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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

Interactions between the protein N-acetylglucosamine kinase and different genetic regulatory circuits in Yarrowia lipolytica.

Lead Researcher: Carlos Gancedo Rodríguez
Research Centre: Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas "Alberto Sols". CSIC-UAM. Madrid.


Carlos Gancedo RodríguezA subset of cellular proteins can carry out several unrelated functions; they are dubbed moonlighting proteins. Some of these proteins interact with different regulatory circuits. Recent results from our laboratory point to the N-acetylglucosamine kinase (NAGA kinase) from the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica as a possible moonlighting protein. NAGA kinase initiates the metabolism of NAGA and we have shown that disruption of its encoding gene changes the transcriptional profile of the genes encoding the enzymes of the pathway. In addition, overexpression of the gene alters the morphology of the organism. These results indicate possible interactions of the protein with different regulatory pathways. Due to the increasing interest on hexosamine metabolism in higher organisms for its implication in different pathological processes, it is worthwhile to determine if the NAGA kinase is in fact a moonlighting protein and to study its interaction(s) with different regulatory circuits.

We propose to study whether the catalytic activity of the Y. lipolytica NAGA kinase is necessary for its regulatory function and to explore its interactions with other proteins and regulatory elements related to NAGA utilization or with morphological determinants. We have also identified the human NAGA kinase and we will try to use Saccharomyces cerevisiae as testbed to study possible interactions of this protein with other human proteins.

This study will contribute to a better understanding of the moonlighting phenomenon and, owing to the metabolic position of the NAGA kinase, may provide new insights in problems related with glycosylation mechanisms in general.

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