Ted Powers

image of Ted Powers



Molecular & Cellular Biology

Offices and Labs

220C Briggs Hall
(530) 754-5048


1992 PhD Biology University of California, Santa Cruz
1985 BA Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of California, Santa Cruz

Research Interests

Signal Transduction and Cell Growth Control

Mechanisms that regulate cell growth in the model eukaryote, the budding yeast S. cerevisiae, with emphasis on the TOR (target of rapamycin) signal transduction network. We are particularly interested in how this network regulates the flow of genetic information and cellular behavior in response to intracellular as well as environmental cues.


2017 Outstanding Teaching Award, UCD BMCDB Graduate Group
2005-2010 UCD Chancellor's Fellow
2003 Outstanding Teaching Award, UCD BMB Graduate Group

Department and Center Affiliations

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences
UC Davis Cancer Center


American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
American Society for Biochemistry and Moleculary Biology (ASBMB)

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Specialties / Focus

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell Division and the Cytoskeleton
  • Cellular Responses to Toxins and Stress
  • Gene Regulation
  • Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Molecular Microbiology
  • Molecular Physiology
  • Organelle and Membrane Biology
  • RNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Structural Biology


220 & 224 Briggs Hall

Teaching Interests

Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, with emphasis on the molecular mechanisms that govern gene expression and intracellular signaling
Metabolism and Metabolic Regulation, particularly as it applies to nutrition and cancer.


MCB 121 Advanced Molecular Biology
BIS 101 Genes and Gene Expression
BIS 103 Bioenergetics & Metabolism
BCB 212 Cellular Biochemistry


12/5/2017 12:42:37 PM
  • Vlahakis, A., Muniozguren, N., and Powers, T. (2017) Stress-response transcription factors Msn2 and Msn4 couple TORC2-Ypk1 signaling and mitochondrial respiration to ATG8 gene expression and autophagy. Autophagy Dec 4:1-9. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2017.1356949. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Murley, A., Yamada, J., Niles, B.J., Toulmay, A., Prinz, W.A., Powers, T., and Nunnari, J. (2017) Sterol transporters at membrane contact sites regulate TORC1 and TORC2 signaling. J. Cell Biol. 216, 2679-2689.

  • Vlahakis, A., Lopez Muniozguren, N., and Powers, T. (2017) Mitochondrial respiration links TOR Complex 2 signaling to calcium regulation and autophagy. Autophagy 13, 1256-1257.

  • Stauffer, B. and Powers, T. (2017) Target of rapamycin signaling mediates vacuolar fragmentation. Current Genetics 63, 35-42.

  • Vlahakis, A., Lopez Muniozguren, N., and Powers, T. (2016) Calcium channel regulator Mid1 links TORC2-mediated changes in mitochondrial respiration to autophagy. J. Cell Biol. 215, 779-788.

  • Klionsky, D., et al (2016) Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy 12, 1554-8627.

  • Stauffer, B. and Powers, T. (2015) Target of rapamycin signaling mediates vacuolar fission caused by endoplasmic reticulum stress in S. cerevisiae. Mol. Bio. Cell 26, 4618-4630 .

  • Fresques, T., Niles, B., Aronova, S., Mogri, H., Rakhshandehroo, T., and Powers, T. (2015) Regulation of ceramide synthase by casein kinase 2-dependent phosphorylation in S. cerevisiae.  J. Biol. Chem. 290, 1395-1403.

  • Vlahakis, A. and Powers, T. (2014) A role for TOR complex 2 signaling in promoting autophagy. Autophagy 10, 2085-2086.

  • Niles, B.J. and Powers, T. (2014) TOR Complex 2-Ypk1 signaling regulates actin polarization via reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mol. Biol. Cell 25, 3962-3972.

  • Vlahakis, A., Graef, M., Nunnari, J., and Powers, T. (2014) TOR complex 2-Ypk1 signaling is an essential positive regulator of the general amino acid control response and autophagy. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, 10586-10591.
  • Niles, B.J., Joslin, A.C., Fresques, T., and Powers, T. (2014) TOR Complex 2-Ypk1 signaling maintains sphingolipid homeostasis by sensing and regulating ROS accumulation. Cell Reports, 6, 541-552.
  • Niles, B.J. & Powers, T. (2012) Plasma membrane proteins Slm1 and Slm2 mediate activation of the AGC kinase Ypk1 by TORC2 and sphingolipids in S. cerevisiae. Cell Cycle 11, 3745-3749
  • Niles, B.J., Mogri, H., Hill, A., Vlahakis, A., and Powers, T. (2012) Plasma membrane recruitment and activation of the AGC kinase Ypk1 is mediated by target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2) and its effector proteins Slm1 and Slm2. Proc. Natl Acad Sci USA 109, 1536-1541
  • Liu, Q, Ren, T, Fresques, T, Oppliger, W, Niles, BJ, Hur, W, Sabatini, DM, Hall, MN, Powers, T, Gray, NS. (2012) Selective ATP-Competitive Inhibitors of TOR Suppress Rapamycin-Insensitive Function of TORC2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ACS chemical biology, 7(6): 982-7.
  • Powers, T., Arovona, S, and Niles, B. (2010) TORC2 and sphingolipid biosynthesis: Lessons from budding yeast. The Enzymes, Vol. XXVII, 177-197.
  • Powers, T. (2008) Cell growth control: mTOR takes on fat. Mol. Cell 31, 775-776
  • Aronova, S., Wedaman, K., Aronov, P.A., Fontes, K., Ramos, K., Hammock, B.D., and Powers, T. (2008) Regulation of ceramide biosynthesis by TOR Complex 2. Cell Metabolism 7, 148-158.
  • Powers, T. (2007) TOR Signaling and S6 Kinase 1: Yeast Catches Up. Cell Metabolism 6, 1-2.
  • Aronova, S., Wedaman, K.P., Anderson, S., Yates, J. III, and Powers, T. (2007) Probing the membrane environment of the TOR kinases reveals functional interactions between TORC1, actin, and membrane trafficking in S. cerevisae. Mol. Biol. Cell 18, 2779-2794.
  • Martin, D.E., Powers, T., and Hall, M.N. (2006) Regulation of ribosome biogenesis; Where is TOR? Cell Metabolism 4, 259-260.
  • Reinke, A., Chen, J.C.-Y., Aronova, S., and Powers, T. (2006) Caffeine targets TOR complex I and provides evidence for a regulatory link between the FRB and kinase domains of Tor1p. J. Biol. Chem. 281, 31616-31626.
  • Chen, C.-Y. & Powers, T. (2006) Coordinate regulation of multiple and distinct biosynthetic pathways by TOR and PKA kinases in S. cerevisiae. Current Genetics 49, 281-293
  • Dilova, I. & Powers, T. (2006) Accounting for strain-specific differences during RTG target gene regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEMS Yeast Research Jan 6(1):112-9.
  • Powers, T. (2004) Ribosome biogenesis: Giant steps for a giant problem. Cell 119, 901-902.
  • Powers T, Dilova I, Chen CY, Wedaman K (2004) Yeast TOR signaling: a mechanism for metabolic regulation. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 279, 39-51
  • Powers, T., Chen, C.-Y., Dilova, D., Reinke, A., and Wedaman, K.P. (2004) Tor-signaling and Tor-interacting proteins in yeast. Topics in Current Genetics 7, 201-223.
  • Dilova, I., Aronova, S., Chen, J. C.-Y., and Powers, T. (2004) Tor signaling and nutrient-based signals converge on Mks1p phosphorylation to regulate expression of Rtg1p/Rtg3p-dependent genes. J. Biol. Chem 279, 46527-46535.
  • Reinke A, Anderson S, McCaffery JM, Yates J 3rd, Aronova S, Chu S, Fairclough S, Iverson C, Wedaman KP, Powers T. (2004) TOR complex 1 (TORC1) includes a novel component, Tco89p (YPL180w), and cooperates with Ssd1p to maintain cellular integrity in S. cerevisiae. J. Biol. Chem 279, 14752-14672
  • Wedaman, K.P., Reinke, A., Anderson, S., Yates, J. III, McCaffery, J.M., and Powers, T. (2003) The Tor kinases are in distinct membrane associated protein complexes in S. cerevisiae. Mol. Biol. Cell 14, 1204-1220
  • Crespo, J.L., Powers, T., Fowler, B., and Hall, M.N. (2002) The TOR controlled transcription activators GLN3, RTG1 and RTG3 are regulated in response to intracellular levels of glutamine. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 6784-6789.
  • Dilova, I., Chen, C.-Y., and Powers, T. (2002). Mks1 in concert with TOR signaling negatively regulates RTG target gene expression in S. cerevisiae. Curr. Biol. 12, 389-395.
  • Komeili, A., Wedaman, K. P., O'Shea, E. K., and Powers, T. (2000). Mechanism of metabolic control: target of rapamycin signaling links nitrogen quality to the activity of the Rtg1 and Rtg3 transcription factors. J. Cell Biol. 151, 863-878.
  • Powers, T. and Walter, P. (1999) Regulation of ribosome biogenesis by the rapamycin-sensitive TOR signaling pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol. Biol. Cell 10, 987-1000.