Dr. Mark T. Bedford
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis
The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center
My laboratory is located in Smithville, Texas, at UT Science Park
Our main focus is elucidating the biological role of arginine methylation - a modification that has been implicated in nuclear export, transcriptional control and signal transduction. We have generated targeted disruptions of the arginine methyltransferase genes in the mouse in the hope of further understanding the biological role this post-translational modification. One of the arginine methyltransferases we have knocked-out is CARM1. This enzyme associates with the p160 family of nuclear hormone receptor coactivators. Using this genetic approach we have shown the critical nature of CARM1 in estrogen responsive gene expression. Additional studies are currently underway to probe the essential role of CARM1 in estrogen-mediated transcriptional activation.
My laboratory is developing molecular approaches to facilitate the study of protein-protein interactions in proteomic era. We have generated functional protein-domain microarrays and used them to identify and characterize novel protein interactions. Currently, our main focus in this regard is attempting to read the histone code. Using a combination of macro- and microarray approaches we are identifying new proteins that interact with lysine methylated histone tails. In addition, we are also using proteomic approaches to identify new substrates for enzymes such as arginine methyltransferases and kinases.