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P 24 - Prof. Dr. Sonja-Verena Albers

Studying the molecular mechanisms underlying transcription regulation by the NSL complex


Prof. Dr. Sonja-Verena Albers

Institut für Biologie II, Mikrobiologie, Universität Freiburg

Schänzlestr. 1

79104 Freiburg

Phone: +49 761 203-2630

Fax: +49 761 203-2773



Project Summary


Archaea use the archaellum, a motility structure that is assembled via a type IV pili mechanism, to swim. Expression of the archaellum is highly regulated and reversible protein phosphorylation plays a major role in the activity of the protein signaling network involved in regulation of the expression of protein of the archaellum. The one-component signaling proteins ArnR and ArnR1 regulate the expression of the archaellin, the filament forming protein of the archaellum. Both ArnR and ArnR1 bind to a region upstream of the archaellin promoter. Both proteins contain two transmembrane domains, a putative sensor domain and a HTH-DNA binding domain. Whereas the DNA-binding domain of both proteins is nearly identical in amino acid sequence, the sensory domain is different, implying that both proteins might sense different stimuli. The ArnR1 phosphorylation status determines the levels of archaellin expression and probably its interaction with ArnR and other kinases involved in the archaellum regulatory protein network. We are aiming to understand how phosphorylation of ArnR and ArnR1 regulate their functional specificity in promoter binding and archaellin expression in interaction with membrane-bound kinases and other partners in the regulatory network. We will address these questions using biochemical, structural and in vivo approaches.


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