyurin, V.A., Kapralov, A.A., Cheikhi, A., Mao, G., Stolz, D., St. Croix, C.M., Watkins, S., Shen, Z., Li, Y., Greenberg, M.L., Tokarska-Schlattner, M., Boissan, M., Lacombe, M.-L., Epand, R.M., Chu, C.T., Mallampalli, R.K., Bayır H. and Schlattner U. (2016) NDPK-D (NM23-H4)-Mediated Externalization of Cardiolipin Enables Elimination of Depolarized Mitochondria by Mitophagy, Cell Death and Differentiation, 23, 1140-1151.
2. Kimura, T., Jennings, W., Epand, R.M. (2016) Roles of specific lipid species in the cell and their molecular mechanism, Prog Lipid Res., 62, 75-92.
3. Xu, Y., Phoon, C.K., Berno, B., D'Souza, K., Hoedt, E., Zhang, G., Neubert, T.A., Epand, R.M., Ren, M. and Schlame, M. (2016) Loss of protein association causes cardiolipin degradation in Barth syndrome, Nature Chem Biology, 12 (2016) pp. 641-647.
4. So V., Jalan, D., Lemaire, M., Topham, M.K., Hatch, G.M. and Epand, R.M. (2016) Diacylglycerol kinase epsilon suppresses expression of p53 and glycerol kinase in mouse embryo fibroblasts, Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids 1861, 1993-1999.
5. Epand R.M. and Chattopadhyay, A. (2016) Introduction to the Special Issue on the Properties and Functions of Cholesterol, Chem. Phys. Lipids 199, 1-2.
6. Epand, R.M., Bach, D. and Wachtel, E. (2016) In vitro determination of the solubility limit of cholesterol in phospholipid bilayers, Chem. Phys. Lipids 199, 3-10.
7. Epand, R.M., So, V., Jennings, W., Khadka, B., Gupta, R.S. and Lemaire, M., Diacylglycerol Kinase-ε: Properties and Biological Roles, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 4 (2016) p. 112.
8. Epand R.M. (2016) Features of the Phosphatidylinositol Cycle and its Role in Signal Transduction, J. Membr. Biol. 1-14.
9. Jennings,W., Doshi, S., Hota, P.K., Prodeus, A., Black, S. and Epand, R.M. (2017) Expression, Purification, and Properties of a Human Arachidonoyl-Specific Isoform of Diacylglycerol Kinase, Biochemistry 56, 1337-1347.