Regulation of Mitochondrial Function in Mammalian Motor Spinal Axons
Our group is interested in how long motor cortical and spinal axons maintain their function during our lifetime and in understanding the mechanisms underlying their degeneration in neurological diseases, such as hereditary spastic paraplegia or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. In this project, we aim to understand how mitochondrial function is regulated in long axons at the post-transcriptional level. The PhD candidate will explore the role of known RNA-binding proteins in controlling the expression of mitochondrial proteins specifically in axons and explore various strategies to identify novel molecular components implicated in regulating mitochondrial function specifically in motor axons.
Methodology & Research Model
We use both primary neurons in culture and mouse models to answer our scientific questions. Several methods are integrated including unbiased omics approaches, immunohistochemistry, advanced microscopy techniques, and biochemical methods.
Requirements for Application
Solid background knowledge acquired during master studies (biology, neuroscience, biochemistry, biotechnology), motivation and enthusiasm.
Gao, J., Schatton, D., Martinelli, P., Hansen, H., Pla-Martin, D., Barth, E., Becker, C., Altmueller, J., Frommolt, P., Sardiello, M., and Rugarli, E.I. (2014). CLUH regulates mitochondrial biogenesis by binding mRNAs of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins. J Cell Biol 207, 213-223.
Schatton, D., Pla-Martin, D., Marx, M.C., Hansen, H., Mourier, A., Nemazanyy, I., Pessia, A., Zentis, P., Corona, T., Kondylis, V., Barth, E., Schauss, A.C., Velagapudi, V., and Rugarli, E.I. (2017). CLUH regulates mitochondrial metabolism by controlling translation and decay of target mRNAs. J Cell Biol 216, 675-693.
Schatton, D., and Rugarli, E.I. (2018). A concert of RNA-binding proteins coordinates mitochondrial function. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 53, 652-666.