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Michael A McCloskey

  • Associate Professor, retired

Contact Info

423 Bessey Hall


  • B.S., University of California, Riverside, 1974
  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1979

More Information

Dr. McCloskey received his B.S. in Plant Science from U.C. Riverside and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from U.C. Davis. After fellowships in membrane biophysics at Stanford and U.C. Irvine, he was a research scientist at Irvine before joining ISU in 1989.

Research Description

Our research concerns membrane physiology in the immune system, neurons and algae, yes, algae, with a focus on SOCE, potassium channels and ABC-type transporters. One current interest is Pavlovian conditioning of allergic reactions, which normally are initiated when mast cells detect multivalent allergens via their FcεRI receptor for Immunoglobulin E (IgE). Allergic rhinitis and other forms of hypersensitivity also can be classically conditioned by IgE-independent stimuli, e.g., nonallergenic odorants. We wish to identify the route of delivery and nature of the signal, by which the nervous system controls mast cell responses to conditioned stimuli. Some evidence points to a contribution of mast cell P2Y receptors, which years ago we showed to mediate chemotaxis, G protein-coupled K+ channels, and IgE-linked secretion of inflammatory mediators.  In brain progenitors, we determined the developmental expression of Kv channel subtypes during neuronal differentiation, and found that beta subunits previously thought to be neuronally restricted, are present and functional in undifferentiated progenitors. In the green algae Chlamydomonas, HLA3 is a putative bicarbonate transporter of the ABC type, similar in sequence to the CFTR.  Our mutational analysis provided direct evidence for ATP dependent transport of bicarbonate by HLA3, per se, in mammalian expression systems. Two of our previous contributions to mast cell biology were to demonstrate that CRAC channels mediate FcεRI-driven Ca2+ influx, and that the NF-AT transcription factor, which until then was thought to be active only in lymphocytes, is activated in mast cells by the FcεRI-triggered calcium influx. Biophysical problems we have addressed include the role of polyisoprenoid lipid mobility in glycosylation reactions, external constraints on lateral diffusion of the FcεRI, and the mechanism by which the attack complex of complement permeabilizes membranes.

Selected Publications

  • McCloskey M.A., Mosher C.L. and E.R. Henderson (2017) Wind energy conversion by plant-inspired designs. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0170022
  • McCloskey M.A., Mosher C.L. and E.R. Henderson (2017) Off-grid wind energy harvesting by artificial plants. Environmental Science Journal for Teens. May issue, pp 1 - 4.
  • Oh, J., McCloskey, M.A., Blong, C.B., Nislen-Hamilton, M. and Sakaguchi, D.S. (2010) Astrocyte-derived interleukin-6 promotes specific neuronal differentiation of neural progenitor cells from adult hippocampus. J. Neurosci. Res. 88(13): 2798-2809.
  • Li, H.W., M. McCloskey and E.S. Yeung. 2006. Real-time dynamics of label-free single mast cell granules revealed by differential interference contrast microscopy. Anal. Bioanl. Chem. .
  • McCloskey, M.A. and L. Zhang. 2000. Potentiation of FceRI-activated Ca2+ current (Icrac) by cholera toxin: Possible mediation by ADP-ribosylation factor. J. Cell Biol. 148(1): 137-146.
  • McCloskey M.A., Fan, Y. and S. Luther. 1999. Chemotaxis of rat mast cells towards adenine nucleotides. J. Immunology 163(2): 970-977.
  • Lillard, S. J., Yeung, E. S. and M. A. McCloskey. 1996. Monitoring exocytosis and release of serotonin from individual mast cells by capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced native fluorescence detection. Anal. Chem. 68, 2897-2904.
  • Zhang, L. and M.A. McCloskey. 1995. Immunoglobulin E receptor-activated calcium conductance in rat mast cells. J. Physiol. (London) 483.1:59-66.
  • Hutchinson, L.E. and M.A. McCloskey. 1995. FceRI-mediated induction of nuclear factor of activated T cells. J. Biol. Chem. 270(27):16333-16338.
  • Fan, Y. and M.A. McCloskey. 1994. Dual pathways for GTP-dependent regulation of chemattractant-activated K conductance in murine J774 monocytes. J. Biol. Chem. 269(50):31533-31543.
  • McCloskey, M.A. and Y.-X. Qian. 1994. Selective expression of potassium channels during mast cell differentiation. J. Biol. Chem. 269(20):14813-14819.