Transcriptional Repression by MAF1: Implications for Cancer and Obesity
Location:Level 6 Seminar Room D17, The Hub, Charles Perkins Centre The University of Sydney
Professor Ian M. Willis
Departments of Biochemistry and Systems and Computational Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Presented by the Charles Perkins Centre
Transcription by RNA polymerase (pol) III provides cells with a unique set of small non-coding RNA molecules that play critical roles in cell growth and maintenance. The best known products of RNA pol III transcription, 5S rRNA and tRNAs, are essential components of the protein synthetic machinery. The high cellular abundance of these molecules and the frequent deregulation of their expression upon cell transformation has led to longstanding views that transcriptional control of RNA pol III is important for metabolic economy and that unrestrained RNA synthesis by the polymerase may contribute to tumor development. In recent years, efforts to address these issues have focused on a master regulator in the RNA pol III system, the MAF1 protein. MAF1 is a terminal node in the mTOR pathway and functions to repress transcription by RNA pol III in response to diverse nutritional and cellular stresses.
In this lecture Professor Willis will describe the current knowledge of the conserved signaling pathways, the regulatory targets and the mechanisms that operate to control RNA pol III output. He will discuss the characterization of a MAF1 knockout mouse. The research findings suggest a new approach for treating metabolic disease.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Professor Ian M. Willis graduated from The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in 1978 and his doctorate in Biochemistry in 1983. He conducted his Post-doctoral training at Yale University where he collaborated as a Postdoctoral Associate with Dr Dieter Söll at the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from 1982 to 1986. Since 1988 Professor Willis has been working at the Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has won various awards including Prize for Applied Organic Chemistry, 1977; Commonwealth Postgraduate Research Award, 1979-1982; Sinsheimer Scholar Award, 1979-1982, and Irma T. Hirschl-Weill Caulier Award in 1994. He is an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Contact: Charles Perkins Centre