Professor Robert Parton

ARC Laureate Fellow - Group Leader

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Affiliate Professor

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
r.parton@imb.uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 62032

Overview

Our research focuses on understanding how cells work and what goes wrong in disease. We are studying the role of cellular organelles in defence against pathogens, the molecular changes underlying muscle disease, and optimising methods to deliver therapeutics to specific cell types in whole animals.

Professor Robert Parton is an ARC Laureate Fellow, a group leader in the IMB Centre for Cell Biology of Chronic Disease, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and an Associate Member of EMBO.

Research Interests

  • Multiscale analysis of cellular membrane function
    Each of the cells that make up the organs of our bodies is enclosed by a plasma membrane, a complex sheet made up of lipids (fats) and proteins. The plasma membrane plays a crucial role in detecting signals for growth or in taking nutrients up into the cell. At the same time the plasma membrane protects the cell against unwanted invaders and must remain intact in the face of considerable forces. The properties of the plasma membrane rely on the specialisation of the plasma membrane into regions of specific function. The Parton group are studying caveolae, a specialised domain of the cell surface with a distinct structure (see Figure). Caveolae have been implicated in the regulation of cell growth and in maintaining the balance of lipids in the cell. Defective caveolae in human patients are associated with cancer, lipodystrophies (lack of fat tissue), muscular dystrophy, and cardiac disease. We have shown that caveolae can respond to forces on the plasma membrane by flattening and releasing proteins into the cell. In addition, we have shown that caveolae can respond to other signals, such as oxidative stress. We are now studying how these functions of caveolae are disrupted in human disease conditions. A significant goal of the group is to move from cell culture systems to studying cell biology in the whole organism. For this we extensively use the zebrafish, Danio rerio, as a model system. We are interested in using these systems to dissect how nanoparticles can be targeted to specific cell types, such as cancer cells. Finally, we have a major interest in the way that cells defend against invading pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. We have shown that cellular organelles that store fat, called lipid droplets, can kill invading bacteria. With our international collaborators, we are now unravelling the mechanisms and molecules involved in this novel defence pathway.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Biochemistry), University of Leicester
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Biochemistry), University of Edinburgh

Publications

  • Safi, Rémi, Sánchez-Álvarez, Miguel, Bosch, Marta, Demangel, Caroline, Parton, Robert G. and Pol, Albert (2023). Defensive-lipid droplets: cellular organelles designed for antimicrobial immunity. Immunological Reviews, 317 (1), 113-136. doi: 10.1111/imr.13199

  • Morales-Paytuví, Frederic, Fajardo, Alba, Ruiz-Mirapeix, Carles, Rae, James, Tebar, Francesc, Bosch, Marta, Enrich, Carlos, Collins, Brett M., Parton, Robert G. and Pol, Albert (2023). Early proteostasis of caveolins synchronizes trafficking, degradation, and oligomerization to prevent toxic aggregation. Journal of Cell Biology, 222 (9) e202204020. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202204020

  • Kenworthy, Anne K., Han, Bing, Ariotti, Nicholas and Parton, Robert G. (2023). The role of membrane lipids in the formation and function of caveolae. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 15 (9) a041413, 1-19. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a041413

  • Wu, Yeping, Lim, Ye-Wheen and Parton, Robert G. (2023). Caveolae and the oxidative stress response. Biochemical Society Transactions, 51 (3), 1377-1385. doi: 10.1042/bst20230121

  • Larsson, Elin, Morén, Björn, McMahon, Kerrie-Ann, Parton, Robert G. and Lundmark, Richard (2023). Dynamin2 functions as an accessory protein to reduce the rate of caveola internalization. Journal of Cell Biology, 222 (4) e202205122. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202205122

  • Wu, Yeping, Lim, Ye-Wheen, Stroud, David A., Martel, Nick, Hall, Thomas E., Lo, Harriet P., Ferguson, Charles, Ryan, Michael T., McMahon, Kerrie-Ann and Parton, Robert G. (2023). Caveolae sense oxidative stress through membrane lipid peroxidation and cytosolic release of CAVIN1 to regulate NRF2. Developmental Cell, 58 (5), 376-397.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2023.02.004

  • Griffiths, Gareth, Gruenberg, Jean, Marsh, Mark, Wohlmann, Jens, Jones, Arwyn T. and Parton, Robert G. (2022). Nanoparticle entry into cells; the cell biology weak link. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 188 114403, 1-44. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2022.114403

  • Peddie, Christopher J., Genoud, Christel, Kreshuk, Anna, Meechan, Kimberly, Micheva, Kristina D., Narayan, Kedar, Pape, Constantin, Parton, Robert G., Schieber, Nicole L., Schwab, Yannick, Titze, Benjamin, Verkade, Paul, Weigel, Aubrey and Collinson, Lucy M. (2022). Volume electron microscopy. Nature Reviews Methods Primers, 2 (1) 51, 51. doi: 10.1038/s43586-022-00131-9

  • Lo, Harriet P., Lim, Ye-Wheen, Xiong, Zherui, Martel, Nick, Ferguson, Charles, Ariotti, Nicholas, Giacomotto, Jean, Rae, James, Floetenmeyer, Matthias, Moradi, Shayli Varasteh, Gao, Ya, Tillu, Vikas A., Xia, Di, Wang, Huang, Rahnama, Samira, Nixon, Susan J., Bastiani, Michele, Day, Ryan D., Smith, Kelly A., Palpant, Nathan J., Johnston, Wayne A., Alexandrov, Kirill, Collins, Brett M., Hall, Thomas E. and Parton, Robert G. (2021). Cavin4 interacts with Bin1 to promote T-tubule formation and stability in developing skeletal muscle. Journal of Cell Biology, 220 (12) e201905065. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201905065

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Grants

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • Contact Prof. Parton for further details

  • Contact Prof. Parton for further details

  • Contact Prof. Parton for further details

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

  • Safi, Rémi, Sánchez-Álvarez, Miguel, Bosch, Marta, Demangel, Caroline, Parton, Robert G. and Pol, Albert (2023). Defensive-lipid droplets: cellular organelles designed for antimicrobial immunity. Immunological Reviews, 317 (1), 113-136. doi: 10.1111/imr.13199

  • Morales-Paytuví, Frederic, Fajardo, Alba, Ruiz-Mirapeix, Carles, Rae, James, Tebar, Francesc, Bosch, Marta, Enrich, Carlos, Collins, Brett M., Parton, Robert G. and Pol, Albert (2023). Early proteostasis of caveolins synchronizes trafficking, degradation, and oligomerization to prevent toxic aggregation. Journal of Cell Biology, 222 (9) e202204020. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202204020

  • Kenworthy, Anne K., Han, Bing, Ariotti, Nicholas and Parton, Robert G. (2023). The role of membrane lipids in the formation and function of caveolae. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 15 (9) a041413, 1-19. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a041413

  • Wu, Yeping, Lim, Ye-Wheen and Parton, Robert G. (2023). Caveolae and the oxidative stress response. Biochemical Society Transactions, 51 (3), 1377-1385. doi: 10.1042/bst20230121

  • Larsson, Elin, Morén, Björn, McMahon, Kerrie-Ann, Parton, Robert G. and Lundmark, Richard (2023). Dynamin2 functions as an accessory protein to reduce the rate of caveola internalization. Journal of Cell Biology, 222 (4) e202205122. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202205122

  • Wu, Yeping, Lim, Ye-Wheen, Stroud, David A., Martel, Nick, Hall, Thomas E., Lo, Harriet P., Ferguson, Charles, Ryan, Michael T., McMahon, Kerrie-Ann and Parton, Robert G. (2023). Caveolae sense oxidative stress through membrane lipid peroxidation and cytosolic release of CAVIN1 to regulate NRF2. Developmental Cell, 58 (5), 376-397.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2023.02.004

  • Griffiths, Gareth, Gruenberg, Jean, Marsh, Mark, Wohlmann, Jens, Jones, Arwyn T. and Parton, Robert G. (2022). Nanoparticle entry into cells; the cell biology weak link. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 188 114403, 1-44. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2022.114403

  • Peddie, Christopher J., Genoud, Christel, Kreshuk, Anna, Meechan, Kimberly, Micheva, Kristina D., Narayan, Kedar, Pape, Constantin, Parton, Robert G., Schieber, Nicole L., Schwab, Yannick, Titze, Benjamin, Verkade, Paul, Weigel, Aubrey and Collinson, Lucy M. (2022). Volume electron microscopy. Nature Reviews Methods Primers, 2 (1) 51, 51. doi: 10.1038/s43586-022-00131-9

  • Lo, Harriet P., Lim, Ye-Wheen, Xiong, Zherui, Martel, Nick, Ferguson, Charles, Ariotti, Nicholas, Giacomotto, Jean, Rae, James, Floetenmeyer, Matthias, Moradi, Shayli Varasteh, Gao, Ya, Tillu, Vikas A., Xia, Di, Wang, Huang, Rahnama, Samira, Nixon, Susan J., Bastiani, Michele, Day, Ryan D., Smith, Kelly A., Palpant, Nathan J., Johnston, Wayne A., Alexandrov, Kirill, Collins, Brett M., Hall, Thomas E. and Parton, Robert G. (2021). Cavin4 interacts with Bin1 to promote T-tubule formation and stability in developing skeletal muscle. Journal of Cell Biology, 220 (12) e201905065. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201905065

Book Chapter

  • Lim, Ye-Wheen, Lo, Harriet P., Hall, Thomas E. and Parton, Robert G. (2020). Live confocal imaging of zebrafish notochord cells under mechanical stress in vivo. Caveolae: methods and protocols. (pp. 175-187) edited by Cedric M. Blouin. New York, NY, United States: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0732-9_16

  • Parton, R. G. (2015). Clathrin independent endocytosis. Encyclopedia of cell biology. (pp. 394-400) edited by Ralph A. Bradshaw and Philip D. Stahl. Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394447-4.20039-4

  • Schieber, Nicole L., Nixon, Susan J., Webb, Richard I., Oorschot, Viola M. J. and Parton, Robert G. (2010). Modern approaches for ultrastructural analysis of the zebrafish embryo. Electron microscopy of model systems. (pp. 425-442) edited by Thomas Müller-Reichert, Leslie Wilson and Paul Matsudaira. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/S0091-679X(10)96018-4

  • Evans, Timothy M., Simpson, Fiona, Parton, Robert G. and Wicking, Carol (2005). Characterization of Rab23, a negative regulator of sonic hedgehog signaling. GTPases regulating membrane targeting and fusion. (pp. 759-777) edited by William E. Balch, Channing J. Der and Alan Hall. Maryland Heights, MO, United States: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(05)03066-1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

  • Fonseka, Sachini, Weger, Benjamin D., Weger, Meltem, Martel, Nick, Hall, Thomas Edward, Varasteh Moradi, Shayli, Gabriel, Christian H., Kramer, Achim, Ferguson, Charles, Fernández-Rojo, Manuel A., Alexandrov, Kirill, Rawashdeh, Oliver, McMahon, Kerrie-Ann, Gachon, Frederic and Parton, Robert G. (2022). A role for caveolar proteins in regulation of the circadian clock.

  • Parton, R. G. (2002). Caveolins.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Contact Prof. Parton for further details

  • Contact Prof. Parton for further details

  • Contact Prof. Parton for further details

  • Contact Prof. Parton for further details