What are the principles that mediate the organization of cells into tissues and organs? How is this organization maintained over the life history of the organism? How do these principles of development and maintenance change over evolutionary time scales? Do new principles of organization come into effect during diseases such as cancer? All the above questions are essentially morphological in character and will conceptually underpin the research carried out in the Bhat laboratory. We will use experimental and theoretical methods in order to understand how form changes or remains unchanged in physiological and pathological contexts.
The behavior and functions of a tissue or organ is the cumulative result of the interactions between its cells and their microenvironment, the molecules of which comprise secretory and matrix proteins, as well as sugars. The information stored by the spatiotemporal patterns of sugars, as decorations of glycoproteins, or as constituents of proteoglycans (PGs) is known as the glycocode. The glycocode is involved in, and changes in a dynamical manner during, development as well as in cancer. We will study the significance of the dynamics of sugars and their interacting proteins in two divergent modes of metastasis, i.e., that of solid tumors (e.g., breast) and peritoneal metastasis (ovarian).
- Bhat R, Belardi B, Mori H, Kuo P, Tam A, Hines WC, Le Q-T, Bertozzi CR, and Bissell MJ (2016) A Glycan switch regulates mammary epithelial morphogenesis by repartitioning galectin-1 to the nucleus Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 113(33): E4820-7.
- Mori H, Bhat R, Bruni-Cardoso A, Chen EI, Jorgens DM, Coutinho K, Louie K, Bowen BB, Inman JL, Tecca V, Lee SJ, Becker-Weimann S, Northen T, Seiki M, Borowsky AD, Auer M, Bissell MJ. (2016) New insight into the role of MMP14 in metabolic balance. PeerJ 4: e2142.
- Bhat R, Chakraborty M, Glimm T, Stewart T and Newman SA (2016) Deep phylogenomics of a tandem-repeat galectin regulating appendicular skeletal pattern formation BMC Evol. Biol. 16(1): 162.
- Lee SE, Chen Q, Bhat R, Petkiewicz S, Smith JM, Ferry VE, Correia AL, Alivisatos AP, Bissell MJ. (2015) Reversible Aptamer-Au Plasmon Rulers for Secreted Single Molecules. Nano. Lett. 15(7): 4564-70.
- Gomes AM, Bhat R, Correia AL, Mott JD, Ilan N, Vlodavsky I, Pavão MS, Bissell M. (2015) Mammary Branching Morphogenesis Requires Reciprocal Signaling by Heparanase and MMP-14. J. Cell Bioch. 116: 1668-79.