Neurodegenerative disease: Several neurodegenerative diseases are classified as proteopathies that result in progressive degeneration and/or death of nerve cells. During periods of oxidative stress, many proteins are oxidized and damaged. Such damage often occurs in proteins that accumulate in aging cells such as neurons and in cancer cells because they have an unstable genome.
Our laboratory is interested in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology of protein quality control involved in neuronal degeneration during aging of the mammalian brain, particularly in Alzheimer disease as well as in malignant diseases. We focus on the function and metabolism of key proteins associated with these diseases, understanding the folding pathways and modulators that lead to formation of misfolded toxic proteins.
Our goal is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms triggered by abnormal proteins during the course of Alzheimer disease. Increasing the knowledge of the biology involved in these disorders will facilitate development of efficient therapeutic strategies.
Cancer: Our laboratory utilizes a multidisciplinary strategy to study glycans and proteins involved in malignant diseases with an ultimate goal towards development of novel pharmacological approaches. We have particular interest in understanding the molecular role of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans in the pathogenesis of malignant diseases.
Key Words: Protein quality control, Alzheimer disease, Cancer, Amyloid, Amyloid beta, Prion, Scrapie, Nuclear localization, Autophagy, Lysosome, Proteasome, Oligomerization, Proteoglycans, Glycosaminoglycans, Xylosides, Heparan sulfate, Glypican-1, Nitric Oxide, Vitamin C.