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School of Medicine
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Center for Research on Cardiac Intermediate Filaments
The CRCIF was established to foster collaborative efforts aimed at elucidating the role of intermediate filaments (IFs) in the heart. Intermediate filaments constitute a class of cytoskeletal proteins in metazoan cells, however, different from actin microfilaments and tubulin microtubules, their function in cardiac cells is poorly understood. Unique from the other two components of the cytoskeleton, IFs are formed by cell type-specific proteins. Desmin is the main component of the IFs in the cardiac myocytes. We measured the consistent induction of desmin post-translational modifications (PTMs, such as phosphorylation, etc.) in various clinical and experimental models of heart failure. Therefore, one of our main focuses is to determine the contribution of desmin PTMs to the development of heart failure in different animal and clinical models. Active Projects: • Quantification of desmin PTM-forms in different forms of heart failure at the peptide level using mass spectrometry • Functional assessment of the role of desmin PTMs in heart failure development using single site mutagenesis and biophysical methods • Molecular characterization of desmin preamyloid oligomers using mass spectrometry, in vitro and in vivo imaging • Assessment of the diagnostic and pharmacological value of desmin PTMs in heart failure development