Sensory signalling in C. elegans versus mammals
Our group has been studying intracellular signalling regulated by the mammalian Pim family of serine/threonine kinases, and has identified many substrates and selective inhibitors for them. Recently we have expanded our experimentation to C. elegans, which has allowed us to initiate interesting studies on evolutionary conserved signalling pathways with physiological relevance. There are two Pim-related kinases in C. elegans, Prk-1 and Prk-2, which we have demonstrated to be true Pim orthologs with similar substrate specificity and sensitivity to our inhibitory compounds. Since we have observed Pim expression in the olfactory epithelium and other sensory organs in mice, we are now analysing the ability of Prks to regulate sensory signalling in C. elegans. Furthermore, we have acquired C. elegans strains carrying stress-responsive fluorescent reporters and are testing whether they can be utilized to biomonitor sublethal effects of environmental factors of our interest such as heavy metals or microbial toxins.
Start Lab in 2014