Hubert Amrein, PhD
Professor, Associate Head
Education and Post-Graduate Training
Dr. Hubert Amrein is a professor of Molecular & Cellular Medicine. He received his BS in genetics and molecular biology from the University of Zürich in 1983, his PhD in molecular genetics from the University in Zurich in 1989, under the guidance of Dr. Rolf Nöthiger. Following postdoctoral research in Dr. Tom Maniatis’s (Harvard University) and Dr. Richard Axel’s lab (Columbia University), he became an assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at Duke University in 1998, where he received tenure and was promoted to associate professor in 2005. Amrein joined the faculty at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center in September 2009.
Amrein’s broad research interests are concerned with the sensory perception of the external chemical world. The central questions investigated in the laboratory are concerned with how animals detect and discriminate among the thousands of different chemical signals that “flood” the olfactory and taste organs. The laboratory uses Drosophila as a model to study these problems because the Drosophila chemosensory systems are structurally and functionally very similar to those of mammals, yet they are smaller and somewhat less complex, which makes them excellent models to investigate the molecular and neural basis of olfaction and taste.
The current focus of the lab is to determine the molecular and neural basis of sugar and amino acid perception. In addition, the laboratory seeks to identify and determine the role of pheromone receptors in social behaviors including, courtship and mating, egg laying, and aggression. A new and exciting line of studies involves the search for receptors and signaling molecules involved in auditory perception. Acoustic signals, along with pheromone cues, provide the major sensory input in the social interaction of Drosophila, as well as many other animals.
The laboratory takes advantage of all molecular and genetic tools available in the Drosophila model system, including classic genetic analysis, transgenesis, gene knock out studies using homologous recombination and all types of RNA and DNA analyses (microarray, qRT-PCR, Northern and Southern analysis etc). A variety of cellular and anatomical investigations of the chemosensory systems and the CNS using immunological methods (antibody staining etc), as well as in situ hybridization, are also employed. Finally, the functional analysis of genetically modified animals is pursued using numerous behavioral paradigms and electrophysiological assays.
- Ahn, J.E., Chen, Yu., and Amrein, H. (2017) Molecular basis of fatty acid taste in Drosophila. Elife 6. pii: e30115. doi:10.7554/eLife.30115.
- Miyamoto, T., and Amrein, H. (2017) Gluconeogenesis, an Ancient Biochemical Pathway with a Twist. Fly 11 (1).
- Fujii, S., Emery, P., and Amrein, H. (2017) SIK3-HDAC4 Signaling Regulates Drosophila Male Sex Drive Rhythm via Modulating the DN1 Clock Neurons. PNAS 114 (32), E6669-E6677.
- Chen, Y., and Amrein, H. (2017) Ionotropic Receptors Mediate Drosophila Oviposition Preference Through Sour Gustatory Receptor Neurons. Current Biology 27 (18), 2741-2750.
- Fujii, S., Yavuz, A., Slone, J., Jagge, C., Song, X. and Amrein, H. (2015). Drosophila Sugar Receptors in Sweet Taste Perception, Olfaction and Internal Nutrient Sensing.Current Biology 25 (5).
- Chen, Y. and Amrein, H. (2014) Enhancing Perception of Contaminated Food through Acid-mediated Modulation of Taste Neuron Responses. Current Biology 24 (17), 1969-1977.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25131671
- Miyamoto T., and Amrein, H. (2014) Diverse Roles for the Drosophila Fructose Sensor Gr43a. Fly 8 (1), 19-25.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24406333
- Mishra, D, Miyamoto, T. Rezenom, Y.H., Broussard, A., Yavuz, A., Slone, J. Russell D.H., and Amrein, H. (2013) The Molecular Basis of Sugar Sensing in Drosophila Larvae. Current Biology 23 (15) 1466-1471.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23850280
- Miyamoto, T., Wright, G. and Amrein, H. (2013) Nutrient Sensors. Current Biology 23 (9), R369-R373.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23660359
- Miyamoto T., Chen, Y., Slone J. and Amrein, H. (2013) Identification of a Drosophila Glucose Receptor Using Ca2+ Imaging of Single Chemosensory Neurons. PloS One 8 (2): e56304.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23418550
- Miyamoto, T., Slone, J., Song, X. and Amrein, H. (2012) A fructose receptor functions as a nutrient sensor in the Drosophila brain. Cell 151 (5), 1113-1125.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23178127
- Wang, L., Han, X., Mehren, J., Billeter, J.C., Miyamoto, T., Amrein, H., Levine, J.D. and Anderson, D.J. (2011) Hierarchical chemosensory regulation of male-male social interactions in Drosophila. Nature Neuroscience 14 (6), 757-762.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21516101
- Fujii, S. and Amrein, H. (2010) Ventral lateral and DN1 clock neurons mediate distinct properties of male sex drive rhythm in Drosophila. P.N.A.S. 107 (21), 10590-105959.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20498055
- Miyamoto, T., and Amrein H. (2008). Suppression of male courtship by a Drosophila pheromone receptor. Nature Neuroscience 11 (8), 874-876.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18641642
- Fujii, S. Toyoma, A., and Amrein H. (2008). A male-specific and circadian regulated fatty acid omega-hydroxylase, SXEI, is necessary for efficient male mating in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 180 (1) 179-190.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18716335
- Thorne, N. and Amrein, H. (2008). Atypical Expression of Drosophila gustatory receptor genes in sensory and central neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology 506, 548-568.
- Fujii, S., Krishnan, P., Hardin, P. and Amrein, H. (2007). Nocturnal male sex drive in Drosophila. Current Biology 17 (3), 244-251.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17276917
- Slone, J., Daniels, J. and Amrein. H. (2007). Sugar Receptors in Drosophila. Current Biology 17, 1809-1816.
- Wolf, M.J., Amrein, H., Izatt, J.A., Reedy, M. and Rockman, H.A. (2006). Drosophila as a model for the identification of genes causing adult human heart disease. P.N.A.S. 103 (5), 1394-1399. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16432241
- Amrein, H. and Thorne, N. (2005). Gustatory perception and Behavior of Drosophila melanogaster. Current Biology 15 (17), R673-R684. Review.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16139201
- Amrein, H. (2004). Pheromone Perception and Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 14 (4): 435-442.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15321064
- Larson, M.C., Domingos, A.I., Jones, W.D., Chiappe, M.E., Amrein, H. and Vosshall, L.B. (2004). Or83b encodes an Odorant Receptor Essential for Drosophila Olfaction. Neuron 43 (5): 703-714.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15339651
- Thorne, N., Chromey, C., Bray, S. and Amrein, H. (2004). Taste Perception and Coding in Drosophila. Current Biology 14 (12): 1065-1079.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15202999
- Christopher Jagge, PhD, lab manager
Exchange Student Interns
- Mirella Argilashka, BS candidate (University of Surrey, England)
- Shinsuke Fujii, PhD, Associate Research Scientist
- Tetsuya Miyamoto, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Ji-Eun Ahn, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Yan Chen, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Dushyant Misra, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Nicola Simcock, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Chika Miyamoto, BS