The cellular fuel gauge: Novel mechanisms of metabolic control

Research Opportunity
PhD, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Jon Oakhill joakhill@svi.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr John Scott jscott@svi.edu.au

Summary All living organisms have a critical need to couple energy and nutrient supply with growth. A major sensor of the nutrient status of a cell’s environment is the evolutionarily conserved AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK acts as the cell’s fuel gauge by directly sensing energy state (AMP, ADP and ATP), and orchestrating multiple branches of metabolism by phosphorylating and regulating key rate-limiting enzymes in these pathways. Our research goal is to bridge this knowledge gap by hunting for regulatory AMPK kinases and metabolite ligands.

Project Details

All living organisms have a critical need to couple energy and nutrient supply with growth. A major sensor of the nutrient status of a cell’s environment is the evolutionarily conserved AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). AMPK acts as the cell’s fuel gauge by directly sensing energy state (AMP, ADP and ATP), and orchestrating multiple branches of metabolism by phosphorylating and regulating key rate-limiting enzymes in these pathways.

AMPK is a heterotrimer complex composed of catalytic a (isoforms a1/2) and regulatory b (b1/2) and g (g1/2/3) subunits. While the majority of research effort has targeted downstream effects of AMPK signalling, relatively little is known about how AMPK itself is regulated. For example, ~150 phosphosites have been identified on AMPK, yet only a handful of upstream kinases have been characterised. Our research goal is to bridge this knowledge gap by hunting for regulatory AMPK kinases and metabolite ligands.

As part of our laboratory, you will receive multi-disciplinary training from experts in biochemistry, cell biology, x-ray crystallography and mass spectrometry. The team adopts a highly collaborative approach, with studies regularly published in high impact journals.


School Research Themes

Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

PhD, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

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