Graduate Students Mini-Symposium V 2022

Graduate Students Mini-Symposium


16:00 h Franziska Müller, RG Sogaard-Andersen

"Regulation of dynamic front-rear cell polarity in M. xanthus"

M. xanthus cells move across surfaces with defined front-rear polarity. Occasionally, cells invert polarity and, in parallel, reverse direction of movement. The inversion of the polarity of the proteins that define front-rear polarity is triggered by the Frz chemosensory system with its two output response regulators, FrzX and FrzZ. Here, we aim to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that lead to a polarity switch. Using a candidate approach as well as proximity labelling, we have identified potential downstream targets of FrzZ and FrzX. I will report on these findings.

16:30 h Niklas Steube, MPRG Hochberg

"Evolutionary origin of allosteric control in cyanobacterial photoprotection"

How new protein-protein interactions (PPI) arise between two unrelated components is an open question, because superficially it seems they have to evolve matching interfaces virtually contemporaneously. Here, we retraced the evolution of such new PPI: a novel allosteric interaction in the cyanobacterial photoprotection system between the fluorescence recovery protein (FRP) and the orange carotenoid protein (OCP). We show that FRP was acquired horizontally and that it could fortuitously regulate OCP even before it came into cyanobacteria by exploiting an ancient dimer interface in OCP. Our results show how evolution can fashion complex regulatory systems surprisingly easily out of pre-existing components.

17:00 h Katharina Kremer, RG Erb

"Interdependent regulation of metabolic pathways in Paracoccus denitrificans"

Bacteria balance their metabolic fluxes between energy production and biomass formation. Acetyl-CoA lies at the interface between the two modes. It can either be completely oxidized to two molecules of CO2 for energy production or it can be assimilated into biomass via metabolic routes that bypass the decarboxylation steps. Here, we show that the alphaproteobacterium P. denitrificans employs two different pathways, the glyoxylate cycle (GC) and the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway (EMCP), for efficient growth on acetate. A fine-tuned genetic programming links expression of the GC genes to metabolic flux of through the EMCP.

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