Research Faculty

Address
650 W 168 St.
Black Building 301B
New York, NY 10032

Phone: 212-305-9206
Fax:

ay46@cumc.columbia.edu
Ai Yamamoto, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pathology and Cell Biology
Research Summary

The ability of any cell to function properly relies heavily in its ability to traffic proteins to its correct destination. From maintaining proteins at the cell membrane and permit proper signaling, to sequestering and moving proteins away for their ultimate destruction, knowing when and how proteins are selected and targeted is as critical as understanding the function of the proteins themselves. We therefore use cellular, biochemical and genetic methods to determine how proteins are targeted for two events: degradation and endocytosis. To interrogate these pathways, we examine them in the context of neurological disorders to determine their potential impact in disease amelioration. For example, one question we are currently examining is the importance of protein degradation in Huntington's disease (HD). A recurrent observation in neurodegeneration is the accumulation and aggregation of mutant proteins. It has recently been shown that in diseases such as HD, elimination of mutant protein accumulation not only halts symptomatic progression but reverses the disease. The question remains, however, how do we selectively eliminate the mutant protein, and what form of the protein should we eliminate? Using cellular and in vivo models, our goal is to answer this and other related questions, ultimately to test our original hypothesis that selective elimination of aggregated proteins is required to ameliorate HD.
Selected Publications

Please click the PubMed link below to view Dr. Yamamoto's publications:

Keywords

Huntington's disease, protein aggregation, ubiquitin, autophagy, endocytosis, dopamine, Parkinson's disease, glutamate, neurotransmitter transporter
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