Cammarato Lab

The Cammarato Lab is located in the Division of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We are interested in basic mechanisms of striated muscle biology. We employ an array of imaging techniques to study “structural physiology” of cardiac and skeletal muscle. Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, expresses both forms of striated muscle and benefits greatly from powerful genetic tools. We investigate conserved myopathic (muscle disease) processes and perform hierarchical and integrative analysis of muscle function from the level of single molecules and macromolecular complexes through the level of the tissue itself.


Active projects within the Cammarato Lab are funded by the NIH/NHLBI, NIH/NIA, and NIH/NIGMS.

Lab Members


Honors and Awards

  • Research article entitled “The NADPH metabolic network regulates human αB-crystallin cardiomyopathy and reductive stress in Drosophila melanogaster” was selected as “Featured  Research” by PLoS Genetics and as the “Biomedical Picture of the Day” by the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre
  • Research article entitled “A mighty small heart: the cardiac proteome of adult Drosophila Melanogaster” was selected as a top advance in functional genomics and translational biology for 2011 by Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics
  • Circulation, American Heart Association
    Top Advances in Functional Genomics and Translational Biology for 2011
  • EveryONE, PLOS Blogs
    Drosophila Research Captures our Hearts, and Attention
  • Research article entitled “Myosin transducer mutations differentially affect motor function, myofibril structure and the performance of skeletal and cardiac muscles” was featured in the ASCB Newsletter “InCytes from MBC”. “InCytes” highlights important research findings and advances in cell biology from articles published in the corresponding monthly issue of MBC

Myosin Transducer Mutation Differentially Affect Motor Function, Myogibril Structure, and the Performance of Skeletal and Cardiac Muscles
Anthony Cammarato, Corey M. Dambacher, Aileen F. Knowles, William A. Kronert, Rolf Bodmer, Karen Ocorr, and Sanford I. Bernstein

Drosophila, which have a single muscle myosin gene whose splice variants are expressed in every striated muscle, are an ideal model system for analyzing the pathological consequences of mutations that alter the motor's chemomechanical properties. The authors have studied two mutations located in the transducer domain of the muscle myosin motor, D45 and Mhc5, which, respectively, decrease and increase ATPase activity and motility in vitro. The hypoactive D45 mutant protects against age-associated dysfunction of metabolically demanding skeletral muscles but causes a dilated cardiomyopathy phenotype similar to that seen in human patients with hypoactive cardiac myosin mutations. In contrast, the hyperactive Mhc5 mutant disrupts the ulatrstructure and function of skeletal muscles, reflecting disinhibition and hypercontraction. The cardiac phenotype in Mhc5-expressing flies resembles a rare myocardial disorder, human restricive cardiomyopathy, that although not previously linked to myosin mutations is associated with dysregulation of motor activity. The authors' prediction that Drosophila may serve as a useful model in this regard has been borne out by very recent documentation that a myosin mutation causes pediatric restrictive cardiomyopathy. (S.M. Ware, et al., Clin. Genetic., in press).