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Biology Seminar Series: Xin Gu, “Catching transcription factors for proteasomal degradation: a dance with chromatin”

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Xin Gu received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Peking University in 2015. She then obtained her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2021. For her doctoral studies, Xin focused on elucidating how organisms sense nutrients in their environment via the mTORC1 signaling pathway. She identified a novel nutrient sensor of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), an important metabolite used by all methyltransferases, as well as investigated the role of a conserved leucine sensor Sestrin in organismal physiology. Since 2021, Xin has been pursuing her post-doctoral work as a Damon Runyon Fellow in the laboratory of Michael E. Greenberg at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Neurobiology. Here, she discovered a non-canonical proteasomal degradation pathway that bypasses ubiquitination to achieve selective degradation of many transcriptional regulators, including the immediate early genes encoded proteins, c-Fos and EGR1. Her research program will characterize this novel degradative pathway using biochemical, structural, and cell biological tools. Additionally, genetically engineered animal models will be used to elucidate the roles of this pathway in organismal physiology, with the ambition of manipulating the pathway to modulate brain functions.

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