The Lab's main focus is in two main lines of research:
Developing chimeric proteins for targeted therapy of human diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases Allergy, Metabolic Diseases and others. A targeted therapy of human diseases was developed using cytotoxic molecules that were produced by gene fusion techniques. These molecules termed chimeric proteins comprise both the cell targeting and the cell killing moieties. As killing moieties, portions of bacterial or plant toxins are used. These toxins arrest protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells leading to cell death. Specificity is then added to the modified toxins by fusing them with recognition elements that direct the chimeric protein to selected target cells over expressing a specific receptor/surface marker.
We focus on defining new targets and utilizing novel approaches for eliminating specific cells searching mainly for natural cellular pathways such as the apoptotic cascade; the proteome degradation system and more.
Protein Replacement therapy (PRT); A novel approach for treating a Metabolic Diseases
Developing the approach of Cell- and Organelle-Directed Protein Replacement Therapy (C/ODPRT). One approach for the treatment of metabolic diseases is based on the administration of a wild-type enzyme/protein to substitute the activity of the impaired protein by the use of enzyme/protein replacement therapy. We are developing a new concept for the treatment of metabolic diseases, based on directing an enzyme/protein to a specific tissue/cell using either a common peptide or a selective homing-ligand. In the last few years we are developing PRT using the TAT delivery system for mitochondrial disorders.
In each line of research, besides developing novel molecules for possible human use, major basic biological questions are being investigated using our unique chimeric/fusion proteins tools.