Identification of substrates and interactors of prokaryotic rhomboid protease
Start date: 1 April 2018
Director of Studies: Ansgar Poetsch
2nd Supervisor: Mathew Upton
3rd Supervisor: Tina Joshi
The Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry are seeking to attract PhD candidates of outstanding ability to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally-rated research. The Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry are committed to research excellence with a recent £25 million investment in staff and facilities. Medical research at PUPSMD was ranked first for outputs in REF2014.
Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates, 2:1 or above, and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification. International students must also have an IELTS score of 7.0 or above (with no less than 6.5 in any element).
The use of regulated intramembrane proteolysis, accomplished by rhomboid proteases with their cellular membrane-embedded catalytic centre, allows for modifying the function of proteins by specific cleavage. The huge lack of knowledge about rhomboid function and regulation in prokaryotes favours proteomic screening approaches to discover targets and regulatory mechanisms, which will be frequently employed in this project. Overarching aim is the identification of rhomboid substrates in the selected prokaryotes C. glutamicum and H. volcanii and of the underlying mechanisms that confer substrate cleavage specificity. For this purpose, rhomboid gene deletion mutants are available that will be cultivated under different conditions and subjected to substrate screening approaches using advanced proteomics techniques, such as protein turnover analysis (see references). The ideal candidate has a strong background in microbiology and biochemistry/proteomics.
Research about H. volcanii rhomboid will be in close collaboration with an Argentinian team at University Mar del Plata. The candidate is expected to travel for short research stays to Argentina and to present results at national or international conferences.
Apart from the research project, the successful candidate will participate in supporting courses for conducting research offered by the University of Plymouth.