Peter D. Yurchenco M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Vice-Chair;
Chief, Division of Experimental Pathology,
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA
Office: 732-235-5166; Lab: 732-235-4674; Fax: 732-235-4825


Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT., B.A. 1970, Biology (magna cum laude)
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, Ph.D., 1975, Biological Sciences
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, M.D., 1976, Medicine
Dartmouth Medical School Affiliated Hospitals, Hanover, NH, 1976-7, Medical internship
Yale Univ. School of Medicine, New Haven, CT., 1977-84, Pathology Residency and Post-doctoral fellowship (advisors: Vincent Marchesi and Heinz Furthmayr).

Positions, Honors and Professional Service:

1984-1991 Assistant Professor of Pathology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
1991-1997 Associate Professor (tenured), Robert W. Johnson Medical School.
1995-present Chief, Division of Experimental Pathology, Robert W. Johnson Medical School.
1997-present Professor, Dept. Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
2000-present Vice-Chairman, Dept. Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
1985-1988 Sinsheimer Scholar; 1986-1989: John A. Hartford Foundation Fellow.
1995 Chairman, 15th Annual East Coast Connective Tissue Society Meeting.
1996-1998 Vice-Chairman & Chairman, Basement Membrane Gordon Conference
1996-2000 Member, Pathobiochemistry Study Section (N.I.H.).
Graduate Program Participation: Molecular Biosciences, Pharmacology.

Research Interests:

Basement membranes are evolutionarily ancient cell-associated extracellular matrices that are essential for embryonic development and for normal tissue functions. Mutations affecting the laminin, collagen, and proteoglycan components cause diseases of muscle, kidney, nerve, brain and skin. The goals of the laboratory are to understand how basement membranes assemble at the molecular level and how they affect differentiation and neuromuscular functions.

Selected publications:

Yurchenco, P.D. and H. Furthmayr (1984). Self-assembly of basement membrane collagen. Biochemistry 23: 1839-1850.

Yurchenco, P.D., E.C. Tsilibary, A.S. Charonis & H. Furthmayr (1985). Laminin polymerization: Evidence for a two step assembly with domain specificity. J. Biol. Chem. 260: 7636-7644.

Yurchenco, P.D. & G.C. Ruben (1987). Basement membrane structure in situ: Evidence for lateral associa-tions in the type IV collagen net-work. J. Cell Biol.105: 2559-2568.

Yurchenco, P.D., Y.S. Cheng & G.C. Ruben (1987). Self-assembly of a high molecular weight basement membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan into dimers and oligomers. J. Biol. Chem. 262: 17668-17676.

Yurchenco, P.D. & G.C. Ruben (1988) Type IV collagen lateral associations in the EHS tumor matrix: comparison with amniotic and reconstituted networks. Am. J. Path. 132: 278-291.

Schittny J.C. & P.D. Yurchenco (1990). The peripheral short-arm domains of basement membrane laminin are essential for self-assembly. J. Cell Biol. 110: 825-832.

Yurchenco, P.D., Y.-S. Cheng & J.C. Schittny (1990). Heparin modulation of laminin polymers. J. Biol. Chem. 265: 3981-3991.

Yurchenco, P.D. & J.C. Schittny (1990). Molecular architecture of basement membranes. FASEB J. 4: 1577-1590.

Yurchenco, P.D., Y-S. Cheng & H. Colognato (1992). Laminin forms an independent network in basement membranes. J. Cell Biol. 117: 1119-1133.

Hayashi, K., J.A. Madri & P.D. Yurchenco (1992). Endothelial cells interact with the core protein of base-ment membrane perlecan through b1 and b3 integrins: an adhesion modulated by glycosaminoglycan. J. Cell Biol. 119: 945 - 959.

Gee, S.H., R.W. Blacher, P.J. Douville, P.R. Provost, P.D. Yurchenco & S. Carbonetto (1993). LBP120 from brain is closely related to the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein, dystroglycan, and binds with high affinity to the major heparin binding domain of laminin. J. Biol. Chem. 268: 14972-14980.

Yurchenco, P.D., U. Sung, M. Ward, Y. Yamada & J.J. O'Rear (1993). Recombinant laminin G domain mediates myoblast adhesion and heparin binding. J. Biol. Chem. 268: 8356-8365.

Yurchenco, P.D. & Y.-S. Cheng (1993). Self-assembly and calcium-binding sites in laminin: A three-arm interaction model. J. Biol. Chem. 268: 17286-17299.

Sung, U., J.J. O'Rear & P.D. Yurchenco (1993). Cell and heparin binding in the distal long arm of laminin: identification of active and cryptic sites with recombinant and hybrid glycoprotein. J. Cell Biol. 123: 1255-1268.

Nicosia, R.F., E. Bonanno, M. Smith, and P.D. Yurchenco (1994). Modulation of angiogenesis in vitro by laminin-entactin complex. Dev. Biol. 164: 197-206.

Calof, A.L., M.R. Campanero, J.J. O'Rear, P.D. Yurchenco & A.D. Lander (1994). Domain-specific activation of neuronal migration and neurite outgrowth-promoting activities of laminin. Neuron 13: 117-130.

Colognato-Pyke, H., J.J. O'Rear, Y. Yamada , S. Carbonetto Y.-S. Cheng, & P. D. Yurchenco (1995). Mapping of network-forming, heparin-binding, and a1b1 integrin-recognition sites within the a-chain short arm of laminin-1. J. Biol. Chem. 270: 9398-9406.

Rambukkana, A., J.L. Salzer, P.D. Yurchenco & E.I. Tuomanen (1997). Neural targeting of Mycobacterium leprae mediated by the G domain of the laminin a2 chain. Cell 88: 1-20.

Yurchenco, P.D., Y. Quan, H. Colognato, T. Mathus, D. Harrison, Y. Yamada & J.J. O'Rear (1997). The a-chain of laminin-1 is independently secreted and drives secretion of its b and g chain partners. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 94: 10189-10194.

Colognato, H., M. MacCarrick, J.J. O'Rear & P.D. Yurchenco (1997). The laminin a2-chain short arm mediates cell adhesion through both the a1b1 and a2b1 integrins. J. Biol. Chem. 272: 29330-29336.

Sung, U., J.J. O'Rear and P.D. Yurchenco (1997). Localization of heparin binding activity in recombinant laminin G domain. Eur. J. Biochem. 250: 138-143.

Cheng, Y.-S., M.-F. Champliaud, R.E. Burgeson, Marinkovich, M.P. & P.D. Yurchenco (1997). Self-assembly of laminin isoforms. J. Biol. Chem. 272: 31525-31532.

Rambukkanda, A., H. Yamada, G. Zanazzi, T. Mathus, J. L. Salzer, P. D. Yurchenco, K. P. Campbell & V. A. Fischetti (1998). Role of a-dystroglycan as a Schwann cell receptor for Mycobacterium leprae. Science 282: 2076-2079.

Colognato, H, Winkelmann, D and P.D. Yurchenco (1999). Laminin polymerization induces a receptor-cytoskeleton network. J. Cell Biol. 145: 619-631.

Colognato, H., and P. D. Yurchenco. (1999). The laminin a2 expressed by dystrophic dy(2J) mice is defective in its ability to form polymers. Curr Biol. 9:1327-1330.

Kammerer, R. A., T. Schulthess, R. Landwehr, B. Schumacher, A. Lustig, P. D. Yurchenco, M. A.Ruegg, J. Engel, and A. J. Denzer (1999). Interaction of agrin with laminin requires a coiled-coil conformation of the agrin-binding site within the laminin g1 chain. EMBO J. 18:6762-6770.

Colognato, H. and P.D. Yurchenco. 2000. Form and function: the laminin family of heterotrimers (2000). Dev. Dyn. 218: 213-234.

O'Brien, L. E., T. S. Jou, A. L. Pollack, Q. Zhang, S. H. Hansen, P. Yurchenco, and K. E. Mostov (2001). Rac1 orientates epithelial apical polarity through effects on basolateral laminin assembly. Nat. Cell Biol. 3: 831-838.

Tsiper, M. and P.D. Yurchenco. (2002). Laminin assembles into separate basement membrane and fibrillar matrices in Schwann cells. J. Cell Sci. 115: 1005-1015.

Smirnov, S., E. McDearmon, S. Li, J. Ervasti, K. Tryggvason and P.D.Yurchenco (2002). Contributions of the LG modules and furin-processing to laminin-2 functions. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 18928-18937.

Li, S., D. Harrison, S. Carbonetto, R. Faessler, N. Smyth, D. Edgar and P.D. Yurchenco (2002). Matrix assembly, regulation and survival functions of laminin and its receptors in embryonic stem cell differentiation. J. Cell Biol. 157: 1279-1290.

Sakai, T., S. Li, D. Docheva, C. Grashoff, K. Sakai, G. Kostka, A. Braun, A. Pfeifer, P.D. Yurchenco, and R. Fässler. 2003. Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is required for polarizing the epiblast, cell adhesion, and controlling actin ac-cumulation. Genes Dev. 17:926-940.

Li, S., D. Edgar, R. Fässler, W. Wadsworth, and P.D. Yurchenco. 2003. The Role of Laminin in Embryonic Cell Polarization and Tissue Organization. Dev Cell. 4:613-624.

Li, S., P. Liquari, K.K. McKee, D. Harrison, R. Patel, S. Lee, and P.D. Yurchenco. 2005. Laminin-sulfatide binding initiates basement membrane assembly and enables receptor signal-ing in Schwann cells and fibroblasts. J Cell Biol. 169:179-89.

Li, S., R. Bordoy, F. Stanchi, M. Moser, A. Braun, O. Kudlacek, U.M. Wewer, P.D. Yurch-enco, and R. Fassler. 2005. PINCH1 regulates cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesions, cell polarity and cell survival during the peri-implantation stage. J Cell Sci. 118:2913-21.

Smirnov, S.P., P. Barzaghi, K.K. McKee, M.A. Ruegg, and P.D. Yurchenco. 2005. Conjugation of LG domains of agrins and perlecan to polymerizing laminin-2 promotes acetylcholine receptor clustering. J Biol Chem. 280:41449-57.

McKee, K.M., Harrison, D., Capizzi, S. and Yurchenco, P.D. 2007. Contributions of the LN and nidogen-binding domains of laminin-111 to self-assembly and basement membrane formation. J. Biol. Chem.,282: 21437-21447.

Wu, X., Li, S., Chrostek-Grashoff, A., Myer, H., Yurchenco, P.D., Brakebusch, C. 2007. Cdc42 is crucial for the establishment of epithelial polarity during early mammalian development. Dev. Dyn. 236: 2767 - 2778.

McKee, K.K., Capizzi, S., and Yurchenco, P.D. 2009. Scaffold-forming and adhesive contributions of synthetic laminin-binding proteins to basement membrane assembly. J. Biol. Chem.284: 8984 - 8994.

Yurchenco, P.D. and B.L. Patton. 2009. Developmental and pathogenic mechanisms of basement membrane assembly. Curr. Pharmaceutical Design. 15: 1277-1294.

Zhang X, Mernaugh G, Yang DH, Gewin L, Srichai MB, Harris RC, Iturregui JM, RD, Kohan DE, Abrahamson D, Fässler R, Yurchenco P, Pozzi A, Zent R. 2009. b1 integrin is necessary for ureteric bud branching morphogenesis and maintenance of collecting duct structural integrity.  Development. 136: 3357-66.

Fissell WH 4th, Hofmann CL, Ferrell N, Schnell L, Dubnisheva A, Zydney AL, Yurchenco PD. 2009. Solute partitioning and filtration by extracellular matrices. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol. 297(4):F1092-100.

He, X., J. Liu, Y. Qi, C. Brakebusch, A. Chrostek-Grashoff, D. Edgar, P.D. Yurchenco, S.A. Corbett, S.F. Lowry, A.M. Graham, Y. Han, and S. Li. 2010. Rac1 is essential for basement membrane-dependent epiblast survival. Mol Cell Biol. 30:3569-3581.

Yang, D.H., McKee K.K, Chen Z-L., Mernaugh G, Strickland S., Zent R. and Yurchenco P.D., 2011. “Renal Collecting System Growth and Function Depend Upon Embryonic g1-Laminin Expression”. Development. 138: 4535-44.

McKee, KM, Yang, DH, Patel, R., Chen, Z-L., Strickland, S., Takagi, J., Sekiguchi, K., and Yurchenco, P.D. 2012. “Schwann cell myelination requires integration of laminin activities”. J. Cell Sci. In Press.


Grants, current:

R01-DK36425, Peter D. Yurchenco, Dates:1/1/13 - 12/31/17 (years 28-32), Source: NIH., Title: Basement Membrane Self-assembly and Structure; Goals: To understand how basement membranes self-assemble into a three-dimensional cell-inductive architecture.