Research Summary

Novel regulatory mechanisms of human copper transporters ATP7B and CTR1

The project focuses on understanding of the copper uptake and export mechanism in human cells. The studies will determine the key factors that maintain the copper homeostasis in human body, dysfunction of which leads to diseases of copper accumulation (Wilson disease) or deficiency (Menkes disease). My laboratory is interested specifically two copper transporters, ATP-dependent copper exporter ATP7B and ATP-independent copper importer CTR1. We incorporate sequence change in these proteins (mutate) and record the effect on their cellular location, and copper pumping activity. Also, we are trying to understand the role of other proteins (regulators) that help ATP7B and CTR1 reach their respective locations in the cell where they can carry out their respective functions of ‘copper pumping’. We believe that this study will contribute towards better understanding of the diseases of copper metabolism and identifying drug targets for their treatment.

Figure Legend: Integrative illustration of the three research interests (Aims) in my laboratory.