Tiemeyer Lab

Mission

The Tiemeyer lab brings-to-bear all appropriate technologies to elucidate the function and structure of glycans in development and disease.

The Tiemeyer lab has characterized the N-linked, O-linked, and glycospingolipid-linked glycans of the Drosophila embryo. Acidic, zwitterionic, and neutral glycosphingolipids form functional domains within embryonic cell membranes. The diversity of N-linked glycans include a family of glycans whose expression is restricted to neural tissue (HRP-epitopes) and very minor glycans that carry sialic acid. Novel glucuronylated O-linked glycans have also been characterized in the embryo and in imaginal tissue. Seppo, A., et al., (2000) Eur. J. Biochem. 267, 3549; Aoki, K., et al. (2007) J. Biol. Chem. 282, 9127; Aoki, K., et al. (2008) J. Biol. Chem, 283, 30385

Rationale

The surfaces of all eukaryotic cells are richly endowed with a complex matrix of diverse glycoconjugates, comprised of glycan moieties linked to protein and lipid. These glycans form the interfaces at which cell-cell interactions occur. Consistent with their subcellular location and structural diversity, specific glycans function as cell-surface tags that allow cells to appropriately interact with each other and with their local environment. In fact, cell surface carbohydrates are among the most discriminating markers for cellular differentiation and pathogenesis. We utilize genetic, molecular, and advanced analytic techniques in vertebrate, insect, and other model systems to investigate the regulation and function of cell- and tissue-specific glycan expression.

Implementation

The Tiemeyer lab is currently pursuing its mission through research programs in the following areas:

Developmental Glycoscience and Evolutionary “Glycozoolation”

The molecular and genetic mechanisms that give rise to tissue-specific patterns of protein and lipid glycosylation in developing organisms, as well as the variation and conservation of glycosylation across zoologic space/time.

Glycopathology

The influence of protein and lipid glycosylation on the development and progression of human diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Autism Spectrum, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cancer, and various Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation.

Analytic Glycomics

The development, optimization, and implementation of analytic technologies at scales and speeds appropriate for the scientific questions under consideration.

Recent Developments

3.23.16 Congratulations Nicky! Nickita Mehta succesfully defended her thesis and is the newest PhD in the lab.

2.22.16 Congratulations Michelle! Michelle Dookwah passed her qualifying exams and is now a PhD candidate.