Faculty Mentor: Tina Iverson, Ph.D.
Dissertation Description: Structural basis of arrestin binding to signaling proteins
Arrestin, a protein scaffold, has been implicated to play an important role in the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling cascades. MAPKs are important cell signaling regulators and defects in MAPK signaling cascades have been implicated in neurogenerative disease and cancer. Even though the MAPK role in cell signaling has been extensively studied, there is a lack of mechanistic information on the arrestin-MAPKs interaction. The long-term goal of my project is to identify the role of arrestin in signaling bias and initiation using biochemical techniques and structural biology. This will help us highlight a common mechanism of cell signaling across vertebrates including cell differentiation, proliferation and cell death.