Protein synthesis is a highly-conserved, dynamic and tightly controlled process that is central to the activity of all cells. All phases of translation can be controlled. Translational control by reversible modification of translation factors is one well-established mode of control. Another level of control that is less well understood is that ribosomes are not uniform or passive. Instead evidence is emerging that ribosomes play active roles in regulating both overall protein synthesis activity and that they can develop specialised roles regulating the translation of specific mRNAs. The code governing ‘specialised ribosomes’ is not yet clear, but to provide one example, in recent work we have uncovered that mRNA-binding LARP proteins are important for gene-specific translational control in response to oxidative stress (see reference 4 below). The LARP proteins are just some a large number of proteins known that interact with and potentially modify ribosome activities.
We are interested in two classes of ribosome-associated proteins RNA-binding proteins and GTP-binding “G proteins”. G proteins commonly act as molecular switches to regulate a wide-range of cellular events. Although some G proteins such as eIF2 and eEF1A have well defined roles in protein synthesis (see references 1 and 5 below) other G protein roles are much less clear or are not known. Similarly there are many RNA-binding proteins that modulate the translatability of bound mRNAs.
In parallel with other ongoing studies, this project will make use of modern molecular genetic tools to study how one or protein interacts with ribosomes and functions to modulate protein synthesis. These studies will make use of the wide variety of molecular techniques available using a yeast-based cell system which contains factors with clear human homologs and highly conserved translation mechanism with all other eukaryotes.
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience are particularly encouraged to apply.
How To Apply
For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/). Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.
For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.
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