Exjobbsförslag från företag

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Förslaget inkom 2007-10-17

Characterization of novel cell cycle genes in archaea

The world of living organisms is divided into three main evolutionary lineages: the Archaea, Eukarya and Bacteria domains. Archaea are in many respects more closely related to eukaryotes than to bacteria. This is particularly evident for replication, transcription and translation proteins, of which a large majority are homologous to their eukaryotic counterparts, and unrelated to those of bacteria. Although much information is available about the biology of archaea, little is known about genes and proteins involved in genome segregation and cell division. A project student is invited to join us in changing this situation, using the following approach.

We have performed a global analysis of cell-cycle-specific gene expression in the archaeon Sulofolobus acidocaldarius, using in-house developed microarrays (Lundgren, M. and Bernander, R. 2007. Genome-wide transcription map of an archaeal cell cycle. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104: 2939-2944). In this way, we have identified many unknown genes that specifically are induced when the cells enter into chromosome replication (S phase), mitosis (M), cell division (cytokinesis) or the post-replicative (G2) stage. The genes are thus likely to encode novel gene products important for archaeal cell cycle progression, both at the regulatory and mechanistic levels.

The aim of the project is to perform initial characterization of one or several gene products, through a combination of bioinformatics, molecular and biochemical approaches. The choice, as well as the selection of methods, depends upon student interests and the progress of the project. Possible genes to choose from encode protein kinases, transcription factors, cytoskeletal proteins, replication factors, or entirely unknown gene products. Due to the similarities between archaea and eukaryotes, the results are relevant not only for increasing our understanding of archaea, but also for the eukaryotic cell cycle field. Furthermore, since the organism is a hyperthermophile (optimal growth at 80C) all proteins are heat-stable, generating significant biotechnological interest.


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