BMBDG Seminar— Dr. Maria Vera Ugalde

BMBDG Seminar

Host: Dr. Eric Jan


Imaging single mRNA molecules to investigate the regulation of the stress response



Eukaryotic cells survive to adverse conditions by adapting their gene expression programs. The rapid and specific production of the heat shock proteins (HSPs) prevents protein milfoding and functional damage. The HSP mRNAs escape general expression repression by using a unique mechanism that affords to link transcriptional activation to translation. Using a combination of molecular biology and single mRNA imaging approaches, we have identified the eukaryotic translation elongation factor eEF1A1 as a regulator of the heat stress response. We are currently exploring the mechanism of action of eEF1A and defining novel mRNA regulators. To these aims, we have developed a system (MS2) to tag and visualize mRNAs from transcription to decay live cells without perturbing their life cycle. Thus, the MS2 system is also a valuable tool to continuing our studies on the rapid and synchronize degradation of hundreds of HSP mRNAs during recovery from stress. The efficient attenuation of the heat shock response is fundamental to recover cellular homeostasis. Defining the modulators of the heat shock response will provide a means to treat diseases resulting from the unbalance expression of HSPs, like age-related neurodegenerative diseases.


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