Dissecting Molecular Mechanisms of Signaling Pathways in Plants and their Regulation by Proteolytic System

All kingdoms of life have evolved to sense signals such as light, gravity, temperature, oxygen, metabolites, and hormones.  Once perceived, these signals are transduced into developmental and physiological responses by reprogramming appropriate genes. We aim to decode and provide mechanistic insight into the basis of signal recognition and propagation pathways in cells. Our research has been focused on the investigation of the ubiquitin proteasome system, light signaling pathways, and plant hormone sensing mechanisms.

We are particularly interested in characterizing signal transduction pathways that are triggered by environmental stimuli. What are the precise biochemical adaptations, and how do they render a specific biomolecular sensor to be promptly recognized by yet another regulatory protein (e.g., ubiquitin ligase, transcription factor etc.)? All these questions remain to be answered for many biological pathways. Our lab address these fundamental challenges by leveraging structural biology (X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM) approaches in combination with biochemistry, molecular & cellular biology, plant biology, proteomics, and metabolomics methods.

Read more about our main avenues of research:

Plant hormone signaling
Light signaling pathways
Ubiquitin biology
Applied research and biotechnology

The research in the Shabek Lab is largely funded by:
The National Science Foundation (EAGER and NSF CAREER awards)
NIH (T32 Training Grant)
UC Davis (Innovation and Creativity Award and Office of Research Grants)
UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Core Center (EHSCC) Seed Grant
Students Fellowships include: The Green Initiative Fellowship (TGIF), Provost Undergrad Research Fellowships (PUFs), Elsie Taylor Stocking Fellowship