Gabriel Guerrero's Research Focus
Gabriel’s research focuses on the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) in the function and homeostasis of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). When ER protein folding is perturbed, or cells are stimulated to secrete large amounts of protein, unfolded/misfolded proteins accumulate in the ER lumen, a condition called ER stress. In order to restore ER function and protein homeostasis, eukaryotes have evolved the unfolded protein response. In mammalian cells, the UPR is initiated by three ER-localized transmembrane protein sensors: activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6), inositol-requiring kinase 1 (IRE1) and PKR-like ER kinase (PERK). By further elucidating the role of ER stress and the UPR in IECs, Gabriel hopes to better understand the fundamental mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases.