B cells produce antibodies after detecting foreign antigen in the body. My laboratory is interested in the development, proliferation, differentiation, and cell death (apoptosis) of these cells. We focus on:
Regulation and function of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 Protein A1/Bfl-1
A1/Bfl-1 is expressed after activation of B and T cells. It protects against cellular stress potentially leading to apoptosis. Despite the fact, that the protein is also expressed in tumors little is known about the regulation and function of the protein. Recently, we have shown that A1/Bfl-1 is an extremely short-lived protein. Degradation depends on the C-terminal end of the protein and is executed by proteasomes after labeling the protein through ubiquitin chains. We have identified an enzyme (E3 ubiquitin ligase) that performs the labeling process. Currently, we are characterizing this enzyme.