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Balla, TAMAS

Formal Title:

Senior Investigator


Dr. Balla is heading the Section on Molecular Signal Transduction within the Program for Developmental Neuroscience





35A CONVENT DR Room 2D842, MSC 3752
Bethesda ,MD 20892

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Tamas Balla received his MD degree from Semmelweis University, School of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary in 1979 and earned his Ph.D. from the Hungarian National Academy of Science in 1987. He was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology at Semmelweis in 1979 and held this position until 1992. He did his postdoctoral training at the NICHD between 1985-87 with Dr. Kevin Catt and returned to the NIH in 1989. He became a tenure-track investigator in 1997 in the Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch, leading the Section of Molecular Signal Transduction and received his tenure in 2004. Currently he is a Senior Investigator leading the same Section, which is now part of the Program for Developmental Neuroscience within the NICHD, NIH. In 2009 Dr. Balla received a D.Sc. degree from the Hungarian Academy of Science and was elected into the Hungarian Academy of Science in 2010.

Dr. Balla started his research by studying the receptors and signaling pathways mediating the actions of angiotensin II in the adrenal cortex. As it turned out, these receptors (as many others) utilize the phosphoinositide – phospholipase C -calcium – signaling cascade and the unfolding of this system turned Dr. Balla’s attention to inositol phospholipids. While studying the metabolism of Ins(1,4,5)P3, he and his colleagues discovered a novel pathway that linked Ins(1,4,5)P3 production to highly phosphorylated inositols and that these metabolites showed long-term changes after agonist stimulation. In the mid 90’s he and his colleagues were the first to discover that the signaling pool of phosphoinositides in the plasma membrane is synthesized by type III PI 4-kinases (not by the type II forms as previously believed). He led the efforts to purify and clone these enzymes from bovine adrenal and -brain and study their functions in cellular physiology. The cellular distribution of these enzymes have clearly indicated that their functions are linked to a variety of trafficking events in addition to their roles in receptor signaling. The highly localized inositide changes prompted Dr. Balla to experiment with fluorescent methods to visualize the cellular distribution and dynamics of inositol lipid changes in live cells. His group was one of the firsts to report on live cell imaging of PtdIns(4,5)P2 and PtdIns(3,4,5)P3. Since then his research is primarily concerned with the roles of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase enzymes in cellular trafficking and signaling. He also continues to focus on improving methods by which to visualize and manipulate phosphoinositides and other lipids in specific cellular compartments in intact living cells.

Dr. Balla has been elected as an outside member of the Hungarian National Academy of Science. He is member of the American Society of Cell Biology, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Hungarian Physiological Society. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Neurochemistry International, and he is an Associate Editor of BMC Cell Biology. He has published over 140 articles and was invited to speak in numerous national and international conferences.

Publications (PubMed):

Title Authors Publication Date
Two phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases control lysosomal delivery of the Gaucher disease enzyme, ß-glucocerebrosidase.Jovic M,Kean MJ,Szentpetery Z,Polevoy G,Gingras AC,Brill JA,Balla TMol Biol Cell2012 Apr
A highly dynamic ER-derived phosphatidylinositol-synthesizing organelle supplies phosphoinositides to cellular membranes.Kim YJ,Guzman-Hernandez ML,Balla TDev Cell2011 Nov 15
Intracellular curvature-generating proteins in cell-to-cell fusion.Richard JP,Leikina E,Langen R,Henne WM,Popova M,Balla T,McMahon HT,Kozlov MM,Chernomordik LVBiochem J2011 Dec 1
A homogeneous and nonisotopic assay for phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases.Tai AW,Bojjireddy N,Balla TAnal Biochem2011 Oct 1
Genetic and functional studies of phosphatidyl-inositol 4-kinase type IIIa.Szentpetery Z,Szakacs G,Bojjireddy N,Tai AW,Balla TBiochim Biophys Acta2011 Jul-Aug
Dependence of STIM1/Orai1-mediated calcium entry on plasma membrane phosphoinositides.Korzeniowski MK,Popovic MA,Szentpetery Z,Varnai P,Stojilkovic SS,Balla TJ Biol Chem2009 Jul 31
Finding partners for PI3Kgamma: when 84 is better than 101.Balla TSci Signal2009 Jun 9
Store-operated Ca2+ influx and subplasmalemmal mitochondria.Korzeniowski MK,Szanda G,Balla T,Spät ACell Calcium2009 Jul
PI4P and PI(4,5)P2 are essential but independent lipid determinants of membrane identity.Hammond GR,Fischer MJ,Anderson KE,Holdich J,Koteci A,Balla T,Irvine RFScience2012 Aug 10
Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases: hostages harnessed to build panviral replication platforms.Altan-Bonnet N,Balla TTrends Biochem Sci2012 Jul
Acute depletion of plasma membrane phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate impairs specific steps in endocytosis of the G-protein-coupled receptor.Tóth DJ,Tóth JT,Gulyás G,Balla A,Balla T,Hunyady L,Várnai PJ Cell Sci2012 May 1
Recruitment and activation of a lipid kinase by hepatitis C virus NS5A is essential for integrity of the membranous replication compartment.Reiss S,Rebhan I,Backes P,Romero-Brey I,Erfle H,Matula P,Kaderali L,Poenisch M,Blankenburg H,Hiet MS,Longerich T,Diehl S,Ramirez F,Balla T,Rohr K,Kaul A,Bühler S,Pepperkok R,Lengauer T,Albrecht M,Eils R,Schirmacher P,Lohmann V,Bartenschlager RCell Host Microbe2011 Jan 20
Activation of STIM1-Orai1 involves an intramolecular switching mechanism.Korzeniowski MK,Manjarrés IM,Varnai P,Balla TSci Signal2010 Nov 16
Demonstration of angiotensin II-induced Ras activation in the trans-Golgi network and endoplasmic reticulum using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensors.Balla A,Erdélyi LS,Soltész-Katona E,Balla T,Várnai P,Hunyady LJ Biol Chem2011 Feb 18
Imaging interorganelle contacts and local calcium dynamics at the ER-mitochondrial interface.Csordás G,Várnai P,Golenár T,Roy S,Purkins G,Schneider TG,Balla T,Hajnóczky GMol Cell2010 Jul 9
Viral reorganization of the secretory pathway generates distinct organelles for RNA replication.Hsu NY,Ilnytska O,Belov G,Santiana M,Chen YH,Takvorian PM,Pau C,van der Schaar H,Kaushik-Basu N,Balla T,Cameron CE,Ehrenfeld E,van Kuppeveld FJ,Altan-Bonnet NCell2010 May 28
Acute manipulation of Golgi phosphoinositides to assess their importance in cellular trafficking and signaling.Szentpetery Z,Várnai P,Balla TProc Natl Acad Sci U S A2010 May 4
Putting G protein-coupled receptor-mediated activation of phospholipase C in the limelight.Balla TJ Gen Physiol2010 Feb
Dual roles for the Drosophila PI 4-kinase four wheel drive in localizing Rab11 during cytokinesis.Polevoy G,Wei HC,Wong R,Szentpetery Z,Kim YJ,Goldbach P,Steinbach SK,Balla T,Brill JAJ Cell Biol2009 Dec 14
Crucial role of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIalpha in development of zebrafish pectoral fin is linked to phosphoinositide 3-kinase and FGF signaling.Ma H,Blake T,Chitnis A,Liu P,Balla TJ Cell Sci2009 Dec 1
Green light to illuminate signal transduction events.Balla TTrends Cell Biol2009 Nov
Live cell imaging with protein domains capable of recognizing phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate; a comparative study.Szentpetery Z,Balla A,Kim YJ,Lemmon MA,Balla TBMC Cell Biol2009 Sep 21
Phosphoinositide signaling: new tools and insights.Balla T,Szentpetery Z,Kim YJPhysiology (Bethesda)2009 Aug
A PH domain in the Arf GTPase-activating protein (GAP) ARAP1 binds phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate and regulates Arf GAP activity independently of recruitment to the plasma membranes.Campa F,Yoon HY,Ha VL,Szentpetery Z,Balla T,Randazzo PAJ Biol Chem2009 Oct 9
Regulation of Ca2+ entry by inositol lipids in mammalian cells by multiple mechanisms.Balla TCell Calcium2009 Jun
Visualization of cellular phosphoinositide pools with GFP-fused protein-domains.Balla T,Várnai PCurr Protoc Cell Biol2009 Mar
STIM and Orai: the long-awaited constituents of store-operated calcium entry.Várnai P,Hunyady L,Balla TTrends Pharmacol Sci2009 Mar
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli subverts phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate upon epithelial cell infection.Sason H,Milgrom M,Weiss AM,Melamed-Book N,Balla T,Grinstein S,Backert S,Rosenshine I,Aroeti BMol Biol Cell2009 Jan
Live cell imaging of phosphoinositides with expressed inositide binding protein domains.Várnai P,Balla TMethods2008 Nov
G protein-coupled receptor-promoted trafficking of Gbeta1gamma2 leads to AKT activation at endosomes via a mechanism mediated by Gbeta1gamma2-Rab11a interaction.García-Regalado A,Guzmán-Hernández ML,Ramírez-Rangel I,Robles-Molina E,Balla T,Vázquez-Prado J,Reyes-Cruz GMol Biol Cell2008 Oct
Design of drug-resistant alleles of type-III phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases using mutagenesis and molecular modeling.Balla A,Tuymetova G,Toth B,Szentpetery Z,Zhao X,Knight ZA,Shokat K,Steinbach PJ,Balla TBiochemistry2008 Feb 12
Maintenance of hormone-sensitive phosphoinositide pools in the plasma membrane requires phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIalpha.Balla A,Kim YJ,Varnai P,Szentpetery Z,Knight Z,Shokat KM,Balla TMol Biol Cell2008 Feb
c-Met must translocate to the nucleus to initiate calcium signals.Gomes DA,Rodrigues MA,Leite MF,Gomez MV,Varnai P,Balla T,Bennett AM,Nathanson MHJ Biol Chem2008 Feb 15
A membrane capture assay for lipid kinase activity.Knight ZA,Feldman ME,Balla A,Balla T,Shokat KMNat Protoc2007
Visualization and manipulation of plasma membrane-endoplasmic reticulum contact sites indicates the presence of additional molecular components within the STIM1-Orai1 Complex.Várnai P,Tóth B,Tóth DJ,Hunyady L,Balla TJ Biol Chem2007 Oct 5
Dual regulation of TRPV1 by phosphoinositides.Lukacs V,Thyagarajan B,Varnai P,Balla A,Balla T,Rohacs TJ Neurosci2007 Jun 27
Regulation of connexin43 gap junctional communication by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate.van Zeijl L,Ponsioen B,Giepmans BN,Ariaens A,Postma FR,Várnai P,Balla T,Divecha N,Jalink K,Moolenaar WHJ Cell Biol2007 Jun 4
Visualization and manipulation of phosphoinositide dynamics in live cells using engineered protein domains.Várnai P,Balla TPflugers Arch2007 Oct
Active Arf6 recruits ARNO/cytohesin GEFs to the PM by binding their PH domains.Cohen LA,Honda A,Varnai P,Brown FD,Balla T,Donaldson JGMol Biol Cell2007 Jun
Imaging and manipulating phosphoinositides in living cells.Balla TJ Physiol2007 Aug 1
Loss of endocytic clathrin-coated pits upon acute depletion of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate.Zoncu R,Perera RM,Sebastian R,Nakatsu F,Chen H,Balla T,Ayala G,Toomre D,De Camilli PVProc Natl Acad Sci U S A2007 Mar 6
Chaperone-mediated coupling of endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial Ca2+ channels.Szabadkai G,Bianchi K,Várnai P,De Stefani D,Wieckowski MR,Cavagna D,Nagy AI,Balla T,Rizzuto RJ Cell Biol2006 Dec 18
Control of cell polarity and motility by the PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 phosphatase SHIP1.Nishio M,Watanabe K,Sasaki J,Taya C,Takasuga S,Iizuka R,Balla T,Yamazaki M,Watanabe H,Itoh R,Kuroda S,Horie Y,Förster I,Mak TW,Yonekawa H,Penninger JM,Kanaho Y,Suzuki A,Sasaki TNat Cell Biol2007 Jan
Nucleolar localization of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase PI4K230 in various mammalian cells.Kakuk A,Friedländer E,Vereb G Jr,Kása A,Balla A,Balla T,Heilmeyer LM Jr,Gergely P,Vereb GCytometry A2006 Dec 1
Rapidly inducible changes in phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate levels influence multiple regulatory functions of the lipid in intact living cells.Varnai P,Thyagarajan B,Rohacs T,Balla TJ Cell Biol2006 Nov 6
Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIbeta regulates the transport of ceramide between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi.Tóth B,Balla A,Ma H,Knight ZA,Shokat KM,Balla TJ Biol Chem2006 Nov 24
Structural and functional features and significance of the physical linkage between ER and mitochondria.Csordás G,Renken C,Várnai P,Walter L,Weaver D,Buttle KF,Balla T,Mannella CA,Hajnóczky GJ Cell Biol2006 Sep 25
Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases: old enzymes with emerging functions.Balla A,Balla TTrends Cell Biol2006 Jul
Live cell imaging of phosphoinositide dynamics with fluorescent protein domains.Várnai P,Balla TBiochim Biophys Acta2006 Aug
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology