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BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship - A nascent peptide-ribosome interaction that allows viral protein synthesis

This job is no longer available

Newcastle University
16 April 2012
North East England > Tyne & Wear
Course fee
not specified

Further information

BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship - A nascent peptide-ribosome interaction that allows viral protein synthesis

  • Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
  • Reference Code: CB069


Name of the supervisors
Dr J Brown , Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
Dr Z Chrzanowska-Lightowlers , Institute for Ageing and Health

This studentship is sponsored by BBSRC as part of the  Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

Duration of the award
4 years (MRes Medical and Molecular Biosciences followed by a three year PhD)

Project description
Protein synthesis lies at the heart of cellular function, and is a major control point in gene expression. During protein synthesis, ribosomes undergo large-scale, co-ordinated movements as they add amino acids to the polypeptide chain. Usually translation adheres to the genetic code, but is subverted by some RNAs and, rarely, nascent peptides, which promote non-canonical decoding (e.g. frame-shifting). Understanding these unusual events provides information on gene expression, and translation itself, as it highlights connections between ribosomal components and how signals are transferred to and from the decoding region and peptidyl-transferase centre (PTC).

This project will focus on '2A peptides', found in many viruses, that, when translated as part of a single ORF, interact with the ribosomal exit tunnel/PTC to promote translation termination on their final, sense codon, then efficient 'reinitiation' generating a separate protein from downstream sequences.  This remarkable activity has let to extensive use of 2A for protein co-expression, from model laboratory systems to clinical trials in gene therapy. Conversely, understanding the 2A reaction may lead to defining routes to inhibiting it and thus antiviral strategies.

Based on the hypothesis that the 2A reaction is driven by significant changes to ribosomal conformation generated by interactions of the 2A peptide with the exit tunnel/PTC, the student will use a combined biochemical and genetic approach to define these changes.

Value of the Award and Eligibility
Depending on how you meet the BBSRC's eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,590 (2011/12). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Person Specification
Candidates should have or expect to achieve a First Class or 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant science subject

How to Apply
You must complete the University's postgraduate application form . Select "Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) - Cell and Molecular Biosciences" as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CB069.

Closing date for applications 
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed

Further Information
Dr J Brown, , +44 (0) 191 222 7470


Newcastle University

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