Biological & Environmental Sciences
Mike Gleason, Ph.D.
Cell Biology and Genetics
Education and Research Experience
Research InterestsPresentations and Writings that included GC Students
last updated 9/20/11
Biochemistry, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma
1979 B.S., Biology and Chemistry, Pittsburg State University, Kansas
2002 to present. Biological & Environmental Sciences, GC, Milledgeville, GA
2001. Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
1999 to 2000. Biological & Environmental Sciences, GC&SU, Milledgeville, GA
1992 to 1999. Biology, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
1992. Cell and Molecular Biology, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
1989. Gastroenterology, VA Hospital, Palo Alto, CA
1988. Cell and Developmental Biology, Syntex Pharmaceuticals, Palo Alto, CA
1984 to 1988. Biochemistry, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Cara Teske (2010-)
Jessica Miller (2009-)
Zachery Deckner (2009-)
""Shay"" Oyewole (2011-)
Laurel Jenkins (2010-2011), M.S./Ph.D. candidate, School of Biology, GIT
Benjamin Rosen (2008-2010), in PA program at UAB
Sara Veamoi (2008-2010)
Megan Culligan (2007-2009), Valdosta undergrad.
Matthew Furgerson ( 2007-2010), PhD candidate, Biochem. & Mol. Biol., UGA
Mark Law (2007-2008)
Sasha McKenzie (Fall 2006-2009)
Alemara Montes de Oca (2006-2010)
Jessi Snell, (2006-2008), (Armstrong Grad.), MedTech
Rima Chadhuri (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago)
James Lennon (WVCOM graduate, Practicing DO)
MQ Pham (Pharmacy School)
Lee Owen (Nurse)
Abesolum Geletu (2010-2011)
David Nix, Ph.D. candidate, Biochem. & Mol. Biol. (2008-2010), UGA
David Brandon Bradley, PA Program (2009), Tennessee
Prasanna Abeyranthe, Ph.D. candidate (2008-2009), Medical College of Georgia (GHSU)
Ashutosh Wadhwa, D.V.M Ph.D. candidate (2008-2009), Univ of Tenn, Knoxville
Katy Bruce (2006-2008), Ph.D. candidate, School of Biology, GIT
Spencer Pucci (2006-2007), Instructor Perimeter College
James Lennon, WVCOM grad. (Practicing DO)
Katie Cockeram, Teacher (Brunswick)
The Gleason lab uses genetic and biochemical methods to study the cell biology of proteins. This work involves the growth of microbes, microscopy, spectroscopy, the isolation of natural products, and a variety of biochemical and genetic methods that examine protein, DNA, and RNA.
One area of active investigation examines self-aggregating proteins, called amyloids, that can in some cases can be infectious (prions). Amyloids and prions are best known for their association with many slow human diseases. For example, Alzheimer's disease is triggered by the A-beta amyloid, and vCJD (the human form of "mad cow") is triggered by PrP. It is believed that all life forms have several amyloids as part of their proteome. In our lab, we study the amyloids of yeast and bacteria. In yeast we look at a well-studied example, the [PSI+] prion, and use this model system to examine how plant extracts may "cure" cells of these aggregates (Jenkins et al., 2011). Work with yeast prions has lead the way in solving many of the mysteries of human prion and amyloid diseases. Another line of amyloid investigation in our lab involves bacterial biofilms that often contain a network of amyloids that dramatically increase their hardiness, and in the case of pathogens, their virulence (see Romero et al., 2010). Interestingly, not all amyloids are bad, in fact the melanization of your skin, and perhaps even your ability to remember what you have read here today, depend on functional amyloids and prions. Dr. Gleason's background in the area of amyloids goes back to a sabbatical with Dr. Yury Chernoff at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2001. Dr. Chernoff is a recognized world leader in this area of research and heads the NanoMad Center at Georgia Tech.
Dr. Gleason also has a long-time interest in the membrane trafficking of an important human prohormone processing protease called furin (Farrell et al., 2011). By studying how furin traffics in the heterologous yeast system, we have discovered that yeast possess a PACS-1-like molecule known to be vital to keeping furin in the human trans-Golgi network (TGN). Furin is a significant protein in humans, as its highly specific proteolytic action activates hormones in humans that are necessary in many physiological systems, e.g., the development of a healthy immune system. When furin is no longer retrieved to the TGN by PACS-1, opportunistic viruses and bacterial toxins can become activated by it. Interestingly, furin belongs to a highly conserved class of proteins which include others like Kex2p (in yeast) and subtilisin (in bacteria). In yeast we take advantage of this strong homology to elucidate common cellular processes that govern protein trafficking in eukaryotes. Dr. Gleason's background in this area of trafficking goes back to his work at Stanford University in the 1980s (Wieland et al., 1987; Melancon et al., 1987) and over the years he has interacted with Dr. Robert Fuller, now at the University of Michigan, and a world leader in the field of prohormone processing protease cell biology and membrane trafficking.
In support of this research, Dr. Gleason regularly teaches coursework in Membrane Physiology, Amyloids and Prions, and Yeast Biology.
Biochemistry of snake venoms and pathophysiology of envenomation, biochemistry of glucocorticoid steroid hormone receptor, and immunology and virology of rotavirus, and bird (Seriema) DNA phylogenetics..
Presentations and Writings that Included GC Students:
Alison Farrell, Katherine Keltner, Kathryn Bruce, Jessica Snell, Mark Law, Matthew Furgerson, David Nix, Michael Gleason, (2011) The Furin Cytoplasmic Domain is Localized to the trans-Golgi Network of Yeast, International Journal of Biology, 3(3):3-17. www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijb/article/download/7168/8010
Laurel Jenkins, Zachery Deckner, Cara Teske, Jessica Miller, and Mike Gleason - Modeling a Cure for Amyloids and Prions in Yeast. 14th Georgia College Student Research Conference, Spring 2011. Poster #20. http://www.gcsu.edu/engagement/studentresearch/researchconference.htm
Nix, D.B., M. C. Furgerson, K. L. Bruce, M. L. Gleason (2009) Furin Is Localized in the trans-Golgi Network of Saccharomyces cerevisiae by Sorting Signals that Retain the Protein in Human Cells. American Society for Cell Biology Meeting, San Diego, CA. Abstract 2272/B649, pp. 1095. http://www.ascb.org/files/2009_Regular_Abstracts.pdf
Matthew Furgerson, David Nix, Ashutosh Wadhawa, M. L. Gleason April 17, 2009. GCSU Student Research Conference.Matthew Furgerson, Michael L. Gleason "Evidence that a PACS-1 Sorting Molecule May Exist in Yeast. 11th Annual Georgia College Student Research Conference. April 11, 2008.
K. L. Bruce, M. C. Furgerson, M. F. Law, M. L. Gleason. Poster Presentation (#33A) at the 2008 Southeast Regional Yeast Meeting (SERYM) in Gatlinburg, TN, hosted by the University of Tennessee. "TGN Sorting Signals that Localize the Human Furin Cytosolic Tail to the Late Golgi in Yeast may Involve a PACS-1-like Molecule" abstract, pp. 27-28.
R. D. Wegrzyn, G. P. Newnam, K. D. Allen, L. Ozolins, J. Birchmore, M. Gleason and Y. O. Chernoff "Modulation of prion formation and maintenance in yeast by cytoskeletal and stress-related proteins", SERYM 2002: South Eastern Regional Yeast Meeting, Gatlinburg, TN, pp. 16-17. March 8-10, 2002.
Spencer Pucci, Chevenne Simmons, Michael Gleason and Y. Ellen France, "Mutagenesis of the Sec15 Subunit of the Exocyst Complex in Yeast", 9th Annual Georgia College Student Research Conference, March 31, 2006. Abstract in proceedings, p. 7.
David Nix, Munis Lukman, Michael Gleason and Y. Ellen France, "Phenotypic Screening of Mutagenized SEC15 Protein, An Essential Subunit of Yeast Secretory Exocyst Complex" , 9th Annual Georgia College Student Research Conference, March 31, 2006. Abstract in proceedings, p. 8.
Daniel Price, Chevenne Simmons, Michael Gleason and Y. Ellen France, "Mutagenesis of the Sec15 Subunit of the Exocyst Complex in Yeast", Georgia Academy of Sciences, March 24, 2006. Georgia Perimeter College, Lawerenceville, GA. Georgia Journal of Science 64(1):17-18.
David Nix, Munis Lukman, Michael Gleason and Y. Ellen France, "Phenotypic Screening of Mutagenized SEC15 Protein, An Essential Subunit of Yeast Secretory Exocyst Complex", Georgia Academy of Sciences, March 24, 2006. Georgia Perimeter College, Lawerenceville, GA. Georgia Journal of Science 64(1):18.
Mark Law, M. L. Gleason, K. L. Bruce, S. L. Pucci. 72nd Annual Meeting of the Florida Academy of Sciences (Held jointly with the Georgia Academy of Sciences). "The Elucidation of Localization Signals in the Cytosolic Tail of the Kex2p-furin construct using site directed mutagenesis." Florida Scientist Vol. 71 (Supplement 1) Abstract (#BIO-03), p. 30.
Pham, M-Q and Gleason, M. L. (2003) "Actin Cytoskeleton and the Maintenance of [PSI+] Prion in Yeast", Georgia Academy of Sciences, Georgia Journal of Science, 61(1): 37-8. (March 21, 2003)
Cockeram, K. L., Stenmark, C. L., Chandler, R. M., Gleason, M. L. (2003) "Pylogenetic Relationship of Seriemas to Musophagidae and other Bird Families", Georgia Academy of Sciences, Georgia Journal of Science, 61(1): 22-3. (March 21, 2003)
M. L. Gleason, K. C. McGill and L. P. Owen (2001) "Ampicillin Resistance in Fecal Coliforms of Canoochee River", Proceedings of the 2001 Georgia Water Resources Conference, pp. 412-415.