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Maegen Ackermann Borzok, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor​

Contact Information

Phone: 614-247-8043
Email: Maegen.Ackermann@osumc.edu


PhD, University of Maryland
Post Doctoral, University of Maryland

Research Interest

My research interests focus on the intricate structural organization and functionality of striated muscle physiology and pathophysiology, with a focus on the obscurin family of proteins. The obscurin family of cytoskeletal proteins is composed of giant (~800 kDa) and smaller (~40-250 kDa) isoforms that were originally identified in striated muscles, where they have known essential roles in cytoskeletal organization, myofibrillogenesis, and Ca2+ homeostasis. Obscurins’ distinct subcellular distributions and specific binding partners dictate the functions of individual isoforms.

Recently we have characterized two novel obscurin isoforms that localize to the cardiac intercalated disc (ID). The ID is a unique membrane microdomain that mediates coupling through protein-protein interactions and signal transduction between neighboring cells, allowing the synchronous beating of the heart. A disruption of ID complexes interrupts regular heart function and can lead to arrhythmias and heart disease.

With the recent advancement of innovative proteomic technologies, many new members of the giant ID proteome have been identified, including two novel obscurin isoforms. These obscurin isoforms localize to the ID where they interact with other ID proteins as well as specific phospholipids. Through their interaction with phospholipids, obscurins regulate the PI3 kinase, AKT, and mTOR signaling pathways, leading to down stream effects on cell aggregation and size, implicating obscurins in the prevention of cardiac hypertrophy. Using biochemistry and molecular biology with complementary in vivo studies and translation work our lab is currently investigating the mechanisms that novel obscurins play cardiac signaling and cell-cell coupling.

Additional research areas of interest for the lab include the intercalated disc proteome in health and disease and the role of novel obscurins in skeletal muscle signaling and atrophy.


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Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania

Ackermann Borzok