Current to the summer of 2005 launch date of this website, research in the McKnight lab is involved in studies of circadian rhythm in mice, an ultradian metabolic rhythm unique to prototrophic yeast grown in a fermentor, the regulation of adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of laboratory mice, the mechanism by which Sprouty and Spred utilize dedicated iron:sulfur complex to regulate intracellular signaling, and the biological and biochemical modes of regulation effected in yeast and mammalian cells by an enzyme designated PAS kinase. Quite by accident many of these projects have caused us to become focused on the manner in which prosthetic groups, such as heme or iron:sulfur complexes, endow regulatory proteins with the means of sensing either molecular gasses or intracellular redox. We are particularly keen to discover proximal events wherein fundamental environmental stimuli, including light, redox potential, gasses and simple metabolites find their direct protein target and thereby flip a distinct molecular switch. Two of our projects may have tangential relevance to psychiatric disease, causing us to be ever keen to develop collaborative interactions with physicians skilled in neurobiology and psychiatry.
Each of the projects currently under study in the McKnight lab is described in greater detail elsewhere on this website. By clicking on the following links, website users can go directly to project descriptions relating to circadian rhythm , neurogenesis in the adult mouse brain, the ultradian metabolic cycle of yeast , Sprouty signaling , and PAS kinase . On a routine basis this website will provide unpublished observations for which we will welcome either signed or anonymous input on our message board that will be open to all. The website will also provide links to earlier publications coming from the McKnight lab, current cv's and photographs of all members of the lab, and information of funding sources that support the McKnight lab. As a means of providing interested parties with a description of the day-to-day environment of the McKnight lab, the Department of Biochemistry, and UT Southwestern Medical Center, we welcome questions to be posted by outsiders on the website message board. These queries can be addressed to any member of the McKnight lab as we will collectively endeavor to respond to this website in a manner not unlike our individual attention to e-mail. All queries and all answers will be displayed to all on the website message board.