Welcome to the Scarlata Laboratory in the Physiology and Biophysics department at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

 

Our laboratory focuses on the question of how external agents can evoke responses inside the cell. While there are many agents that can stimulate or inhibit cellular events, our laboratory is most interested in the ability of certain hormones and neurotransmitters to activate a family of proteins called "G Proteins" which consists of three protein subunits (a-bg). G proteins can simulate an enzyme called phospholipase Cb (PLCb). Activation of PLCb raises the intracellular calcium concentration, which results in a series of mitogenic and proliferative changes in the cell. The experimental approaches we use combine biophysical, biochemical, and molecular biology methods.

 

Why do we study PLCb? Many drugs either directly or indirectly invoke this pathway to stimulate the cell. Importantly, PLCb plays a key role in cell growth, development and division. Understanding the PLCb system would bring us closer to understanding what happens when normal cellular checkpoints are not in place leading to uncontrolled cell growth, such as in cancer and tumorogenesis.