Benjamin Spiller
Last active: 2/25/2021


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.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Small Molecule Inhibitor Screen Reveals Calcium Channel Signaling as a Mechanistic Mediator of TcdB-Induced Necrosis. Farrow MA, Chumber NM, Bloch SC, King M, Moton-Melancon K, Shupe J, Washington MK, Spiller BW, Lacy DB (2020) ACS Chem Biol 15(5): 1212-1221
    › Primary publication · 31909964 (PubMed) · PMC7230009 (PubMed Central)
  2. What one lipid giveth, another taketh away. Joyce S, Spiller BW, Van Kaer L (2019) Nat Immunol 20(12): 1559-1561
    › Primary publication · 31636467 (PubMed) · PMC7755123 (PubMed Central)
  3. A neutralizing antibody that blocks delivery of the enzymatic cargo of toxin TcdB into host cells. Kroh HK, Chandrasekaran R, Zhang Z, Rosenthal K, Woods R, Jin X, Nyborg AC, Rainey GJ, Warrener P, Melnyk RA, Spiller BW, Lacy DB (2018) J Biol Chem 293(3): 941-952
    › Primary publication · 29180448 (PubMed) · PMC5777265 (PubMed Central)
  4. Use of a neutralizing antibody helps identify structural features critical for binding of toxin TcdA to the host cell surface. Kroh HK, Chandrasekaran R, Rosenthal K, Woods R, Jin X, Ohi MD, Nyborg AC, Rainey GJ, Warrener P, Spiller BW, Lacy DB (2017) J Biol Chem 292(35): 14401-14412
    › Primary publication · 28705932 (PubMed) · PMC5582835 (PubMed Central)
  5. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A. Chumbler NM, Rutherford SA, Zhang Z, Farrow MA, Lisher JP, Farquhar E, Giedroc DP, Spiller BW, Melnyk RA, Lacy DB (2016) Nat Microbiol : 15002
    › Primary publication · 27571750 (PubMed) · PMC4976693 (PubMed Central)
  6. Crystal structure of toxin A. Chumbler NM, Rutherford SA, Zhang Z, Farrow MA, Lisher JP, Farquhar E, Giedroc DP, Spiller BW, Melnyk RA, Lacy DB (2016) Nat Microbiol
    › Primary publication · 27512603 (PubMed)
  7. A Nonoligomerizing Mutant Form of Helicobacter pylori VacA Allows Structural Analysis of the p33 Domain. González-Rivera C, Campbell AM, Rutherford SA, Pyburn TM, Foegeding NJ, Barke TL, Spiller BW, McClain MS, Ohi MD, Lacy DB, Cover TL (2016) Infect Immun 84(9): 2662-70
    › Primary publication · 27382020 (PubMed) · PMC4995914 (PubMed Central)
  8. The three Type 2A protein phosphatases, PP2Ac, PP4c and PP6c, are differentially regulated by Alpha4. LeNoue-Newton ML, Wadzinski BE, Spiller BW (2016) Biochem Biophys Res Commun 475(1): 64-9
    › Primary publication · 27169767 (PubMed) · PMC6484841 (PubMed Central)
  9. Vaccine-elicited antibody that neutralizes H5N1 influenza and variants binds the receptor site and polymorphic sites. Winarski KL, Thornburg NJ, Yu Y, Sapparapu G, Crowe JE, Spiller BW (2015) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112(30): 9346-51
    › Primary publication · 26170302 (PubMed) · PMC4522792 (PubMed Central)
  10. A gatekeeper chaperone complex directs translocator secretion during type three secretion. Archuleta TL, Spiller BW (2014) PLoS Pathog 10(11): e1004498
    › Primary publication · 25375170 (PubMed) · PMC4222845 (PubMed Central)
  11. Short forms of Ste20-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) in the kidney are created by aspartyl aminopeptidase (Dnpep)-mediated proteolytic cleavage. Markadieu N, Rios K, Spiller BW, McDonald WH, Welling PA, Delpire E (2014) J Biol Chem 289(42): 29273-84
    › Primary publication · 25164821 (PubMed) · PMC4200278 (PubMed Central)
  12. Differential accessibility of a rotavirus VP6 epitope in trimers comprising type I, II, or III channels as revealed by binding of a human rotavirus VP6-specific antibody. Aiyegbo MS, Eli IM, Spiller BW, Williams DR, Kim R, Lee DE, Liu T, Li S, Stewart PL, Crowe JE (2014) J Virol 88(1): 469-76
    › Primary publication · 24155406 (PubMed) · PMC3911710 (PubMed Central)
  13. Human antibodies that neutralize respiratory droplet transmissible H5N1 influenza viruses. Thornburg NJ, Nannemann DP, Blum DL, Belser JA, Tumpey TM, Deshpande S, Fritz GA, Sapparapu G, Krause JC, Lee JH, Ward AB, Lee DE, Li S, Winarski KL, Spiller BW, Meiler J, Crowe JE (2013) J Clin Invest 123(10): 4405-9
    › Primary publication · 23999429 (PubMed) · PMC3784541 (PubMed Central)
  14. Human rotavirus VP6-specific antibodies mediate intracellular neutralization by binding to a quaternary structure in the transcriptional pore. 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 (2013) PLoS One 8(5): e61101
    › Primary publication · 23671563 (PubMed) · PMC3650007 (PubMed Central)
  15. Crystal structure of an activated variant of small heat shock protein Hsp16.5. McHaourab HS, Lin YL, Spiller BW (2012) Biochemistry 51(25): 5105-12
    › Primary publication · 22670769 (PubMed) · PMC3384710 (PubMed Central)
  16. Monoubiquitination promotes calpain cleavage of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit ╬▒4, altering PP2A stability and microtubule-associated protein phosphorylation. Watkins GR, Wang N, Mazalouskas MD, Gomez RJ, Guthrie CR, Kraemer BC, Schweiger S, Spiller BW, Wadzinski BE (2012) J Biol Chem 287(29): 24207-15
    › Primary publication · 22613722 (PubMed) · PMC3397847 (PubMed Central)
  17. Structural determinants of Clostridium difficile toxin A glucosyltransferase activity. Pruitt RN, Chumbler NM, Rutherford SA, Farrow MA, Friedman DB, Spiller B, Lacy DB (2012) J Biol Chem 287(11): 8013-20
    › Primary publication · 22267739 (PubMed) · PMC3318759 (PubMed Central)
  18. The Chlamydia effector chlamydial outer protein N (CopN) sequesters tubulin and prevents microtubule assembly. Archuleta TL, Du Y, English CA, Lory S, Lesser C, Ohi MD, Ohi R, Spiller BW (2011) J Biol Chem 286(39): 33992-8
    › Primary publication · 21841198 (PubMed) · PMC3190796 (PubMed Central)
  19. A single mutation in arrestin-2 prevents ERK1/2 activation by reducing c-Raf1 binding. Coffa S, Breitman M, Spiller BW, Gurevich VV (2011) Biochemistry 50(32): 6951-8
    › Primary publication · 21732673 (PubMed) · PMC3153575 (PubMed Central)
  20. The E3 ubiquitin ligase- and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A)-binding domains of the Alpha4 protein are both required for Alpha4 to inhibit PP2A degradation. LeNoue-Newton M, Watkins GR, Zou P, Germane KL, McCorvey LR, Wadzinski BE, Spiller BW (2011) J Biol Chem 286(20): 17665-71
    › Primary publication · 21454489 (PubMed) · PMC3093842 (PubMed Central)
  21. Structural and functional studies indicate that the EPEC effector, EspG, directly binds p21-activated kinase. Germane KL, Spiller BW (2011) Biochemistry 50(6): 917-9
    › Primary publication · 21235237 (PubMed) · PMC3040069 (PubMed Central)
  22. Crystal structure of arrestin-3 reveals the basis of the difference in receptor binding between two non-visual subtypes. Zhan X, Gimenez LE, Gurevich VV, Spiller BW (2011) J Mol Biol 406(3): 467-78
    › Primary publication · 21215759 (PubMed) · PMC3034793 (PubMed Central)
  23. Structural analysis of botulinum neurotoxin type G receptor binding . Schmitt J, Karalewitz A, Benefield DA, Mushrush DJ, Pruitt RN, Spiller BW, Barbieri JT, Lacy DB (2010) Biochemistry 49(25): 5200-5
    › Primary publication · 20507178 (PubMed) · PMC2894633 (PubMed Central)
  24. Alpha4 is a ubiquitin-binding protein that regulates protein serine/threonine phosphatase 2A ubiquitination. McConnell JL, Watkins GR, Soss SE, Franz HS, McCorvey LR, Spiller BW, Chazin WJ, Wadzinski BE (2010) Biochemistry 49(8): 1713-8
    › Primary publication · 20092282 (PubMed) · PMC2832797 (PubMed Central)
  25. Structure-function analysis of inositol hexakisphosphate-induced autoprocessing in Clostridium difficile toxin A. Pruitt RN, Chagot B, Cover M, Chazin WJ, Spiller B, Lacy DB (2009) J Biol Chem 284(33): 21934-21940
    › Primary publication · 19553670 (PubMed) · PMC2755918 (PubMed Central)
  26. Structural and functional studies indicate that Shigella VirA is not a protease and does not directly destabilize microtubules. Germane KL, Ohi R, Goldberg MB, Spiller BW (2008) Biochemistry 47(39): 10241-3
    › Primary publication · 18763811 (PubMed) · PMC4096815 (PubMed Central)
  27. Crystal structure of the Helicobacter pylori vacuolating toxin p55 domain. Gangwer KA, Mushrush DJ, Stauff DL, Spiller B, McClain MS, Cover TL, Lacy DB (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(41): 16293-8
    › Primary publication · 17911250 (PubMed) · PMC2042200 (PubMed Central)
  28. A superfamily of voltage-gated sodium channels in bacteria. Koishi R, Xu H, Ren D, Navarro B, Spiller BW, Shi Q, Clapham DE (2004) J Biol Chem 279(10): 9532-8
    › Primary publication · 14665618 (PubMed)
  29. A structural view of evolutionary divergence. Spiller B, Gershenson A, Arnold FH, Stevens RC (1999) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 96(22): 12305-10
    › Primary publication · 10535917 (PubMed) · PMC22912 (PubMed Central)
  30. Structural and kinetic evidence for strain in biological catalysis. Romesberg FE, Santarsiero BD, Spiller B, Yin J, Barnes D, Schultz PG, Stevens RC (1998) Biochemistry 37(41): 14404-9
    › Primary publication · 9772166 (PubMed)
  31. Immunological origins of binding and catalysis in a Diels-Alderase antibody. Romesberg FE, Spiller B, Schultz PG, Stevens RC (1998) Science 279(5358): 1929-33
    › Primary publication · 9506942 (PubMed)