Brenda Kwak Group

Department of Pathology and Immunology - Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

Department of Pathology and Immunology
University of Geneva Medical School
Room F06.2764B - 6th floor
1, rue Michel-Servet
CH - 1211 Geneva 4

Phone: +41 (0)22 379 57 37
Fax: +41 (0)22 379 57 46

Brenda R. Kwak
Full professor

Project at a glance

Connexins and pannexins in cardiovascular disease

Connexins and pannexins are the building stones of transmembrane channels that control intercellular communication. In blood vessels, these channels facilitate long-distance endothelial cell communication, synchronize smooth muscle cell contraction and support endothelial-smooth muscle cell communication. Mutations or polymorphisms leading to channel dysfunction have been implicated in several human vascular pathologies, including atherosclerosis, thrombosis, lymphedema and venous valve disease.

The group is interested in the mechanisms by which connexins and pannexins participate in cardiovascular physiology and disease. In particular our lab focuses on the transcriptional regulation of connexins and pannexins in response to wall shear stress, the frictional drag force of the flowing blood on the vascular wall. Moreover, we are studying the connexin interactome, identifying novel protein partners, which play a role in vascular homeostasis or contribute to development of disease.