Molecular Biology and Genetics Seminars: Prof. Dr. Yehia Mechref


Prof. Dr. Yehia Mechref from Texas Tech University will be the next guest of the seminar series organized by KHAS Molecular Biology and Genetics Department with his speech Glycomics and Glycoproteomics Enabling the identification of Glycan and Glycopeptide isomers as Biomarkers for Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases” on Monday, March 7 at 4 pm (Istanbul time; 7 am US Lubbock time).

The event will take place on Zoom and is open to anyone interested.

Abstract: The proteome represents all the proteins expressed by a genome, a cell, a tissue, or an organism at any given time under defined physiological or pathological circumstances. Proteomic analysis has provided unparalleled opportunities for the discovery of expression patterns of proteins in a biological system, yielding precise and inclusive data about the system. Advances in the proteomics field opened the door to wider knowledge of the mechanisms underlying various post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins, including glycosylation. As of yet, the role of most of these PTMs remains unidentified. In this state-of-the-art review, we present a synopsis of glycosylation processes and the pathophysiological conditions that might ensue secondary to glycosylation shortcomings. The dynamics of protein glycosylation, a crucial mechanism that allows gene and pathway regulation, is described. We also explain how—at a biomolecular level—mutations in glycosylation-related genes may lead to neuropsychiatric manifestations and neurodegenerative disorders. We then analyze the shortcomings of glycoproteomic studies, putting into perspective their downfalls and the different advanced enrichment techniques that emanated to overcome some of these challenges. Furthermore, we summarize studies tackling the association between glycosylation and neuropsychiatric disorders and explore glycoproteomic changes in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We finally conclude with the role of glycomics in the area of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and provide perspectives on the clinical application of glycoproteomics as potential diagnostic tools and their application in personalized medicine.

About the Speaker: Prof. Yehia Mechref is a Paul W. Horn Distinguished Professor in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University.  He is also the Chairman of the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Genomics. He received a B.Sc. in chemistry from the American University of Beirut (Beirut, Lebanon) and a Ph.D. with an honorable mention from Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK, USA). Dr. Mechref is a world-renowned scientist, and nationally and internationally recognized scientific leader in the development of sensitive biomolecular mass spectrometry methods enabling qualitative and quantitative assessments of the roles of proteins, glycoproteins, and glycans in biological systems. He pioneered a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer (LC-MS) system to analyze glycomic samples in conventional proteomic laboratories, eliminating the need for more specialized facilities and making glycomic analysis more accessible to the broader scientific community. His research program has received over $9M in funding from the NIH, CPRIT, and CH Foundation over the past eight years.

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