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MASTER THESIS
Standort: Vienna
Art: Vollzeit
Firma: Max Perutz Labs, Vienna
Eingetragen am: 2020-03-19
Kontakt:
Beschreibung:

Ever wondered what lava lamps and phase  separation can teach us about chromatin  regulation and gene expression?  

A fascinating recent development in biology is the  
realization that cells contain compartments with liquid-
like properties. These are neither membrane-bound  
organelles nor structurally defined protein complexes, but  
rather resemble ‘condensates’ formed by the demixing of  
concentrated proteins from the surrounding cellular milieu. The underlying  phenomenon is called phase separation and is observed in daily life, such as the  separation of oil and vinegar in salad dressings or in lava lamps, as shown in the  
picture.   
We are excited about exploring the molecular principles and function of phase  separation in the context of our favorite lab topic – chromatin and transcription.  Our recent work has uncovered a role of phase separation in creating liquid-like  reaction chambers for histone ubiquitination (Gallego L.D.*, Schneider M.*, Mittal,  C.* et al.: Nature, 2020). Specifically, we found that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Bre1  interacts with Lge1, an intrinsically disordered protein, which promotes the phase  separation of the ubiquitination machinery into enzymatically hyperactive  condensates. We now aim to understand when, where and how these  condensates form in cells, whether and how they move along chromatin and  ultimately, how aberrant condensates may lead to disease when perturbing the  flow of genetic information.  
We are looking for an energetic, highly motivated student interested in exploring  fundamental mechanisms in chromatin biology. You will employ biochemistry and  microscopy approaches to understand the role of ‘lava-lamp phenomena’ during  transcription at the single-molecule level. If accepted, you will also receive a  stipend during your thesis.  

 

Anhang: hier