Prof Karl Matter


Personal Profile

Name: Karl Matter Email:
Title: Prof Tel: 020 7608 4014
Department: Inst Ophthalmology - Cell Biology Fax: 020 7608 4034
Position: Professor of Cell Biology Address: UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Bath Street London, London, EC1V 9EL
Research Domain: Basic Life Sciences, Cancer, Experimental Medicine, Neuroscience, Personalised Medicine, Populations & Lifelong Health Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

All organs of our body depend for their normal development and functioning on one or several different epithelial cell types.   Although epithelial cells come in different shapes, sizes, and structures, their surfaces are generally polarised and they interact with each other via different types of cell-cell junctions.  We are interested in how epithelial cells generate cell surface polarity and how tight junctions, one of the epithelial cell-cell junctions, function and participate in the regulation of epithelial differentiation.

Research Activities

Differentiation of polarised epithelia

Hugh Davson Professor of Biomedical Research

Intracellular Lipid Traffic

Signal Transduction in Vascular Endothelial Cells

Education Description

UCL Collaborators

Prof John Greenwood; Dr Virginia Calder; Prof Clare Futter; Prof Philip Luthert; Dr Patric Turowski; Dr Marcus Fruttiger; Prof Arne Akbar; Prof Robin Ali; Dr Tim Levine; Dr Chris Stefan; Dr Darren Nesbeth; Prof Maria Balda; Prof Shamshad Cockcroft; Prof Sandip Patel

External Collaborators

Prof Anant Menon; Prof Howard Riezman; Prof Christian Ungermann; Prof Susan Henry; Prof Tom Blundell; Dr Nick Ktistakis; Dr Will Prinz; Dr Catherine Tomasetto



    • Anton KA, Sinclair J, Ohoka A, Kajita M, Ishikawa S, Benz PM, Renne T, Balda M, Jorgensen C, Matter K, Fujita Y (2014). PKA-regulated VASP phosphorylation promotes extrusion of transformed cells from the epithelium.. J Cell Sci, 127(Pt 16), 3425 - 3433. doi:10.1242/jcs.149674
    • Matter K, Balda MS (2014). SnapShot: Epithelial tight junctions.. Cell, 157(4), 992 - 992.e1. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.04.027
    • Vitiello E, Ferreira JG, Maiato H, Balda MS, Matter K (2014). The tumour suppressor DLC2 ensures mitotic fidelity by coordinating spindle positioning and cell-cell adhesion.. Nat Commun, 5, 5826 - . doi:10.1038/ncomms6826
    • Balda MS, Matter K (2014). Tight junctions in health and disease.. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 36, 147 - 148. doi:10.1016/j.semcdb.2014.11.001
    • Zihni C, Balda MS, Matter K (2014). Signalling at tight junctions during epithelial differentiation and microbial pathogenesis.. J Cell Sci, 127(Pt 16), 3401 - 3413. doi:10.1242/jcs.145029
    • Zihni C, Munro PM, Elbediwy A, Keep NH, Terry SJ, Harris J, Balda MS, Matter K (2014). Dbl3 drives Cdc42 signaling at the apical margin to regulate junction position and apical differentiation.. J Cell Biol, 204(1), 111 - 127. doi:10.1083/jcb.201304064
    • Steed E, Elbediwy A, Vacca B, Dupasquier S, Hemkemeyer SA, Suddason T, Costa AC, Beaudry JB, Zihni C, Gallagher E, Pierreux CE, Balda MS, Matter K (2014). MarvelD3 couples tight junctions to the MEKK1-JNK pathway to regulate cell behavior and survival.. J Cell Biol, 204(5), 821 - 838. doi:10.1083/jcb.201304115


    • Elbediwy A, Zihni C, Terry SJ, Clark P, Matter K, Balda MS (2012). Epithelial junction formation requires confinement of Cdc42 activity by a novel SH3BP1 complex.. J Cell Biol, 198(4), 677 - 693. doi:10.1083/jcb.201202094
    • Nie M, Balda MS, Matter K (2012). Stress- and Rho-activated ZO-1-associated nucleic acid binding protein binding to p21 mRNA mediates stabilization, translation, and cell survival.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109(27), 10897 - 10902. doi:10.1073/pnas.1118822109
    • Terry SJ, Elbediwy A, Zihni C, Harris A, Bailly M, Charras G, Balda M, Matter K (2012). Stimulation of cortical myosin phosphorylation by p114RhoGEF drives cell migration and tumor cell invasion. PLoS One, In press, - .


    • Chakarova CF, Khanna H, Shah AZ, Patil SB, Sedmak T, Murga-Zamalloa CA, Papaioannou MG, Nagel-Wolfrum K, Lopez I, Munro P, Cheetham M, Koenekoop RK, Rios RM, Matter K, Wolfrum U, Swaroop A, Bhattacharya SS (2011). TOPORS, implicated in retinal degeneration, is a cilia-centrosomal protein.. Hum Mol Genet, 20(5), 975 - 987. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddq543
    • Grieve AG, Daniels RD, Sanchez-Heras E, Hayes MJ, Moss SE, Matter K, Lowe M, Levine TP (2011). Lowe Syndrome protein OCRL1 supports maturation of polarized epithelial cells.. PLoS One, 6(8), e24044 - . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024044
    • Terry SJ, Zihni C, Elbediwy A, Vitiello E, Leefa Chong San IV, Balda MS, Matter K (2011). Spatially restricted activation of RhoA signalling at epithelial junctions by p114RhoGEF drives junction formation and morphogenesis.. Nat Cell Biol, 13(2), 159 - 166. doi:10.1038/ncb2156


    • Terry S, Nie M, Matter K, Balda MS (2010). Rho signaling and tight junction functions. Physiology, 25, 16 - 26. doi:10.1152/physiol.00034.2009
    • Georgiadis A, Tschernutter M, Bainbridge JW, Balaggan KS, Mowat F, West EL, Munro PM, Thrasher AJ, Matter K, Balda MS, Ali RR (2010). The tight junction associated signalling proteins ZO-1 and ZONAB regulate retinal pigment epithelium homeostasis in mice.. PLoS One, 5(12), e15730 - . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015730
    • Larre I, Lazaro A, Contreras RG, Balda MS, Matter K, Flores-Maldonado C, Ponce A, Flores-Benitez D, Rincon-Heredia R, Padilla-Benavides T, Castillo A, Shoshani L, Cereijido M (2010). Ouabain modulates epithelial cell tight junction.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107(25), 11387 - 11392. doi:10.1073/pnas.1000500107
    • Lima WR, Parreira KS, Devuyst O, Caplanusi AN, Kuli F, Marien B, Smissen PV, Alves PM, Verroust P, Christensen EI, Terzi F, Matter K, Balda MS, Pierreux CE, Courtoy PJ (2010). ZONAB Promotes Proliferation and Represses Differentiation of Proximal Tubule Epithelial Cells. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 21, 478 - 488. doi:10.1681/ASN.2009070698
    • Steed E, Balda MS, Matter K (2010). Dynamics and functions of tight junctions. Trends in Cell Biology, , - . doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2009.12.002
    • Tsapara A, Luthert P, Greenwood J, Hill CS, Matter K, Balda MS (2010). The RhoA Activator GEF-H1/Lfc Is a TGF-β Target Gene and Effector that Regulates α-Smooth Muscle Actin Expression and Cell Migration. Molecular Biology of the Cell, , - . doi:10.1091/mbc.E09-07-0567


    • Harten SK, Shukla D, Barod R, Hergovich A, Balda MS, Matter K, Esteban MA, Maxwell PH (2009). Regulation of renal epithelial tight junctions by the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene involves occludin and claudin 1 and is independent of E-cadherin.. Mol Biol Cell, 20(3), 1089 - 1101. doi:10.1091/mbc.E08-06-0566
    • Steed E, Rodrigues NT, Balda MS, Matter K (2009). Identification of MarvelD3 as a tight junction-associated transmembrane protein of the occludin family. BMC Cell Biology, 10, 95 - .
    • Nie M, Aijaz A, Leefa Chong San IV, Balda MS, Matter K (2009). The Y-box factor ZONAB/DbpA associates with GEF-H1/Lfc and mediates Rho-stimulated transcription. EMBO Report, 10, 1125 - 1131.
    • Balda MS, Matter K (2009). Tight junctions and the regulation of gene expression. Biochim.Biophys.Acta, 1788(4), 761 - 767. doi:10.1016/j.bbamem.2008.11.024
    • Harten SK, Shukla D, Barod R, Hergovich A, Balda MS, Matter K, Esteban MA, Maxwell PH (2009). Regulation of renal epithelial tight junctions by the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene involves occludin and claudin 1 and is independent of E-cadherin. Mol.Biol.Cell, 20(3), 1089 - 1101. doi:10.1091/mbc.E08-06-0566
    • Abouhamed M, Grobe K, San IV, Thelen S, Honnert U, Balda MS, Matter K, Bähler M (2009). Myosin IXa regulates epithelial differentiation and its deficiency results in hydrocephalus. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 20, 5074 - 5085. doi:10.1091/mbc.E09-04-0291


    • Balda MS, Matter K (2008). Tight junctions at a glance. J.Cell Sci., 121(Pt 22), 3677 - 3682.


    • Matter K, Balda MS (2007). Epithelial tight junctions, gene expression and nucleo-junctional interplay. J.Cell Sci., 120(Pt 9), 1505 - 1511.
    • Aijaz S, Sanchez-Heras E, Balda MS, Matter K (2007). Regulation of tight junction assembly and epithelial morphogenesis by the heat shock protein Apg-2. BMC.Cell Biol., 8, 49 - .
    • Chakarova CF, Papaioannou MG, Khanna H, Lopez I, Waseem N, Shah A, Theis T, Friedman J, Maubaret C, Bujakowska K, Veraitch B, Abd El-Aziz MM, Prescott Q, Parapuram S, Bickmore WA, Munro PMG, Gal A, Hamel CP, Marigo V, Ponting CP, Wissinger B, Zrenner E, Matter K, Swaroop A, Koenekoop RK, Bhattacharya SS (2007). Mutations in TOPORS Cause Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa with Perivascular RPE Atrophy. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 81(5), 1098 - 1103. doi:10.1086/521953
    • Pannequin J, Delaunay N, Darido C, Maurice T, Crespy P, Frohman MA, Balda MS, Matter K, Joubert D, Bourgaux JF, Bali JP, Hollande F (2007). Phosphatidylethanol accumulation promotes intestinal hyperplasia by inducing ZONAB-mediated cell density increase in response to chronic ethanol exposure. Mol.Cancer Res., 5(11), 1147 - 1157.


    • Kavanagh E, Buchert M, Tsapara A, Choquet A, Balda MS, Hollande F, Matter K (2006). Functional interaction between the ZO-1-interacting transcription factor ZONAB/DbpA and the RNA processing factor symplekin. Journal of cell science, 119(Pt 24), 5098 - 5105. doi:10.1242/jcs.03297
    • Castagner F, Atanasoski S, Balda M, Matter K, Suter U (2006). Role of dbpA in neural crest and Schwarm cell development. doi:10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2006.09.099
    • Aijaz S, Balda MS, Matter K (2006). Tight junctions: molecular architecture and function. International Review of Cytology, 248, 261 - 298.
    • Tsapara A, Matter K, Balda MS (2006). The heat-shock protein Apg-2 binds to the tight junction protein ZO-1 and regulates transcriptional activity of ZONAB. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 17(3), 1322 - 1330. doi:10.1091/mbc.E05-06-0507
    • Sourisseau T, Georgiadis A, Tsapara A, Ali RR, Pestell R, Matter K, Balda MS (2006). Regulation of PCNA and cyclin D1 expression and epithelial morphogenesis by the ZO-1 regulated transcription factor ZONAB/DbpA. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 26(6), 2387 - 2398. doi:10.1128/MCB.26.6.2387-2398.2006


    • Matter K, Aijaz S, Tsapara A, Balda MS (2005). Mammalian tight junctions in the regulation of epithelial differentiation and proliferation. Current opinion in cell biology, 17(5), 453 - 458. doi:10.1016/
    • Aijaz S, D'Atri F, Citi S, Balda MS, Matter K (2005). Binding of GEF-H1 to the tight junction-associated adaptor cingulin results in inhibition of Rho signaling and G1/S phase transition. Developmental Cell, 8(5), 777 - 786. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2005.03.003
    • Frankel P, Aronheim A, Kavanagh E, Balda MS, Matter K, Bunney TD, Marshall CJ (2005). RalA interacts with ZONAB in a cell density-dependent manner and regulates its transcriptional activity. The EMBO Journal, 24(1), 54 - 62. doi:10.1038/sj.emboj.7600497
    • Shoshani L, Contreras RG, Roldan ML, Moreno J, Lazaro A, Balda MS, Matter K, Cereijido M (2005). The polarized expression of Na+,K+-ATPase in epithelia depends on the association between beta-subunits located in neighboring cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 16(3), 1071 - 1081. doi:10.1091/mbc.E04-03-0267
    • Limb GA, Matter K, Murphy G, Cambrey AD, Bishop PN, Morris GE, Khaw PT (2005). Matrix metalloproteinase-1 associates with intracellular organelles and confers resistance to lamin A/C degradation during apoptosis. American Journal of Pathology, 166(5), 1555 - 1563.


    • Shoshani L, Contreras RG, Roldan ML, Moreno J, Lazaro A, Balda MS, Matter K, Cereijido M (2004). The polarized expression of NA+,K+-ATPase in epithelia depends on the association between beta-subunits located in neighboring cells.
    • Aijaz S, Goodrick S, Matter K, Balda MS (2004). Tight Junctions. In Ganden D, Ruckpaul K (Ed.), Encyclopaedic References of Genomes and Proteomics in Molecular Medicine (pp. - ). : Springer-Verlag International.


    • Balda MS, Greenwood J, Adamson P, Matter K (2003). Differentiation of retinal pigment epithelium: The role of the tight junction associated transcription factor ZONAB.
    • Matter K, Balda MS (2003). Functional analysis of tight junctions. Methods, 30(3), 228 - 234.
    • Balda MS, Garrett MD, Matter K (2003). The ZO-1-associated Y-box factor ZONAB regulates epithelial cell proliferation and cell density. The Journal of Cell Biology, 160(3), 423 - 432. doi:10.1083/jcb.200210020
    • Matter K, Balda MS (2003). Signalling to and from tight junctions. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 4(3), 225 - 236. doi:10.1038/nrm1055
    • Benais-Pont G, Punn A, Flores-Maldonado C, Eckert J, Raposo G, Fleming TP, Cereijido M, Balda MS, Matter K (2003). Identification of a tight junction-associated guanine nucleotide exchange factor that activates Rho and regulates paracellular permeability. The Journal of Cell Biology, 160(5), 729 - 740. doi:10.1083/jcb.200211047
    • Matter K, Balda MS (2003). Holey barrier: claudins and the regulation of brain endothelial permeability. The Journal of Cell Biology, 161(3), 459 - 460.
    • Chapple JP, Grayson C, Hardcastle AJ, Bailey TA, Matter K, Adamson P, Graham CH, Willison KR, Cheetham ME (2003). Organization on the plasma membrane of the retinitis pigmentosa protein RP2: investigation of association with detergent-resistant membranes and polarized sorting. Biochemical Journal, 372(Pt 2), 427 - 433.
    • Balda MS, Matter K (2003). Epithelial cell adhesion and the regulation of gene expression. Trends in Cell Biology, 13(6), 310 - 318. doi:10.1016/S0962-8924(03)00105-3


    • Pont-Benais G, Matter K, Balda MS (2001). Intracellular signalling in classical and new tight junction functions. In Cereijido M, Anderson JM (Ed.), Tight junctions (pp. 367 - 394). : CRC Press.
    • Matter K, Balda MS (2001). Tight junctions and the differentiation of polarized epithelia.