David Li-Kroeger

David Li-Kroeger

Research Interests

For neurons, maintaining homeostasis in the face of accumulating stress is essential to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. In response to stress, neurons produce survival factors such as the NAD salvage enzyme Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (Nmnat), which protects neurons from a variety of insults. For example, increased Nmnat protects severed axons from degeneration, protects neurons from chemotherapy agents, and reduces the aggregation of disease causing proteins like hyperphosphorylated Tau. While the varieties of conditions that can be ameliorated by Nmnat suggest a central role for this protein in cellular protection and/or survival, the mechanisms by which Nmnat protects neurons are not fully understood. The aim of my research is to use Drosophila genetics to gain mechanistic insight elucidating Nmnat function.


Li-Kroeger D*, Kanca O*, Lee PT, Cowan S, Lee MT, Jaiswal M, Salazar JL, He Y, Zuo Z, Bellen HJ (2018) An expanded toolkit for gene tagging based on MiMIC and scarless CRISPR tagging in DrosophilaeLife 7:e38709. (*equal contribution) [Abstract]
Lee PT, Zirin J, Kanca O, Lin WW, Schulze KL, Li-Kroeger D, Tao R, Devereaux C, Hu Y, Chung V, Fang Y, He Y, Pan H, Ge M, Zuo Z, Housden BE, Mohr SE, Yamamoto S, Levis RW, Spradling AC, Perrimon N, Bellen HJ (2018) A gene-specific T2A-GAL4 library for DrosophilaeLife 7:e35574.  [Abstract]
Wong CO, Gregory S, Hu Hongxiang, Chao Y, Sepúlveda VE, He Y, Li-Kroeger D, Goldman WE, Bellen HJ, Venkatachalam K (2017) Lysosomal degradation is required for sustained phagocytosis of bacteria by macrophages. Cell Host and Microbe 21:719-730.  [Abstract]
Jakobsdottir J, van der Lee SJ, Bis JC, Chouraki V, Li-Kroeger D, Yamamoto S, Grove ML, Naj A, Vronskaya M, Salazar JL, DeStefano AL, Brody JA, Smith AV, Amin N, Sims R, Ibrahim-Verbaas CA, Choi SH, Satizabal CL, Lopez OL, Beiser A, Ikram MA, Garcia ME, Hayward C, Varga TV, Ripatti S, Franks PW, Hallmans G, Rolandsson O, Jansson JH, Porteous DJ, Salomaa V, Eiriksdottir G, Rice KM, Bellen HJ, Levy D, Uitterlinden AG, Emilsson V, Rotter JI, Aspelund T, Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium, Alzheimer's Disease Genetic Consortium, Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer's Disease consortium, O'Donnell CJ, Fitzpatrick AL, Launer LJ, Hofman A, Wang LS, Williams J, Schellenberg GD, Boerwinkle E, Psaty BM, Seshadri S, Shulman JM, Gudnason V, van Duijn CM (2016) Rare functional variant in TM2D3 is associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease. PLoS Genetics 12:e1006327.  [Abstract]
Ali YO, Allen HM, Lei Y, Li-Kroeger D, Bakhshizadehmahmoudi D, Hatcher A, McCabe C, Xu J, Bjorklund N, Taglialatela G, Bennett DA, De Jager PL, Shulman JM, Bellen HJ, Lu HC (2016) NMNAT2:HSP90 complex mediates proteostasis in proteinopathies. PLoS Biology 14:e1002472.  [Abstract]
Ali YO, Li-Kroeger D, Bellen HJ, Zhai RG, Lu HC (2013) NMNATs, evolutionarily conserved neuronal maintenance factors. Trends in Neurosciences 36:632-640.  [Abstract]
Li-Kroeger D, Cook TA, Gebelein B (2012) Integration of an abdominal Hox complex with Pax2 yields cell-specific EGF secretion from Drosophila sensory precursor cells. Development 139:1611-1619.  [Abstract]
Charlton-Perkins M, Whitaker SL, Fei Y, Xie B, Li-Kroeger D, Gebelein B, Cook T (2011) Prospero and Pax2 combinatorially control neural cell fate decisions by modulating Ras- and Notch-dependent signaling. Neural Development 6:20.  [Abstract]
Witt LM, Gutzwiller LM, Gresser AL, Li-Kroeger D, Cook TA, Gebelein B (2010) Atonal, Senseless, and Abdominal-A regulate rhomboid enhancer activity in abdominal sensory organ precursors. Developmental Biology 344:1060-1070.  [Abstract]
Li-Kroeger D, Witt LM, Grimes HL, Cook TA, Gebelein B (2008) Hox and senseless antagonism functions as a molecular switch to regulate EGF secretion in the Drosophila PNS. Developmental Cell 15:298-308.  [Abstract]
Polak M, Kroeger DE, Cartwright IL, Ponce deLeon C (2004) Genotype-specific responses of fluctuating asymmetry and of preadult survival to the effects of lead and temperature stress in Drosophila melanogasterEnvironmental Pollution 127:145-155.  [Abstract]
Polak M, Moller AP, Gangestad SW, Kroeger D, Manning JT, Thornhill R (2003) Does an Individual Asymmetry Parameter Exist? A Meta-Analysis. In Developmental Instability: Causes and Consequences pp:81-98. ed. M. Polak, Oxford University Press.  
Uetz GW, Hieber CS, Jakob EM, Wilcox RS, Kroeger D, McCrate A, Mostrom AM (1994) Behavior of colonial orb-weaving spiders during a solar eclipse. Ethology 96:24-32.