Division of Cell Signalling & Immunology
Grade 7 (£29,099 – £35,788)
Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research assistant to join a laboratory in the Division of Cell Signalling & Immunology (College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee UK) working on the role of the LAT1 amino acid transporter in mammalian growth, nutrient signalling and foetal development. The LAT1 (System L1) transporter is an important component of the amino acid “sensor” upstream of the intracellular mTOR pathway regulating mammalian cell growth. The project involves study of a conditional, inducible LAT1 knockout mouse strain which we have developed as a model system for study of LAT1 function in vivo at the whole-body level. We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic individual skilled in techniques of molecular physiology and gene expression, ideally with experience of in vivo animal studies.
This position is funded by The Wellcome Trust and is available for 3 years.
Informal enquiries are welcome and should be directed to Dr Peter Taylor at email@example.com.
Further Project Details:-
The LAT1 amino acid (AA) transporter (SLC7A5) is widely-distributed in mammalian cells and performs an important function by extracting neutral AAs from the blood for metabolic processes including protein synthesis. It also acts as part of an AA “sensor” upstream of the mTOR signalling pathway which stimulates protein synthesis and cell growth. The primary purpose of this project is (through studies using conditional, inducible LAT1 knockout mice) to establish the importance of intracellular amino acid delivery by the LAT1 transporter for control of mammalian tissue growth in vivo and its relationship to activation of an intracellular signalling pathway (the mTOR-S6K axis) by amino acids absorbed from dietary protein. Post-natal inducible deletion of the LAT1 gene bypasses the problem that germline LAT1 knockout in mice is embryo lethal. The secondary purpose of the project is to determine whether LAT1 is an essential gene because of its importance for (a) foetal development or (b) placental function.
The results of the project will provide valuable new insights into the interactions between dietary protein intake and body growth, helping provide a rational basis to improve protein nutrition for postnatal growth and adult wellbeing. They will also have significant bearing on the potential development of LAT1 as a drug target with therapeutic potential in several areas:- (i) as a vector for targeted delivery of AA-based drugs to particular tissues (including tumours), (ii) as a stimulant to tissue growth (e.g. to counteract age-related muscle wasting) and (iii) in the application of LAT1 inhibitors as immunosuppressive or anti-cancer drugs.
How to Apply:-
To apply on-line please visit: www.dundee.ac.uk/jobs. If you are unable to apply on-line please contact Human Resources on (01382) 386209 (answering machine) for an application pack. Please quote reference number LS0072. Closing Date: 15 June 2011.
The University of Dundee is committed to equal opportunities and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.