The research in our lab focusses on the Wnt signalling pathway
Dr Michael Ranes
Molecular mechanisms of cell signalling
Our cells are constantly responding to a wide variety of external and internal stimuli. In such a noisy environment it is important for cells to accurately transmit these input signals to elicit the desired biological outcomes. Equally important is their ability to modulate and terminate such signalling pathways when deemed necessary. It is therefore not surprising that dysregulation of cell signalling pathways are frequently associated with human diseases. Understanding how these pathways function at the molecular level is therefore of great importance.
The research in our lab focusses on the Wnt signalling pathway, one of the most important cell signalling cascades in metazoans. It regulates key processes during embryonic development, tissue regeneration and overall adult tissue homeostasis. As a result, alterations in this pathway are often linked to severe developmental defects and other human disorders, most prominently cancer. We are particularly interested in Wnt/beta-catenin signalling. In recent years we have gained a better understanding of the mechanisms that ensure the pathway remains inactive when it’s not needed and how this is impaired in cancer. However, much less is known about the molecular mechanisms governing the activation and termination of the pathway.
Our research covers biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, and cell-based approaches, through which we aim to understand the mechanisms driving Wnt pathway activation and termination at the cell membrane in both health and disease settings.