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Topology and dynamics of protein interaction networks that control cell growth
Over the past two decades much progress has been made in identifying proteins that play essential roles in the control of cellular growth, a biological process with important clinical implications. These proteins hardly ever operate as independent functional units on their own but rather form specific interactions with other proteins in the cell. Such interactions shape a dynamic network of functional modules, which orchestrates cellular processes including translation, transcription, apoptosis, proliferation and autophagy that affect cellular growth in response to growth factors and changes in the nutritional and energy status. We develop technologies for systematic protein complex purification and protein identification by quantitative mass spectrometry with the goal to analyze the topology and dynamics of protein networks that control cell growth via the evolutionary conserved insulin/TOR pathway. When combined with systematic network perturbation experiments such studies hold great promise to improve our systems level understanding of cellular growth in healthy and pathological conditions.
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