Javier Lopez Garrido

January 04, 2024

Please refer to https://www.evolbio.mpg.de/3360782/evolcellbiol or contact Javier <lopezgarrido@evolbio.mpg.de> for further information on the project after having read the publications stated below.

If you wish to apply for the position, please contact Javier Lopez Garrido by email providing a short motivational statement, names of two referees and a short CV (biosketch).

Exploring the functional significance of enzyme clustering during Bacillus subtilis sporulation

Life depends on a vast network of metabolic reactions that mediates the transformation of nutrients into the building blocks and energy necessary for cell assembly and function. In eukaryotic cells, metabolic pathways are compartmentalized in membrane-bound organelles. In contrast, most metabolic reactions occur in a cytoplasm devoid of membrane-bound organelles in prokaryotic cells. However, many enzymes form discrete clusters within the prokaryotic cytoplasm, suggesting that metabolic reactions might actually occur in separate microenvironments.

In this project, we will explore the role that enzyme clusters play during sporulation in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. When nutrients are scarce, B. subtilis embarks in a developmental program that culminates with the formation of metabolically dormant and highly resilient spores. Sporulation entails the interaction of two cells that originate from an asymmetric cell division event: the smaller forespore, which becomes the spore upon sporulation completion, and the mother cell, which ends up lysing. These two cells become metabolically differentiated during sporulation, and different central metabolic enzymes show different clustering patterns in each cell. In this project, we will use genetic, cell biological and biochemical approaches to unravel the functional significance of metabolic protein clustering during sporulation.

We are looking for a motivated doctoral researcher who is eager to develop and implement creative approaches to address complex scientific questions.

For more information, please check the following publications: Riley et al. Science Advances (2021) (PMID: 33523946), Riley et al. Molecular Microbiology (2018) (PMID: 29363854), and Riley et al. Microbial Cell (2021) (PMID: 33490228)

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