University: We Make Lives Better

Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

Maria E. Gaczynska, PhD

Return

Maria E. Gaczynska, PhD

Photo
Associate Professor
Department of Molecular Medicine
Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Office: 210-567-7262
RESEARCH INTERESTS:  The laboratory is devoted to study large protein assemblies with chemical biology and biophysics methods.One of our major subjects of interest is the proteasome, a multifunctional macromolecular assembly essential in cell cycle progression, signal transduction pathways, immune response and general "housekeeping" in the human cell. Not surprisingly, the proteasome is involved in cellular aging processes and in countless pathologies, including cancer and Alzheimer's disease. The proteasome is currently in the center of attention of clinicians and pharmacologists as a surprisingly promising drug target against cancer and inflammation. One of our goals is to provide an insight into the differences between structure and function of proteasomes in normal and neoplastically transformed cells and in cells in aging tissues. We propose that proteasome, together with other proteases that take a part in the controlled degradation of regulatory proteins in the cell, constitute a functional entity. They form multibranched degradation pathways enabling a tight control of this irreversible process. We postulate that this web of interactions is dysfunctional in cancer or in aged organisms, creating a "proteolytic instability". Dissecting the web of interaction and aiming at its most vulnerable points would enable to manipulate the activities of the involved proteases to specifically kill tumor cells or to improve an immune response in aging tissue. Moving from metabolic pathways to the level of proteasome molecules, we concentrate on allosteric regulation of the enzyme's activity, using "nanoenzymology" methods ranging from atomic force microscopy to molecular modeling to small-molecule chemistry. We created a series of peptide and peptidomimetic compounds allosterically affecting the proteasome activities. We postulate that allosteric regulators will constitute perfect drugs precisely adjusting the proteasome actions for the benefit of the whole organism.

facebook

youtube

Watch Our Weekly
Seminars Here

BarshopINSTITUTElogo _Converted_
The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

15355 Lambda Drive
San Antonio, Texas  78245
P: 210-562-6140 F: 210-562-6110
Contact: barshopinstitute@uthscsa.edu
Updated: 6/22/2011
Copyright © 2008
UT Health Science Center
The University of Texas Health Science Center
Accessibility | Public/Personal Information | Site Information | Web Privacy

Links from web sites affiliated with The University of Texas Health Science Center's web site (www.uthscsa.edu) to other web sites do not constitute or imply university endorsement of those sites, their content, or products and services associated with those sites.

Site Developed by Toolbox Studios, Inc.