Alexey Veraksa, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of College of Science and Math, University Of Massachusetts - Boston
DF/HCC Program AffiliationCancer Cell Biology
My laboratory uses Drosophila as a model experimental system to address two key questions: 1) how cells control the precise quantity of signals transmitted through developmental signaling pathways, and 2) how cells integrate and interpret different signaling inputs to make an appropriate cell fate choice. We are using classic genetic and biochemical approaches, as well as advanced proteomics methods to study the regulation of developmental signaling. Current research projects in the lab are: 1. Mapping the Notch signaling network with Tandem Affinity Purification-mass spectrometry (TAP-MS) to identify in vivo protein interactions between the core components and modulators of Notch signaling. 2. Control of developmental signaling by non-visual beta-arrestin. One of the new Notch pathway interactors identified by the TAP-MS analysis is Kurtz, a Drosophila ortholog of mammalian non-visual beta-arrestins. We have shown that Kurtz forms a trimeric complex with the Notch receptor and another Notch protein modulator, Deltex. The formation of this complex leads to an increased ubiquitination of Notch and its proteasomal degradation. Current efforts are directed at studying how Kurtz regulates the activity of other signaling pathways during Drosophila development.
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