Bob Gundersen


  • B.S. Biology, University of Lowell, 1979
  • Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of Texas, 1983

Research Interests

How do cells respond to extracellular stimuli? What are the components of a cell’s response system and how are these components regulated? Cell stimulus response systems are referred to as Signal Transduction Pathways. A common eukaryotic signal transduction pathway is the G protein-mediated pathway in which G proteins link cell surface receptors to the appropriate effector (response) systems

gundersen researchWe use techniques in cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology to examine G protein-mediated signal transduction. The soil amoebae, Dictyostelium is employed and serves as a model system for examining the roles G proteins play in cell physiology.

In Dictyostelium discoideum, a single G protein a-subunit, Ga2, controls entry into the developmental phase of the cell’s life cycle. Ga2 regulates three different effector systems; guanylyl cyclase, adenylyl cyclase and phospholipase C. How activation of each effector occurs through Ga2 and how this translates into the developmental process is being examined. Present research aims to understand how covalent modification of Ga2 by phosphate, myristate and palmitate regulate Ga2 function.

Selected Publications

  • Sarah Alamer, Yusuke Kageyama, Robert E. Gundersen 2018 Localization of palmitoylated and activated G protein α-subunit in Dictyostelium discoideum. J. Cell. Biochem.; 119:4975–4989.
  • Gundersen, R.E., You, J., McCarty, C., Farnham, K., Rauch, S. Willis, N. and Prince, A. 2005 Loss-of-function mutations identified in the Helical domain of the G Protein α-subunit, Gα2, of Dictyostelium discoideum. BBA. 1722; 262-270.
  • Root, P.A., Prince, A., and Gundersen, R.E. 1999 Aggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum is dependent on myristoylation and membrane localization of the G protein α-subunit, Gα2. J. Cell. Biochem. 74; 301-311.
  • Gundersen, R.E. 1997 Phosphorylation of the G protein α-subunit, Gα2, of Dictyostelium discoideum requires a functional and activated Gα2. J. Cell. Biochem. 66:268-276.
  • Chen, M.Y., P.N. Devreotes, and R.E. Gundersen 1994 Serine-113 is the Site of Receptor-Mediated Phosphorylation of the Dictyostelium G Protein α-subunit, Gα2. J. Biol. Chem. 269, 20925-20930.