E243 South Lake Union
The goal of the Hurley group is to develop a molecular understanding of how photoreceptors survive and function in the vertebrate retina.
Previously Dr. Hurley and his colleagues focused their efforts on identifying and characterizing proteins in rods and cones that are required for transduction of light into an electrical change in rods and cones. These proteins include rhodopsin, transducin, cGMP phosphodiesterase and guanylyl cyclase.The group also focused on other enzymes that modulate the phototransduction mechanism, including GCAPs, recoverin and rhodopsin kinase. Measurements of biochemical activities and understanding of regulatory mechanisms have been the focus of those studies. The laboratory was able to link specific biochemical features with their physiological roles in vision.
Currently, the focus of the group has turned to an understanding of neuronal energy metabolism. The viability and function of neurons rely on proper control of metabolic energy. Our primary aim now is to understand how metabolic energy is produced and distributed in photoreceptors. We are investigating the molecular mechansisms by which these neurons respond to the changing temporal and spatial energy demands of darkness and light. There are many unique features of metabolic metabolism in the retina. In interesting and uniique ways it exploits metabolic features that are used by a variety of cell types ranging other types of neurons to cancer cells. Metabolic analysis of the retina therefore provides an opportunity to reveal and study important alternative metabolic pathways that are present, but perhaps overshadowed, in other tissues.
Copyright © 2003-2014 Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington
Fred Hutch | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology (ISB)| Center for Infectious Disease Research