The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Internal Medicine
Salt balance is critical to the physiology of all eukaryotic cells. Disturbances in salt balance, which are commonly encountered in clinical practice, can result in considerable morbidity and mortality. Central to the control of renal sodium excretion is the operation of the heterotrimeric epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), which mediates the rate-limiting step for Na+ absorption in the renal connecting tubule and collecting duct principal cells. Our laboratory is focused on basic mechanisms controlling gene expression that govern basal and aldosterone-stimulated control of epithelial sodium transport. We have characterized a novel epigenetic pathway for control ENaC transcription that involves multiple transcription factors, histone modifying enzymes, and DNA methylation enzymes. We are using a combination of in vitro molecular approaches and mouse models to interrogate these pathways. We make extensive use of chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays of cultured cells and whole tissue to determine transcription factor and chromatin modifier occupancy of gene promoters and the histone modifications at these sites, and correlate these with the gene’s transcription state in the cell.
A tutorial in this laboratory could give a student experience in a variety of molecular and cell biological techniques, chromatin-based assays, cell culture, and genetically modified mice.
Education & Training
M.D. - University of Florida College of Medicine - 1983