Dr. Koren Itay
Functional mapping and characterization of protein degradation pathways and protein quality control mechanisms
Protein degradation plays a key role in nearly all cellular functions and failure to maintain protein homeostasis (proteostasis) has been shown to facilitate the manifestation or progression of a variety of pathological disorders, including inflammation, neurodegeneration and cancer.
In our lab we use genetics (CRISPR screens) coupled with synthetic biology (high density oligonucleotide libraries), biochemistry, cell biology and systems biology approaches to obtain a global view of degradation pathways and to tackle open questions in the protein degradation field. We:
- Investigate how the degradation machineries of the cell specifically recognize and target substrates;
- Characterize protein quality control pathways activated by cells to maintain proteostasis;
- Explore the involvement of specific degradation machineries in various biological processes including receptor trafficking and turnover, organelle protein targeting, antigen presentation and more.
- Elucidate how defects in protein degradation mechanisms result in disease such as cancer or neurodegeneration.