Cryo-electron microscopy of ribosomes
Programme Leader, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge
Genes are transcribed into precursor RNAs that must be processed before they can be translated into proteins. This includes addition of a tail to the end of the precursor RNAs. “PolyA tails” are important for regulating RNA stability and how efficiently they can be translated into proteins. Deregulation of these processes is found in human disease.
Dr Lori Passmore’s research focusses on how the polyA tail is added to and removed from mRNAs: this involves a large number of protein factors that are subject to intricate regulation, including CPF/CPSF that adds the polyA tail and Ccr4-Not which removes it. To understand these molecular machines, her lab reconstitutes them and their biochemical activities. They also determine their structures using electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) to gain insight into their mechanisms.
Dr Passmore aims to establish fundamental principles underlying the assembly of multi-protein complexes, define their structures, gain insight into their activities and regulation, and identify roles for proteins of unknown function.
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