Research

Our laboratory mainly focuses on two transcriptional regulatory proteins of the same ETS domain superfamily; namely, Elk-1 and Pea3.

Elk-1 is believed to be an important neuronal survival protein, whose overexpression appears to be correlated to brain tumor proliferation (Elk-1 is found to be colocalized with mitotic kinase, Aurora A), whereas lack or decreased expression thereof is believed to be related to neurodegeneration.

Pea3, on the other hand, was shown to be important for neuronal differentiation, as scored by axonal outgrowth in neuronal model cells.

Our current studies try to:

-understand how Elk-1 phosphorylation and localization is regulated during mitosis, as well as in hypoxia, in brain tumor model cells,

-identify transcriptional targets of Elk-1 during normoxia and hypoxia in neuronal model cells,

-understand how these transcriptional targets of Elk-1 are correlated to neural stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis in various disease models (including depression, PD, AD etc), and

-identify transcriptional targets specific for Pea3, but not for other members of the Pea3 subfamily (ie ERM and ER81)

We hope that our research will help direct specific neuroregeneration and prolonged survival/neuroprotection of neural stem cells.