The institute seminar on Wednesday 3rd of March is given by Kirsten Sandvig from the Department of Biochemistry. Title of her talk:
Protein toxins from plants and bacteria: Probes for intracellular transport and tools in medicine
The seminar takes place in the Auditorium (New Research Building Montebello) and starts at 10:30.
A number of protein toxins produced by bacteria and found in plants enter eukaryotic cells and inhibit protein synthesis enzymatically. These toxins include the bacterial toxin Shiga and the plant toxin ricin. Although toxins can be a threat to human health, these molecules are valuable tools to discover and characterize cellular processes such as endocytosis and intracellular transport. Correct regulation of intracellular transport is essential for normal cell growth, and cancers are often associated with changes in molecules involved in intracellular sorting of growth factors and receptors. Importantly, the toxins can also be exploited in cancer diagnosis and therapy. After binding to cell surface receptors, toxins are endocytosed by different mechanisms (both clathrin-dependent and –independent routes), and from endosomes they can be transported retrogradely to the Golgi apparatus and then to the ER before translocation to the cytosol. Intracellular transport is regulated not only by protein complexes and kinases, but also the membrane lipid composition, and changes in specific lipids are crucial for normal cell growth and correct transport in the cell. The interaction between toxins and cells and their use in medicine will be discussed.