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Selective control of tRNA gene transcription by steroid receptors and BRCA1.

  • Full or part time
    Prof R J White
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 05, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

BRCA1 is an important tumour suppressor protein with roles in DNA repair
and transcription. BRCA1 binds many tRNA genes, but its role there is
unknown. This project will test if repression of tRNA gene transcription by
BRCA1 is part of its function as a tumour suppressor.

Oestrogen drives proliferation of breast cells and its receptor is targeted by
the widely-used drug tamoxifen. Oestrogen receptor binds and activates
tRNA genes, effects that are countered by tamoxifen. Progesterone can also
antagonize the mitogenic effects of oestrogen. The progesterone receptor
was recently found to interact with RNA polymerase III at specific tRNA
genes and repress their expression. We will investigate how oestrogen and
progesterone receptors select tRNA genes and influence transcription at
these sites.

This project will provide extensive training in molecular interactions between
key genes and factors with massive impact on cell biology and human health.

Funding Notes

This studentship is fully funded for four years and covers: (i) a tax-free annual stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£15,009 estimated for 2020 entry), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.


Entry requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this research project means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.

How good is research at University of York in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.37

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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