Our lab is learning about how collections of proteins called proteasomes affect cell metabolism and immune system functions. We are also looking at how conventional and unconventional antigens are presented to T cells.
Proteasomes are key enzymes in eukaryotic cells - cells that contain a nucleus. Proteasomes process most of the cytoplasm proteins, regulate cell metabolism, can activate proteins and polypeptides, and produce most of the peptides that are presented to T cells. Therefore, proteasomes and their peptide products are directly and indirectly targets of many potential new treatments against cancer, infections and autoimmune diseases.
Our lab investigates how proteasome variants carry out some of these processes, and how the immune system is influenced by their activity. We developed methods and pipelines that allow the identification of both conventional peptides, produced from proteins via peptide hydrolysis, and unconventional peptides, e.g. produced via post-translational peptide splicing.
The projects are supported by a multidisciplinary strategy in collaboration with other international groups, which combines bioinformatics and computational biology, biochemistry, proteomics, molecular and cellular immunology, and aims to generate translational applications in the field of cancer, infection and autoimmunity.