Dr. Gopalkrishnan studies fundamental issues in the molecular biology of gene expression in bacteria using cutting edge biochemical and genetic techniques.
"Regulation of bacterial transcription by horizontally acquired small proteins "
Abstract: Transcription represents the start of gene expression, and consists of initiation, elongation, and termination. One of the most important opportunities for regulating gene expression is the beginning of the beginning: Transcription initiation. Small factors that directly bind RNA polymerase (RNAP) can be used to turn genes on or off depending on what stimuli the cell is experiencing. TraR is a short 70-amino acid polypeptide encoded from the Escherichia coli conjugative F plasmid. TraR binds RNAP; its effects ranging from pausing cellular growth to repairing membrane damage. It promotes the successful transfer of beneficial genes from F donor to F recipient, which among others, encode those responsible for providing antibiotic resistance. TraR-like proteins are widespread among proteobacteria and in bacteriophages that infect them. The TraR homologs from bacteriophages that infect E. coli and Vibrio cholera are expressed when phage enter the lytic cell, where it redirects host resources towards phage propagation. Structural analysis of the conformational changes imparted by TraR on RNAP and biochemical tests of their functional consequences suggest molecular mechanisms for the effect of TraR on transcription. In summary, these tiny proteins may hold the key to understanding how microbes fine-tune their cellular response to a variety of situations.
Friday, Nov 8
Student Lunch: Students are also invited to join Kelly Monk at noon on Friday before the afternoon seminar. Spots are limited, so early RSVPs are encouraged. RSVP here to join the student lunch.
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 4:10pm to 5:00pm
Biology, Biology 19
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
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