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Ulla Knaus, PhD

Associate Professor Adjunct
Department of Immunology and Microbiology
California Campus
Laboratory Website
Scripps VIVO Scientific Profile
(858) 784-9281

Research Focus

GTPase-regulated networks in the
innate immune system and cancer

GTP-binding proteins are molecular switches that regulate many essential cellular processes, including actin dynamics, gene transcription, cell-cycle progression and cell adhesion. Depended on the cellular context and the mechanism of activation, GTPases interact with different subsets of GTPase-regulatory proteins as well as multiple effector proteins. This complex network contributes then to a specific cellular response when triggered by a certain extracellular stimulus. The focus of our laboratory is defining the molecular basis and regulation of cellular functions implicated in inflammation, host defense and tumorigenesis such as proliferation, apoptosis and oxygen radical generation. To elucidate the signaling pathways from activated receptors to GTPases and their downstream targets to the effector of a specific function (eg. oxygen-generating enzyme, nuclear transcriptional complex) we utilize a combined approach of biochemical, molecular biological and imaging techniques.


Ph.D., Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology 1989

Professional Experience

2009-2017 Associate Professor Adjunct, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), The Scripps Research Institute
2000-2008 Associate Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science (IMS), The Scripps Research Institute
1994-2000 Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute
1990-1992 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute

Selected References

All Publications

Knaus, U.G., Morris, S., Dong, H-J., Chernoff, J. and Bokoch, G.M. Regulation of p21-activated Kinases by Human Leukocyte G Protein-coupled Receptors. Science 269:221-223, 1995.

Arbibe, L., Mira, J-P., Teusch, N., Kline, L., Guha, M., Mackman, N., Godowski, P., Ulevitch, R. and Knaus, U.G. Toll-like receptor2-mediated NF-kB activation requires a Rac1-dependent pathway. Nat. Immunol. 1(6):533-540, 2000.

Bokoch, G.M., and Knaus, U.G. NADPH Oxidases: Not just for leukocytes anymore! Trends Biochem. Sci. 28:502-8, 2003.

Teusch, N., Lombardo, E. Eddelston, J. & Knaus, U.G. The low molecular weight GTPase RhoA and atypical protein kinase PKC_ are required for Toll-like receptor2-mediated gene transcription. J. Immunol. 173:507-514, 2004.