Centre for Vascular Research, University of Sydney
Lab head: Professor Roland Stocker
Location: Medical Foundation Building (K25)
The research program in our laboratory focuses on oxidative processes in vascular medicine.
Funding: NHMRC & ARC
Unravelling the function of heme oxygenase-1 using a genetic approach
Primary supervisor: Roland Stocker
Heme oxygenase catalyzes the oxidative degradation of heme and plays a key role in iron homeostasis by facilitating the 'return' of heme-derived iron to the bone marrow where it can be used for hematopoiesis. A large body of recent literature suggests that one of the isozymes of heme oxygenase (heme oxygenase-1) has a number of additional activities that translate into protection against diseases associated with increased oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and inflammatory conditions. The mechanisms underlying these protective effects however, are largely unknown, although antioxidant protection has been put forward as one likely possibility. Recently, a functionally active yeast heme oxygenase has been identified. Work in the laboratory has shown that the yeast homolog of heme oxygenase-1, Hmx1p, also protects against oxidative stress. Using a global transcriptional approach, we have demonstrated that, contrary to present dogma, this protection is achieved via up-regulation of transcripts encoding enzymes involved in cellular antioxidant defense. This project will use standard yeast molecular techniques and biochemistry to further elucidate this novel antioxidant protection.
Co-supervisors: Emma Collinson
Contact: Email Roland Stocker