In this laboratory we use our knowledge and experience in the area of biochemistry, structural biology, cellular and molecular biology to study the functions and mechanisms of important molecules focusing on their biological functions. The major focus of the current research involves understanding the signal transduction mediated by the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kB) and IkB proteins. The mammalian Rel/NF-kB family of transcription factors plays a critical role in diverse physiological processes including the immune response, inflammation, cell proliferation and survival. A wide variety of signals activate NF-kB driven gene expression through different NF-kB signaling pathways in a stimulus- and cell type-dependent manner. Due to the diverse regulatory mechanisms acting on NF-kB, the signal dependent activation of NF-kB remains a challenging area of research. Using both biochemical and structural approaches, we will determine how post-translational modifications, e.g. phosphorylation, affect NF-kB:IkB:DNA complex formation, binding specificity, and target gene expression.