Paul Huber

Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry


437 Stepan Chemistry Hall

Research Cluster

Imaging & Structure

Our research relies heavily on mass spectrometry-based proteomics to study various aspects of developmental biology using the model organism Xenopus laevis. Currently, we have three main objectives. The first is to look at changes in the phosphoproteome as an oocyte becomes a mature egg as well as those changes that occur upon fertilization. While it is known that various kinases control these processes, the goal is to construct a comprehensive catalog of phosphoproteins and how their modification changes during these key steps of development. The second project is to use proteomics to track the lineage of a specific cell in the 8-cell embryo as it expands and differentiates into a major component of the nervous system. The goal is to understand the temporal expression of proteins that confer a neural identity as the pluripotent cell undergoes commitment and differentiation into its final form. The third project concerns movement of mRNA within the Xenopus oocyte. The polarity of the embryo is actually put in place in the unfertilized egg by the asymmetric distribution of mRNAs that encode strategic signaling proteins. The composition of the protein complexes that form on these mRNAs and direct their movement is being deciphered with particular attention to those proteins that may determine the ultimate intracellular location of the mRNA.


  1. "Miniaturized Filter-Aided Sample Preparation (MICRO-FASP) Method for High Throughput, Ultrasensitive Proteomics Sample Preparation Reveals Proteome Asymmetry in Xenopus laevis Embryos" Zhang, Z.B.; Dubiak, K.M.; Huber, P.W.; Dovichi, N.J. Anal. Chem. 2020, 92(7), 5554-5560. 
  2. "A deficiency in SUMOylation activity disrupts multiple pathways leading to neural tube and heart defects in Xenopus embryos" Bertke, M.M.; Dubiak, K.M.; Cronin, L.; Zeng, E.L.; Huber, P.W. BMC Genomics 2019, 20(1), 386.
  3. "Developing Practical Therapeutic Strategies that Target Protein SUMOylation" Cox, O.F.; Huber, P.W. Curr. Drug Targets 2019, 20(9), 960-969. 
  4. "Phosphorylation Dynamics Dominate the Regulated Proteome during Early Xenopus Development" Peuchen, E.H.; Cox, O.F.; Sun, L.L.; Hebert, A.S.; Coon, J.J.; Champion, M.M.; Dovichi, N.J; Huber, P.W. Sci. Rep. 2017, 7(1), 15647.