Siegfried Musser

Siegfried Musser


Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Room 449A Reynolds Medical Building
College Station, TX   77843

Phone: 979.436.0863
Fax: 979.847.9481

Education and Post-Graduate Training

Dr. Siegfried Musser earned an AB degree in biochemistry with High Distinction from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990.

He then obtained his PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1996, working in the laboratory of Sunney I. Chan.

After postdoctoral work at the University of California, Davis with Steven Theg from 1996-1999 and postdoctoral work at Brandeis University with Jeff Gelles from 1999-2001, he joined the faculty of Texas A&M in 2001.

Research Interests

Since the majority of proteins are synthesized in a different cellular compartment than that in which they carry out their biological function, efficient protein transport machineries exist in many biological membranes. The Musser lab investigates the molecular mechanism of protein transport across: (i) the nuclear envelope via the nuclear pore complex (NPC); and (ii) the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane via the Sec(retion) and Tat (twin-arginine translocation) machineries. We seek to understand how large molecules such as proteins are transported across biological membranes without leakage. Using real-time transport measurements, we expect to construct detailed kinetic models of the stepwise transport, specifically deciphering the energetic driving force behind these processes. Our model systems range from well-established in vitro systems using purified components to transport within intact cells. While many traditional biochemical techniques are used routinely, fluorescence is our primary investigative tool. Strategies are being devised to study all of these protein transport systems using single-molecule particle tracking microscopy techniques.


  • Tu LC, Fu G, Zilman A, Musser SM. (2013) Large cargo transport by nuclear pores: implications for the spatial organization of FG-nucleoporins. EMBO J. 32(24):3220-30. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2013.239. Epub 2013 Nov 8. PMID: 24213245.
  • Sun, C, Fu, G, Ciziene, D, Stewart, M and Musser, SM. (2013) “Choreography of Importin Alpha/CAS Complex Assembly and Disassembly at Nuclear Pores.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 110, E1584-E1593. PMID: 23569239.
  • Whitaker, N, Bageshwar, UK and Musser, SM. (2012) “Kinetics of Precursor Interactions with the Bacterial Tat translocase Detected by Real-time FRET.” J. Biol. Chem. 287, 11252-11260. PMID: 22315217.
  • Liang, F, Bageshwar, UK and Musser, SM. (2012) “Position-dependent Effects of Poly-lysine on Sec Protein Transport.” J. Biol. Chem. 287, 12703-12714. PMID: 22367204.
  • Tu, L and Musser, SM. (2011) “Single Molecule Studies of Nucleocytoplasmic Transport.” Biochim. Biophys. Acta - Mol. Cell Research. 1813, 1607-1618. PMID: 21167872.
  • Liang, F, Bageshwar, UK and Musser, SM. (2009) “Bacterial Sec Protein Transport is Rate-limited by Precursor Length: A Single Turnover Study.” Mol. Biol. Cell. 20, 4256-4266. PMID: 19656854.
  • Bageshwar, UK, Whitaker, N, Liang, F and Musser, SM. (2009) “Interconvertibility of Lipid- and Translocon-bound Forms of the Bacterial Tat Precursor pre-SufI.” Mol. Microbiol. 74, 209-226. PMID: 19732346.
  • Sun, C., Yang, W., Tu, L.-C. and Musser, SM. (2008) "Single Molecular Measurements of Importin Alpha/Cargo Complex Dissociation at the Nuclear Pore." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105, 8613-8618. PMID: 18562297.
  • Bageshwar, UK and Musser, SM. (2007 ) "Two Electrical Potential-Dependent Steps are Required for Transport by the Escherichia coli Tat Machinery." J. Cell Biol. 179, 87-99. PMID: 17908913.
  • Hamai, C, Cremer, PS and Musser, SM. (2007) "Single Giant Vesicle Rupture Events Reveal Multiple Mechanisms of Glass-Supported Bilayer Formation." Biophys. J. 92, 1988-1999. PMID: 17189305.
  • Yang, W and Musser, SM. (2006) "Nuclear Import Time and Transport Efficiency Depend on Importin β Concentration." J. Cell Biol. 174, 951-961. PMID: 16982803.
  • Yang, W and Musser, SM. (2006) "Visualizing Single Molecules Transiting through Nuclear Pore Complexes with Narrow-field Epiflruorescence Microscopy." Methods. 39, 316-328. PMID: 16879979.
  • Hamai, C, Yang, T, Kataoka, S, Cremer, PS and Musser, SM. (2006) "Effect of Average Phosopholipid Curvature on Supported Bilayer Formation on Glass by Vesicle Fusion." Biophys. J. 90, 1241-1248. PMID: 16299084.
  • Yang W, Gelles J, Musser SM. (2004) Imaging of single-molecule translocation through nuclear pore complexes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101(35):12887-92. Epub 2004 Aug 11. PMID: 15306682.

PubMed Search >>