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Project Proposal

Understanding headgroup-acylated glycerophospholipid biosynthesis and function in Escherichia coli

Teresa Garrett (Chemistry)

The biosynthesis of lipid, even low abundance lipids such as headgroup-acylated glycerophospholipids (GPLs), impacts essential cell functions such as cell division and the maintenance of cell membrane integrity. We are interested in understanding how headgroup-acylated GPLs are synthesized by studying the substrate specificity and enzymatic mechanism of two enzymes that impact headgroup-acylated GPLs in E. coli. In addition, we will investigate the impact of altering headgroup-acylated GPL levels in vivo will yield insights into how headgroup-acylated GPLs effect cell division and the maintenance of membrane integrity. This work will provide the basis to understand the function of these lipids and help, in future work, explain the complexity of lipids found in all cells. Students involved in this project will prepare lipid substrates and protein extracts, perform in vitro enzyme assay, purify enzymes and construct the necessary E. coli strains to make significant contributions to this project.

Pre-requisites: None

How should students express their interest in this project? Students will be selected based on their URSI application and a 10' in person interview. All applicants will receive an email from me to schedule the 10' interview. You must come for an interview to be considered for an URSI position. There is no need to email me to set up individual meetings outside of the interview slot.