Kai Li Tan

Kai Li Tan

Research Interests

Synaptic transmission is a complex process that involves various cellular activities, including but not limited to, protein synthesis and degradation, vesicular and protein trafficking, and fusion and fission of membranes. Orchestrating the different cellular activities is thus important to ensure optimal synaptic function. One key process that determines the efficiency of neuronal transmission is the tightly-regulated neurotransmitter release. My research focuses on how the formation and maintenance of active zones (neurotransmitter release sites) are regulated, in addition to identifying and understanding the mechanisms of novel components in regulating the exocytosis of neurotransmitter-containing vesicle.


Tan KL*, Haelterman NA*, Kwartler CS, Regalado ES, Lee PT, Nagarkar-Jaiswal S, Guo DC, Duraine L, Wangler MF; University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics, Bamshad MJ, Nickerson DA, Lin G, Milewicz DM, Bellen HJ (2018) Ari-1 regulates myonuclear organization together with Parkin and is associated with aortic aneurysms. Developmental Cell 45:226-244. (*equal contribution) [Abstract]
Chen K, Ho TS, Lin G, Tan KL, Rasband MN, Bellen HJ (2016) Loss of Frataxin activates the iron/sphingolipid/PDK1/Mef2 pathway in mammals. eLife 5:e20732.  [Abstract]
Haelterman NA, Jiang L, Li Y, Bayat V, Sandoval H, Ugur B, Tan KL, Zhang K, Bei D, Xiong B, Charng WL, Busby T, Jawaid A, David G, Jaiswal M, Venken KJ, Yamamoto S, Chen R, Bellen HJ (2014) Large-scale identification of chemically induced mutations in Drosophila melanogasterGenome Research 24:1707-1718.  [Abstract]
Wang S, Tan KL, Agosto MA, Xiong B, Yamamoto S, Sandoval H, Jaiswal M, Bayat V, Zhang K, Charng WL, David G, Duraine L, Venkatachalam K, Wensel TG, Bellen HJ (2014) The retromer complex is required for rhodopsin recycling and its loss leads to photoreceptor degeneration. PLoS Biology 12:e1001847.  [Abstract]
Tan KL, Goh SC, Minakhina S (2012) Genetic screen for regulators of lymph gland homeostasis and hemocyte maturation in DrosophilaG3 2:393-405.  [Abstract]