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Structural studies with importin-a from “The model organism Neurospora crassa

Grant number: 11/22043-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2012
Effective date (End): June 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Molecular Biophysics
Principal Investigator:Marcos Roberto de Mattos Fontes
Grantee:Natália Elisa Bernardes
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:08/57566-8 - The Neurospora crassa filamentous fungus as a model organism for the identification and characterization of new proteins/transcription factors regulating the glycogen metabolism, AP.TEM


The classical pathway of nuclear import of proteins, using the complex importin alpha / importin beta, is widely studied as a major route of transport of macromolecules. In this way, the importin-alfa acts in the identification of the proteins to be transported to the nucleus from the recognition of nuclear localization sequence (NLS). The first structural studies with importin alfa were performed with the isoform present in Sacaromiceaes cerevisiae. Later, studies with isoform present in Mus musculus, have elucidated the mechanism of action currently supported. Other isoforms of importin alfa were found and grouped into three large families Kap-alfa1, Kap-alfa2, Kap-alfa3. This project aims to study the isoform present in the model organism Neurospora crassa, to identify tissue-specific features such as preferences for different NLS, different expression patterns, demand for import of specific proteins. For both techniques, expression and purification followed by structural analysis using crystallography experiments will be employed, as well as circular dichroism and dynamic light scattering. Such studies will be conducted in collaboration with Prof. Maria Célia Bertolini Institute of Chemistry, UNESP - Araraquara campus. The project is directly related to the projects (SMOLBnet 2) - proc. 2010/51889-0 themed design and proc. 08/57566-8.