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You are invited to attend this seminar hosted by the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology.Date: Wednesday, 31 May 2023Time: 11.00AM – 12.00PMVenue: IMCB Seminar Room 03-46, Level 3 Proteos, Biopolis, Singapore 138673 (Physical)Speaker: Dr Max BurroughsHost: Prof Vinay TergaonkarMulticellularity and Biological Conflict in Prokaryotes: New Links to Eukaryotic ApoptosisAbstractThe genome characterization of the nucleotide-activated effector conflict systems, also known as the "CBASS" systems, by our group in 2015 kicked off a new era in the discovery and analysis of biological conflict systems. In addition to increasing understanding of microbe biology, these systems have historically been a veritable goldmine for identifying and developing new biotechnological reagents, such as those derived from Restriction-Modification and CRISPR-Cas systems. In a surprising turn, however, recent studies have also revealed deep evolutionary connections between prokaryotic defense and immunity systems and innovations previously thought to be quintessentially eukaryotic.Along these lines, new research in our group has uncovered remarkable systems shared among diverse multicellular prokaryotic taxa that contain organizational principles and protein domains common to eukaryotic apoptotic systems. Many of these domains were previously unknown in prokaryotes and are uniquely shared with animal apoptotic systems, such as Death-like and TRADD-N domains. Consilient lines of evidence indicate these systems are deployed against invasive entities like viruses to limit their spread in multicellular/social contexts. Our findings suggest that immune responses are coupled with programmed cell death, even in prokaryotes. We have also identified previously unexplored links between the ASK signalosome in animal apoptosis pathways and the nucleotide-activated effector conflict systems.Our work implies a shared "grammar" in the similar architectures and interaction networks of the domains found in eukaryotic and prokaryotic apoptotic systems. This suggests the spread of a relatively small set of protein domains, along with the repeated emergence of this "grammar" in their organization, has gone hand-in-hand with the multiple emergences of multicellularity across the Tree of Life. BiographyMax Burroughs is a computational biologist with a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from Boston University, completing his postdoctoral training at the RIKEN Omics Science Center in Japan. Max works in the Protein and Genome Evolution Research Group, part of the Intramural Research Program at the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Max’s work gleans novel functional insights into protein domains and the systems they inhabit through a comparative genome approach, focusing on inferring the deep evolutionary origins of eukaryotic systems and their constituent protein domains. His research accomplishments include the first descriptions of ubiquitin systems in bacteria, elucidating deep ties between animal innate immunity pathways and bacterial biological conflict systems, and identifying the common foundations of multicellularity and apoptosis across distant taxons spanning the three domains of Life.
ALL ARE WELCOME (No registration required) For upcoming seminars in IMCB, please visit https://www.a-star.edu.sg/imcb
IMCB Seminar Room 03-46, Level 3 Proteos, Biopolis, Singapore 138673 (Physical)