William F. Ettinger, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Teaching science is the best occupation in the world. It is uplifting to challenge a student, let them struggle with an idea, then watch that “ah-ha” moment when they get it. Personally, this is gratifying and thrilling. It fills each day...

Dr. William F. Ettinger

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Plant Physiology, Washington State University

B.S., Biology, Lewis and Clark College

Courses Taught

BIOL 105: Information Flow in Biological Systems

BIOL 207: Genetics

BIOL 375: Virology

BIOL 359: Studies in Biodiversity (Zambia)


Teaching science is the best occupation in the world. It is uplifting to challenge a student, let them struggle with an idea, then watch that “ah-ha” moment when they get it. Personally, this is gratifying and thrilling. It fills each day with challenges and rewards. It is also rewarding to see students as they mature, graduate and go on to bigger and better things. I have been lucky to get to know some wonderful students. It is fantastic to follow them as they choose a career and excel at it.

Bertagnolli, M.E., Ettinger, W.F., Herzog, C.W. Assessing the Irritation Potential of Toothpastes Using a Red Blood Cell Lysis Assay. Manuscript in Preparation.

Kirk R. Anders , Alex M. Murphy*, William F. Ettinger, Douglas Kempthorne, Charles Kittridge, Alex Kures*, Sarah Lundgren*, Jacob Masters*, Rachel Noyes*, Christina Winters*, Perry Yazzolino*, Kasandra Ziebert*, Joseph Haydock, Stephen Hayes, Rebecca A. Garlena, Daniel A. Russell, Marianne K. Poxleitner, Ann-Scott H. Ettinger (2017) Genome Sequences of Cluster K Mycobacteriophages DrHayes, Urkel, and SamuelLPlaqson Genome. ASM Genome Announcements. SUBMITTED http://genomea.msubmit.net/cgi-bin/main.plex?el=A7IG1yjo1B7Czai2F5A9ftdyGHj7SyL2LexuLy6zZqbZAZ

Ettinger, WF (2015) Analyzing Anaphylaxis: Bees, Latex, and Peanuts: Watch Out for a Severe Allergic Reaction. Ski Patrol 32(2): 69-72.

Johnson, C.H., Shingles R., & Ettinger, W.F. (2006) Regulation and Role of Ca++ Fluxes in the Chloroplast., Chapter 20 in “The Structure and Function of Plastids" Robert R. Wise & J. Kenneth Hoober eds. Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration Series, Springer, The Netherlands. 403-416

Hou, H.J.M., Zhang, X., Liu, H. *Stevens, J., *Young, E., *Lien, T., *Dempsey, E.*, Ettinger, W.F. & Gunner, M. (2005) “Photodamage of one bacteriopheophytin molecule in the photosynthetic reaction center from R. sphaeroides”, in Photosynthesis: Fundamental Aspects to Global Perspectives, A. Van Der Est and D. Bruce eds., Vol 1, pp. 501-503

Avenson, T. J., Kanazawa, A., Cruz, J. A., Takizawa, K., Ettinger, W. F., and Kramer, D. M. (2005). "Integrating the proton circuit into photosynthesis: progress and challenges." Plant Cell and Environment 28: 97–109.

Li, T., Sirakova, D., Rogers, L., Ettinger, W.F., & Kolattukudy, P.E. (2002) Regulation of Constitutively Expressed and Induced Cutinase Genes by Different Zinc Finger Transcription Factors in Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi (Nectria haematococca) J. Biol. Chem. 277: 7905-7912.

Miller, K.L. & Muelheim, J. (corporate authorship: please see comments in personal statement) (2002) Report of the Food Allergy Task Force To Dr. Brian Benzel, Superintendent Spokane Public Schools. http://www.spokaneschools.org/NutritionServices/pdf/FATF.pdf

Ettinger, W.F., *Clear, A.M., *Fanning, K.J., *Peck, M.-L. (1999) Identification of a Ca++/H+ antiporter in the plant chloroplast thylakoid membrane. Plant Physiol. 119: 1379-1385.

Lefcort, H., *Thomson, S.M., *Cowles, E.E., *Harowicz, H.L., *Livaudias, B.M., Roberts, W.E., and Ettinger, W.F. (1999) "The importance of fear: Predator and heavy metal-mediated competition between tadpoles (Rana luteiventris) and snails (Lymnaea pulustris)." Ecological Applications, 9: 1477-1489.

Lefcort, H., *Meguire, R.A., *Wilson, L.H., and Ettinger, W.F. (1998) "The effects of heavy metals on the survival, growth, metamorphosis, and anti-predatory behavior of Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris) tadpoles." Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 35: 447-456.

Hashimoto, A., Ettinger, W.F., Yamamoto, Y. and Theg, S. M. (1997) Assembly of newly imported oxygen-evolving complex subunits in isolated chloroplasts: sites of assembly and mechanism of binding. The Plant Cell, 9: 441-452.

Ettinger, R.H., Ettinger, W.F., & *Harless, W.E. (1997) Active immunization with cocaine-protein conjugate attenuates cocaine's effects. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 58: 215-220.

Bormann, N.E., Van Der Sluys, W.G. & Ettinger, W.F. (1995) Heavy metal transport implications of biotic uptake in the Coeur d'Alene River. In: Watershed Management: Planning for the 21st Century. Ward, T.J,. ed. American Society of Civil Engineers, pp. 165-174.

Lippuner, V., Chou, I.T., Scott, S.V., Ettinger, W.F., Theg, S.M., & Gasser, C.S. (1994) Cloning and characterization of chloroplast and cytosolic forms of cyclophilin from Arabidopsis thaliana. J. Biol. Chem., 269: 7863-7868.

Olsen, L.J., Ettinger, W.F., Damsz, B., Matsudaira, K., Webb, M.A., & Harada, J.J. (1993) Targeting of glyoxysomal proteins to peroxisomes in leaves and roots of higher plants. The Plant Cell, 5: 941-952.

Ettinger, W.F. & Theg, S.M. (1992) Sequence of the cDNA encoding the 17 kDa protein of the photosynthetic oxygen-evolving complex of pea. Plant Physiol., 99: 791-793.

Cline, K., Ettinger, W.F. & Theg, S.M. (1991) Protein-specific energy requirements for protein transport across or into thylakoid membranes: two lumenal proteins are transported in the absence of ATP. J. Biol. Chem., 267: 2688-2696.

Ettinger, W.F. & Theg, S.M. (1991) Physiologically active chloroplasts contain pools of unassembled extrinsic proteins of the photosynthetic oxygen-evolving enzyme complex in the thylakoid lumen. J. Cell Biol., 115: 321-328.

Ettinger, W.F., & Harada, J.J., (1990) Translational or posttranslational processes affect the accumulation of isocitrate lyase and malate synthase proteins and enzyme activities in embryos and seedlings of Brassica napus. Arch. Biochem. Biophys., 281: 139-143.

Ettinger, W.F., Thukral, S.K., & Kolattukudy, P.E. (1987) Structure of cutinase gene, cDNA and the derived amino acid sequence from phytopathogenic fungi. Biochem., 26: 7883-7892.

Kolattukudy, P.E., Crawford, M.S., Woloshuk, C.P., Ettinger, W.F., & Soliday, C.L. (1987) The role of cutin, the plant cuticular hydroxy fatty acid polymer, in the fungal infection of plants. In: Ecology and Metabolism of Plant Lipids. Fuller, G., & Nes, W.D. eds. American Chemical Society Symposium Series # 325. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., pp 152-175.

Kolattukudy, P.E., Sebastian, J., Ettinger, W.F., & Crawford, M.S. (1987) Cutinase and pectinase in host-pathogen and plant-bacterial interaction. In: Molecular Genetics of Plant-Microbe Interactions. Verma, D.P.S., & Brisson, N. eds. Mortinus Nijhoff Publ., pp 43-50.

Kolattukudy, P.E., Ettinger, W.F., & Sebastian, J. (1987) Cuticular lipids in plant-microbe interactions. In: The Metabolism, Structure, and Function of Plant Lipids. Stumpf, P.K., Mudd, J.B., & Ness, W.D. eds. Plenum Publ., pp 473-480.

For a long time I have been fascinated by how the compartments inside cells take on their specific shape and structure. The highly compartmentalized plant cell is a marvel of evolution. Each compartment inside the cell plays a specific role in the life of the cell, and helps to determine the structure and function of the cell as a whole. Studies of the proteins in each compartment tell us a great deal about what that compartment's function is. Understanding how specific proteins get to selected compartments inside of the cell was the focus of my postdoctoral studies. My recent focus has been on how the ion calcium moves inside of the plant cell.

Recently my students and I have found a strong calcium pump located in the plant chloroplast thylakoid membrane. This pump functions in the light to concentrate calcium ions inside the thylakoid lumen. In this location calcium is available for assembly into the oxygen-evolving complex of photosystem II. The oxygen- evolving complex is responsible for photosynthetic oxygen production by plants and is the enzyme responsible for the 20% oxygen that is in our present atmosphere. The oxygen-evolving complex has a strict requirement for calcium and will not function unless calcium is available inside the thylakoid lumen. The calcium pump discovered in my lab at Gonzaga University provides a way for large amounts of calcium to cross the thylakoid membrane and accumulate in the thylakoid lumen.

In our studies we have also noted that large amounts of calcium appear to flow into the thylakoid lumen when light strikes a plant and that the calcium appears to be released by the thylakoid lumen when the lights are turned off. This is interesting because several key enzymes involved in photosynthetic carbon dioxide fixation are strongly inhibited by calcium. It seems likely that these enzymes are regulated in part by calcium flow across the thylakoid lumen. We are now preparing to measure the concentration of free calcium inside the thylakoid lumen in the light and in the dark. Through these studies we hope to determine the magnitude of calcium flow across the thylakoid membrane during the light dark cycle. These measurements will allow us to see if there is a correlation between calcium flow across the thylakoid membrane and the regulation of carbon dioxide fixation by plants.