William Green, PhD

  • Professor of Neurobiology
    Professor of Grossman Institute for Neuroscience
    Committee on Computational Neuroscience
  • Research and Scholarly Interests: Acetylcholine, Acetylcholine Receptors, Nicotinic, Cell Biology of Neurons, Glutamate, Glutamate Receptors, Ionotropic, Nicotine, Nicotine Addiction, Synapses, Trafficking, Protein
  • Websites: Research Network Profile
  • Contact: wgreen@uchicago.edu
  • Graduate Program: Computational Neuroscience

My research is focused on ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors, the receptors responsible for the rapid postsynaptic response in nerve and muscle. These receptors are large oligomeric membrane proteins with subunits surrounding an ion channel that opens when neurotransmitters bind to the receptor. There are two different families of ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors. One family includes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs), GABA and glycine receptors, and the other family are glutamate receptors, both NMDA- and AMPA-type glutamate receptors. The overall goal of my research is to understand how nerve and muscle build these receptors and traffic them specifically to and from synapses. These events regulate the number, density and function of the receptors at synapses, which helps define synaptic strength. The same events underlie learning and memory formation, and when they fail, can contribute to a number of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s Disease, Myasthenia Gravis and Myasthenic Syndromes.



There are several projects ongoing in my lab characterizing the basic cell biology of these receptors, which include receptor assembly, trafficking and clustering. Assembly refers to the processes that transform newly synthesized subunits into functional receptors usually in the endoplasmic reticulum. Trafficking refers to the processes that transport the receptors to and from different location in cells and targets them to these locations. Clustering is the process that packs and maintains the receptors in regions of high density such as synapses. Recently, we have developed new techniques for assaying the protein post-translation modification known as palmitoylation. This work has led to several collaborations in which we are helping to characterize the palmitoylation of a number of different proteins. I also am collaborating with Dr. Paul Selvin (University of Illinois) developing fluorescent single-molecule methods to characterize neurotransmitter receptor subunit composition, stoichiometry and the diffusion/trafficking of these receptors.

Yale University
New Haven, CT
Postdoctoral Fellow - Physiology & Neuroscience
1992

Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences
New York, NY
Ph.D. - Physiology & Biophysics
1986

University College, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
B.Sc. - Physics & Zoology
1978

Development of fluorescence imaging probes for nicotinic acetylcholine a4ß2* receptors.
Samra GK, Intskirveli I, Govind AP, Liang C, Lazar R, Green WN, Metherate R, Mukherjee J. Development of fluorescence imaging probes for nicotinic acetylcholine a4ß2* receptors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2018 02 01; 28(3):371-377.
PMID: 29277457

Correction: Super-resolution imaging of synaptic and Extra-synaptic AMPA receptors with different-sized fluorescent probes.
Lee SH, Jin C, Cai E, Ge P, Ishitsuka Y, Teng KW, de Thomaz AA, Nall D, Baday M, Jeyifous O, Demonte D, Dundas CM, Park S, Delgado JY, Green WN, Selvin PR. Correction: Super-resolution imaging of synaptic and Extra-synaptic AMPA receptors with different-sized fluorescent probes. Elife. 2017 11 08; 6.
PMID: 29116041

Super-resolution imaging of synaptic and Extra-synaptic AMPA receptors with different-sized fluorescent probes.
Lee SH, Jin C, Cai E, Ge P, Ishitsuka Y, Teng KW, de Thomaz AA, Nall D, Baday M, Jeyifous O, Demonte D, Dundas CM, Park S, Delgado JY, Green WN, Selvin PR. Super-resolution imaging of synaptic and Extra-synaptic AMPA receptors with different-sized fluorescent probes. Elife. 2017 07 27; 6.
PMID: 28749340

Selective and regulated trapping of nicotinic receptor weak base ligands and relevance to smoking cessation.
Govind AP, Vallejo YF, Stolz JR, Yan JZ, Swanson GT, Green WN. Selective and regulated trapping of nicotinic receptor weak base ligands and relevance to smoking cessation. Elife. 2017 07 18; 6.
PMID: 28718768

S-acylation of SOD1, CCS, and a stable SOD1-CCS heterodimer in human spinal cords from ALS and non-ALS subjects.
Antinone SE, Ghadge GD, Ostrow LW, Roos RP, Green WN. S-acylation of SOD1, CCS, and a stable SOD1-CCS heterodimer in human spinal cords from ALS and non-ALS subjects. Sci Rep. 2017 01 25; 7:41141.
PMID: 28120938

Palmitoylation regulates glutamate receptor distributions in postsynaptic densities through control of PSD95 conformation and orientation.
Jeyifous O, Lin EI, Chen X, Antinone SE, Mastro R, Drisdel R, Reese TS, Green WN. Palmitoylation regulates glutamate receptor distributions in postsynaptic densities through control of PSD95 conformation and orientation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 12 27; 113(52):E8482-E8491.
PMID: 27956638

Synaptic activity regulates AMPA receptor trafficking through different recycling pathways.
Zheng N, Jeyifous O, Munro C, Montgomery JM, Green WN. Synaptic activity regulates AMPA receptor trafficking through different recycling pathways. Elife. 2015 May 13; 4.
PMID: 25970033

Small quantum dots conjugated to nanobodies as immunofluorescence probes for nanometric microscopy.
Wang Y, Cai E, Rosenkranz T, Ge P, Teng KW, Lim SJ, Smith AM, Chung HJ, Sachs F, Green WN, Gottlieb P, Selvin PR. Small quantum dots conjugated to nanobodies as immunofluorescence probes for nanometric microscopy. Bioconjug Chem. 2014 Dec 17; 25(12):2205-11.
PMID: 25397889

Stable small quantum dots for synaptic receptor tracking on live neurons.
Cai E, Ge P, Lee SH, Jeyifous O, Wang Y, Liu Y, Wilson KM, Lim SJ, Baird MA, Stone JE, Lee KY, Davidson MW, Chung HJ, Schulten K, Smith AM, Green WN, Selvin PR. Stable small quantum dots for synaptic receptor tracking on live neurons. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Nov 10; 53(46):12484-8.
PMID: 25255882

Early Delivery of Misfolded PrP from ER to Lysosomes by Autophagy.
Cortes CJ, Qin K, Norstrom EM, Green WN, Bindokas VP, Mastrianni JA. Early Delivery of Misfolded PrP from ER to Lysosomes by Autophagy. Int J Cell Biol. 2013; 2013:560421.
PMID: 24454378

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