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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

The role of eIF2B in eukaryotic protein synthesis: new insights from vanishing myelin Seminar

11 February 2013
Building 85 Room 2207

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Beatrice Murphy on 023 8059 5374 or email .

Event details

Regulation of protein synthesis is a key factor in cell growth and division, and organ homeostasis. Its regulation allows both individual cells and organisms to respond quickly to changes in nutrient and signalling status.

The eukaryotic translation initiation factor complex eIF2B is a key regulator of initiation of protein synthesis, acting as the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for eIF2. Regulation of eIF2B is a key determinant of the rate of translation initiation in cells and is mediated primarily by phosphorylation of eIF2 in response to cellular stresses, including viral infection, nutrient deprivation and the accumulation of unfolded proteins.
Mutations in the genes encoding eIF2B have been shown to be the cause of the neurological leukodystrophy Vanishing White Matter, an autosomal recessive disorder that results in the degradation of central nervous system myelin.
I will be discussing how we have used these disease causing mutants, plus other targeted mutants, to further our understanding of eIF2B function, in particular focusing on how the eIF2B complex is assembled. I will present new insights into how formation of this complex may be crucial in modulating not just eIF2B function, but in the cellular stress responses mediated by eIF2.

A - healthy brain; B - brain with Vanishing White Matter
MRI brain scans
of eIF2B alpha subunits

Speaker information

Dr Noel Wortham,Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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