Graduate Studies Faculty

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Bruce L. Patton, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist, CROET (Left OHSU per NGP)
Assistant Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology, OHSU School of Medicine
Faculty, Neuroscience Graduate Program, OHSU School of Medicine
Admin Unit: Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
Research Interests:
Extracellular matrix in neuromuscular development, including nerve and muscle growth, myelination, and synapse formation. cellular » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Patton has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Patton has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Research Interests
Neuromuscular injuries are the overwhelming cause of occupational disability. Reconnection of nerves and muscles following injury is typically slow and incomplete. Nerves grow and innervate their targets guided by an exchange of molecular signals between neurons, their synaptic partners, and the glia that support them. The Patton lab is currently investigating a class of long-lasting extracellular signaling factors that appear to play a principal role in coordinating and stabilizing specialized sties of differentiation between nerves, muscles, and Schwann cells. The lab is particularly focused on a series of specialized extracellular matrix proteins,called laminins, co-discovered by Dr. Patton. Patton's group has found these proteins play several key roles in neuromuscular development. Two isoforms of laminin control myelination in developing nerves, by controlling both Schwann cell proliferation and differentiation. In addition, three synapse-specific forms of laminin made by muscle fibers organize nerve-terminal formation by motor axons. Finally, an extrasynaptic form of laminin prevents new muscle fibers from "popping" when they begin contractions. Loss of this type of laminin is the primary cause of Congenital Muscular Dystrophy in humans, and a similar disorder in dogs and cats. Continuing work is aimed at understanding how laminin-derived signals intersect with other signaling pathways to coordinate the temporal schedule of cellular differentiation in nerve and muscle. We are also asking whether functional redundancy may allow synaptic laminins to prevent muscular dystrophy in children lacking extrasynaptic laminins. Approaches include mammalian genetic manipulation in vivo, cell-biological response studies in vitro, and nanotechnology applications to manipulate cell:surface contacts. Clinical motivations include nerve regeneration, myasthenia, muscular dystrophy, and dysmyelinating neuropathy.

Bruce L. Patton earned his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1991, under the direction of Dr. Mary B. Kennedy. Patton did postdoctoral research, in the laboratory of Dr. Joshua R. Sanes at Washington University in St. Louis. He became Assistant Scientist at the CROET, at Oregon Health & Science University, in 1999. Patton did his undergraduate studies at Brandeis University, where he was introduced to neurobiology in the laboratory of Dr. Irwin B. Levitan.

Selected Publications
Belvindrah, R., Hankel, S., Walker, J., Patton, B. L., and Müller, U. (2007) β1 integrins control the formation of cell chains in the adult rostral migratory stream. J. Neurosci Mar 7;27(10):2704-17. Abstract

Miner, J.H., Go, G., Cunningham, J., Patton, B.L., and Jarad, G. (2006) Transgenic isolation of skeletal muscle and kidney defects in lamiin β2 mutant mice: Implications for Pierson syndrome. Development 133:967-75. Abstract

Shannon, M.B., Patton, B.L., Harvey, S.J., Miner, J.H. (2006) A Hypomorphic Mutation in the Mouse Laminin α5 Gene Causes Polycystic Kidney Disease. J. Am. Soc. Nephrology 17:1913-1922. Abstract

Yang, D., Bierman, J., Tarumi, Y.S., Zhong, Y-P., Rangwala, R., Proctor, T.M., Miyagoe-Suzuki, Y., Takeda, S., Miner, J.H., Sherman, L.S., Gold, B.G., and Patton, B.L. (2005) Coordinate control of axon defasciculation and myelination by laminin-2 and -8. J Cell Biol. Feb 14;168(4):655-66. Abstract

Patton, B.L. and Burgess, R. W. (2005) Synaptogenesis. In Developmental Neurobiology, 4th Ed. (Editors M.S. Rao and M. Jacobson), Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.

Yurchenco, P.D., Amenta, P.S., and Patton, B.L. (2004) Basement membrane assembly, stability, and activities seen through a developmental lens. Matrix Biol. 22(7):521-38. Abstract

Patton, B.L. (2003) Basal lamina and the organization of neuromuscular synapses. J. Neurocytol. 32(5-8):883-903. Abstract

Patton, B.L., Cunningham, J.M., Thyboll, J., Kortes-maa, J., Westerblad, H., Edstrom, L., Tryggvason, K., and Sanes, J.R. (2001) Properly formed but improperly localized synaptic specializations in the absence of laminin a4. Nature Neuroscience 4, 597-604. Abstract

Patton, B.L., Connolly, A.M., Martin, P.T., Cunningham, J.M., Shobhna, M., Pestronk, A., Miner, J.H., and Sanes, J.R. (1999) Distribution of ten laminin chains in dystrophic and regenerating muscles. Neuromuscular Disorders 9, 423-433. Abstract

Patton, B.L., Chiu, A.Y., and Sanes, J.R. (1998) Synaptic laminin prevents glial entry into the synaptic cleft. Nature 393, 698-701. Abstract