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Structural Ribosomics: towards a proteomics toolbox for comprehensive characterization of the composition and dynamic structure of specialized ribosomes

Project Description

Ribosomes are known to be key cellular machines which translate RNA into protein sequences. While the exact composition of these 2.5 MDa particles is known to vary somewhat between different organisms, allowing the design of antibiotics which specifically interfere with bacterial ribosomes, it has recently also become apparent that heterogeneity in ribosome composition results from differential expression and post-translational modifications of ribosomal proteins, altering their function. During viral infection the ribosome composition and structure may be somewhat altered to bias their translational specificity. Ribosomal RNA diversity and the activity of associated factors
may generate ’specialized ribosomes’ that have a substantial impact on how the genomic template is translated into functional proteins.
Mass spectrometry methods are central to analyzing this diversity, starting with post-transcriptional (on RNA) and post-translational modifications (PTM, on proteins). Proteomics is routinely used to map PTM sites, but we aim to paint a much more complete picture of the presence and abundance of all these modifications, including on RNA, and their role for subunit interactions, overall architecture and stability of the particle as well as subtle conformational changes linked with functional states. This project will provide a unique opportunity to push the boundaries of current MS technology, and contribute significantly to our understanding of the diverse functional roles of
specialized ribosomes.

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2020:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference and research funding

At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.

EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency to receive full studentship

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

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Related Subjects

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FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

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