Yeast Glycogen Deficient Mutants Unlock Fascinating Intracellular Machinery
Des Moines University faculty, staff, and students.
Yeast genetics is an awesome avenue to explore disease pathology and study complex signal transduction pathways. Our investigation of yeast mutants defective in glycogen synthesis allowed us to learn about metabolic diseases, aberrant control of cell division in cancer cells, and interesting atomic-level biophysics. Two examples will show how our lab has exploited these techniques over several years.
- First, a yeast glycogen branching enzyme mutant allowed us to isolate the orthologous human gene, which was subsequently used to diagnose and treat children afflicted with a lethal glycogen storage disease.
- Second, studies of an unstructured regulator of a conserved protein phosphatase reveal novel mechanisms of protein regulation by phosphorylation.
Both examples illustrate how clever manipulation of a model organism and high performance supercomputers can be used as a tools to understand and explore basic life processes.
- Explain how the phenotype of mutants can be exploited to comprehend protein function inside a cell.
- Design a scheme to study dynamic protein movements and how they modulate protein function.
- 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)