Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology



  Benjamin Spiller, Ph.D.



Associate Professor

Dept of Pharmacology

Dept of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology



Contact Information



Office Location:

Phone: 615-322-6766

E-mail:  benjamin.spiller@vanderbilt.edu


Campus Mail address:


A-4116 MCN (6600)


US Mailing Address:
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


A-4116 MCN

Nashville, TN 37232-6600







Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.S., University of California, Davis



Research Keywords





Research Description



The Spiller lab is a structural biology lab using protein crystallography as our main structural tool. Current questions being addressed include protein phosphatases, bacterial pathogenesis, and the host immune response. Potential rotation projects will be designed to meet the interests of the students, but will generally fall into one of the aforementioned topics. Of particular current interest is extending our work on bacterial pathogenesis.






Aiyegbo, MS, Sapparapu, G, Spiller, BW, Eli, IM, Williams, DR, Kim, R, Lee, DE, Liu, T, Li, S, Woods, VL, Nannemann, DP, Meiler, J, Stewart, PL, Crowe, JE. Human Rotavirus VP6-Specific Antibodies Mediate Intracellular Neutralization by Binding to a Quaternary Structure in the Transcriptional Pore. PLoS One, 8(5), e61101, 2013

Pruitt, RN, Chumbler, NM, Rutherford, SA, Farrow, MA, Friedman, DB, Spiller, B, Lacy, DB. Structural determinants of Clostridium difficile toxin A glucosyltransferase activity. J Biol Chem, 287(11), 8013-20, 2012

McHaourab, HS, Lin, YL, Spiller, BW. Crystal structure of an activated variant of small heat shock protein Hsp16.5. Biochemistry, 51(25), 5105-12, 2012

Watkins, GR, Wang, N, Mazalouskas, MD, Gomez, RJ, Guthrie, CR, Kraemer, BC, Schweiger, S, Spiller, BW, Wadzinski, BE. Monoubiquitination promotes calpain cleavage of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit ??4, altering PP2A stability and microtubule-associated protein phosphorylation. J Biol Chem, 287(29), 24207-15, 2012

Germane, KL, Spiller, BW. Structural and functional studies indicate that the EPEC effector, EspG, directly binds p21-activated kinase. Biochemistry, 50(6), 917-9, 2011

Zhan, X, Gimenez, LE, Gurevich, VV, Spiller, BW. Crystal structure of arrestin-3 reveals the basis of the difference in receptor binding between two non-visual subtypes. J Mol Biol, 406(3), 467-78, 2011

Archuleta, TL, Du, Y, English, CA, Lory, S, Lesser, C, Ohi, MD, Ohi, R, Spiller, BW. The Chlamydia effector chlamydial outer protein N (CopN) sequesters tubulin and prevents microtubule assembly. J Biol Chem, 286(39), 33992-8, 2011

Coffa, S, Breitman, M, Spiller, BW, Gurevich, VV. A single mutation in arrestin-2 prevents ERK1/2 activation by reducing c-Raf1 binding. Biochemistry, 50(32), 6951-8, 2011

LeNoue-Newton, M, Watkins, GR, Zou, P, Germane, KL, McCorvey, LR, Wadzinski, BE, Spiller, BW. The E3 ubiquitin ligase- and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A)-binding domains of the Alpha4 protein are both required for Alpha4 to inhibit PP2A degradation. J Biol Chem, 286(20), 17665-71, 2011

Schmitt, J, Karalewitz, A, Benefield, DA, Mushrush, DJ, Pruitt, RN, Spiller, BW, Barbieri, JT, Lacy, DB. Structural analysis of botulinum neurotoxin type G receptor binding . Biochemistry, 49(25), 5200-5, 2010

McConnell, JL, Watkins, GR, Soss, SE, Franz, HS, McCorvey, LR, Spiller, BW, Chazin, WJ, Wadzinski, BE. Alpha4 is a ubiquitin-binding protein that regulates protein serine/threonine phosphatase 2A ubiquitination. Biochemistry, 49(8), 1713-8, 2010

Pruitt, RN, Chagot, B, Cover, M, Chazin, WJ, Spiller, B, Lacy, DB. Structure-function analysis of inositol hexakisphosphate-induced autoprocessing in Clostridium difficile toxin A. J Biol Chem, 284(33), 21934-40, 2009

Germane, KL, Ohi, R, Goldberg, MB, Spiller, BW. Structural and functional studies indicate that Shigella VirA is not a protease and does not directly destabilize microtubules. Biochemistry, 47(39), 10241-3, 2008

Fujinami, S, Sato, T, Trimmer, JS, Spiller, BW, Clapham, DE, Krulwich, TA, Kawagishi, I, Ito, M. The voltage-gated Na+ channel NaVBP co-localizes with methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein at cell poles of alkaliphilic Bacillus pseudofirmus OF4. Microbiology, 153(Pt 12), 4027-38, 2007

Gangwer, KA, Mushrush, DJ, Stauff, DL, Spiller, B, McClain, MS, Cover, TL, Lacy, DB. Crystal structure of the Helicobacter pylori vacuolating toxin p55 domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2007

Koishi, R, Xu, H, Ren, D, Navarro, B, Spiller, BW, Shi, Q, Clapham, DE. A superfamily of voltage-gated sodium channels in bacteria. J Biol Chem, 279(10), 9532-8, 2004

Spiller, B, Gershenson, A, Arnold, FH, Stevens, RC. A structural view of evolutionary divergence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 96(22), 12305-10, 1999

Romesberg, FE, Santarsiero, BD, Spiller, B, Yin, J, Barnes, D, Schultz, PG, Stevens, RC. Structural and kinetic evidence for strain in biological catalysis. Biochemistry, 37(41), 14404-9, 1998

Romesberg, FE, Spiller, B, Schultz, PG, Stevens, RC. Immunological origins of binding and catalysis in a Diels-Alderase antibody. Science, 279(5358), 1929-33, 1998

R.C. Stevens, L.C. Hsieh-Wilson, B.D. Santarsiero, G.J. Wedemayer, B. Spiller, L.H. Wang, D. Barnes, H.D. Ulrich, P.A. Patten, F.E. Romesberg, and P.G. Schultz . Structural Studies of Catalytic Antibodies. Israel Journal of Chemistry, 36, 121-132, 1996