Our lab is interested in characterizing the interactions between molecular motors and their vesicular cargo to regulate axonal transport in neurons. We use a combination of cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, and high-resolution microscopy in mammalian neurons and in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, to identify and characterize motor-cargo regulatory complexes.
We also seek to integrate and extend our knowledge of motor regulation to dissect the role that defective vesicular transport plays in the accumulation of misfolded proteins inside axons, and scrutinize the hypothesis that this contributes to or causes neurodegeneration. We use mammalian and C. elegans systems to build models of protein aggregation diseases including prion diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), tauopathies, and transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis-related diseases, to characterize the role of motor-based transport in toxicity and infectivity.
Follow the links and follow us on Twitter (@EncaladaLab) to find out in more detail what we do!