SCALE Science Lunch Seminar – Dr. Ramachandra M. Bhaskara and Prof. Mathias Munschauer

  • 2024-06-26
  • 12:30 am
  • Lecture Hall, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics and via ZOOM

Decoding cellular homeostasis: From data streams to molecular mechanisms (Ramachandra M. Bhaskara)

Autophagy, protein ubiquitination, and sumoylation form the three central pillars of cellular homeostasis. In light of recent advances in omics and HTP experiments, data-driven research using inductive reasoning provides a key advantage, leveraging the immense volume of biological data. By combining modeling and simulation workflows with data science approaches, we integrate disparate biological datasets to gain molecular insights into these pathways. (1) We showcase a metric learning approach for the multiscale classification of the human E3 ligome. (2) From protein content profiling of autophagosomes, we identify potential selective autophagy receptors (SARs), expanding the landscape of known SARs. (3) Our molecular modeling and simulations show how PTMs and IDRs modulate the kinetics of RHD-mediated spontaneous budding to amplify ER-phagy. By modeling membrane proteins as anisotropic inclusions with distance-dependent non-zero spontaneous curvature, we capture their essential intrinsic curvature properties, laying the groundwork for mesoscale modeling of the autophagic process.

An RNA-centric perspective on viral infections (Mathias Munschauer)

RNA viruses pose a significant burden to human health. Identifying host cell factors that bind and regulate viral RNA during the infection process is crucial for understanding how viruses hijack host cells, subvert host processes, and evade innate immune defense mechanisms. Here, we employ a cutting-edge suite of mass spectrometry-based RNA interactomics techniques to resolve interactions between distinct viral RNA species and the host cell proteome at unprecedented resolution. We uncover a previously unknown protein-priming mechanism utilized by coronaviruses to initiate viral RNA synthesis in human cells. Moreover, we find that the host protein SND1 regulates the priming of viral RNA synthesis through direct interactions with NSP9 and negative-strand SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Our approach opens the door for a system-scale characterization of regulatory RNA elements utilized by virus or host during infection.

The SCALE lunch seminar will take place in a hybrid form. All interested are invited to attend in person at the lecture hall of the MPI-BP with coffee and a light lunch in the atrium afterwards. At the same time, the lecture will also be streamed online via ZOOM.

Zoom link:

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