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John P. Aris, Ph.D.

ArisPhotoAssociate Professor

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
University of Florida, Health Science Center
1333 Center Drive
Rm B1-008 (office) Map
Gainesville, FL 32610-0235

Phone: (352) 273-6868
Fax: (352) 846-1248

Biosketch | Lab Links

Current Major Teaching Commitments

College of Medicine

  • Foundations of Medicine (BMS 6031)
    Director of lecture and laboratory course for first year medical students.
    Course web page:  Foundations of Medicine
  • Mechanisms of Aging (GMS 6063)
    Director of five-week advanced course offered in odd years to graduate students in the interdisciplinary program (IDP).
    Course web page:  Mechanisms of Aging
  • Protein Trafficking (GMS 6062)
    Director of five-week advanced course offered in even years to graduate students in the interdisciplinary program (IDP).
    Course web page:  Protein Trafficking

College of Dentistry

  • Developmental Biology and Psychosocial Issues Over the Life Span (DEN 5210)
    Director of human embryology module consisting of nine lectures, one review session, and one exam.

Undergraduate Research

  • Medical Sciences Senior Research (BMS 4905)
    Mentor for undergraduate students conducting experiments to explore cellular mechanisms of aging.

Research Interests

Cellular Aging Overview

Human cell types can be broadly divided into cells that continue to divide over their life span and those that do not. Tissues in the human body that undergo continuous renewal, such as epithelia, depend on cells that continue to divide (i.e., stem cells and amplifying cells). Other tissues, such as most nervous tissue, contain many cells that do not divide, but remain functional over many years or decades (e.g., motor neurons). Aging in both types of cells involves characteristic changes due to loss of function over time. Cells that do not divide undergo chronological aging, which limits how long they remain viable and functional. Cells that divide undergo replicative aging, which limits how many times they can divide. The goal of our studies is to identify and characterize processes that cause chronological and / or replicative aging of cells.

Budding Yeast

Our studies use the budding (or baker’s) yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model eukaryotic cell type. We use this yeast as an experimental system because of the ease of using various approaches in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and molecular biology. Studies in yeast are relevant to human cells because many of the fundamental biological mechanisms of aging are the same. Our goal is to pursue an understanding of mechanisms that regulate chronological and replicative life span in yeast cells and extend these studies to other eukaryotic cell types, such as human cells. Insights regarding aging processes in yeast should improve our understanding of general mechanisms that regulate aging in eukaryotic cells, including human cells.

Single gene mutations that affect chronological and / or replicative life span have been identified in yeast. This is a profound result because it indicates that life span is directly influenced by genes. One of these genes, SIR2, influences the life span of yeast as well as other organisms, such as worms, flies, and mammals. Furthermore, the yeast SIR2 gene is the founding member of a family of genes that are known as sirtuins, many of which have been implicated in life span. One of the goals of our research is to identify genes that influence life span. By identifying and studying such genes, we hope to learn more about the mechanisms and pathways that influence the aging process.

Cellular Aging in Yeast

Chronological Aging
Chronological aging is the process by which non-dividing cells lose viability. In yeast, chronological aging takes place during a non-dividing state known as stationary phase. Stationary phase is a “quiescent” state in which cells exhibit a specific set of phenotypic characteristics, such as a reinforced cell wall, resistance to environmental stress, and accumulation of storage carbohydrates. Importantly, yeast cells in stationary phase are metabolically active, derive energy from aerobic respiration, and remain responsive to environmental signals. Thus, stationary phase is similar to the G0 phase in non-dividing cells that age chronologically in human tissues.

Replicative Aging
Yeast divide asymmetrically. A larger “mother” cell gives rise to a smaller “daughter” cell through a budding process (rather than cell fission). For most strains of yeast, mother cells typically divide less than 40 times (i.e., mother cells typically give rise to fewer than 40 daughter cells). Thus, replicative aging limits the number of daughter cells formed by a mother cell.

Link to Undergraduate Research Database (search projects by selecting John Aris as principal investigator)

Publications (selected)

  • Aris,* JP, AL Alvers, RA Ferraiuolo, LK Fishwick, A Hanvivatpong, D Hu, C Kirlew, MT Leonard, KJ Losin, M Marraffini, AY Seo, V Swanberg, JL Westcott, MS Wood, C Leeuwenburgh, and WA Dunn, Jr. 2013 Autophagy and leucine promote chronological longevity and respiration proficiency during calorie restriction in yeast. Exp. Gerontology In press. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, LK Fishwick, ML Marraffini, AY Seo, C Leeuwenburgh, and WA Dunn, Jr. 2012. Amino Acid Homeostasis and Chronological Longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In Aging Research in Yeast. M Brietenbach, P Laun, SM Jazwinski, Eds. Springer, NY. Subcell Biochem. 57:161-86. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, MC Elios, E Bimstein, SM Wallet, S Cha, KN Lakshmyya, and J Katz. 2010. Gingival RAGE expression in calorie restricted versus ad libitum fed rats. J Periodontology 81:1481-7. PubMed | Journal
  • Seo AY, A-M Joseph, D Dutta, JCY Hwang, JP Aris, C Leeuwenburgh. 2010. New insights into the role of mitochondria in aging: mitochondrial dynamics and more. J Cell Sci. 123:2533-42. PubMed | Journal
  • Falcon, AA, S Chen, MS Wood, and JP Aris. 2010. Acetyl-coenzyme A synthetase 2 is a nuclear protein required for replicative longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Cell Biochem. 333:99-108. PubMed | Journal
  • Alvers, AL, LK Fishwick, MS Wood, D Hu, HS Chung, WA Dunn, Jr, and JP Aris. 2009. Autophagy and amino acid homeostasis are required for chronological longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Aging Cell 8:353-359. PubMed | Journal
  • Alvers, AL, MS Wood, D Hu, AC Kaywell, WA Dunn, Jr, and JP Aris. 2009. Autophagy is required for extension of yeast chronological life span by rapamycin. Autophagy 5:847-9. PubMed | Journal
  • Pafundi, D, C Lee, . Watchman, V Bourke, J Aris, N Shagina, J Harrison, T Fell, and W Bolch. An image-based skeletal tissue model for the ICRP reference newborn. 2009. Phys Med Biol 54:4497-531. PubMed | Journal
  • Bhabhra, R, DL Richie, HS Kim, WC Nierman, J Fortwendel, JP Aris, JC Rhodes, and DS Askew. 2008. Impaired ribosome biogenesis disrupts the integration between morphogenesis and nuclear duplication during the germination of Aspergillus fumigatus. Eukaryotic Cell 7:575-583. PubMed | Journal
  • Swanson, MS, and JP Aris. 2008. Post-transcriptional control: nuclear RNA processing. In Inborn errors of development. Second Edition. CJ Epstein, RP Erickson, A Wynshaw-Boris, Eds. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK. pp1108-1125. Library of Congress
  • Urbinati, CR, GB Gonsalvez, JP Aris and RM Long. 2006. Loc1p is required for efficient assembly and nuclear export of the 60S ribosomal subunit. Mol Genet Genomics 276:369-377. PubMed | Journal
  • Oakes, ML, I Siddiqi, SL French, L Vu, M Sato, JP Aris, AL Beyer, and M Nomura. 2006. Role of histone deacetylase Rpd3 in regulating rDNA transcription and nucleolar structure in yeast. Mol Cell Biol 26:3889–3901. PubMed | Journal
  • Falcon, AA, N Rios, and JP Aris. 2005. 2-micron circle plasmids do not reduce yeast life span. FEMS Microbiol Let. 250:245-251. PubMed | Journal
  • Thomson, JM, EA Gaucher, MF Burgan, DW DeKee, T Li, JP Aris, and SA Benner. 2005. Resurrecting ancestral alcohol dehydrogenases from yeast. Nat Genet. 37:630-635. PubMed | Journal
  • Falcón, AA, and JP Aris. 2003. Plasmid accumulation reduces life span in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J Biol Chem. 278:41607-41617. PubMed | Journal
  • Lu, M, S Vergara, L Zhang, LS Holliday, JP Aris, and SL Gluck. 2002. The amino-terminal domain of the E subunit of V-ATPase interacts with the H subunit and is required for V-ATPase function. J Biol Chem 277:38409-15. PubMed | Journal
  • Hong, B, K Wu, JS Brockenbrough, P Wu, and JP Aris. 2001. Temperature sensitive nop2 alleles defective in synthesis of 25S rRNA and large ribosomal subunits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleic Acids Res. 29:2927-37. PubMed | Journal
  • Wu, K, P Wu, and JP Aris. 2001. Nucleolar protein Nop12p participates in synthesis of 25S rRNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleic Acids Res. 29:2938-49. PubMed | Journal
  • Fahrenkrog, B, JP Aris, EC Hurt, N Pante, and U Aebi. 2000. Comparative spatial localization of protein-A-tagged and authentic yeast nuclear pore complex proteins by immunogold electron microscopy. J. Struct Biol 129:295-305. PubMed | Journal
  • Nelson, SA, JP Aris, BKR Patel, and WJ LaRochelle. 2000. Multiple growth factor induction of a murine early response gene that complements a lethal defect in yeast ribosome biogenesis. J Biol Chem. 275:13835-­13841. PubMed | Journal
  • Wu, K, JH Dawe, JP Aris. 2000. Expression and subcellular localization of a membrane protein related to Hsp30p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biochim Biophys Acta 1463:477-482. PubMed | Journal
  • Oakes, ML, I Siddiqi, L Vu, JP Aris, and M Nomura. 1999. Transcription factor UAF, expansion and contraction of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeats, and RNA polymerase switch in transcription of yeast rDNA. Mol Cell Biol 19:8559-8569. PubMed | Journal
  • Tolerico, LH, AL Benko, JP Aris, DR Stanford, NC Martin, and AK Hopper. 1999. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mod5p-II contains sequences antagonistic for nuclear and cytosolic locations. Genetics 151:57-75. PubMed | Journal
  • Oakes, M, J P Aris, JS Brockenbrough, H Wai, L Vu, and M Nomura. 1998. Mutational analysis of the structure and localization of the nucleolus in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Cell Biol. 143:23-34. PubMed | Journal
  • Wu, P, JS Brockenbrough, MR Paddy, and JP Aris. 1998. NCL1, a novel gene for a non-essential nuclear protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Gene 220:109-117. PubMed | Journal
  • Wu, P, JS Brockenbrough, A Metcalfe, S Chen, and JP Aris. 1998. Nop5p is a small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein component required for pre-18S rRNA processing in yeast. J Biol Chem. 273:16453-63. PubMed | Journal
  • Dove, JE, JS Brockenbrough, and JP Aris. 1998. Isolation of nuclei and nucleoli from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (M. Berrios, ed.) Methods Cell Biol. 53:33-46. PubMed | Journal
  • Chen, S, JE Dove, JS Brockenbrough, and JP Aris. 1997. Homocitrate synthase is located in the nucleus in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J Biol Chem. 272:10839-10846. PubMed | Journal
  • Hong, B, JS Brockenbrough, P Wu, and JP Aris. 1997. Nop2p is required for pre-rRNA processing and 60S ribosome subunit synthesis in yeast. Mol Cell Biol. 17:378-388. PubMed | Journal
  • Zimowska, G, JP Aris, and MR Paddy. 1997. A Drosophila Tpr protein homolog is localized both in the extrachromosomal channel network and to nuclear pore complexes. J Cell Sci 110:927-944. PubMed | Journal
  • deBeus, E, JS Brockenbrough, B Hong, and JP Aris. 1994. Yeast NOP2 encodes an essential nucleolar protein with homology to a human proliferation marker. J Cell Biol 127:1799-1813. PubMed | Journal
  • Monestier, M, MJ Losman, KE Novick, and JP Aris. 1994. Molecular analysis of mercury-induced anti-nucleolar antibodies in H-2S mice. J Immunol 151:667-75. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, PV Basta, WD Holmes, LM Ballas, C Moomaw, NB Rankl, G Blobel, CR Loomis, and D J. Burns. 1993. Molecular and biochemical characterization of a recombinant human PKC-delta family member. Biochim Biophys Acta 1174:171-181. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, and G Blobel. 1991. cDNA cloning and sequencing of human fibrillarin, a conserved nucleolar protein recognized by autoimmune antisera. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 88:931-935. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, and G Blobel. 1991. The isolation of yeast nuclei. Methods Enzymol (Guthrie & Fink, eds) 194:735-749. PubMed | Journal
  • Henríquez, R, G Blobel, and JP Aris. 1990. Isolation and sequencing of NOP1: a yeast gene encoding a nucleolar protein homologous to a human autoimmune antigen. J Biol Chem 265:2209-2215. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, and G Blobel. 1989. Yeast nuclear envelope proteins cross react with an antibody against mammalian pore complex proteins. J Cell Biol 108:2059-2067. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, and G Blobel. 1988. Identification and characterization of a yeast nucleolar protein that is similar to a rat liver nucleolar protein. J Cell Biol 107:17‑31. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, and RD Simoni. 1985. The ß subunit of the Escherichia coli ATP synthase exhibits a tight membrane binding property. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 128:155-162. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, DJ Klionsky, and RD Simoni. 1985. The Fo subunits of the Escherichia coli F1Fo-ATP synthase are sufficient to form a functional proton pore. J Biol Chem 260:11207-11215. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, and RD Simoni. 1983. Cross-linking and labeling of the Escherichia coli F1Fo-ATP synthase reveal a compact hydrophilic portion of Fo close to an F1 catalytic subunit. J Biol Chem 258:14599-14609. PubMed | Journal
  • Aris, JP, AD Eisemann, and L Moulton. 1982. The occurrence of Pugettia richii (Crustacea: Decapoda) on Cystoseira osmundacea follows a diel pattern. Bulletin Marine Sci 32:243-249. Journal

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