Shaun Sanders

Department
Email Address
[email protected]
Research Areas
Research Description

Work in the Sanders Lab is focused on how neurons use a sticky tag added to proteins, a process called palmitoylation, to control where in the neuron the protein goes. The correct localization of proteins is critical for neuron and, in turn, brain function. We are interested in how palmitoylation controls protein localization normally and how that goes wrong in human diseases.

Research Summary

The Sanders lab is interested in how neurons use the protein-lipid modification palmitoylation to target proteins to subcellular locations and to define how palmitoylation-dependent targeting contributes to physiological neuronal function and neuropathological conditions. Current projects include characterizing how palmitoylation of vesicular transport machinery regulates fast axonal transport and how palmitoylation of ion channels and their scaffold proteins regulates clustering at the axon initial segment, a critical site of neuronal excitability where action potentials are generated.

Techniques Used

We use cutting edge genetic, biochemical, and cell biological approaches to answer these questions, including CRISPR-mediated gene knockout and mutation, shRNA-mediated knockdown and rescue, specialized palmitoylation assays, and live and fixed confocal microscopy in neuronal cultures grown in conventional culture and in microfluidic devices.

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