The Laboratory of Dr. Emil Martin

Dr. Martin’s research focus is on the evaluation of the Nitric Oxide (NO) receptor soluble Guanylyl Cyclase (sGC). Since sGC plays an important role in cardiovascular physiology and is an important therapeutic target, they are interested in uncovering new methods of NO-independent regulation of sGC. The lab investigates the mechanisms of sGC regulation both by NO-dependent and NO-independent processes. It is investigated how cellular metabolites and interacting proteins in modulate the activity of  cellular sGC and its response to NO and other regulators. In searching for new NO-independent modulators of sGC it was determined that several drugs currently used in clinic have off-label effects and at certain concentrations may activate or inhibit sGC.

Dr. Martin’s group has identified a new class of compounds that activate sGC through a novel mechanism and are now pursuing the studies to understand the mechanistic details of this regulation. These studies may yield new pharmacological agents or therapeutic approaches that target physiological function of sGC.


The Laboratory of Dr. Iraida G. Sharina

Dr. Sharina’s research focuses on understanding the genetic basis of NO/cGMP signaling, and the mechanisms of regulation of the expression of human sGC genes.  The lab is currently investigating the importance of sGC splicing for regulation of NO/cGMP signaling in human vascular function.

The present findings have demonstrated that the splicing of sGC subunits is modulated by increased H2O2 and NO levels.  Alternative splicing is a potential new mechanism modulating sGC expression in diseased atherosclerosis.


The Laboratory of Dr. Ana Maria Zaske

Dr. Zaske is responsible for the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) core facility.  This facility offers expertise to process topographical imaging of biological and non-biological samples in air or liquid environments.  The AFM instrument is equipped with high-resolution capacitive sensors that allow imaging at the nanoscale. The micromechanical properties of the sample surface (elasticity, stiffness and roughness) can also be determined. A range of samples, from living cells down to single molecules, can be characterized. The Core uses a BioScope™ II atomic force microscope (Bruker Corporation, Santa Barbara, CA) that requires minimal sample preparation. The BioScope II is integrated to a Nikon TE2000 inverted optical microscope to simultaneously acquire bright-field and fluorescence images. The Bioscope™ II Scanning Microscope has been specifically designed to address the needs of biological and medical investigations, which enhances its popularity in the field.