Cutting-edge science for health

Physiological role of plasma-membrane transport systems in monovalent cation homeostasis

Laboratory of Membrane Transport

PhD project: Physiological role of plasma-membrane transport systems in monovalent cation homeostasis

The tight regulation of intracellular ion concentrations is crucial for all living cells. All types of cells employ various types of cation importers and exporters to ensure the optimal high levels of indispensable potassium and low levels of toxic sodium cations. Disordered performance of ion transporters and, consequently, non-optimal ion homeostasis result in many pathological processes. Cation/H+ exchangers (CPA/SLC9 family) belong among cation-transport systems that help to ensure the optimal intracellular levels of alkali-metal cations and protons (pH) in cells of most organisms. The PhD project will study cation/H+ exchangers from yeasts and mammals with the aims of (i) determining new structural and functional elements in these proteins, (ii) unravelling new mechanisms of their regulation, and (iii) identifying so far unknown proteins that participate in their biogenesis and degradation. Obtained results will help to uncover cation-transport mechanism across membranes at the molecular level and will provide new insights into the cell cation-homeostasis regulatory network both in lower and higher eukaryotes.

Candidate’s profile (requirements):

The candidate should be highly self-motivated with master's degree or equivalent (obtained before October 2020) in molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology or related fields. Fluent English, as well as some experience in basic laboratory (PCR, DNA electrophoresis, bacteria transformation, plasmid isolation) and basic bioinformatics (DNA and protein sequence search and comparison, sequenced fragments analysis, plasmid and primers design) techniques are necessary.

Relevant publications:

Kinclova-Zimmermannová O. et al. A hydrophobic filter confers the cation selectivity of Zygosaccharomyces rouxii plasma-membrane Na+/H+ antiporters. J. Mol. Biol. 427: 1681-1694 (2015).

Rosas-Santiago P. et al. Erv14 cargo receptor participates in yeast salt tolerance via its interaction with the plasma-membrane Nha1 cation/proton antiporter. BBA - Biomembr. 1858: 67-74 (2016).

Rosas-Santiago P. et al. Plant and yeast cornichon possess a conserved acidic motif required for correct targeting of plasma membrane cargos BBA - Mol. Cell Res. 1864: 1809-1818 (2017).

Smidova A et al. The activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Na+, K+/H+ antiporter Nha1 is negatively regulated by 14-3-3 protein binding at serine 481. BBA – Mol. Cell res. 1866: 118534 (2019)

Zimmermannová O. et al. Erv14 cargo receptor participates in regulation of plasma-membrane potential, intracellular pH and potassium homeostasis via its interaction with K+-specific transporters Trk1 and Tok1. BBA – Mol. Cell Res. 1866: 1376–1388 (2019).

Supervisor: Olga Zimmermannová, Ph.D. (