Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Rochester (2017)
  • Bachelor of Science, S.U.N.Y. College At Geneseo (2012)
  • Master of Science, University of Rochester (2015)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Production of Phosphorylated Ric-8A proteins using protein kinase CK2 PROTEIN EXPRESSION AND PURIFICATION Yu, W., Yu, M., Papasergi-Scott, M. M., Tall, G. G. 2019; 154: 98–103


    Resistance to Inhibitors of Cholinesterase-8 (Ric-8) proteins are molecular chaperones that fold heterotrimeric G protein α subunits shortly after biosynthesis. Ric-8 proteins also act as test tube guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEF) that promote Gα subunit GDP for GTP exchange. The GEF and chaperoning activities of Ric-8A are regulated by phosphorylation of five serine and threonine residues within protein kinase CK2 consensus sites. The traditional way that Ric-8A proteins have been purified is from Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) or Trichoplusia ni (Tni) insect cells. Endogenous insect cell kinases do phosphorylate the critical regulatory sites of recombinant Ric-8A reasonably well, but there is batch-to-batch variability among recombinant Ric-8A preparations. Additionally, insect cell-production of some Ric-8 proteins with phosphosite alanine substitution mutations is proscribed as there seems to be interdependency of multi-site phosphorylation for functional protein production. Here, we present a method to produce wild type and phosphosite mutant Ric-8A proteins that are fully occupied with bound phosphate at each of the regulatory positions. Ric-8A proteins were expressed and purified from E. coli. Purified Ric-8A was phosphorylated in vitro with protein kinase CK2 and then re-isolated to remove kinase. The phosphorylated Ric-8A proteins were ∼99% pure and the completeness of phosphorylation was verified by chromatography, phos-tag SDS-PAGE mobility shifts, immunoblotting using phospho-site specific antibodies, and mass spectrometry analysis. E. coli-produced Ric-8A that was phosphorylated using this method promoted a faster rate of Gα subunit guanine nucleotide exchange than Ric-8A that was variably phosphorylated during production in insect cells.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pep.2018.10.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000451654000013

    View details for PubMedID 30290220

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6240494

  • Dual phosphorylation of Ric-8A enhances its ability to mediate G protein alpha subunit folding and to stimulate guanine nucleotide exchange SCIENCE SIGNALING Papasergi-Scott, M. M., Stoveken, H. M., Macconnachie, L., Chan, P., Gabay, M., Wong, D., Freeman, R. S., Beg, A. A., Tall, G. G. 2018; 11 (532)


    Resistance to inhibitors of cholinesterase-8A (Ric-8A) and Ric-8B are essential biosynthetic chaperones for heterotrimeric G protein α subunits. We provide evidence for the direct regulation of Ric-8A cellular activity by dual phosphorylation. Using proteomics, Western blotting, and mutational analyses, we determined that Ric-8A was constitutively phosphorylated at five serines and threonines by the protein kinase CK2. Phosphorylation of Ser435 and Thr440 in rat Ric-8A (corresponding to Ser436 and Thr441 in human Ric-8A) was required for high-affinity binding to Gα subunits, efficient stimulation of Gα subunit guanine nucleotide exchange, and mediation of Gα subunit folding. The CK2 consensus sites that contain Ser435 and Thr440 are conserved in Ric-8 homologs from worms to mammals. We found that the homologous residues in mouse Ric-8B, Ser468 and Ser473, were also phosphorylated. Mutation of the genomic copy of ric-8 in Caenorhabditis elegans to encode alanine in the homologous sites resulted in characteristic ric-8 reduction-of-function phenotypes that are associated with defective Gq and Gs signaling, including reduced locomotion and defective egg laying. The C. elegans ric-8 phosphorylation site mutant phenotypes were partially rescued by chemical stimulation of Gq signaling. These results indicate that dual phosphorylation represents a critical form of conserved Ric-8 regulation and demonstrate that Ric-8 proteins are needed for effective Gα signaling. The position of the CK2-phosphorylated sites within a structural model of Ric-8A reveals that these sites contribute to a key acidic and negatively charged surface that may be important for its interactions with Gα subunits.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scisignal.aap8113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000433426900003

    View details for PubMedID 29844055

  • The G Protein alpha Chaperone Ric-8 as a Potential Therapeutic Target MOLECULAR PHARMACOLOGY Papasergi, M. M., Patel, B. R., Tall, G. G. 2015; 87 (1): 52–63


    Resistance to inhibitors of cholinesterase (Ric-8)A and Ric-8B are essential genes that encode positive regulators of heterotrimeric G protein α subunits. Controversy persists surrounding the precise way(s) that Ric-8 proteins affect G protein biology and signaling. Ric-8 proteins chaperone nucleotide-free Gα-subunit states during biosynthetic protein folding prior to G protein heterotrimer assembly. In organisms spanning the evolutionary window of Ric-8 expression, experimental perturbation of Ric-8 genes results in reduced functional abundances of G proteins because G protein α subunits are misfolded and degraded rapidly. Ric-8 proteins also act as Gα-subunit guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) in vitro. However, Ric-8 GEF activity could strictly be an in vitro phenomenon stemming from the ability of Ric-8 to induce partial Gα unfolding, thereby enhancing GDP release. Ric-8 GEF activity clearly differs from the GEF activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). G protein βγ is inhibitory to Ric-8 action but obligate for receptors. It remains an open question whether Ric-8 has dual functions in cells and regulates G proteins as both a molecular chaperone and GEF. Clearly, Ric-8 has a profound influence on heterotrimeric G protein function. For this reason, we propose that Ric-8 proteins are as yet untested therapeutic targets in which pharmacological inhibition of the Ric-8/Gα protein-protein interface could serve to attenuate the effects of disease-causing G proteins (constitutively active mutants) and/or GPCR signaling. This minireview will chronicle the understanding of Ric-8 function, provide a comparative discussion of the Ric-8 molecular chaperoning and GEF activities, and support the case for why Ric-8 proteins should be considered potential targets for development of new therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1124/mol.114.094664

    View details for Web of Science ID 000346187500006

    View details for PubMedID 25319541

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4279082