Cell death is a normal part of cellular function, and this important behavior can occur through several different mechanisms. One form of cell death—pyroptosis—is characterized by the dying cells spilling their inner contents after they bursts, and can result in inflammation that attracts the attention of the immune system. A key step in pyroptosis is the *cleavage* of a protein called Gasdermin D, but little is known about the cell death-related roles played by other members of the Gasdermin family.
To improve our understanding of the mechanisms of cell death, Dr. Ketelut-Carneiro is focusing on a novel Gasdermin protein that is highly expressed in normal colon cells, but not when there is inflammation. Specifically, she is seeking to define the pathways leading to the activation of this protein, characterize its role in cell death, and test how it impacts intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer. Understanding its role in the intestine could then be reveal new potential targets for cancer drugs as well as open up new avenues for future research in cancer therapy.
Projects and Grants
Deciphering the role of Gasdermin C in intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer
University of Massachusetts Medical School | Colorectal Cancer | 2020 | Katherine A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
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