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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
School of Pharmacy
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology

PI: Ramaiah Muthyala

14-3-3 Proteins—Understanding of Structure, Function and Regulation Towards the Development of Neurological Disorders

The 14-3-3 proteins are a family of conserved regulatory molecules expressed in eukaryotic cells. A striking feature of the 14-3-3 proteins is their ability to bind a multitude of functionally diverse signaling proteins and participate in the regulation of diverse biological processes. The sheer number of binding partners for 14-3-3 allows the prediction of some properties of the interaction such that these proteins share common-binding determinants that mediates their contact with 14-3-3.

One such determinant is a specifically phosphorylated residue in ligands. It is well known that phosphorylated serene in the ligand serves as a recognition signal for protein-protein interactions. 14-3-3 proteins have been implicated in a variety of pathological processes. The abundance of 14-3-3 proteins is in various organs in particular brain tissue points its critical role in neurological diseases.

These researchers work to determine the tertiary structures of unknown isoforms by homology models and study behaviors of 14-3-3 isoforms by protein-protein interactions and their dimerization properties. Such studies will be highly useful for developing therapeutics for these rare diseases.

Group Member

Julianne H. Eggum, Supercomputing Institute Undergraduate Intern