Speaker: Dr. Andrea Berman, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
Title: Governing translation: LARP1 regulates protein synthesis at the most fundamental level
Abstract: We identified La-Related Protein 1 (LARP1) as novel cap-binding protein for terminal oligopyrimidine (TOP) mRNAs that encode various components of the translation machinery. LARP1 functions downstream of mTORC1 to directly regulate accessibility of 5’ end of TOP mRNAs to the eukaryotic initiation factor 4F (eIF4F) translation initiation complex. LARP1, therefore, serves as a gatekeeper of ribosome biogenesis – a biochemical process essential to cell growth and proliferation. Our newest biochemical, biophysical, and computational data have allowed us to hone in on the mechanisms underlying the RNA-binding specificity of LARP1 for capped TOP transcripts, thus providing important insights into how LARP1 functions at the molecular level.