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Askar Akimzhanov

Askar Akimzhanov

Regular Member

Associate Professor

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 

Our research is focused on protein S-acylation – a reversible post-translational modification of cysteine residues by a variety of fatty acid species. Although protein S-acylation was discovered more than 30 years ago and S-acylated proteins have been implicated in pathogenesis of several diseases including cancer, cardiovascular and immune disorders, it remains one of the most understudied post-translational protein modifications. High lability, one of the key features of protein S-acylation, along with its prominent effect on the protein function, makes it an attractive mechanism for the regulation of intracellular signaling. In particular, rapid changes in the protein palmitoylation (S-acylation with a palmitic acid moiety) status could provide a molecular basis for activation of plasma membrane-localized signaling proteins by targeting them into specific plasma membrane subdomains.

Currently, we aim our studies (a) to analyze the dynamics and regulation of stimulus-dependent palmitoylation of Lck, LAT and other members of TCR signaling pathway and (b) to uncover a previously uncharacterized role of DHHC PATs in the regulation of T cell signaling. We expect that inclusion of a novel class of regulatory enzymes into the canonical TCR signaling pathway would greatly expand the range of potential therapeutic targets for diseases associated with altered T cell homeostasis.


McGovern Medical School Faculty

YouTube Video - Meet Dr. Akimzhanov

Education & Training

PhD, University of Wurzburg, 2005