James Bowie

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics & Proteomics, Molecular Biology Institute
Director, Macromolecular Crystallization Core Facility (DOE)

A Short Biography:

B.A. Carleton College 1981; Ph.D. MIT 1989; Life Sciences Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, 1989-92; American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, 1992-3; Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, 1993-2000, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, 2000-04, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2004-present. Protein Society Executive Council (2006-), Editorial Board of Journal of Molecular Biology (2006-), Biochemistry (2006-), Protein Science (2000-) and Proteins (1997-2005), Advisory Board Swedish Biomembrane Center (2005-), Co-chair FASEB summer conference on Mol. Biophys. Cell. Membranes (2006&08). Co-chair Gordon Conference on Proteins (2010&12), Member NIH BBM study section (2006-) Temporary Member NIH BBCB (2001), NIH Biochemistry(2000, 2002) and NIH BBM (2005) Study Sections

Click here for information about the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Graduate Program.

Contact Information:

Work Email Address:



Home Page

Work Phone Number:

1 (310) 206-4747

1 (310) 206-7481

Laboratory Address:

Paul Boyer Hall 659

Work Address:

Paul Boyer Hall 655

Detailed Biography:

Bowie got hooked on proteins at an early age and never looked back. The obsession began as a high school student when he did a research project on blood clotting enzymes with Kenneth G. Mann at the Mayo Clinic in his hometown of Rochester, MN. The research project won him a trip to the International Science and Engineering fair and a Westinghouse Award, experiences that further stimulated his interest in science. He went on to Carleton College, where he got a B. A. degree in Chemistry with Distinction. He did research in carbohydrate chemistry with Gary R. Gray at the University of Minnesota before entering graduate school at M.I.T. There he returned to proteins in the laboratory of Robert T. Sauer, using experimental and computational methods to probe and predict protein structure. After completing his Ph.D. work, he did postdoctoral work with David Eisenberg at UCLA, continuing work on structure prediction and structure determination by x-ray crystallography. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1993 and is now a full professor.


Korman Tyler P, Sahachartsiri Bobby, Charbonneau David M, Huang Grace L, Beauregard Marc, Bowie James U   Dieselzymes: development of a stable and methanol tolerant lipase for biodiesel production by directed evolution Biotechnology for biofuels, 2013; 6(1): 70.
Bowie James U   Structural biology. Membrane protein twists and turns Science (New York, N.Y.), 2013; 339(6118): 398-9.
Meruelo Alejandro D, Han Seong Kyu, Kim Sanguk, Bowie James U   Structural differences between thermophilic and mesophilic membrane proteins Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society, 2012; 21(11): 1746-53.
Cao Zheng, Bowie James U   Shifting hydrogen bonds may produce flexible transmembrane helices Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012; 109(21): 8121-6.
Cao Zheng, Schlebach Jonathan P, Park Chiwook, Bowie James U   Thermodynamic stability of bacteriorhodopsin mutants measured relative to the bacterioopsin unfolded state Biochimica et biophysica acta, 2012; 1818(4): 1049-54.
Schlebach Jonathan P, Cao Zheng, Bowie James U, Park Chiwook   Revisiting the folding kinetics of bacteriorhodopsin Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society, 2012; 21(1): 97-106.
Ujwal Rachna, Bowie James U   Crystallizing membrane proteins using lipidic bicelles Methods (San Diego, Calif.), 2011; 55(4): 337-41.
Stafford Ryan L, Hinde Elizabeth, Knight Mary Jane, Pennella Mario A, Ear Jason, Digman Michelle A, Gratton Enrico, Bowie James U   Tandem SAM domain structure of human Caskin1: a presynaptic, self-assembling scaffold for CASK Structure (London, England : 1993), 2011; 19(12): 1826-36.
Stafford Ryan L, Ear Jason, Knight Mary Jane, Bowie James U   The molecular basis of the Caskin1 and Mint1 interaction with CASK Journal of molecular biology, 2011; 412(1): 3-13.
Stafford Ryan L, Tang Ming-Yun, Sawaya Michael R, Phillips Martin L, Bowie James U   Crystal structure of the central coiled-coil domain from human liprin-β2 Biochemistry, 2011; 50(18): 3807-15.
Schlebach Jonathan P, Kim Moon-Soo, Joh Nathan H, Bowie James U, Park Chiwook   Probing membrane protein unfolding with pulse proteolysis Journal of molecular biology, 2011; 406(4): 545-51.
Bowie James U   Membrane protein folding: how important are hydrogen bonds? Current opinion in structural biology, 2011; 21(1): 42-9.
Hong Heedeok, Blois Tracy M, Cao Zheng, Bowie James U   Method to measure strong protein-protein interactions in lipid bilayers using a steric trap Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010; 107(46): 19802-7.
Knight Mary Jane, Joubert Marisa K, Plotkowski Megan L, Kropat Janette, Gingery Mari, Sakane Fumio, Merchant Sabeeha S, Bowie James U   Zinc Binding Drives Sheet Formation by the SAM Domain of Diacylglycerol Kinase δ Biochemistry, 2010; 107(46): .
Ryan Christopher M, Souda Puneet, Bassilian Sara, Ujwal Rachna, Zhang Jun, Abramson Jeff, Ping Peipei, Durazo Armando, Bowie James U, Hasan S Saif, Baniulis Danas, Cramer William A, Faull Kym F, Whitelegge Julian P   Post-translational modifications of integral membrane proteins resolved by top-down Fourier transform mass spectrometry with collisionally activated dissociation Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP, 2010; 9(5): 791-803.
Di Pietro Santiago M, Cascio Duilio, Feliciano Daniel, Bowie James U, Payne Gregory S   Regulation of clathrin adaptor function in endocytosis: novel role for the SAM domain The EMBO journal, 2010; 29(6): 1033-44.
Blois Tracy M, Hong Heedeok, Kim Tae H, Bowie James U   Protein unfolding with a steric trap Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009; 131(39): 13914-5.
Oberai Amit, Joh Nathan H, Pettit Frank K, Bowie James U   Structural imperatives impose diverse evolutionary constraints on helical membrane proteins Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2009; 106(42): 17747-50.
Joh Nathan H, Oberai Amit, Yang Duan, Whitelegge Julian P, Bowie James U   Similar energetic contributions of packing in the core of membrane and water-soluble proteins Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009; 131(31): 10846-7.
Blois Tracy M, Bowie James U   G-protein-coupled receptor structures were not built in a day Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society, 2009; 18(7): 1335-42.
Massey-Gendel Elizabeth, Zhao Anni, Boulting Gabriella, Kim Hye-Yeon, Balamotis Michael A, Seligman Len M, Nakamoto Robert K, Bowie James U   Genetic selection system for improving recombinant membrane protein expression in E. coli Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society, 2009; 18(2): 372-83.
Hong Heedeok, Joh Nathan H, Bowie James U, Tamm Lukas K   Methods for measuring the thermodynamic stability of membrane proteins Methods in enzymology, 2009; 455(2): 213-36.
Meruelo Alejandro D, Bowie James U   Identifying polymer-forming SAM domains Proteins, 2009; 74(1): 1-5.
Joh Nathan Hyunjoong, Min Andrew, Faham Salem, Whitelegge Julian P, Yang Duan, Woods Virgil L, Bowie James U   Modest stabilization by most hydrogen-bonded side-chain interactions in membrane proteins Nature, 2008; 453(7199): 1266-70.
Harada Bryan T, Knight Mary Jane, Imai Shin-Ichi, Qiao Feng, Ramachander Ranjini, Sawaya Michael R, Gingery Mari, Sakane Fumio, Bowie James U   Regulation of enzyme localization by polymerization: polymer formation by the SAM domain of diacylglycerol kinase delta1 Structure, 2008; 16(3): 380-7.
Gorman Paul M, Kim Sanguk, Guo Meng, Melnyk Roman A, McLaurin Joanne, Fraser Paul E, Bowie James U, Chakrabartty Avijit   Dimerization of the transmembrane domain of amyloid precursor proteins and familial Alzheimer's disease mutants J. Mol. Biol, 2008; 9(4): 17.
Sapra K Tanuj, Balasubramanian G Prakash, Labudde Dirk, Bowie James U, Muller Daniel J   Point mutations in membrane proteins reshape energy landscape and populate different unfolding pathways J. Mol. Biol, 2008; 376(4): 1076-90.
Nauli Sehat, Farr Saman, Lee Yueh-Jung, Kim Hye-Yeon, Faham Salem, Bowie James U   Polymer-driven crystallization Protein Sci, 2007; 16(11): 2542-51.
Plotkowski Megan L, Kim Sanguk, Phillips Martin L, Partridge Anthony W, Deber Charles M, Bowie James U   Transmembrane domain of myelin protein zero can form dimers: possible implications for myelin construction Biochemistry, 2007; 46(43): 12164-73.
Pettit Frank K, Bare Emiko, Tsai Albert, Bowie James U   HotPatch: a statistical approach to finding biologically relevant features on protein surfaces J. Mol. Biol, 2007; 369(3): 863-79.
Barwe Sonali P, Kim Sanguk, Rajasekaran Sigrid A, Bowie James U, Rajasekaran Ayyappan K   Janus model of the Na,K-ATPase beta-subunit transmembrane domain: distinct faces mediate alpha/beta assembly and beta-beta homo-oligomerization J. Mol. Biol, 2007; 365(3): 706-14.
Oberai Amit, Ihm Yungok, Kim Sanguk, Bowie James U   A limited universe of membrane protein families and folds Protein Sci, 2006; 15(7): 1723-34.
Gundelfinger Eckart D, Boeckers Tobias M, Baron Marisa K, Bowie James U   A role for zinc in postsynaptic density asSAMbly and plasticity? Trends Biochem. Sci, 2006; 31(7): 366-73.
Bowie James U   Flip-flopping membrane proteins Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol, 2006; 13(2): 94-6.
Baron Marisa K, Boeckers Tobias M, Vaida Bianca, Faham Salem, Gingery Mari, Sawaya Michael R, Salyer Danielle, Gundelfinger Eckart D, Bowie James U   An architectural framework that may lie at the core of the postsynaptic density Science, 2006; 311(5760): 531-5.
Qiao Feng, Harada Bryan, Song Haiyun, Whitelegge Julian, Courey Albert J, Bowie James U   Mae inhibits Pointed-P2 transcriptional activity by blocking its MAPK docking site EMBO J, 2006; 25(1): 70-9.
Bowie James U   Solving the membrane protein folding problem Nature, 2005; 438(7068): 581-9.
Kim Sanguk, Jeon Tae-Joon, Oberai Amit, Yang Duan, Schmidt Jacob J, Bowie James U   Transmembrane glycine zippers: physiological and pathological roles in membrane proteins Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A, 2005; 102(40): 14278-83.
Lorch Mark, Faham Salem, Kaiser Christoph, Weber Ingrid, Mason A James, Bowie James U, Glaubitz Clemens   How to prepare membrane proteins for solid-state NMR: A case study on the alpha-helical integral membrane protein diacylglycerol kinase from E. coli Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology, 2005; 6(9): 1693-700.
Song Haiyun, Nie Minghua, Qiao Feng, Bowie James U, Courey Albert J   Antagonistic regulation of Yan nuclear export by Mae and Crm1 may increase the stringency of the Ras response Genes & development, 2005; 19(15): 1767-72.
Kim Chongwoo A, Sawaya Michael R, Cascio Duilio, Kim Woojae, Bowie James U   Structural organization of a Sex-comb-on-midleg/polyhomeotic copolymer The Journal of biological chemistry, 2005; 280(30): 27769-75.
Qiao Feng, Bowie James U   The many faces of SAM Science's STKE : signal transduction knowledge environment, 2005; 2005(286): re7.
Faham Salem, Boulting Gabriella L, Massey Elizabeth A, Yohannan Sarah, Yang Dawn, Bowie James U   Crystallization of bacteriorhodopsin from bicelle formulations at room temperature Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society, 2005; 14(3): 836-40.
Edwards Michelle D, Li Yuezhou, Kim Sanguk, Miller Samantha, Bartlett Wendy, Black Susan, Dennison Sally, Iscla Irene, Blount Paul, Bowie James U, Booth Ian R   Pivotal role of the glycine-rich TM3 helix in gating the MscS mechanosensitive channel Nature structural & molecular biology, 2005; 12(2): 113-9.
Partridge Anthony W, Liu Shouchun, Kim Sanguk, Bowie James U, Ginsberg Mark H   Transmembrane domain helix packing stabilizes integrin alphaIIbbeta3 in the low affinity state The Journal of biological chemistry, 2005; 280(8): 7294-300.
Bowie James U   Cell biology: border crossing Nature, 2005; 433(7024): 367-9.

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