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Photo of Segev, Nava

Nava Segev

UIC Distinguished Professor

Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics with a courtesy appointment in Chemistry


Building & Room:

Molecular Biology Research Building Room 2256


900 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 355-0142


About Heading link

Regulation of Intracellular Trafficking by Molecular Switches and Cascades

Our research is aimed at understanding a basic cellular process, trafficking inside cells, in which proteins and membranes are shuttled between cellular organelles. This process is required for proper functioning of all cells, and therefore for every system of the human body. Elucidation of the mechanisms that regulate trafficking inside cells is relevant to a variety of diseases caused by impaired transport of substances that are either essential, such as insulin in diabetes, growth-factor receptors in cancer and CFTR in cystic fibrosis, or detrimental, such as -amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease.

The Segev measures intracellular trafficking pathways

The conserved molecular switches Ypt (in yeast) and Rab (in humans) GTPases have emerged as key regulators of individual transport steps. They are activated by guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), and when in the active form, they interact with downstream effectors that mediate vesicular transport. Our long-term goal is to elucidate how Ypt/Rab GTPases together with their GEFs and effectors coordinate multiple transport steps and pathways.

The Segev measures the trafficing of GTPases in yeast cells

To address these complicated issues, we are using yeast as a model because it allows utilizing sophisticated genetic approaches in combination with molecular and cellular methods. Furthermore, the relatively small number of players (e.g., 11 Ypts in yeast versus ~70 Rabs in humans) and the resultant simplified interaction networks make yeast an excellent model for studying the coordination of transport steps. Currently, we are studying the role of Ypt GTPases in secretion and in the cellular recycling pathway autophagy.

The Segev lab images yeast cells using multicolor microscopy


Selected Publications

Lipatova, Z. Gyurkovska, V., Zhao, SF., and Segev, N.  (2020)  “Characterization of Constitutive ER-phagy of Excess Membrane Proteins”. PLOS Genetics, 2020 Dec 4;16(12):e1009255. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009255. eCollection 2020 Dec.

Lipatova, Z., Van Bergen, NJ, Stanga, D., Sacher, M., Christodoulou J., and Segev, N.  (2020) TRAPPing a neurological disorder: from yeast to humans.  Autophagy Mar 2. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2020.1736873. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32116085

Segev, N. (2020) ESCARTing the proteasome to the lysosome.  (Perspective) PLOS Genetics 2020 Mar 19;16(3):e1008631. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008631. eCollection 2020 Mar.

Van Bergen NJ, Guo Y, Al-Deri N, Lipatova Z, Stanga D, Zhao S, Murtazina, R, Gyurkovska V, Pehlivan D, Mitani T, Gezdirici A, Antony J, Collins F, Willis MJH, Coban Akdemir ZH, Liu P, Punetha J, Hunter JV, Jhangiani SN, Fatih JM, Rosenfeld JA, Posey JE, Gibbs RA, Karaca E, Massey S, Ranasinghe TG, Sleiman P, Troedson C, Lupski JR, Sacher M, Segev N*, Hakonarson H, Christodoulou J. (2020) Deficiencies in vesicular transport mediated TRAPPC4 are associated with severe syndromic intellectual disability.  Brain. 2020 Jan 1;143(1):112-130. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz374.  PMID: 31794024 (*Segev, co-corresponding author)

Lipatova and Segev, N.  (2019) Ypt/Rab GTPases and their TRAPP GEFs at the Golgi.  FEBS Letters 2019 Sep;593(17):2488-2500. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468

Zhou F, Wu Z, Zhao M, Murtazina R, Cai J, Zhang A, Li R, Sun D, Li W, Zhao L, Li Q, Zhu J, Cong X, Zhou Y, Xie Z, Gyurkovska V, Li L, Huang X, Xue Y, Chen L, Xu H, Xu H, Liang Y, Segev N. (2019) Rab5-dependent autophagosome closure by ESCRT.  Journal of Cell Biology (published online 4/22/19) Vol. 218 (6); 1908-1927


PhD, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Postdoctoral Research MIT, Cambridge MA (Advisor: David Botstein)