Dr. Rebecca Berdeaux
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology
The Berdeaux Lab studies intracellular signal transduction pathways that mediate hormone and stress induced responses. These extracellular cues or signals prompt both immediate adjustments within cells in seconds or minutes as well as initiate longer-term responses through regulation of gene expression.
Signal-dependent transcription is a particularly important means by which metabolically active tissues adapt to changing nutrient availability, physical demands and tissue damage. The second messenger cAMP is a key mediator of these hormone responses. Our lab studies regulation and function of the cAMP regulated transcription factor CREB and an AMPK-related protein kinase called SIK1 (salt inducible kinase 1). Through cellular assays and mouse genetics, our team has uncovered novel roles for CREB and SIK1 in skeletal muscle. Ongoing NIH funded projects are aimed at uncovering how CREB contributes to muscle stem cell proliferation after muscle injury, and how SIK1 regulates muscle metabolism in response to obesity. Our research group discovered that SIK1 could be a novel target for type 2 diabetes, and ongoing work aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms.
Tutorial rotations are tailored to the interests of the individual student and entail a focused project aim that is achievable in 10-12 weeks. Techniques include primary cell culture, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence imaging, biochemical assays, transcriptional assays, and/or metabolic studies in mice and mouse tissues. All are aimed at making a contribution to the understanding of how intracellular signaling regulated by cAMP regulates physiological and patho-physiological responses to stress.
Keywords: CREB, transcription, kinase, muscle, exercise, signaling, insulin, diabetes, cAMP