Research outline

Molecular chaperones are a group of proteins that assist folding/unfolding or assembly/disassembly of other proteins without being permanent components of these functional native structures. They are involved in a wide variety of essential cellular processes and implicated in various diseases. Our main interest is to understand at the molecular level how organisms such as cyanobacteria use molecular chaperones to maintain various essential cellular activities under normal and stress conditions. Cyanobacteria which successfully adapt to a wide range of environments can be used as model organisms to study stress response by organisms. We have shown that molecular chaperones play critical roles in protecting cyanobacteria from stress. In addition, we are interested in naturally occurring small molecules that control the chaperone activity of Hsp90.