1) How is the Hedgehog protein activated?

Hedgehog, a secreted protein, becomes active through a unique posttranslational process involving the attachment of both cholesterol and palmitate. We are using biochemistry to reconstitute these complex reactions and dissect their mechanism. We also use live cell imaging to investigate the subcellular dynamics of Hedgehog activation, to determine when and where during passage through the secretory pathway Hedgehog processing occurs.