David A. Horita
Research in my laboratory focuses on the structural biology underlying regulation of the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS generated by the NADPH oxidase enzyme complex are used by macrophages and neutrophils to destroy pathogens and by other cell types as signaling molecules. Excess or unwanted production of ROS can lead to inflammation, and ROS can serve as a trigger for cell death. However, ROS also functions in cell-signaling roles. Hence, proper regulation of ROS production is critical.
We are using solution-state NMR spectroscopy to investigate the interaction between the peripheral membrane proteins of the NADPH oxidase and their cognate lipids. Our model system involves protein domains from the cytosolic components of NADPH oxidase and small membrane mimetics. Understanding of lipid-mediated oxidase activity is of biomedical significance not only in regards to proper immune function (i.e., response to pathogens) but also in regards to improper immune response (i.e., various inflammatory diseases).
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