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Sulfolobus, a model archaeon for studying the orgin of eukaryotes and development of their information processing systems

Sulfolobus, a model archaeon for studying the orgin of eukaryotes and development of their information processing systems

Objective

The evolution of Life on Earth has resulted in three types of organisms: the eukaryotes (higher organisms) and two distinct types of prokaryotes: the bacteria and the more recently discovered archaea. The archaea constitute a crucial link in the evolution of the prokaryotic to the aukaryotic cell. The essential systems for the processing of genetic information (DNA>RNA>Protein) that are present in eukaryotes are very similar to their simpler counterparts in archaea, and differ substantially form those in bacteria. Hence, archaea are excellent model systems for studying replication, DNA repair, transcription and translation in higher organisms. The model archaeon Sulfolobus is a unique candidate for an integrated multi-disciplinary project. The proposed SOLAR project will generate new insight on the processing of genetic information, by (i) extending the set of key proteins (and non coding-RNAs) involved and elucidating their interactions in vivo and in vitro, (ii) unravelling novel molecular mechanisms, and (iii) determining the modes of regulation of the protein complexes involved. This will certainly provide fundamental insights into the evolution of these importent processes, and into the orgin of the eukaryotic cell. Moreover, since malfunctions of the information processing systems, or their control, can have a major impact on survival and proliferation of cells and organisms, SOLAR applicants have recently filed several patents on new findings about archaeal protein functions that can lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of human diseases including cancer; the SOLAR project is anticipated to further extend these very promising developments. The partners of the SOLAR consortium have been selected on the basis of both excellent track records and complementary expertise. As such, the proposed project provides a unique opportunity for training of young, talented, European scientists in cutting-edge post-genomic and biochemical technologies.

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Coordinator

WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITEIT

Address

Marijkeweg 40
Wageningen

Netherlands

Administrative Contact

John VAN DER OOST (Prof.)

Participants (8)

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KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN

Norway

THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS

United Kingdom

INSTITUT PASTEUR

France

UNIVERSITE PARIS-SUD

France

UNIVERSITAT WIEN

Austria

MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR TERRESTRIAL MICROBIOLOGY

Germany

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 33499

  • Start date

    1 January 2007

  • End date

    30 June 2011

Funded under:

FP6-MOBILITY

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 618 044

  • EU contribution

    € 1 798 444

Coordinated by:

WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITEIT

Netherlands