Warnhoff Lab

Primary Research Focus

The Warnhoff Lab studies the biology of the molybdenum cofactor, a 520-dalton prosthetic group that is essential for animal development. Despite its requirement for life, the biology of the molybdenum cofactor remains understudied (~1,300 Pubmed papers) when compared to other essential cofactors such as vitamin B12 (~33,000 Pubmed papers) or heme (~57,000 Pubmed papers). We use the powerful genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to identify genes and pathways that maintain metabolic homeostasis during health and disease

The Warnhoff Lab has two major goals:

  • Identify the protein network that facilitates molybdenum cofactor transport between cells, tissues and organisms.
  • Discover and characterize genetic pathways that modify molybdenum cofactor-mediated metabolism.

To achieve these goals, we will employ an interdisciplinary approach using unbiased genetic strategies in the model organism C. elegans in combination with functional genomics, biochemistry, and cellular biology. The discoveries made in this fast, powerful, and cost-effective model system will continue to suggest novel therapeutic approaches for treatment of disease where molybdenum cofactor biology is altered (i.e. molybdenum cofactor deficiency (MoCD), a rare and devastating genetic disorder).

Primary Research Group

Pediatrics and Rare Diseases

About the Warnhoff Lab

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