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Vadim Arshavsky

Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
(919) 668-5391
Research Interest: 
Cell biophysics
Signal transduction
Research Summary: 
Mechanisms of signal transduction and intracellular protein sorting in photoreceptor cells; photoreceptor pathobiology; neurobiology of the retina.
Research Description: 

My laboratory addresses molecular and cellular mechanisms of vision. Most of our efforts are directed to the studies of vertebrate rod and cone photoreceptors. We are interested in learning how rods and cones ensure the high temporal resolution of our vision, how they maintain responsiveness to light throughout the vast changes of illumination levels during the day-night cycle, how they maintain their highly compartmentalized structure and how different subcellular compartments cooperate during the cellular response to light. Photoreceptors are uniquely suitable for study using modern multi-disciplinary approaches, including biochemistry, electrophysiology, transgenics and proteomics. This makes the photoreceptor an almost unmatched model for addressing general principles of signal transduction and neuronal compartmentalization on the molecular and cellular levels. We are also interested in elucidating the mechanistic connections between the impairments of the photoreceptors’ function and the onset of degenerative diseases of the retina.

Currently, we are pursuing the following experimental directions:
1. Understanding the basic mechanisms by which light sensitivity and the duration of cellular signaling events is regulated in photoreceptors and other components of the retina circuitry.
2. Studying the mechanisms of protein targeting to specific compartments of the photoreceptor cell.
3. Analyzing the processes of protein synthesis and degradation in photoreceptors and the connection between impaired proteostasis and photoreceptor cell health.
4. Applying mass spectrometry and quantitative proteomics techniques to studying individual cellular compartments and multi-protein complexes.

Proteasome overload is a common stress factor in multiple forms of inherited retinal degeneration.
Lobanova ES, Finkelstein S, Skiba NP, Arshavsky VY.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013. 110:9986-91.

Rod vision is controlled by dopamine-dependent sensitization of rod bipolar cells by GABA.
Herrmann R, Heflin SJ, Hammond T, Lee B, Wang J, Gainetdinov RR, Caron MG, Eggers ED, Frishman LJ, McCall MA, Arshavsky VY.
Neuron. 2011. 72:101-10.

Integrating energy calculations with functional assays to decipher the specificity of G protein-RGS protein interactions.
Kosloff M, Travis AM, Bosch DE, Siderovski DP, Arshavsky VY.
Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011. 18:846-53.

Proteomic profiling of a layered tissue reveals unique glycolytic specializations of photoreceptor cells.
Reidel B, Thompson JW, Farsiu S, Moseley MA, Skiba NP, Arshavsky VY.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2011. 10:M110.002469.

Mechanistic basis for the failure of cone transducin to translocate: why cones are never blinded by light.
Lobanova ES, Herrmann R, Finkelstein S, Reidel B, Skiba NP, Deng WT, Jo R, Weiss ER, Hauswirth WW, Arshavsky VY.
J Neurosci. 2010. 30:6815-24.