McLaughlin Institute

John A. Mercer, PhD


John Mercer

Through a collaboration including MRI, Stanford University, and the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore, India, John Mercer is currently Visiting Professor at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) at NCBS. Pictured here with Tejas Gupte, Postdoctoral Fellow, on the NCBS campus.


Laboratory Members

Colleen Silan, Research Associate

Tejas M. Gupte, Postdoctoral Fellow, inStem/NCBS, Bangalore

Amruta Jambekar, Postdoctoral Fellow

Farah Haque, Graduate Student

Binnu Gangadharan, Graduate Student

Namita Mukundan, Graduate Student



University of Iowa, BS, 1979, Zoology

University of California, San Diego, PhD, 1986, Biology



1986-1991 Leukemia Society of America Postdoctoral Fellow. Mammalian Genetics Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD

1991-1995 Assistant Professor. Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

1995-2006 Scientist (Associate Professor). McLaughlin Research Institute, Great Falls, MT

2006-present Professor. McLaughlin Research Institute, Great Falls, MT

October 2009-August 2011 Visiting Scholar. Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA

August 2011-present Visiting Professor. inStem/National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India


Major Areas of Research

Molecular mechanisms of inherited cardiomyopathies.

Unconventional myosins in organelle and RNA transport.


Current Publications 

Gupte TM, Haque F, Gangadharan B, Sunitha MS, Rani DS, Mukundan N, Jambekar A, Thangaraj K, Sowdhamini R, Sommese RF, Nag S, Spudich JA, and Mercer, J. Mechanistic heterogeneity in contractile properties of TPM1 mutants associated with inherited cardiomyopathies. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2015, 290:7003-7015.

Calliari A, Farías J, Puppo A, Canclini L, Mercer JA, Munroe D, Sotelo JR, and Sotelo-Silveira JR. Myosin Va associates with mRNA in ribonucleoprotein particles present in myelinated peripheral axons and in the central nervous system. Developmental Neurobiology. 2014, 74:382-96

Sotelo, J.R., Canclini, L., Kun, A., Sotelo-Silveira, J.R., Calliari, A., Rosso, G., Cal, K., Bresque, M., DiPaolo, A., Farias, J., and Mercer, J.A. Glia-to-axon RNA transfer. Developmental Neurobiology, in press; Epub ahead of print. 2013, Aug 31. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22125.

Sotelo, J.R., Canclini, L., Kun, A., Sotelo-Silveira, J.R., Xu, L., Wallrabe, L., Calliari, A., Rosso, G., Cal, K., and Mercer, J.A. Myosin-Va-dependent cell-to-cell transfer of RNA from Schwann cells to axons. PLoS ONE.  2013, 8(4): e61905. (link)

Margaret Sunitha S., Mercer, J.A., Spudich, J.A., and Sowdhamini R. Integrative structural modelling of the cardiac thin filament: energetics at the interface and conservation patterns reveal a spotlight on period 2 of tropomyosin. Bioinformation Biology Insights. 2012, 6:203-23.

Wöllert, T., A. Patel, Y.-L. Lee, D.W. Provance, V. Vought, M.S. Cosgrove, Mercer, J.A., and G.M. Langford. Myosin-Va tail associates directly with Rab3A-containing compartments in neurons. J. Biol. Chem. 2011, 286: 14352-14361. (link)

Wang, Z., Edwards, J.G., Riley, N., Provance, D.W., Karcher, R.L., Li, X., Davison, I.G., Ikebe, M., Mercer, J.A., Kauer, J.A., and Ehlers, M.D. Myosin-Vb mobilizes recycling endosomes and AMPA receptors for postsynaptic plasticity.  Cell. 2008, 135: 535-548. (link)

Provance, D.W., E.J. Addison, P.R. Wood, D.Z. Chen, R.L. Karcher, C.M. Silan, and Mercer, J.A. Myosin-Vb functions as a peripheral, dynamic tether for endocytic compartments during transferrin trafficking.  BMC Cell Biology. 2008, 8: 44. (link)

Salerno, V.P., Calliari, A., Provance, D.W., Sotelo-Silveira, J.R., Sotelo, J.R., and Mercer, J.A. Myosin-Va mediates RNA localization in primary fibroblasts from multiple organs.  Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 2008, 65: 422-433. (Download PDF)

Stauffer, E.A., Scarborough, J.D., Hirono, M., Miller, E.D., Shah, K., Mercer, J.A., Holt, J.R., and Gillespie, P.G. Fast adaptation in vestibular hair cells requires myosin-1c Activity. Neuron. 2005, 47: 541-553. (Download PDF)

D.W. Provance, C.R. Gourley, C.M. Silan, L.C. Cameron, K.M. Shokat, J.R. Goldenring, K.Shah, P.G. Gillespie, and Mercer, J.A. Chemical-genetic inhibition of a sensitized mutant myosin-Vb demonstrates a role in peripheral-pericentriolar membrane traffic.  Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2004, 101, 1868-1873. (Download PDF)

Holt, J.R., Gillespie, S.K.H., Provance, D.W., Shah, K., Shokat, K.M., Corey, D.P., Mercer, J.A. and Gillespie, P.G. A chemical-genetic strategy implicates myosin-1c in adaptation by hair cells.  Cell 2002, 108, 371-381. (Download PDF)

Provance, D.W., James, T.L. and Mercer, J.A. Melanophilin, the product of the leaden locus, is required for targeting of myosin-Va to melanosomes.  Traffic. 2002, 3,124-132. (link)

Additional Publications


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