Currently the lab focuses on the characterization of two proteins one of which was originally isolated by the Aronheim’s lab JDP2 and ATF3 by Prof. Tsonwin Hai Ohio State University USA.
JDP2 was originally isolated based on its ability to associate with c-Jun. JDP2 is an ubiquitously expressed basic leucine zipper (bZIP) protein. JDP2 is an AP-1 transcription repressor protein. The JDP2 closest homologue protein is the Activating Transcription Factor 3 (ATF3). ATF3 is an immediate early transcription factor which plays a major role in stress response and cellular homeostasis. During the last years we have provided multiple evidences that the bZIP repressors plays a role in maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy and heart remodeling. Therefore, we are currently searching small molecules inhibitors for both proteins using an unique bio-assay.
The second project in the lab is to understand the crosstalk between various organs in the organism. As a model we use the communication between the heart and the tumor. Recent work have already established that cardiac remodeling promotes cancer progression and metastasis spread. We are currently looking for the mechanisms involved and whether the crosstalk occurs in patients as well.