15/03/2017 - 12:00 - Auditori PRBB

In vitro reconstitution of microtubule based mRNA transport

Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars

Sebastian Maurer

Cytoskeleton Dependent RNA Distribution Mechanisms Group, Cell and Developmental Biology Programme, CRG

Short biography:
Sebastian Maurer is a Group Leader at the “Cell and Developmental Biology” programme at CRG Barcelona. He studied Biology at the Phillips University Marburg, Germany and obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the Jacobs University, Germany in 2007. He did his Postdoc at EMBL Heidelberg and LRI London, working on mechanisms of microtubule regulation using structural biology and single-molecule approaches. Since 2014, he is leading a group at CRG which focuses on understanding cytoskeleton-based RNA distribution mechanisms.

Research and talk summary:
mRNA transport along microtubules by motor proteins is a basic mechanism of symmetry breaking which allows cells to configure the protein composition of different domains individually by producing proteins locally from targeted mRNAs. The Maurer Lab focuses on mRNA transport mechanisms of mammalian neurons. Here the correct localization of the right mRNA in the right amounts is crucial for memory formation and maintenance. Traditional approaches as loss-of-function studies and pull-downs provided lists of proteins that might be involved in neuronal mRNA transport. These approaches, however, could not reveal the essential mechanisms governing mRNA distribution.
The Maurer Lab uses new approaches to understand the mechanochemistry driving differential mRNA distribution. We combine novel matrix-screening approaches with live-microscopy-coupled biochemical in vitro reconstitutions. This talk will give an overview of the state-of-the-art in the field and provide results unraveling for the first time a minimal set of proteins sufficient for processive RNP transport along microtubules.