News & Announcements

Expanding Understanding of the Mechanism of Protein Synthesis and its Regulation

CSU-led team will investigate impact of a protein synthesis factor (eIF2A) on metabolic syndrome

Dr. Anton A. Komar has received a new $1.2 million R01 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health to further understanding of how protein synthesis, a key component of gene expression, impacts disease development. The project will specifically investigate the potential connection between the protein eukaryotic initiation factor 2A (eIF2A) and metabolic syndrome, a broad category of illnesses that includes obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.

“Previous research we have conducted has shown that eIF2A is an important player in the development of metabolic syndrome, but the exact understanding of the underlying mechanism is as yet lacking. The proposed studies will help us to uncover how eIF2A functions and affects the physiological and pathophysiological processes in mammals.” says Dr. Anton A. Komar, professor in the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences (BGES) and director of the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD).

The new, four-year grant involves a number of external and internal collaborators. These, in particular, include Drs. William C. Merrick’s, David Buchner’s and Maria Hatzoglou’s laboratories at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. William M. Baldwin’s lab at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and Drs. Roman V. Kondratov’s and Barsanjit Mazumder’s labs at CSU.

This grant will foster the development of CSU’s research enterprise, strengthen the collaboration between biomedical researchers in Cleveland and also provide support for two graduate students in Dr. Komar’s lab (Anchal Agarwal and Richard Anderson) who contributed to the acquisition of the preliminary data for the grant.

Dr. Komar is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of protein synthesis (translation), well known for his work on the relationship between translation elongation rates and nascent protein folding.

About GRHD

Since its inception in 2008, the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease has made major contributions to the development of improved treatments of a host of diseases, from brain cancer to heart disease to sleeping sickness. The Center has received over $30 million in external funding from leading national and international funding agencies. In the past 10 years research conducted at the Center has been published in more than 270 journal articles, including prestigious publications in the journals such as Science, Nature and Cell. These papers have received more than 5,200 citations from other medical researchers in the U.S. and around the world.