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Polypeptide Hormone Action Group

Mechanisms of Signal Transduction

Perry J. Blackshear, M.D., D.Phil.
Perry J. Blackshear, M.D., D.Phil.
Principal Investigator

Tel (919) 541-4899
Fax (919) 541-4611
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop A2-05
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
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Research Summary

The Polypeptide Hormone Action Group studies the roles of a small family of CCCH tandem zinc finger proteins, exemplified by tristetraprolin or TTP, in the physiological regulation of mRNA turnover.  Group members also study the functions of the MARCKS family of protein kinase C substrate proteins in the normal development of the brain and retina, and the role of a recently described transcription factor, Rfx4_v3, in brain development. Methods used in this research range from structural biology and enzyme kinetics to mouse and human genetics.

Polypeptide hormone action, Mechanisms of signal transduction
TTP exerts a negative feedback effect on TNFα production.

The Polypeptide Hormone Action Group is interested in the mechanisms by which signals are transduced after the binding of polypeptide hormones and other agonists to their surface receptors on cells, later resulting in a wide variety of cellular responses.

Major areas of research:

  • The involvement of a small family of CCCH tandem zinc finger proteins in mRNA turnover
  • The roles of a small family of protein kinase C substrates and a novel transcription factor in the development of the central nervous system

Current projects:

  • Protein Kinase C substrates and CNS development
  • Zinc finger proteins and mRNA turnover
  • RFX4_v3 and brain development

Perry J. Blackshear, M.D., D.Phil., heads the Polypeptide Hormone Action Group within the Laboratory of Signal Transduction.  He is also Director of Clinical Research and Acting Director of Intramural Research at NIEHS.  He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in 1974, and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1977.  He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in leading biomedical journals, as well as several book chapters.  He served as an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University, where he was also a Professor of Medicine and of Biochemistry, before joining NIEHS in 1997.

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Last Reviewed: May 22, 2007