The manner in which a cells respond to growth factor stimuli depends on interactions among cell surface receptors, growth factor ligands, and extracellular matrix molecules. Cell surface and extracellular matrix molecules bind growth factors, creating morphogens gradients essential to tissue patterning. Cell surface proteoglycans catalyzes the binding of growth factors to receptors, initiating downstream signaling. These events depend on the fine structure of in a given spatial and temporal context in normal and disease biochemistry.
The key to exploiting an understanding of cell surface and extracellular matrix molecular structure-function relationships for human disease therapy is to determine their roles in normal and diseased tissue. Toward this end, we have developed mass spectral methods for glycomics, proteomics, and glycoproteomics that enable comparison of structures as a function of biological variables.
We aim to develop a fundamental understanding of the manner in which cell surface and extracellular matrix molecular structure varies according to disease mechanisms. We have collaborative projects concerning cancer, neurological diseases, and viral disease. Our effort is divided among methods development, applied biochemistry, and bioinformatics.
A summary of current research projects follows.
- Mass spectral and bioinformatics methods for sequencing glycosaminoglycans
- Bioinformatics methods for glycoproteomics and glycomics
- Extracellular matrix structure and neurological diseases
- Methods for glycoproteomics from brain tissue
- Glycoproteomics of viral proteins
- Joseph Zaia