Biological Sciences

Events and seminars

Iron-dependent control of transferrin receptor expression in Trypanosoma brucei

Calvin Tiengwe, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London

27th February 2020 at 3:00pm [Download iCalendar / .ics file]

Michael Swann Building, S7.15

Iron is an essential co-factor for many enzymatic reactions, but also potentially very destructive at high concentrations. Consequently, cells exert a tight control on intracellular iron levels. A prominent control nexus involves iron regulatory RNA binding proteins (RBP) binding iron responsive elements to modulate stability of mRNAs encoding major components of the iron-acquisition pathway, such as the transferrin receptor. This process has been studied in many systems revealing unique mechanisms in each, yet remains relatively poorly understood in T. brucei, a “neglected” pathogen that causes African sleeping sickness in humans and livestock. To understand how T. brucei controls expression of its transferrin receptor (TbTfR), we performed genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic studies to identify parasite-specific iron-responsive factors.

The first half of this talk will cover functional characterisation of an RBP as a novel post-transcriptional regulator of TbTfR expression. In the second half, I discuss our initial attempts to use orthogonal organic phase separation (OOPS), a method first described by the group of Kathryn Lilley, to comprehensively capture the RBPome of bloodstream stage trypanosomes. Our ultimate goal is to characterise RNA-protein dynamic interactions involved in iron homeostasis in T. brucei.

Host Atlanta Cook

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