Different environmental factors such as stress, nutrients and drugs produce alterations of the chemical reactions occurring in the cells. We study the molecular interactions between small molecules and proteins as readout of the effects of the environment on biological systems. We profile this network with state-of-the-art proteomics technologies in healthy individuals and to discover what goes wrong in metabolic diseases.
Binding of small molecules to proteins can modulate the metabolic status of the cells and their gene expression dynamics. All these interaction events between protein and metabolites produce allosteric effects, which means that they regulate protein activity as a consequence of a protein structural change.
We study how cells adapt to different metabolite compounds at the molecular level, focusing on human diseases where the balance between cellular proliferation and differentiation is impaired, due to a loss of regulation of the cellular chemical reactions. Our research approach integrates multiple system biology approaches with a particular focus on novel proteomics methods, metabolomics and genomics.
For more information about our research vision and technological interest visit the laboratory website linked above.