Prof Clare Futter


Personal Profile

Name: Clare Futter Email:
Title: Prof Tel:
Department: Inst Ophthalmology - Cell Biology Fax:
Position: Professor of Cell Biology Address: , , ,
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences, Biomedical Imaging (Frontier Disciplines), Cancer, Neuroscience, Personalised Medicine Web Page:  


Research Description

We study how newly synthesised proteins and proteins taken up from the cell surface are sorted and delivered to the appropriate destination within the cell. The correct traffic of these proteins plays a critical role in regulating cell proliferation, survival and differentiation in all cells. We also study specific traffic events in cells of the eye, focusing on retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE). Melanin pigment within the RPE is critical for eye development and protects the adult eye from light and oxidative stress. We study how pigment granules are made, how they move and how defects in these processes contribute to inherited retinal degenerations. RPE also take up and degrade spent photoreceptor segments and a gradual build-up of undigested products within the RPE occurs with age and is increased in AMD. We study the regulation of degradation of outer segments in order to understand how these processes breakdown with age and disease.

Research Activities

Intracellular Lipid Traffic

Investigating the molecular basis of frontotemporal dementia

Membrane traffic in cancer and retinal pigment epi

The Cell Biology of Eye Disease

Education Description

UCL Collaborators

Professor Francesca Cordeiro; Prof Sebastian Brandner; Dr Robin Ketteler; Prof Mark Marsh; Dr Tim Levine; Dr Chris Stefan; Dr Adrian Isaacs; Prof Karl Matter; Dr Darren Nesbeth; Prof Stephen Moss; Prof Tamas Revesz; Prof Martin Rossor; Prof Shamshad Cockcroft; Prof Nick Fox; Prof Sandip Patel

External Collaborators

Prof Anant Menon; Prof Howard Riezman; Prof Christian Ungermann; Prof Terje Johansen; Dr Anne Simonsen; Prof Susan Henry; Freja Consortium; Prof Tom Blundell; Prof Christine Van Broeckhoven; Dr Nick Ktistakis; Dr Will Prinz; Dr Catherine Tomasetto



    • Burgoyne T, Jolly R, Martin-Martin B, Seabra MC, Piccirillo R, Schiaffino MV, Futter CE (2014). Expression of OA1 limits the fusion of a subset of MVBs with lysosomes - a mechanism potentially involved in the initial biogenesis of melanosomes.. J Cell Sci, 127(Pt 3), 700 - . doi:10.1242/jcs.148072
    • Hudson N, Powner MB, Sarker MH, Burgoyne T, Campbell M, Ockrim ZK, Martinelli R, Futter CE, Grant MB, Fraser PA, Shima DT, Greenwood J, Turowski P (2014). Differential Apicobasal VEGF Signaling at Vascular Blood-Neural Barriers.. Dev Cell, , - . doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2014.06.027
    • Wavre-Shapton ST, Meschede IP, Seabra MC, Futter CE (2014). Phagosome maturation during endosome interaction revealed by partial rhodopsin processing in retinal pigment epithelium.. J Cell Sci, , - . doi:10.1242/jcs.154757
    • Hockey LN, Kilpatrick BS, Eden E, Lin-Moshier Y, Brailoiu GC, Brailoiu E, Futter CE, Schapira AH, Marchant JS, Patel S (2014). Dysregulation of lysosomal morphology by pathogenic LRRK2 is corrected by two-pore channel 2 inhibition. Journal of Cell Science, , - .


    • Carroll B, Mohd-Naim N, Maximiano F, Frasa MA, McCormack J, Finelli M, Thoresen SB, Perdios L, Daigaku R, Francis RE, Futter C, Dikic I, Braga VM (2013). The TBC/RabGAP Armus coordinates Rac1 and Rab7 functions during autophagy.. Dev Cell, 25(1), 15 - 28. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2013.03.005
    • Burgoyne T, Jolly R, Martin-Martin B, Seabra MC, Piccirillo R, Schiaffino MV, Futter CE (2013). Expression of OA1 limits the fusion of a subset of MVBs with lysosomes; a mechanism likely involved in the initial biogenesis of melanosomes.. J Cell Sci, , - . doi:10.1242/jcs.128561
    • Wavre-Shapton ST, Tolmachova T, Lopes da Silva M, Futter CE, Seabra MC (2013). Correction: Conditional Ablation of the Choroideremia Gene Causes Age-Related Changes in Mouse Retinal Pigment Epithelium.. PLoS One, 8(5), - . doi:10.1371/annotation/83a88285-e6a0-41fb-ae67-4315c21e5090
    • Wavre-Shapton ST, Tolmachova T, Lopes da Silva M, Futter CE, Seabra MC (2013). Conditional ablation of the choroideremia gene causes age-related changes in mouse retinal pigment epithelium.. PLoS One, 8(2), e57769 - . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057769
    • Singh RK, Mizuno K, Wasmeier C, Wavre-Shapton ST, Recchi C, Catz SD, Futter C, Tolmachova T, Hume AN, Seabra MC (2013). Distinct and opposing roles for Rab27a/Mlph/MyoVa and Rab27b/Munc13-4 in mast cell secretion.. FEBS J, 280(3), 892 - 903. doi:10.1111/febs.12081
    • Edgar JR, Eden ER, Futter CE (2013). Hrs- and CD63-dependent competing mechanisms make different sized endosomal intraluminal vesicles.. Traffic, , - . doi:10.1111/tra.12139
    • Tomas A, Futter CE, Eden ER (2013). EGF receptor trafficking: consequences for signaling and cancer.. Trends Cell Biol, , - . doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2013.11.002
    • Kilpatrick BS, Eden ER, Schapira AH, Futter CE, Patel S (2013). Direct mobilisation of lysosomal Ca2+ triggers complex Ca2+ signals.. J Cell Sci, 126(Pt 1), 60 - 66. doi:10.1242/jcs.118836
    • Tarafder AK, Bolasco G, Correia MS, Pereira FJ, Iannone L, Hume AN, Kirkpatrick N, Picardo M, Torrisi MR, Rodrigues IP, Ramalho JS, Futter CE, Barral DC, Seabra MC (2013). Rab11b Mediates Melanin Transfer Between Donor Melanocytes and Acceptor Keratinocytes via Coupled Exo/Endocytosis.. J Invest Dermatol, , - . doi:10.1038/jid.2013.432


    • Lopes da Silva M, Thieleke-Matos C, Cabrita-Santos L, Ramalho JS, Wavre-Shapton ST, Futter CE, Barral DC, Seabra MC (2012). The host endocytic pathway is essential for Plasmodium berghei late liver stage development.. Traffic, 13(10), 1351 - 1363. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0854.2012.01398.x
    • Martins T, Burgoyne T, Kenny BA, Hudson N, Futter CE, Ambrosio AF, Silva AP, Greenwood J, Turowski P (2012). Methamphetamine-induced nitric oxide promotes vesicular transport in blood-brain barrier endothelial cells.. Neuropharmacology, in press, - . doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.08.021
    • Eden ER, Huang F, Sorkin A, Futter CE (2012). The role of EGF receptor ubiquitination in regulating its intracellular traffic.. Traffic, 13(2), 329 - 337. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0854.2011.01305.x
    • Tolmachova T, Tolmachov OE, Wavre-Shapton ST, Tracey-White D, Futter CE, Seabra MC (2012). CHM/REP1 cDNA delivery by lentiviral vectors provides functional expression of the transgene in the retinal pigment epithelium of choroideremia mice.. J Gene Med, 14(3), 158 - 168. doi:10.1002/jgm.1652
    • Eden ER, Burgoyne T, Edgar JR, Sorkin A, Futter CE (2012). The relationship between ER-multivesicular body membrane contacts and the ESCRT machinery.. Biochem Soc Trans, 40(2), 464 - 468. doi:10.1042/BST20110774


    • Qureshi OS, Zheng Y, Nakamura K, Attridge K, Manzotti C, Schmidt EM, Baker J, Jeffery LE, Kaur S, Briggs Z, Hou TZ, Futter CE, Anderson G, Walker LS, Sansom DM (2011). Trans-endocytosis of CD80 and CD86: a molecular basis for the cell-extrinsic function of CTLA-4.. Science, 332(6029), 600 - 603. doi:10.1126/science.1202947


    • Urwin H, Authier A, Nielsen JE, Powell C, Metcalf D, Froud K, Holm I, Johannsen P, Brown J, Fisher EMC, van der Zee J, Bruyland M, Consortium TF, Vab Broeckhoven C, Collinge C, Brandner S, Futter C, Issacs AM (2010). Disruption of Endocytic Trafficking in Frontotemporal Dementia with CHMP2B Mutations.. Human Molecular Genetics, 19, 2228 - 22238.
    • Tolmachova T, Wavre-Shapton ST, Barnard AR, MacLaren RE, Futter CE, Seabra MC (2010). Retinal pigment epithelium defects accelerate photoreceptor degeneration in cell type-specific knockout mouse models of choroideremia.. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 51(10), 4913 - 4920. doi:10.1167/iovs.09-4892
    • Horgan CP, Hanscom SR, Jolly RS, Futter CE, McCaffrey MW (2010). Rab11-FIP3 binds dynein light intermediate chain 2 and its overexpression fragments the Golgi complex.. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 394(2), 387 - 392. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.03.028
    • Carvou N, Roman H, Li M, Skippen A, Futter CE, Cockroft S (2010). Phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylcholine transfer activity of PITP [beta] is essential for COPI-mediated retrograde transport from the Golgi to the endoplasmic reticulum.. Journal of Cell Science, 123, 1262 - 1273.
    • Eden ER, White IJ, Tsapara A, Futter CE (2010). Membrane contacts between endosomes and ER provide sites for PTP1B-epidermal growth factor receptor interaction.. Nat Cell Biol, 12(3), 267 - 272. doi:10.1038/ncb2026


    • Law AL, Ling Q, Hajjar KA, Futter CE, Greenwood J, Adamson P, Wavre-Shapton ST, Moss SE, Hayes MJ (2009). Annexin A2 Regulates Phagocytosis of Photoreceptor Outer Segments in the Mouse Retina. Mol.Biol.Cell, , - .
    • Horgan CP, Hanscom SR, Jolly RS, Futter CEM, M W (2009). Rab11-FIP3 links the Rab11 GTPase and cytoplasmic dynein to mediate transport to the endosomal-recycling compartment. Journal of Cell Science, , - .
    • Eden ER, White IJ, Futter CE (2009). Down-regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor signalling within multivesicular bodies. Biochem.Soc.Trans., 37(Pt 1), 173 - 177.


    • Futter CE, Lopes VS, Wavre ST, Seabra MC (2008). Melanosome biogenesis, transport and function in retinal pigment epithelial cells.
    • Woodman PG, Futter CE (2008). Multivesicular bodies: co-ordinated progression to maturity. Current Opinion in Cell Biology, 20, 408 - 414.


    • Lopes VS, Ramalho JS, Owen DM, Karl MO, Strauss O, Futter CE, Seabra MC (2007). The ternary Rab27a-Myrip-Myosin VIIa complex regulates melanosome motility in the retinal pigment epithelium. Traffic., 8(5), 486 - 499.
    • Lopes VS, Wasmeier C, Seabra MC, Futter CE (2007). Melanosome Maturation Defect in Rab38-deficient Retinal Pigment Epithelium Results in Instability of Immature Melanosomes during Transient Melanogenesis. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 18, 3914 - 3927.
    • Tolmachova T, Abrink M, Futter CE, Authi KS, Seabra MC (2007). Rab27b regulates number and secretion of platelet dense granules. Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A, 104(14), 5872 - 5877.
    • Futter CE, White IJ (2007). Annexins and endocytosis. Traffic, 8, 951 - 958.
    • Horgan CP, Oleksy A, Zhdanov AV, Lall PY, White IJ, Khan AR, Futter CE, McCaffrey JG, McCaffrey MW (2007). Rab11-FIP3 is critical for the structural integrity of the endosomal recycling compartment. Traffic., 8(4), 414 - 430.


    • Tolmachova T, Anders R, Abrink M, Bugeon L, Dallman MJ, Futter CE, Ramalho J, Tonagel F, Tanimoto N, Seeliger MW, Huxley CSMC (2006). Independent degeneration of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium in a conditional knockout mouse model of choroideremia.. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 116(2), 386 - 394. doi:10.1172/JCI26617
    • White IJ, Bailey LM, Razi Aghakhani M, Moss SE, Futter CE (2006). EGF stimulates annexin 1-dependent inward vesiculation within a sub-population of multivesicular endosomes.. The EMBO Journal, 25(1), 1 - 12. doi:10.1038/sj.emboj.7600759
    • Futter CE (2006). The molecular regulation of organelle transport in mammalian retinal pigment epithelial cells. Pigment Cell Research, 19(2), 104 - 111.
    • Razi M, Futter CE (2006). Distinct roles for Tsg101 and Hrs in multivesicular body formation and inward vesiculation.. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 17, 3469 - 3483.


    • Mehta JS, Futter CE, Sandeman SR, Faragher RG, Hing KA, Tanner KE, Allan BD (2005). Hydroxyapatite promotes superior keratocyte adhesion and proliferation in comparison with current keratoprosthesis skirt materials. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 89(10), 1356 - 1362.
    • Futter CE, Crowston JG, Allan BD (2005). Interaction with collagen IV protects lens epithelial cells from Fas-dependent apoptosis by stimulating the production of soluble survival factors. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 46(9), 3256 - 3262.


    • Wherlock M, Gampel A, Futter C, Mellor H (2004). Farnesyltransferase inhibitors disrupt EGF receptor traffic through modulation of the RhoB GTPase.. Journal of Cell Science, 117(15), 3221 - 3231. doi:10.1242/10.1242/jcs.01193
    • Ramalho JS, Lopes VS, Futter CE, Pereira PC, Seabra MC (2004). Intracellular trafficking of melanosomes in the retinal pigmented epithelium: mapping of interactions between Rab27a, Myrip and MyoVIIa.
    • Allan BDS, Bi J, Jacob JT, Futter CE (2004). Lens epithelial cells cultured on plastic are protected from Fas mediated apoptosis by conditioned media from lens epithelial cells cultured on collagen V.
    • Tomas A, Futter C, Moss SE (2004). Annexin 11 is required for midbody formation and completion of the terminal phase of cytokinesis.. The Journal of cell biology, 165(6), 813 - 822. doi:10.1083/jcb.200311054
    • Futter CE, Ramalho JS, Jaissle GB, Seeliger MW, Seabra MC (2004). The role of Rab27a in the regulation of melanosome distribution within retinal pigment epithelial cells.. Molecular biology of the cell, 15(5), 2264 - 2275. doi:10.1091/mbc.E03-10-0772


    • Crowston JG, Kersey J, Futter CE, Khaw PT, Allan B (2001). Death receptor-mediated apoptosis in a human lens epithelium cell line.. INVEST OPHTH VIS SCI, 42(4), S882 - S882.
    • Futter CE, Collinson LM, Backer JM, Hopkins CR (2001). Human VPS34 is required for internal vesicle formation within multivesicular endosomes. The Journal of Cell Biology, 155(7), 1251 - 1264. doi:10.1083/jcb.200108152


    • Hopkins C, Gibson A, Stinchcombe JF, C (2000). Chimeric molecules employing horseradish peroxidase as reporter enzyme for protein localization in the electron microscope.. Methods in Enzymology, 327, 35 - 45.


    • Futter CE, Gibson A, Allchin EH, Maxwell S, Ruddock LJ, Odorizzi G, Domingo D, Trowbridge IS, Hopkins CR (1998). In polarized MDCK cells basolateral vesicles arise from clathrin-_-adaptin-coated domains on endosomal tubules. The Journal of Cell Biology, 141(3), 611 - 623.
    • Nagata K, Puls A, Futter C, Aspenstrom P, Schaefer E, Nakat T, Hirokawa N, Hall A (1998). The MAP kinase kinase kinase MLK2 co-localizes with activated JNK along microtubules and associates with kinesin superfamily motor KIF3.. The EMBO Journal, 17, 149 - 158.
    • Hirst J, Futter CE, Hopkins CR (1998). The kinetics of mannose 6-phosphate receptor trafficking in the endocytic pathway in Hep-2 cells: the receptor enters and rapidly leaves multivesicular endosomes without accumulating in a prelysosomal compartment. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 9, 809 - 816.
    • Gibson A, Futter CE, Maxwell S, Allchin EH, Shipman M, Kraehenbuhl J, Domingo D, Odorizzi G, Trowbridge IS, Hopkins CR (1998). Sorting mechanisms regulating membrane protein traffic in the apical transytotic pathway of polarized MDCK cells. The Journal of Cell Biology, 143(1), 81 - 94.


    • Futter CE, Pearse A, Hewlett LJ, Hopkins CR (1996). Multivesicular endosomes containing internalized EGF-EGF receptor complexes mature and then fuse directly with lysosomes.. Journal of Cell Biology, 132, 1011 - 1023.


    • Futter CE, Connolly CN, Cutler DFH, C R (1995). Newly synthesised transferrin receptors can be detected in the endosome before they appear on the cell surface.. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 270, 10999 - 11003.


    • Connolly C, Futter CE, Hopkins CRAC, D F (1994). Transport into and out of the Golgi complex studied by transfecting cells with cDNAs encoding horseradish peroxidase.. Journal of Cell Biology, 127, 641 - 652.


    • Futter CE, Felder S, Schlessinger J, Ullrich A, Hopkins CR (1993). Annexin I is phosphorylated in the multivesicular body during the processing of the epidermal growth factor receptor.. Journal of Cell Biology, 120, 77 - 83.


    • Futter CE, Panton D, Kestin S, Flint DJ (1992). Mechanism of action of cytotoxic antibodies to adipocytes in adipose tissue, liver and food intake in the rat.. International Journal of Obesity, 16, 615 - 622.


    • Panton D, Futter CE, Kestin S, Flint DJ (1990). Increased growth and protein deposition in rats treated with antibodies to adipocytes.. American journal of Physiology, 258, E985 - E989.


    • Futter CE, Hopkins CR (1989). Subfractionation of the endocytic pathway: isolation of compartments involved in the processing of internalised epidermal growth factor-receptor complexes.. Journal of Cell Science, 94, 685 - 694.
    • Futter CE, Flint DJ (1989). Endocrinological and immunological manipulation of body fat.. International monographs in nutrition, metabolism and obesity, 1, 87 - 100.


    • Futter CE, Flint DJ (1987). Long-term reduction of adiposity in rats after passive immunisation with antibodies to rat fat cell plasma membranes.. Recent Advances in Obesity Research, 5, 181 - 185.


    • Flint DJ, Coggrave H, Futter CE, Gardner M, Clarke TJ (1986). Stimulatory and cytotoxic effects of an antiserum to adipocyte plasma membranes on adipose tissue metabolism in vitro and in vivo.. International Journal of Obesity, 10, 69 - 77.