Carbohydrates on cell surface and extracellular proteins mediate cell-cell interactions and signaling. In humans, defects in the glycosylation machinery cause severe inherited disorders. Aberrant glycosylation has been implicated in cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Berninsone lab uses the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to investigate how the correct assembly and trafficking of glycoconjugates relates to their activity on the cell surface.
The projects specific aims combine biochemical and genetic strategies: