Walter K. Schmidt,
WANTED: New students willing to tackle challenging and interesting basic science problems related to human disease (e.g. cancer, aging, and prions).
OUTCOMES: Past lab members have leveraged their training for great positions: click here.
Our lab uses a variety of technical approaches to better
understand how post-translational modifications regulate the function of CaaX-type proteins. These proteins are subject to an ordered series of C-terminal modifications: isoprenylation, proteolysis, and carboxylmethylation (steps 1-3 in figure below). Prominent examples of CaaX
proteins are the Ras family of oncoproteins,
Ras-related proteins, kinases, fungal mating
pheromones, and Hsp40 chaperones, among others.
The Shunt Pathway: We recently discovered that CaaX proteins do not always follow the standard modification pathway. Some follow an isoprenylation-only branch that we call the shunt pathway (see branch after step 1 in figure below). We hypothesize that CaaX proteins have a strong preferenence for either the standard or shunt pathway. We are testing our predictions by determining the preffered modification pathway of CaaX protein reporters and detailing the consequences of altered pathway selection. Effects observed range from altered protein function / localization to changes in cellular phenotypes.
Course Related Information
FYOS 1001 resources - The Contributions of Underrepresented Minorities to Today's Understanding of Biology.
GRSC 8010 resources - Graduate Professional Development.
BCMB/CBIO/GENE 8212 resources - Comprehensive Graduate Course in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Genetics.
BCMB 8120 resources (class syllabus) - Advanced Topics in Gene Expression; click here to access the latest list of articles (make sure to refresh your browser).
Other BCMB courses
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