Cells are able to process an enormous amount of information via highly regulated signaling networks. These networks are very complex, but the individual steps within these cascades often depend on simple chemical reactions. The most prominent reaction for cellular information transfer involves the reversible addition of phosphoryl groups onto proteins and small molecules. Our group seeks to develop a better understanding of the multiple ways in which nature utilizes phosphate in both protein signaling cascades and metabolic networks, with a specific focus on:
1) Signaling functions of inositol pyrophosphate messengers
2) The role of inorganic phosphate in cancer metabolism
3) Activity based probes for serine-threonine phosphatases
Common to all projects is our multi-disciplinary approach. We utilize methods in inorganic and physical organic chemistry, chemical genetics, genetics, and molecuIar biology, to pursue these intriguing questions. Besides tackling each problem in a multi-tiered fashion, our interdisciplinary program also provides a great training experience for students and postdocs.