Our work on the neuronal growth inhibitor, Nogo, showed that it requires a cell membrane to fold. Nogo is a target in the treatment of stroke and spinal cord injury.
Nogo is a membrane protein known to inhibit axonal growth within the central nervous system (CNS). Disabling Nogo following spinal cord injury or stroke may allow regrowth of damaged axons. One domain of Nogo, termed Nogo-66, is present extracellularly on the oligodentrocyte cells of the CNS. Nogo-66 achieves axonal growth inhibition by binding to the Nogo Receptor (NgR) on neuronal cells. We are interested in characterizing the structure of Nogo-66 and how it interacts with the Nogo Receptor. A detailed understanding of the interaction between Nogo-66 and NgR will prove useful for designing drugs that will interfere with the ligand-receptor interaction and provide recovery from CNS injury.
Our Nogo structure paper: Vasudevan, SV, Schulz, J, Zhou, C and Cocco, MJ*. (2010) Protein Folding at the Membrane Interface, the Structure of Nogo-66. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107:6847-51
We use Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as well as other biophysical and molecular biology techniques to study two classes of biomolecules (I) membrane proteins (II) DNA binding proteins. Our work on the neuronal growth inhibitor, Nogo, showed that it requires a cell membrane to fold. Nogo is a target in the treatment of stroke and spinal cord injury.