Dr. Timothy Durrett
Some membrane-bound O-acyltransferase (MBOAT) enzymes transfer fatty acids to protein and peptide substrates, typically to activate biological function. Some of these proteins are components of cancer-related signaling pathways. Despite their importance to human health and economic activity, little is known about how MBOATs function. My research focuses on trying to understand how these enzymes recognize very different substrates. We are currently focusing on a group of three very closely related plant MBOATs that acylate very different types of lipids. Given their similarity to other MBOATs, understanding how these enzymes function will provide new insights into regulating the activity of enzymes involved in cancer-related signaling pathways.