Graduate Studies Faculty

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Martina Ralle, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Admin Unit: SOM-Molecular & Medical Genetics Department
Phone: 503-494-3225
Office: RJH 4586
Mail Code: L-103
Molecular & Medical Genetics
Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
Research Interests:
Copper, endogenous metals, neurodegenerative diseases, XFM, EXAFS, XANES, redox, metalloproteomics, ICPMS » Click here for more about Dr. Ralle's research » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Ralle has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Ralle has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Research Interests

Our lab is interested in elucidating the role of copper in neurodegenerative diseases and to better understand cellular copper homeostasis in general. In our research we are employing a wide variety of spectroscopic and biochemical techniques. To probe the distribution of copper and other elements in tissue and cell models we are regularly conducting X-ray fluorescence microscopy experiments at the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Lab. Additionally, we are using X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS) to identify copper binding proteins. We determine the elemental concentration of endogenous metals and other trace elements in our samples with inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). Other biochemical approaches include the determination of the redox state of cells and tissue via the GSH/GSSG (recycling assay), TRXred/TRXox (redox immunoblots) couples in fractionated cell and tissue homogenates. We furthermore use qRT-PCR to determine changes in RNA levels for different sample conditions.


Selected References

1.    M. Ralle, S. Lutsenko, N.J. Blackburn. X-ray absorption spectroscopy of the copper chaperone HAH1 reveals a linear two-coordinate Cu(I) center capable of adduct formation with exogenous thiols and phosphines. J Biol Chem.278(25), (2003) 23163-23170.

2.    M. Ralle, S. Lutsenko, N. J. Blackburn. Copper transfer to the N-terminal domain of the Wilson disease protein (ATP7B): X-ray absorption spectroscopy of reconstituted and chaperone-loaded metal binding domains and their interaction with exogenous ligands. J Inorg Biochem.98(5), (2004) 765-774.

3.  M.Ralle. S. Lutsenko. Quantitative imaging of metals in tissues.Biometals22(1),(2009) 197-205.

4.  M. Ralle, D. Huster, S. Vogt, B. Lai, J. L. Burkhead, T. R. Capps, L. Gray, E.B. Maryon, S. Lutsenko. Wilson disease at a single cell level: intracellular copper trafficking activates compartment-specific responses in hepatocytes. J Biol Chem2010; 285(40):30875-30883.

5.  S. Vogt, M. Ralle Opportunities in multidimensional trace metal imaging: Taking copper associated disease research to the next level. Anal Bioanal Chem.2013 Feb; 405(6):1809-1820.

6.  H Ohrvik, Y Nose, LK Wood, BE Kim BE, SC Gleber, M Ralle, DJ Thiele. Ctr2 regulates biogenesis of a cleaved form of mammalian Ctr1 metal transporter lacking the copper- and cisplatin-binding ecto-domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(46):E4279-88.