The research activities of Dr. Yi Zheng’s laboratory focus on studies of the physiological and pathological function and the mechanism of regulation of Rho family GTP-binding proteins.
The Rho GTPases are a class of intracellular signal transducers that play important roles in the regulation of diverse cellular activities including actin cytoskeleton reorganization, transcription activation, and DNA synthesis. Like Ras, mutation, overexpression or disruption of the normal mode of regulation of these GTP-binding and GTP-hydrolyzing molecular switches may lead to cellular transformation, morphological changes, and developmental disorders.
By using a variety of current cellular, molecular, biochemical, and mouse genetic approaches, the Zheng Lab attempts to understand the molecular mechanism and the physiological impact of signal transduction processes involving Rho GTPases, their regulators, and effector targets.
The ultimate goals are to develop novel therapeutic reagents that interfere with specific Rho signaling pathways related to human pathological conditions including cancer, inflammation, aging, and hemopathies.