The Apaja group are investigating the mechanisms that regulates protein trafficking and organelle function and their role in cellular homeostasis, and are unravelling how the endo-lysosomal network dysfunction leads to disease conditions such as neurological disorders and cancers.
The group is focusing on discovering molecular networks that are responsible of protein trafficking at the endo-lysosome-autophagy system and mechanisms maintaining the healthy proteostasis in cells.
An important aspect is to gain molecular level understanding how changes in the organelle function contributes to the protein degradation, pH and calcium regulation and signalling events. These combined dynamics regulate protein trafficking between organelles as well as their degradation or recycling at the endosomal pathway, and is a determinant factor in plasma membrane expression levels of membrane proteins. Thus, this balance is monitored by protein quality control machinery surveilling the protein conformers.
The group's aim is to discover mechanisms in organelle regulation in health and disease, and how to therapeutically interfere on organelle and protein trafficking diseases.