University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine - Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the first compartment of the secretor pathway. Plasma membrane receptors, ion channels, hormones and secreted enzymes are few examples of proteins which are being processed and sorted for vesicular transport in the ER. Mistakes in sorting lead to the development of variety of diseases, ranging from hemochromatosis, cystic fibrosis or hereditary emphysema to Pelizaeus-Merzbacher or Alzheimer's neurodegeneration. Viruses such as the cytomegalovirus, HIV-1 Epstein-Barr and many others manipulate ER sorting to evade immune surveillance, a specialized function of the compartment. Dr. Aridor is utilizing a variety of molecular biochemical and cellular techniques to unravel the molecular basis of ER sorting.