Dr. Michael Myerburg’s Research
Dr. Myerburg’s primary research interests include understanding the role of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in cystic fibrosis and other airway diseases. The goal of this research is to delineate how ENaC activity is regulated and to develop novel therapeutic strategies to mitigate sodium hyperabsorption in the airway. Additionally, he is interested in airway epithelial cell biology, as it relates to mucus clearance from the lung and host defense from inhaled pathogens.
Dr. Myerburg has demonstrated (JBC 06) that ENaC is regulated by the relative balance between membrane tethered proteases, which activate the channel, and soluble protease inhibitors that are present in the airway surface liquid. As shown in the schematic below, this “protease – protease inhibitor balance” establishes an auto-regulatory mechanism to maintain optimal airway surface liquid (ASL) hydration.