[13-03-2012 to 31-03-2012]
£99k Award for CRISPR project
Prof Malcolm White has been awarded £99,472 from the BBSRC for a project in collaboration with Dr Laura Spagnolo, Edinburgh, to study the architecture of the CMR complex for CRISPR-mediated antiviral immunity.
CRISPR is a prokaryotic antiviral defence system where cells maintain a record of past infections by capturing small pieces of viral DNA. These are transcribed into RNA and used by "Interference Machines" to target and degrade viral nucleic acids during subsequent infection.
One of these interference machines is the CMR complex, a seven-subunit ribonucleoprotein assembly that targets viral RNA, cleaving it with a sequence dependent mechanism (1).
This grant award will allow the structure of the CMR complex to be studied using the latest methods in electron microscopy with the aim of achieving an understanding of its molecular structure and mechanism. The CMR complex could be harnessed to allow the development of robust prokaryotic gene silencing technology for the first time.
This work is a collaboration between the groups of Malcolm White in St Andrews and Laura Spagnolo in Edinburgh.
(1) Structure and mechanism of the CMR complex for CRISPR-mediated antiviral immunity Zhang J, Rouillon C, Kerou M, Reeks J, Brugger K, Graham S, Reimann J, Cannone G, Liu H, Albers SV, Naismith JH, Spagnolo L and White MF (2012), Mol Cell, 45, 303-313. PMID: 22227115.
see here for further details
contact: Prof Malcolm White