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PRBB-CRG Sessions Montserrat Elias

PRBB-CRG Sessions Montserrat Elias

17/04/2020
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PRBB-CRG Sessions Montserrat Elias

MARIE CURIE

17/04/202012:00MARIE CURIEPRBB-CRG SessionsMontserrat EliasUniversidad de Murcia"Bacterial “vision” and how its study unmasked a long-sought human enzyme"Host: Vivek MalhotraAbstract:Light is a crucial environmental signal and energy source that determines many metabolic, developmental and behavioral processes in most living organisms. It also causes photooxidative stress and cellular damage by generating highly reactive oxygen species like singlet oxygen, which attack cellular proteins, DNA and lipids. We study the molecular mechanisms by which the Gram-negative, predatory soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus responds to light and their evolutionary conservation from bacteria to animals. In the process, we have discovered two novel light sensing and signaling mechanisms that I will describe in my talk. One mechanism is directed by a new photoreceptor family that uses a form of vitamin B12 as the light-sensing chromophore, thus revealing a new biological role for this vitamin. The second relies on a special class of glycerophospholipids called plasmalogens, which have been linked to various human disorders, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Our pursuit in unraveling this second signaling mechanism uncovered the long-sought desaturase indispensable for human plasmalogen biosynthesis, thus opening a crucial door to study the biogenesis, functions, and roles of these lipids in disease.