Mobilisation of calcium from intracellular stores constitutes one of the main signalling mechanisms in the body. Identifying the molecular components of calcium signalling pathways and their role in health and disease is one of the major areas of interest in this laboratory.
In particular, we study the mechanism of action and physiological role of PLCzeta, a sperm-specific phospholipase C that acts as the trigger of development by inducing calcium oscillations in the egg at fertilization. Our other main interest is in carrying out a dissection of the molecular components of the cADPR and NAADP calcium signalling pathways, investigating how they are generated in response to physiological stimuli, and uncovering their role in physiological processes as diverse as cardiovascular function, insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cell, and control of appetite.
We currently have the following interests:
· The mechanism of action and physiological role of PLCzeta
· The link between PLCzeta and human infertility
· In vivo gene transfer as a way to study testis and sperm function
· The role of NAADP in cellular signalling and endolysosomal function
· The mechanism of action and physiological role of ADP-ribosyl cyclases