The ability to make and deliver proteins and lipids to where they are needed is essential for the life of the cell.
Many proteins, such as growth factors and extracellular matrix components, must be assembled, processed and exported from the cell at the right time and place for organisms to develop and grow correctly. This is achieved by the secretory pathway.
Cells must also take up material from outside the cell via endocytosis, including growth factors that have bound to cell surface receptors, nutrient receptors, and cell adhesion molecules. These proteins are then sorted for recycling or degradation, and this is crucial for controlling cell growth, proliferation and migration in the healthy organism, throughout development.
We investigate many aspects of secretory and endocytic pathway function in healthy cells, and how malfunctions in these pathways contribute to diseases such as cancer, dementias and lysosomal storage diseases.