link to RWJMS home page
banner image
Banner Image Here

Zhang, Huaye PhD
Photograph of Huaye Zhang, PhD

Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Virginia, 2004

Phone: (732) 235-3433
: (732) 235-4029


Research interests: Regulation of Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis and Synaptic Plasticity

Our lab is interested in the molecular mechanisms regulating dendritic spine morphogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Dendritic spines are small, actin-rich protrusions that receive most of the excitatory synaptic inputs in the brain. Spines
are plastic in that they change in response to a variety of factors including synaptic activity and aging. This structural plasticity of spines is believed to be an important component of the cellular basis for learning and memory. In addition, abnormalities in the number, size and shape of spines have been linked to various neurological disorders including mental retardation, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that regulate these processes is important for unraveling how information is processed and stored in the brain. We hope our research can shed light on the molecular mechanisms of spine morphogenesis and synaptic plasticity, and how they translate to memory formation and maintenance in vivo.

Publications: For complete list PubMed

West, K.A., Zhang, H., Brown, M.C., Nikolopoulos, S.N., Riedy, M.C., Horwitz, A.F. and Turner,C.E. (2001) The LD4 motif of paxillin regulates cell spreading and motility through an interaction with paxillin kinase linker (PKL). Journal of Cell Biology 54(1):161-76.

Zhang, H., Webb, D.J., Asmussen, H. and Horwitz, A.F. (2003) Synapse formation is regulated by the signaling adaptor GIT1. Journal of Cell Biology 161(1):131-42.

Webb, D.J., Zhang, H. and Horwitz, A.F. (2004) Cell migration: An overview. Methods in Molecular Biology, 294: 3-11.

Zhang, H., Webb, D.J., Asmussen, H., Niu, S. and Horwitz, A.F. (2005) A GIT1/PIX/Rac/PAK signaling module regulates spine morphogenesis and synapse formation through MLC, Journal of Neuroscience. 25(13):3379-88.

Zhang, H. and Macara, I.G. (2006) The polarity protein PAR-3 and TIAM1 cooperate in dendritic spine morphogenesis. Nature Cell Biology 8(3): 227-237.

Webb D.J., Zhang, H., Majumdar, D. and Horwitz, A.F. (2007) alpha 5 integrin signaling regulates the formation of spines and synapses in hippocampal neurons. Journal of Biological Chemistry 282:6929-6935.

Zhang, H. and Macara I.G. (2008) The PAR-6 polarity protein regulates dendritic spine morphogenesis through p190RhoGAP and the Rho GTPase. Developmental Cell 14(2): 216-226.

Zhang, H. Rho GTPases and spines. In: Larry R. Squire, Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, Academic Press, Oxford, 2009; 8:357-364.

Kim, J.-Y., Oh, M.H., Bernard, L.P., Macara, I.G. and Zhang, H. The RhoG/ELMO1/Dock180 signaling module is required for dendritic spine morphogenesis in hippocampal neurons. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2011; 286(43): 37615-24.

Top of Page