Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) is a heavily N-glycosylated pro-angiogenic receptor tyrosine kinase. Stimulation of the receptor by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induces quiescent endothelial cells to proliferate and sprout, and VEGFR2 signaling is also required for tumor growth and metastasis. In a new paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry by Kevin Brown Chandler and colleagues in the Costello and Rahimi laboratories demonstrated that the glycosylation status of VEGFR2 alters signaling through the receptor. Specifically, sialic acid-capped N-glycans at site N247 oppose ligand-mediated receptor activation, whereas asialo-glycans (lacking sialic acid) favor VEGFR2 activation.
The Department wanted to share the good news that Shawn Lyons, Ph.D., has accepted our offer to join the department as an Assistant Professor as of October 1, 2019. Shawn obtained his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. William Marzluff working on histone mRNA metabolism. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Paul Anderson at Harvard Medical School (Brigham and Women’s) working on the regulation of protein synthesis during acute stress response in cells, in particular how RNA metabolism and ribosome biogenesis are altered in response to stress. His work is extremely exciting, and will connect with that of a number of other department members, particularly those in the RNA biology group. Please join us in welcoming Shawn to the department!
Congratulations to the graduates from the Department of Biochemistry. Jessica Calloway Jones from the Farmer lab received her PhD. Neya Vishwanath who performed her research in the Layne lab received her MS in Medical Sciences degree. Neya (picture right) was also a speaker at the morning GMS graduation. Congratulations to all.
Heterotrimeric G proteins are signaling switches that control cellular communication across metazoans. From a traditional standpoint, these G-proteins are activated by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). However, a recent paper published in the Journal of Cell Biology by Arthur Marivin and colleagues provides direct evidence that heterotrimeric G-proteins can be activated in vivo by a cytoplasmic factor instead of by a GPCR. Specifically, DAPLE, a non-receptor protein bearing an evolutionarily conserved G-protein activating motif, triggers apical cell constriction during neurulation in Xenopus and zebrafish embryos via G-protein dependent signaling. This project of the Garcia-Marcos Lab was carried out in collaboration with the Dominguez Lab (Dept. of Medicine) and the Cifuentes Lab (Dept. of Biochemistry) at BU.
The Henry I. Russek Award Nominating Committee and the Russek Executive Committee would like to announce the winners of this year’s Department of Biochemistry awards. The honorable mention was awarded to Deborah Chang who is a student in Dr. Zaia’s lab, second prize was awarded to Julia Hicks-Berthet who is a student in Dr. Varelas's lab and the first prize was awarded to Elena Stampouloglou, who is a student in Dr. Varelas's lab. There is more great news for our department! The first prize awardee for the Molecular & Translational Medicine program is Rekha Raghunathan, a student in Dr. Zaia’s lab and the first prize awardee for the Genetics & Genomics program is Stefanie Chan, a student in Dr. Perissi’s lab. Congratulations to all of the awardees (and their mentors)!
So, we'll see you all this Friday, April 26th in Hiebert Lounge for Henry I. Russek Student Achievement Day 2019 and the keynote address to be delivered by Dr. Xiowei Zhuang; her talk is entitled “Illuminating Biology at the Nanoscale and Systems Scale by Imaging”.
Research on Klotho and Alzheimer's from Dr. Carmela Abraham's lab and Dr. Abraham's former trainee, Gwendolyn King, was mentioned in a New York Times article: "Turbocharge your brain".
Congratulations to Dr. Nhat Le, a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Harris lab, who was recently awarded a Warren Alpert Distinguished Scholars career development award. This two-year, $400,000 fellowship will fund Nhat’s work on a project entitled “Signaling Pathways Underlying Prion Neurotoxicity”. Her project aims to identify the mechanism underlying prion-induced synaptotoxicity using genomic, proteomic and pharmacological techniques in mouse and human neurons and in animal models.
Catherine Costello, PhD, the William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has received the 2019 Lifetime Achievement in Proteomics Award from the U.S. Human Proteome Organization (U.S. HUPO). This inaugural award recognizes a career of discovery that has made a lasting impact in the field of proteomics, the field which explores the distribution, dynamics and modifications of proteins in cells and living organisms and their relationships to health and disease. ... (link)