Nuclear phosphoinositides: greasing the wheels of transcription

Phosphoinositides are a family of phospholipid messenger molecules that control various aspects of cell biology in part by interacting with and regulating downstream protein partners. Importantly, phosphoinositides are present in the nucleus.  They form part of the nuclear envelope and are present within the nucleus in nuclear speckles, intra nuclear chromatin domains, the nuclear matrix and in chromatin. What their exact role is within these compartments is not completely clear, but the identification of nuclear specific proteins that contain phosphoinositide interaction domains suggest that they are important regulators of DNA topology, chromatin conformation and RNA maturation and export. For example the Plant Homeo domain (PHD) finger, which is largely present in nuclear proteins that regulate chromatin, is a receptor for nuclear phosphoinositides. I will discuss how phosphoinositides are regulated in the nucleus and how they might impact on transcriptional output by their interaction and regulation of epigenetic modulators. 

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Dr Len Stephens
The Brian Heap Seminar Room