BBSRC MIBTP - Understanding nuclear functions of ribosomal proteins in synchronising gene expression during growth.

   School of Biosciences

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  Dr S Brogna, Dr Aditi Kanhere  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Gene expression is the process that leads from gene to active protein. The process involves three fundamental steps in eukaryotic organisms such as animals: transcription of DNA into RNA, processing of the primary transcript (pre-mRNA) and then translation of the mRNA into protein. Similar to other complex biochemical processes, the different steps of gene expression are coordinated in the cell. There are two levels of coordination; one involves coupling between the different biochemical reactions, for example, pre-mRNA processing reactions such as splicing of introns are coupled to transcription so that the newly synthesized RNA is still attached to the RNA polymerase while it is spliced; the other level of coordination requires synchronized expression of several genes to produce a given functional output. For example, the cell capacity to synthesize proteins is strictly dependent on the number of ribosomes present, so during growth the number of ribosomes must be doubled before cell division. The ribosome, however, is one of the most complex molecular machines in the cell, composed of about 80 different proteins and 4 RNAs. The building of such a complex machine requires synchronized expression of hundreds of genes. How cells achieve this level of synchronization is not well understood, particularly in multicellular organisms. This research project aims to understand these mechanisms in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster which is one of the most amenable model organisms used in many labs throughout the world. We envisage that the results of this research will advance our knowledge of basic cellular processes and, because about 70% of disease associated genes are conserved between Drosophila and humans, lead to a better understanding of human diseases, which, like cancer, are often the result of the failure of mechanisms that coordinate ribosome production with growth.

Funding Notes

This studentship is competition funded by the BBSRC MIBTP scheme:

Deadline: January 31, 2014

Number of Studentships available: 30

Stipend: £ 13,726 per annum (plus £600 travel allowance in year 1, and a MacBook Pro)

The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) is a BBSRC-funded doctoral training partnership between the universities of Warwick, Birmingham and Leicester. It delivers innovative, world-class research training across the Life Sciences to boost the growing Bioeconomy across the UK.

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• Al-Jubran K.,Wen J., Chaudhury SR, Li M., Abdullahi A., Ramanathan P., Matina T., De S., Piechocki K., Rugjee KN and Brogna S. Visualization of the Joining of Ribosomal Subunits Reveals the Presence of 80S Ribosomes in the Nucleus. RNA 19: 1-16, 2013.

• Rugjee, K.N. Chaudhury, S.R., Al-Jubran, K., Ramanathan, P., Matina, T., Wen, J. and Brogna, S. Fluorescent protein tagging confirms the presence of ribosomal proteins at Drosophila polytene chromosomes. PeerJ, 2013, e15.

• De S, Brogna S. Are ribosomal proteins present at transcription sites on or off ribosomal subunits? Biochem Soc Trans. 38:1543-7. 2010.

• Brogna S, Sato T and Rosbash M.
Ribosome components are associated with sites of transcription
Molecular Cell 10:93–104. 2002.

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