Dr. Martina Foglizzo, Biological Sciences, Leeds
Replication of human DNA is essential to life and errors lead to a range of human diseases, including cancers and neurological syndromes. Key players in this process are the ATPases SPATA5 and SPATA5L1, which in complex with the heterodimeric partners C1orf109-CINP, form an enzymatic assembly (55LCC) that interacts with, and unfolds, components of the replication machinery. However, the precise mechanism employed by 55LCC for substrate processing is not well understood, and this project aims to investigate the mechanisms underpinning 55LCC ATPase and unfoldase activities. The successful student will test commercially available kits and develop a sensitive assay system for accurately measuring 55LCC ATPase activity in vitro and take advantage of model substrates and fluorescently labelled reagents already available in the laboratory to test unfoldase function. The student will become a fully integrated member of the laboratory, gain hands-on experience on protein purification, biochemical and biophysical assays, learn how to think critically, and become more independent in their work and time management. Students will be expected to present their findings orally at a research day in York in September 2023.