MICALs (Molecules Interacting with CasL) are a family of unique signalling molecules that directly bind and disassemble actin filaments and are known to play essential roles in cell processes requiring discrete changes in the cytoskeleton. In a collapsing axon growth cone, MICALs provide a direct link between semaphorins, plexins and the F-actin collapse. Our efforts are focused on the structural biology and molecular mechanisms of MICAL signalling and its role in cytoskeletal dynamics.
As a PhD student, you will aim to understand the molecular mechanisms of MICAL activation. You will use cryo-electron microscopy and protein crystallography that will be further combined with biophysical and cellular experiments. You should hold or, be near completion of a master's degree in biochemistry, structural biology, or related discipline, and have hands-on experience in techniques relevant to the project. Particularly useful would be the experience of protein production and purification, plasmids construction, cell culture, protein crystallography or electron microscopy. Good communication and writing skills are essential.
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4. Mehta et al. Nature. 578: 290-295 (2020)
5. Rozbesky et al. Nat Commun. 10: 3691-3703 (2019)Deadline is closed