SciLifeLab seminar series-Campus Solna, Andrea Pauli, Small proteins with big roles


Tuesday, October 16

Andrea Pauli

Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Austria

Andrea (Andi) Pauli obtained her PhD in Kim Nasmyth’s lab at Oxford University, UK, where she provided the first direct evidence that the protein-complex cohesin has essential non-mitotic functions. For her postdoc, Andi joined Alex Schier’s lab at Harvard University, USA.While her original goal was to identify functional lncRNAs during zebrafish embryogenesis, Andi’s research led to two key discoveries that have shaped her research since: first, translation is widespread outside of protein-coding regions; and second, these newly discovered translated regions can encode functionally important short proteins. In September 2015, Andi established her own lab at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna, Austria, where she focuses on identifying new essential regulators during the germline-to-embryo transition.

Title of the talk: Small proteins with big roles – from coordinating cell migration to mediating species-specific fertilization

Many transcripts have recently been found to contain short translated open reading frames that had been missed in previous gene annotations. A main focus of the Pauli lab is the identification of novel functional short proteins, using zebrafish as a model system. The Pauli lab has discovered two essential short proteins which differ in their biological functions:  Toddler/Apela/ELABELA is a secreted peptide that signals via a GPCR to promote gastrulation movement during zebrafish embryogenesis. More recently, the Pauli lab discovered Bouncer, a GPI-anchored, short membrane protein that functions as the gate-keeper of the oocyte:  Bouncer is not only essential for sperm entry into the egg, but also mediates species-specificity of fertilization. These findings have firmly established short proteins as an exciting new research area.

Read more about Andreas Pauli´s research

Host: Dörte Schlesinger, dorte.schlesinger@scilifelab.se