Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
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Plant Molecular Biology

Dr. Anna Speiser

Dr. Anna Speiser
Dr. Anna Speiser

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The essential amino acid cysteine plays a pivotal role in living organisms. Plants, algae, bacteria and fungi are able to reduce the environmentally available sulfur to produce cysteine. However animals and humans are not able to do so and rely on their nutrition, rely on plants.  This is one reason why it is fascinating to me to lay my focus of research on the cysteine biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. The cysteine synthase complex (CSC) is even more challenging, as the reversible formation and dissociation of this complex depends on several metabolites of the cysteine biosynthesis pathway. Moreover complex formation also gives rise to different activity states of the two enzymes forming the CSC. During my PhD thesis I am keen to understand the intricate regulation processes of CSC formation and cysteine biosynthesis. E.g., the tight control of CSC formation and dissociation gives rise to the question whether other factors also trigger CSC formation or destabilize. Recent data also suggest a regulatory role of CSC formation capable to form the basis of communication between different compartments inside the cell. 

Unknown factors could influence complex formation positively or negatively. Posttranslational modifications, degradation processes and putative interacting partners constitute the most promising candidates and will be investigated during my PhD.


- kindly supported by Schmeil-Stiftung, Heidelberg -





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