The University of Chicago Header Logo

Ronald S. Rock

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentBiochemistry and Molecular Biology
AddressChicago IL 60637
Phone+1 (773) 7020716
vCardDownload vCard

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    Cells use an extensive toolkit of myosin motor proteins to traffic materials, anchor components, and control their shape. The focus of our group is to understand biological motion, specifically how motor proteins navigate the cytoskeleton and dynamically organize cells. We use a multifaceted approach, constructing advanced single-molecule fluorescence microscopes and optical tweezers to watch how myosins move in vitro and in whole cells. We also use structural biology tools to understand how myosin architecture and quaternary structure regulates motility.
    Collapse webpage

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Stanford University, Palo Alto, CAPostdoc, Spudich Lab2004Biochemistry
    Caltech, Pasadena, CAPh.D.1998Chemistry
    University of Chicago, Chicago, ILB.S.1992Chemistry
    Collapse awards and honors
    2002Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface
    1999Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Shangguan J, Rock RS. Pushed to the edge: hundreds of Myosin 10s pack into filopodia and could cause traffic jams on actin. bioRxiv. 2023 Jun 26. PMID: 37425746; PMCID: PMC10327019.
    2. Kroll KL, French AR, Sosnick TR, Rock RS. LILAC: enhanced actin imaging with an optogenetic Lifeact. Nat Methods. 2023 02; 20(2):214-217. PMID: 36717692; PMCID: PMC10986358.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    3. Bryan DS, Stack M, Krysztofiak K, Cichon U, Thomas DG, Surcel A, Schiffhauer ES, Beckett MA, Khodarev NN, Xue L, Poli EC, Pearson AT, Posner MC, Robinson DN, Rock RS, Weichselbaum RR. 4-Hydroxyacetophenone modulates the actomyosin cytoskeleton to reduce metastasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 09 08; 117(36):22423-22429. PMID: 32848073; PMCID: PMC7486788.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    4. Santos A, Shauchuk Y, Cichon U, Vavra KC, Rock RS. How Actin Tracks Affect Myosin Motors. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020; 1239:183-197. PMID: 32451860.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    5. Trejo CS, Rock RS, Stark WM, Boocock MR, Rice PA. Snapshots of a molecular swivel in action. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 06 01; 46(10):5286-5296. PMID: 29315406; PMCID: PMC6007550.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    6. Zalisko BE, Chan C, Denic V, Rock RS, Keenan RJ. Tail-Anchored Protein Insertion by a Single Get1/2 Heterodimer. Cell Rep. 2017 Sep 05; 20(10):2287-2293. PMID: 28877464; PMCID: PMC5657598.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    7. French AR, Sosnick TR, Rock RS. Investigations of human myosin VI targeting using optogenetically controlled cargo loading. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 02 28; 114(9):E1607-E1616. PMID: 28193860; PMCID: PMC5338553.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    8. Alcala DB, Haldeman BD, Brizendine RK, Krenc AK, Baker JE, Rock RS, Cremo CR. Myosin light chain kinase steady-state kinetics: comparison of smooth muscle myosin II and nonmuscle myosin IIB as substrates. Cell Biochem Funct. 2016 Oct; 34(7):469-474. PMID: 27528075; PMCID: PMC5076371.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    9. Vavra KC, Xia Y, Rock RS. Competition between Coiled-Coil Structures and the Impact on Myosin-10 Bundle Selection. Biophys J. 2016 06 07; 110(11):2517-2527. PMID: 27276269; PMCID: PMC4906270.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    10. Zimmermann D, Santos A, Kovar DR, Rock RS. Actin age orchestrates myosin-5 and myosin-6 run lengths. Curr Biol. 2015 Aug 03; 25(15):2057-62. PMID: 26190073; PMCID: PMC4556227.
      Citations: 21     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    11. Surcel A, Ng WP, West-Foyle H, Zhu Q, Ren Y, Avery LB, Krenc AK, Meyers DJ, Rock RS, Anders RA, Freel Meyers CL, Robinson DN. Pharmacological activation of myosin II paralogs to correct cell mechanics defects. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Feb 03; 112(5):1428-33. PMID: 25605895; PMCID: PMC4321244.
      Citations: 33     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    12. Wang M, Nash PD, Engelmann BW, Kim Y, Peters B, Rock RS. The development and application of a quantitative peptide microarray based approach to protein interaction domain specificity space. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2014 Dec; 13(12):3647-62. PMID: 25135669; PMCID: PMC4256512.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    13. Rock RS. Lennarz WJ, Lane MD, ed. The Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry. Cytoskeletal motors: general principles. 2013; 3:632-635.
    14. Rock RS. Molecular motors: a finicky myosin V chooses its own path. Curr Biol. 2012 Aug 07; 22(15):R606-8. PMID: 22877783.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    15. Spudich JA, Rice SE, Rock RS, Purcell TJ, Warrick HM. Attachment of anti-GFP antibodies to microspheres for optical trapping experiments. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2011 Nov 01; 2011(11):1370-1. PMID: 22046049; PMCID: PMC4784430.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    16. Spudich JA, Rice SE, Rock RS, Purcell TJ, Warrick HM. Optical traps to study properties of molecular motors. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2011 Nov 01; 2011(11):1305-18. PMID: 22046048; PMCID: PMC4784437.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    
    17. Spudich JA, Rice SE, Rock RS, Purcell TJ, Warrick HM. The optical trapping dumbbell assay for nonprocessive motors or motors that turn around filaments. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2011 Nov 01; 2011(11):1372-4. PMID: 22046050; PMCID: PMC4782787.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    18. Skau CT, Courson DS, Bestul AJ, Winkelman JD, Rock RS, Sirotkin V, Kovar DR. Actin filament bundling by fimbrin is important for endocytosis, cytokinesis, and polarization in fission yeast. J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 29; 286(30):26964-77. PMID: 21642440; PMCID: PMC3143655.
      Citations: 69     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    19. Rock RS. Roux B, ed. Molecular Machines. Muscle and myosin. 2011; 99-114.
    20. Brawley CM, Uysal S, Kossiakoff AA, Rock RS. Characterization of engineered actin binding proteins that control filament assembly and structure. PLoS One. 2010 Nov 12; 5(11):e13960. PMID: 21103060; PMCID: PMC2980482.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    21. Ricca BL, Rock RS. The stepping pattern of myosin X is adapted for processive motility on bundled actin. Biophys J. 2010 Sep 22; 99(6):1818-26. PMID: 20858426; PMCID: PMC2941030.
      Citations: 29     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    22. Rock RS. Intracellular transport: force controls motor switching at filament junctions. Curr Biol. 2010 Jun 22; 20(12):R525-7. PMID: 20620908.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Cells
    23. Courson DS, Rock RS. Actin cross-link assembly and disassembly mechanics for alpha-Actinin and fascin. J Biol Chem. 2010 Aug 20; 285(34):26350-7. PMID: 20551315; PMCID: PMC2924060.
      Citations: 50     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    24. Nagy S, Rock RS. Structured post-IQ domain governs selectivity of myosin X for fascin-actin bundles. J Biol Chem. 2010 Aug 20; 285(34):26608-17. PMID: 20538587; PMCID: PMC2924099.
      Citations: 26     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    25. Norstrom MF, Smithback PA, Rock RS. Unconventional processive mechanics of non-muscle myosin IIB. J Biol Chem. 2010 Aug 20; 285(34):26326-34. PMID: 20511646; PMCID: PMC2924056.
      Citations: 43     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    26. Huang J, Nagy SS, Koide A, Rock RS, Koide S. A peptide tag system for facile purification and single-molecule immobilization. Biochemistry. 2009 Dec 22; 48(50):11834-6. PMID: 19928925; PMCID: PMC2795123.
      Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    27. Rock RS. A new direction for titin pulling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Aug 11; 106(32):13149-50. PMID: 19666561; PMCID: PMC2726376.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    28. Courson DS, Rock RS. Fast benchtop fabrication of laminar flow chambers for advanced microscopy techniques. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 03; 4(8):e6479. PMID: 19649241; PMCID: PMC2714461.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    29. Ren Y, Effler JC, Norstrom M, Luo T, Firtel RA, Iglesias PA, Rock RS, Robinson DN. Mechanosensing through cooperative interactions between myosin II and the actin crosslinker cortexillin I. Curr Biol. 2009 Sep 15; 19(17):1421-8. PMID: 19646871; PMCID: PMC2763054.
      Citations: 90     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    30. Rizk SS, Luchniak A, Uysal S, Brawley CM, Rock RS, Kossiakoff AA. An engineered substance P variant for receptor-mediated delivery of synthetic antibodies into tumor cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jul 07; 106(27):11011-5. PMID: 19549879; PMCID: PMC2708752.
      Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    31. Brawley CM, Rock RS. Unconventional myosin traffic in cells reveals a selective actin cytoskeleton. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 16; 106(24):9685-90. PMID: 19478066; PMCID: PMC2701044.
      Citations: 44     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    32. Nagy S, Ricca BL, Norstrom MF, Courson DS, Brawley CM, Smithback PA, Rock RS. A myosin motor that selects bundled actin for motility. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 15; 105(28):9616-20. PMID: 18599451; PMCID: PMC2474510.
      Citations: 80     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    33. Rizvi SA, Courson DS, Keller VA, Rock RS, Kozmin SA. The dual mode of action of bistramide A entails severing of filamentous actin and covalent protein modification. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 18; 105(11):4088-92. PMID: 18334642; PMCID: PMC2393769.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    34. Spudich JA, Rice SE, Rock RS, Purcell TJ, Warrick HM. Ha T, Selvin PR, ed. Single Molecule Techniques: A Laboratory Manual. Optical traps to study properties of molecular motors. 2007; 279-296.
    35. Rock RS, Ramamurthy B, Dunn AR, Beccafico S, Rami BR, Morris C, Spink BJ, Franzini-Armstrong C, Spudich JA, Sweeney HL. A flexible domain is essential for the large step size and processivity of myosin VI. Mol Cell. 2005 Feb 18; 17(4):603-9. PMID: 15721263.
      Citations: 44     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    36. Churchman LS, Okten Z, Rock RS, Dawson JF, Spudich JA. Single molecule high-resolution colocalization of Cy3 and Cy5 attached to macromolecules measures intramolecular distances through time. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 01; 102(5):1419-23. PMID: 15668396; PMCID: PMC545495.
      Citations: 144     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    37. Okten Z, Churchman LS, Rock RS, Spudich JA. Myosin VI walks hand-over-hand along actin. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2004 Sep; 11(9):884-7. PMID: 15286724.
      Citations: 52     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    38. Rock RS, Hansen KC, Larsen RW, Chan SI. Rapid photochemical triggering of protein unfolding in a nondenaturing environment. Chem Phys. 2004; 307(2):201-208.
    39. Rock RS, Purcell TJ, Spudich JA. Hackney DD, Tamanoi F, ed. The Enzymes. The mechanics of unconventional myosins. 2003; 23:55-87.
    40. Robinson DN, Ocon SS, Rock RS, Spudich JA. Dynacortin is a novel actin bundling protein that localizes to dynamic actin structures. J Biol Chem. 2002 Mar 15; 277(11):9088-95. PMID: 11782490.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    41. Spudich JA, Rock RS. A crossbridge too far. Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Jan; 4(1):E8-10. PMID: 11780133.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    42. Rock RS, Rice SE, Wells AL, Purcell TJ, Spudich JA, Sweeney HL. Myosin VI is a processive motor with a large step size. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Nov 20; 98(24):13655-9. PMID: 11707568; PMCID: PMC61096.
      Citations: 147     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    43. Murphy CT, Rock RS, Spudich JA. A myosin II mutation uncouples ATPase activity from motility and shortens step size. Nat Cell Biol. 2001 Mar; 3(3):311-5. PMID: 11231583.
      Citations: 40     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    44. Rock RS, Rief M, Mehta AD, Spudich JA. In vitro assays of processive myosin motors. Methods. 2000 Dec; 22(4):373-81. PMID: 11133243.
      Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    45. Rief M, Rock RS, Mehta AD, Mooseker MS, Cheney RE, Spudich JA. Myosin-V stepping kinetics: a molecular model for processivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 15; 97(17):9482-6. PMID: 10944217; PMCID: PMC16890.
      Citations: 159     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    46. Hansen KC, Rock RS, Larsen RW, Chan SI. A method for photoinitiating protein folding in a nondenaturing environment. J Am Chem Soc. 2000; 122:11567-11568.
    47. Mehta AD, Rock RS, Rief M, Spudich JA, Mooseker MS, Cheney RE. Myosin-V is a processive actin-based motor. Nature. 1999 Aug 05; 400(6744):590-3. PMID: 10448864.
      Citations: 275     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    48. Rock RS, Chan S. Preparation of a water-soluble cage based on 3,5-dimethoxybenzoin. J Am Chem Soc. 1998; 120:10766-10767.
    49. Stowell MH, Rock RS, Rees DC, Chan SI. Efficient synthesis of photolabile alkoxy benzoin protecting groups. Tetr Lett. 1996; 37(3):307-310.
    50. Rock RS, Chan S. Synthesis and photolysis properties of a photolabile linker based on 3’-methoxybenzoin. J Org Chem. 1996; 61(4):1526-1529.
    Rock's Networks
    Click the
    buttons for more information and interactive visualizations!
    Concepts (180)
    Co-Authors (9)
    Similar People (60)
    Same Department Expand Description
    Physical Neighbors