Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics
Souad R. Sennoune, Ph.D.
Cancer and diabetes are the largest risks to good health. Studies that propose to understand the nature of molecular event that cause or are associated with either of these diseases are potentially of great significance. My interests are focused on understanding the mechanisms and the regulation of ion transport in these diseases. Specifically, we study the extrusion of acid (i.e., H+ ) from the cytosol through the plasma membrane via the plasmalemmal Vacuolar H+-ATPase (pmV-ATPase). Vacuolar type H+-ATPases are ATP dependent proton pumps which function in acidification of the intracellular acidic compartments. Importantly, when expressed at the plasma membrane, the pmV-ATPases play a significant role in cancer metastasis and in angiogenesis which is needed to provide blood supply to the tumor. We use sophisticated state-of-the-art biophysical approaches that include optical and spectroscopy approaches: time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy, 2-photon microscopy, and spectral imaging microscopy to study H+ transport via the pmV-ATPase using cellular and animal models of cancer and diabetes.