Francis J. Castellino

Francis J. Castellino

In Vitro and In Vivo Relationships between Hemostasis and Inflammation


Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine
Director, WM Keck Center for Transgene Research, University of Notre Dame
Kleiderer/Pezold Professor of Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame
Dean, College of Science, University of Notre Dame
Professor, University of Notre Dame
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University
Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Iowa
B.S. University of Scranton

Selected Awards

ISTH Esteemed Career Award
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award
Wyeth-ISPF Research Prize
Fellow of the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values
Annual Faculty Award, University of Notre Dame
Elected Fellow of the American Heart Association and the Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Research Interests

The interests of Professor Castellino's laboratory involve the structure, function and activation of proteins that participate in blood coagulation and blood clot dissolution. The in vivo mechanisms of the roles of these proteins in these processes are being addressed through in vivo targeted gene-replacement approaches and corresponding in vitro structure-function studies on these genes and proteins are being studied by the most modern biophysical techniques, e.g., X-ray crystallography, NMR, etc. Most of these proteins exist in an inactive state in plasma and thus must be activated to enzymes to exhibit their functional properties. The molecular events involved in the activation and analysis of the concomitant structural changes that occur in the protein are investigated by modern biochemical techniques. Major tools of the laboratory involve cloning, mutagenesis and expression of variant recombinant proteins and individual protein domains, immunochemical studies of the proteins, as well as physical and chemical analysis of their solution structures. The properties of the proteins are then related to their functions. Another project receiving attention involves the structure-function relationships of small gamma-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla)-containing peptides from marine cone snails that target the brain NMDA receptor. These peptides inhibit the flow of calcium into neuronal cells, this latter event being responsible for the neuropathology associated with stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, etc. The biochemical, pharmacological and neurobiological mechanisms of the actions of these peptides are under study. Peptide synthesis, receptor binding, molecular biological and electrophysiological tools are currently employed in this work. To determine the biological functions of genes encoding coagulation and clot-dissolving proteins in hemostasis, cancer, inflammation, wound healing, embryonic implantation and development, metastases, and athersclerosis, gene deletion and other gene targeting experiments are being performed in mice, in conjunction with phenotyping of these animals. Such studies are expected to provide important information on the development and progression of these disease states.

Recent Publications

  • Ayinuola, Y. A., Robinson, T. B., Ayinuola, O., Beck, J. E., Topete, D. C., Lee, S. W., Ploplis, V. A., Castellino, F. J. "Streptococcus co-opts a conformational lock in human plasminogen to facilitate streptokinase cleavage and bacterial virulence" 2021 Journal of Biological Chemistry, 296, 016262. DOI:10.1074/jbc.RA120.016262.
  • Carothers, K. E., Liang, Z., Mayfield, J., Donahue, D. L., Lee, M., Boggess, B., Ploplis, V. A., Castellino, F. J., Leea, S. W. "The streptococcal protease SpeB antagonizes the biofilms of the human pathogen staphylococcus aureus USA300 through cleavage of the staphylococcal SdrC protein" 2020 Journal of Bacteriology, 202 (11), e00008-20. DOI:10.1128/JB.00008-20.
  • Chen, P., Liu, R., Huang, M., Zhu, J., Wei, D., Castellino, F. J., Dang, G., Xie, F., Li, G., Cui, Z., Liu, S., Zhang, Y. "A unique combination of glycoside hydrolases in Streptococcus suis specifically and sequentially acts on host-derived αGal-epitope glycans" 2020 The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 295 (31), pp. 10638-10652. DOI:10.1074/jbc.RA119.011977.
  • Fields, F. R., Fields, F. R., Fields, F. R., Manzo, G., Hind, C. K., Janardhanan, J., Foik, I. P., Carmo Silva, P. D., Balsara, R. D., Balsara, R. D., Clifford, M., Vu, H. M., Vu, H. M., Ross, J. N., Ross, J. N., Kalwajtys, V. R., Gonzalez, A. J., Bui, T. T., Ploplis, V. A., Ploplis, V. A., Castellino, F. J., Castellino, F. J., Siryaporn, A., Siryaporn, A., Chang, M., Chang, M., Sutton, J. M., Mason, A. J., Lee, S., Lee, S., Lee, S. "Synthetic Antimicrobial Peptide Tuning Permits Membrane Disruption and Interpeptide Synergy" 2020 ACS Pharmacology and Translational Science, 3 (3), pp. 418-424. DOI:10.1021/acsptsci.0c00001.
  • Ploplis, V. A., Castellino, F. J. "Host pathways of hemostasis that regulate group a streptococcus pyogenes pathogenicity" 2020 Current Drug Targets, 21 (2), pp. 193-201. DOI:10.2174/1389450120666190926152914.
  • Qiu, C., Yuan, Y., Lee, S. W., Ploplis, V. A., Castellino, F. J. "A local (α-helix drives structural evolution of streptococcal M-protein affinity for host human plasminogen" 2020 Biochemical Journal, 477 (9), pp. 1613-1630. DOI:10.1042/BCJ20200197.

Contact Information

  • Kleiderer-Pezold Professor of Biochemistry; Director, WM Keck Center for Transgene Research
  • Office: 230 Raclin-Carmichael Hall
  • Phone: 574-631-8996
  • Send an email
  • Visit Website

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties