Seminarios

Light is a crucial environmental signal and energy source that determines many metabolic, developmental, and behavioral processes in most living organisms.

Light is a crucial environmental signal and energy source that determines many metabolic, developmental, and behavioral processes in most living organisms. It also causes photooxidative stress and cellular damage by generating highly reactive oxygen species like singlet oxygen, which attack cellular proteins, DNA and lipids. We study the molecular mechanisms by which the Gram-negative, predatory soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus responds to light and their evolutionary conservation from bacteria to animals. In the process, we have discovered novel light sensing and signaling mechanisms that I will describe in my talk. One mechanism is directed by a new photoreceptor family that uses a form of vitamin B12 as the light-sensing chromophore, thus revealing a new biological role for this vitamin. These photoreceptors have now become a valuable, increasingly used tool in optogenetics and synthetic biology. The second light sensing and signaling mechanism relies on a special class of glycerophospholipids called plasmalogens, which have been linked to various human disorders, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Our pursuit in unraveling this second signaling mechanism uncovered the long-sought desaturase indispensable for human plasmalogen biosynthesis, thus opening a crucial door to study the biogenesis, functions, and roles of these lipids in disease.

Fecha del seminario: 20/04/2022 12:00

Lugar del seminario: Salón de Actos

Ponente del seminario: Montse Elías Arnanz

Abstract