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Regulation of gap junction intercellular communication by autophagy: direct recognition of Cx43 by the autophagy adaptor MAP-LC3
Portugal (PorMSIC) - University of Coimbra, Coimbra
Group of Ubiquitin-Dependent Proteolysis and Intercellular Communication, IBILI
English or Portuguese
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Gap junctions are intercellular channels formed by connexin proteins that are ubiquitously expressed in most organs and tissues. In the heart, gap junction intercellular communication is responsible for establishing electric and metabolic coupling between cardiomyocytes, allowing for proper heart muscle coordination. Macroautophagy, a subset of autophagy, is one of the main degradation pathways of the cell, where cytoplasmic content is surrounded by a double membrane and subsequently delivered to the lysosome for degradation. While this process was initially thought to be c/o WMA B.P, 63,01212 Ferney-Voltaire CDEX –FRANCE Tel. +33 (450) 04 47 59 Fax. +33 (450) 40 59 37 www.ifmsa.org non-selective, in recent years it has been demonstrated that substrates can be targeted to the nascent autophagosome through substrate ubiquitination and interaction with autophagy receptors that bind to MAP-LC3, a protein present on the autophagosome membrane.
What is the aim of the project?
In this project we aim to demonstrate that Cx43, the main constituent of cardiac gap junctions, binds directly to MAP-LC3, without the need for prior Cx43 ubiquitination or interaction with autophagy receptors.
What techniques and methods are used?
This project will make use of several cellular and molecular biology techniques including: Mutation of plasmid DNA, cell culture and transfection, immunoprecipitation, western blot, immunofluorescence and electron transmission microscopy.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student is expected to learn some of the techniques employed in our lab and carry out some simple experiments.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Students will be provided with scientific articles giving a background of the project as well as a lecture explaining the aims and the methodology being employed in the project.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
There is not required skills.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
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