Lab publication: A change to ROCK makes it Roll

January 9th, 2014 Comments off

To develop new ways to explore signalling pathways and protein kinases, one approach is to use engineered proteins that allow use of ATP analogs. These analogs are not able to ‘fit’ into normal kinases, restricting participation in the pathway to only the engineered protein. We do this with the protein kinase ROCK, and show that a specific mutation allows for isolated and specific phosphorylation of ROCK targets with a unique ATP analog. Endogenous ROCK is not able to use this analog, thus the mutant ROCK will be useful in future studies for identifying new substrates. ROCK is very important for cell migration, and there is mounting evidence that future therapies for a number of human diseases, such as cancer, could target ROCK. See full, open access article here.

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Lab publication: A review of the role of adiponectin and impact on Cancer

January 7th, 2014 Comments off

Co-authored review with the Maestro of Metabolism, Dr. Gary Sweeney. Link to pubmed here.

Lab publication: MEKK2, 14-3-3 and JNK interaction revealed!

August 29th, 2013 Comments off

Our paper describing how 14-3-3 regulates MEKK2 activation is now published. Surprising effect on cell growth. More to come on this story soon…

Migraines – more than just writing grants and marking term papers. It’s in your genes.

June 25th, 2013 Comments off

Have you ever had a bad migraine headache? It can be a brutal, days-long agonizing experience, and researchers have spent years trying to figure out the molecular determinants. A study published by Antilla et al. from the International Headache Genetics Consortium describes meta-analysis of numerous genome-wide association studies and the occurrence of migraines. This turned up 5 new genes that associate with migraines, meaning they could contribute to the pathophysiology of the most common brain disorder. So, if your kids get headaches, they might have got if from you. Ain’t karma sweet?

Regeneration of cardiomyocytes by miRNA spells Relief

December 9th, 2012 Comments off

A recent article by Eulalio and colleagues reports the discovery of a group of miRNAs that reprogram cardiomyocytes to grow and repair a damaged heart. “Micro” RNA are small, non-coding bits of RNA that are hidden throughout the genome and have only recently been discovered to play an important role in the expression of genes. Tissues like cardiomyocytes from adults don’t grow, and expression of these miRNAs appears to change their programming so that they resume dividing. This particular work holds great promise for future therapies for heart disease, however that doesn’t necessary mean kicking back on the healthy food and exercise just yet.

Lab publication: CDCA7, AKT and MYC have a party

December 7th, 2012 Comments off

Our study on CDCA7 has now been published!

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Outgrowth of single oncogene-expressing cells from suppressive epithelial environments.

April 3rd, 2012 Comments off

 

Very interesting article in Nature describing how clonal evoluation of cancer cells involves evading the localized, restrictive environment. This study is important because it shows that other, potentially quiescent mutations to oncogenes could then become dominant once the cell translocates from its microenvironment.

Leung CT, Brugge JS. Nature. 2012 Feb 8;482(7385):410-3. Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Postdoc or not?

April 3rd, 2012 Comments off

 

An interesting and well written discussion on the merit of pursuing a post-doc position after your PhD. My philosophy is to study what you love, and do it well. If the academic positions don’t come, well there are other jobs I’m sure without a long applicant list.

By Karen Kaplan, Nature 483, 499-50(2012). Published online 21 March 2012

Monoclonal antibody therapy shows great promise in the fight against “bad” cholesterol

March 25th, 2012 Comments off

 

A study published March 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine shows how a monoclonal antibody reactive to a serine protease (PCSK9) may have significant therapeutic potential. Developed by Regeneron and Sanofi.

Evan A. Stein, M.D., Ph.D., Scott Mellis, M.D., Ph.D., George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Neil Stahl, Ph.D., Douglas Logan, M.D., William B. Smith, M.D., Eleanor Lisbon, M.D., M.P.H., Maria Gutierrez, M.D., Cheryle Webb, M.D., Richard Wu, Ph.D., Yunling Du, Ph.D., Therese Kranz, R.N., M.B.A., Evelyn Gasparino, B.S., and Gary D. Swergold, M.D., Ph.D.   N Engl J Med 2012; 366:1108-1118. March 22, 2012.

Link to paper here.

 

 

Signalling in the News – PTEN and its dual phosphatase activities

March 15th, 2012 Comments off

 

PTEN continues to be a hot topic with a Science Signaling paper from Tibarewal and coworkers describing their work isolating the lipid and protein phosphatase activities on gene expression effects and cell invasion . See the Editors comments and article here.

P. Tibarewal, G. Zilidis, L. Spinelli, N. Schurch, H. Maccario, A. Gray, N. M. Perera, L. Davidson, G. J. Barton, N. R. Leslie, PTEN Protein Phosphatase Activity Correlates with Control of Gene Expression and Invasion, a Tumor-Suppressing Phenotype, But Not with AKT Activity. Sci. Signal. 5, ra18 (2012).

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