Christine Cremo, Ph.D.

Christine Cremo

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Oregon State University, 1983
  • B.A., Biology, Lewis and Clark College, 1979


I have worked in the field of muscle proteins since my doctoral work on the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor in the heart. After working on fluorescent nucleotide derivatives for studies on skeletal myosin structure and function, I moved on to try to understand the regulation of the smooth muscle myosin ATPase by phosphorylation of the regulatory light chain. The focus has been on structure-function relationships. This work is ongoing, as well as a new focus on structure-function relationships of smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase. This work has high relevance to several human diseases such as asthma, hypertension, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Research Interests

  • Regulation of smooth muscle contraction.
  • Solution kinetics of myosin-actin interactions.
  • Single molecule kinetics of myosin-actin interactions.
  • Single molecule interactions of myosin light chain kinase with cytoskeletal proteins.


  • NIH grant in 17th year of continuous funding
  • Topographical Studies of Smooth and Nonmuscle Myosins
  • Co-PI for COBRE, Smooth Muscle Plasticity, University of Nevada School of Medicine
  • Member - American Heart Association Study Section (National Organization) - Cellular Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology (1994-1997)
  • Member - American Heart Association Study Section -Washington/Oregon Affiliate (1995-1997)
  • Invited Participant - Roundtable Discussion on Future of Muscle Biology at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (Chaired by Dr. Stephen Katz, Director) (June 1996)
  • Member - Site Visit Team, Program Project Grant Review for Boston Biomedical Research Institute (NAIMS, The NIH) 1996
  • Co-Chair, Biophysical Society, Motility Subgroup (1997-98)
  • Co-chair, American Heart Association Study Section (National Organization) - Cellular Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology (1997-8)
  • Co-chair, Great America Consortium Peer Review Committee, Cardiovascular Regulation, American Heart Association (1998-2000)
  • Member - American Heart Association Study Section, Molecular Biology of the Muscle (1999-2001)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001-2006)
  • Member - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease, 2001 Site Visit Team, Program Project Grant Review for University of Vermont, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, College of Medicine, Myosin Dynamics during the Contractile Cycle
  • Member, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), ad hoc reviewer (2000-2001).
  • Member, Special Study Section B, National Institutes of Health, 2001.
  • Bioinformatics Core Facility, University of Nevada, Reno; Advisory Board Member, Structural Bioinformatics (2002-2004)
  • Member, AHA Basic Cell Biology Study Section 1, 2002-2005
  • Ad hoc reviewer, Macromolecular Structure and Function C Study Section, National Institutes of Health, 2005
  • Member, AHA Basic Cell & Molecular Biology 1 Study Section 2006-present
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility, 2006- present

Courses Taught

First Year Medical School, Block 2, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Renal Systems

Selected Publications


  • Jackson DR Jr, Webb M, Stewart TJ, Phillips T, Carter M, Cremo CR, Baker JE.
    Sucrose increases the activation energy barrier for actin-myosin strong binding.
    Arch Biochem Biophys. 2013 Dec 25. pii: S0003-9861(13)00386-X. doi:
    10.1016/ [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24370736.
  • Hong F, Facemyer KC, Carter MS, Jackson del R, Haldeman BD, Ruana N,
    Sutherland C, Walsh MP, Cremo CR, Baker JE. Kinetics of myosin light chain kinase
    activation of smooth muscle myosin in an in vitro model system. Biochemistry.
    2013 Nov 26;52(47):8489-500. doi: 10.1021/bi401001x. Epub 2013 Nov 11. PubMed
    PMID: 24144337; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3886827.
  • Webb M, Jackson del R Jr, Stewart TJ, Dugan SP, Carter MS, Cremo CR, Baker JE.
    The myosin duty ratio tunes the calcium sensitivity and cooperative activation of
    the thin filament. Biochemistry. 2013 Sep 17;52(37):6437-44. doi:
    10.1021/bi400262h. Epub 2013 Sep 3. PubMed PMID: 23947752.
  • Stewart TJ, Jackson DR Jr, Smith RD, Shannon SF, Cremo CR, Baker JE. Actin
    Sliding Velocities are Influenced by the Driving Forces of Actin-Myosin Binding.
    Cell Mol Bioeng. 2013 Mar 1;6(1):26-37. PubMed PMID: 23606917; PubMed Central
    PMCID: PMC3627502.
  • Ni S, Hong F, Haldeman BD, Baker JE, Facemyer KC, Cremo CR. Modification of
    interface between regulatory and essential light chains hampers
    phosphorylation-dependent activation of smooth muscle myosin. J Biol Chem. 2012
    Jun 22;287(26):22068-79. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.343491. Epub 2012 May 1. PubMed
    PMID: 22549781; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3381165.
  • Hong F, Haldeman BD, Jackson D, Carter M, Baker JE, Cremo CR. Biochemistry of
    smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Jun
    15;510(2):135-46. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 May 3. Review. PubMed
    PMID: 21565153; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3382066.
  • Vileno B, Chamoun J, Liang H, Brewer P, Haldeman BD, Facemyer KC, Salzameda B,
    Song L, Li HC, Cremo CR, Fajer PG. Broad disorder and the allosteric mechanism of
    myosin II regulation by phosphorylation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 May
    17;108(20):8218-23. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1014137108. Epub 2011 May 2. PubMed PMID:
    21536903; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3100986.
  • Jung HS, Billington N, Thirumurugan K, Salzameda B, Cremo CR, Chalovich JM,
    Chantler PD, Knight PJ. Role of the tail in the regulated state of myosin 2. J
    Mol Biol. 2011 May 20;408(5):863-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2011.03.019. Epub 2011
    Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 21419133; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3776433.
  • Milton DL, Schneck AN, Ziech DA, Ba M, Facemyer KC, Halayko AJ, Baker JE,
    Gerthoffer WT, Cremo CR. Direct evidence for functional smooth muscle myosin II
    in the 10S self-inhibited monomeric conformation in airway smooth muscle cells.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jan 25;108(4):1421-6. doi:
    10.1073/pnas.1011784108. Epub 2011 Jan 4. PubMed PMID: 21205888; PubMed Central
    PMCID: PMC3029703.
  • Sich NM, O'Donnell TJ, Coulter SA, John OA, Carter MS, Cremo CR, Baker JE.
    Effects of actin-myosin kinetics on the calcium sensitivity of regulated thin
    filaments. J Biol Chem. 2010 Dec 10;285(50):39150-9. doi:
    10.1074/jbc.M110.142232. Epub 2010 Oct 2. PubMed PMID: 20889979; PubMed Central
    PMCID: PMC2998111.