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Structure, dynamics and interactions of bacterial RNA polymerase subunits and sigma factors

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, December 17, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) is a key enzyme involved in gene expression and proved target of antibiotics. Although model RNAP of Gram-negative bacteria is well characterized, RNAP of other bacterial species differs substantially in subunit composition and regulation. In collaboration with Libor Krasny (Microbiology Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences), we have recently characterized delta subunit and sigma-A factor of Bacillus subtilis. Topic of the thesis will be continuation of structural studies, namely investigation of dynamics and localization of the delta subunit in the holoenzyme, and structural characterization of proteins involved in non-canonical transcription initiation of RNAP of Mycobacterium smegmatis. The experimental approach will reflect the size and properties of the studied proteins. Cryo-electron microscopy will be the key technique of the holoenzyme studies, NMR spectroscopy will be applied to small a dynamic subunits. In particular, advanced NMR techniques developed in the group will facilitate studies of intrinsically disordered regions of the proteins.

Keywords: RNA polymerase, transcription, bacteria, nuclear magnetic resonance

HOW TO APPLY: Register for this call using the registration form at http://ls-phd.ceitec.cz/http-ls-phd-ceitec-cz/ and submit required documents to receive support with the preparation of the application and all formalities. Your application package will be forwarded to the supervisor for preliminary revision.
Applicants who wish to pursue a degree at the CEITEC PhD program must hold the equivalent of a Master’s degree (MSc) in a similar field (four- or five-year undergraduate degree). The application can be submitted before obtaining the Master’s degree; however, the applicant should obtain a degree within five months after the application deadline.

Funding Notes

Admission for studies, student registration for the full-time study program, and proper fulfillment of student duties constitute the student’s right to a regular income of 22 000 CZK (850 EUR). Information is available at View Website

Living costs and other practicalities available at View Website


1. Zachrdla et al. Solution structure of domain 1.1 of the sigma(A) factor from Bacillus subtilis is preformed for binding to the RNA polymerase core. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 292 (2017) 11610-11617.
2. Kuban et al. Quantitative Conformational Analysis of Functionally Important Electrostatic Interactions in the Intrinsically Disordered Region of Delta Subunit of Bacterial RNA Polymerase. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Oct 10. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b07837. [Epub ahead of print]

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