Mohammed Shawkat Razzaque , MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oral Medicine, Infection, and Immunity
The Razzaque laboratory studies mechanisms of wound healing and matrix remodeling, systemic regulation of mineral ion homeostasis, and molecular events of premature aging that affect survival.
In the wound-healing project, in collaboration with Prof. Taguchi of Nagasaki University, Japan, we are working to identify factors that initiate and propagate organ-specific fibrosis. We are particularly interested in heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), which controls procollagen assembly and processing. We found a close association between increased activity of HSP47 and excessive accumulation of collagens in organ fibrosis. More important, suppressing the activities of HSP47 by genetic manipulation can reduce progression of fibrosis in various experimental models. Currently, we are interested in studying the in-vivo pharmacological effects of small molecule inhibitors for HSP47 in delaying the progression of fibrotic diseases in various organ systems.
In the systemic regulation of mineral ion homeostasis project, in collaboration with Dr. Lanske, we are investigating the molecular basis for physiological regulation of calcium and phosphate homeostasis, using mouse genetics as an in vivo tool. Our main interest is to determine how fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23), vitamin D, and sodium-phosphate cotransporters coordinately regulate systemic mineral ion homeostasis.
In the premature aging project, we are studying genetic causes of accelerated mammalian aging. Our in-vivo studies involve identification of factors and events that induce premature aging-like phenotypes in klotho-ablated mice. We are also currently working on understanding the molecular basis of increased survival (almost 25%) of a transgenic strain of rats in which growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) activities are genetically suppressed by in-vivo induction of an antisense GH transgene.