Lab News

Congratulations to Ambre Sala for her talk, "Embryo Integrity Regulates Maternal Proteostasis and Stress Resilience", at the 8th Midwest C. elegans Meeting on April 23, 2021.

 

Congratulations to Tessa Sinnige on her appointment as an Assistant Professor with the Bijvoet Centre for Biomolecular Research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

March 2021

Congratulations to Tessa Sinnige for her paper, Kinetic analysis reveals that independent nucleation events determine the progression of polyglutamine aggregation in C. elegans, published in the March 16, 2021 issue of PNAS.

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Ambre Sala for her March 2020 publication, 

Embryo integrity regulates maternal proteostasis and stress resilience in Genes & Development.

 

Evanston Township High School senior named semifinalist in prestigious science competition

February 2021 

Congratulations to Kyoko Kohno, senior Neuroscience and Piano Performance double major, who was a awarded an Advanced AYURG for her work on understanding the mechanism of candidate BET inhibitors and HDAC inhibitors by improving the cytosolic protein folding environment. 

Adding to her accolades, Kyoko also achieved the highest academic honor of election to Phi Beta Kappa in May 2021. 

January 2021 

Congratulations to Xiaojing Sui for her talk, "Proteome remodelling: a missense mutation at a time" at the 26th Annual Midwest Stress Response and Molecular Chaperone conference. 

 

 

 

 

November 2020

Congratulations to Eirene Fithian, junior Biology major, who was awarded an AYURG for her work on generating tyrosine receptor-based SNAP-Tag probes that could be used to quantify clathrin-mediated endocytosis and protein aggregation.

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We study the regulation of the heat shock response and the function of molecular chaperones to maintain the functional health of the proteome and lifespan. Our current interests are: to understand how different tissues in C. elegans sense diverse forms of environmental and physiological stress and communicate proteotoxic stress signals between tissues, to determine the mechanism by which proteostasis collapse occurs in aging, to establish genetic and small molecule approaches to reset the heat shock response and other cell responses that fail in aging and disease, and to prevent proteotoxic stress in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ALS and other protein folding disorders.  

2020 Cold Spring Harbor Meeting Abstracts cover
2020 Cold Spring Harbor Meeting Abstracts cover

From Tessa Sinnige's recently published paper in the March 2021 issue of PNAS.
From Tessa Sinnige's recently published paper in the March 2021 issue of PNAS.

Image from the Morimoto Laboratory collection by Jesper Pedersen of neuron polyglutamine aggregates
Image from the Morimoto Laboratory collection by Jesper Pedersen of neuron polyglutamine aggregates

2020 Cold Spring Harbor Meeting Abstracts cover
2020 Cold Spring Harbor Meeting Abstracts cover

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The Proteostasis Network

Protein Quality Control (PQC) is regulated by the Proteostasis Network (PN) that controls protein synthesis, folding, transport and degradation of all proteins to ensure their stability and function. We study the properties and regulation of cell stress responses, molecular chaperones, the ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosome system at the organismal level using C. elegans and in patient derived induced neurons to examine the mechanisms of proteotoxicity in cells and tissues against proteotoxic damage.

Aging Biology

Aging is associated with the appearance and accumulation of non-native proteins with folded states that are highly aggregation-prone and amyloidogenic. We are interested in the molecular basis of quality control failure in aging, that we have termed Proteostasis Collapse, which is associated with a functional decline in specific arms of the PN leading to protein aggregation.

Proteostasis in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Alzheimer's disease, ALS, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Frontal Temporal Dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases are all associated with age-dependent protein aggregation and cellular dysfunction.  We have used both C. elegans and induced neurons to discover how protein misfolding and aggregates interferes with cellular function and to discover small molecules that enhance chaperone expression and function. 

The Heat Shock Response

All cells (and organisms) respond to environmental stress such as elevated temperatures and other abiotic stressors by activation of HSF1 and selective transcriptional activation of molecular chaperones and other components of the PN.  In isolated cells in tissue culture, the heat shock response (HSR) is regulated cell autonomously but in C. elegans, the HSR is regulated cell non-autonomously by the AFD sensory neuron to confer cellular healthspan and lifespan.

The Proteostasis Consortium

We share an NIH Program Project Grant from NIA on Proteostasis of Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases together with Judith Frydman (Stanford), Jeff Kelly (Scripps), Steve Finkbeiner (UCSF), and Dan Finley (Harvard).  Additional information on our research and the Proteostasis Consortium Wednesday Seminars be found at https://www.proteostasisconsortium.com/.

Welcome to the Morimoto Lab

Contact Us

 

Please send cover letters, CVs, research plans, and other relevant documents to rebecca.phend@northwestern.edu if you'd like to apply to join the lab.