Kun Ping Lu
My laboratory has pioneered in elucidating the role of protein conformational regulation after proline-directed phosphorylation in cell signaling in health and disease, and also identified promising novel targeted therapies for treating cancer, autoimmune disorders, traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer's disease.
Protein phosphorylation regulates diverse cellular processes in health and disease. Our lab has discovered a unique enzyme called Pin1 that introduces a pivotal new twist in phosphorylation signaling by converting phosphorylated proteins between two functionally distinct conformations, cis and trans. Deregulation of this novel signaling mechanism leads to accumulation of proteins in the pathogenic conformations, thereby having profound impact on the development of many diseases, especially those related to aging or stress such as Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, cancer and autoimmune disorders. More significantly, our lab has recently developed innovative antibody technology that can specifically detect and eliminate these pathogenic conformations, such as cis tau protein for early diagnosis and treatment of brain injury and Alzheimer's disease. By developing high-throughput drug screens, we have also identified Pin1 small molecular inhibitors that potently block multiple disease-driving pathways in cancer, asthma and lupus. These discoveries have suggested a promising new paradigm for the development of diagnostics and therapeutics that specifically target the pathogenic protein conformations in a wide range of diseases.
The current projects focus on translating our new discoveries into clinical products for improving human health, notably Pin1 inhibitors to stop multiple cancer-driving pathways and conformation-specific antibody for early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury.
Center for Life Science, Room 0408
3 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115