Project: " Sm protein complexes: Structure, Interactions with RNAs and Biological Functions"
Small nuclear RiboNucleoProteins. (snRNPs) share a common group of proteins known as Sm proteins that are implicated in multiple functions (e.g. snRNA modifications, snRNP assembly, intracellular transport, and are the target of autoimmune antibodies in the human disease systemic lupus erythematosus). The host laboratory has recently identified a sequence motif in those proteins, and used it to identify putative Sm proteins in databases. Analysis of the newly identified proteins from yeast indicates that two groups of Sm-proteins exist. One group of canonical Sni proteins and a new set of Sm-like proteins associated with U6 snRNP. I propose to analyse the structure and function of Sm-like proteins. I will try to overexpress Sm-like proteins in E. coli for structural analysis. On the other hand, I will analyse protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions to define the Sm- like protein complexes. Finally, I will use genetic tools to analyse the function of Sm like proteins in snRNJ' assembly in vivo.