Susan Ackerman
Susan Ackerman

Donders Lecture – Susan Ackerman 23 May 2024

Thursday 23 May 2024, 4 pm - 5 pm
Transfer RNAs as Modifier Genes of Neurological Disorders

Growing evidence indicates that neurons are particularly reliant on the spatial and temporal regulation of mRNA translation for their survival and function; and mutations in numerous components of the translational machinery have been linked to neurological disorders. Using a forward genetic approach in mice, we identified a point mutation in a neuron-specific, nuclear tRNA gene which exacerbates neurodegeneration in mice homozygous for mutations in ribosome rescue factors. In addition, we have found that this tRNA mutation modifies seizure threshold and alter neuronal excitability. These changes are accompanied by widespread transcriptional reprogramming and changes in signaling pathways controlling translation. Our work highlights the exquisite sensitivity of the nervous system to subtle changes in mRNA translation homeostasis, and raises the possibility that the regulation of tRNA expression may play a critical role in complex neuronal processes and phenotypic modification of genetic disorders.

When
Thursday 23 May 2024, 4 pm - 5 pm
Speaker
Susan Ackerman - Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA USA
Location
Red room Trigon