The Grossman Lab is part of the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, located in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University. The Center focuses on genetic and genomic research, using metabolic, evolutionary, and model system approaches among others. A number of physician researchers are part of the Center, which allows us to span basic research and translation. Operating as a center, we are a campus-wide unit, responsible both to the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Vice President for Research.
Our lab studies energy regulation and focuses primarily on the mitochondrial electron transport chain. We have a particular interest in cytochrome c oxidase (COX). COX is the terminal of the four complexes and catalyzes the transfer of electrons from cytochrome c to oxygen. COX is composed of subunits coded by both mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA. The electron transport chain produces most of the energy we use; as a result, even small deficiencies in energy production can affect major energy consuming organs such as brain and contractile muscle.
We use biochemistry, molecular biology, and computational and genomic methods to explore questions about how energy is produced and finely regulated in sickness and in health. We have two current areas of emphasis. One is the function of cytochrome oxidase isoforms and their regulation for tissue specific function. This is being carried out with a focus on lung specific COX4i2. The second area is study of a particularly interesting regulatory gene and protein, MNRR1 / CHCHD2, which functions in two cellular compartments, the mitochondria and the nucleus. An unusual feature is that it has different functions in each compartment: it regulates metabolism and apoptosis in the mitochondria and it serves as a transcription regulator of many genes, including itself, in the nucleus.