Seminar Series – 23 June

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SymbNET Online Seminar Series

Monthly seminars on host-microbe symbiosis, genomics, and metabolomics, with two talks from SymbNET researchers.

The seminars are open and free to all, but registration is required.

Please register once for the entire seminar series.




15:00 WEST / 16:00 CEST  

Mikhail Savitski 

Affiliation:  Stability Proteomics for assessing the state of the ProteomeProteomics Core Facility | EMBL, Germany

Title: Deciphering cellular phenotypes using biophysical proteomics

Abstract: Thermal stability of proteins can be measured in living cells on a proteome-wide scale using thermal proteome profiling, TPP. While the technology was initially developed to identify drug targets, the improvements in sensitivity now make it possible to detect thermal stability changes which result from modulation of protein-protein, protein-metabolite, protein-DNA interactions etc. Thus TPP has the ability to phenotype cellular states and capture functionally relevant changes not accessible to expression proteomics. Recently we combined TPP with reverse genetics to map the functional landscape of the model organism E. coli. This study will be presented in the talk and will provide an outlook on how this is applicable to the much less well characterized gut microbiome species.



15:30 WEST / 16:30 CEST  

Élio Sucena 

Affiliation: Evolution and Development Lab | FCG-IGC, Portugal

Title: How the larva got its fly: the co-option of immune mechanisms in the evolution of metamorphosis

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed the rise of the so-called integrative biology, which fundamentally consists on the dilution of discipline borders to move the explanatory level towards organism-based mechanisms. The evolution of insect metamorphosis has required the establishment of new cross-talks between multiple organ systems and processes, thus constituting a privileged stage for such integrative questions.
In this work, we unveil a mechanistic link between hormones and immunity in the metamorphosis developmental programme of Drosophila melanogaster by establishing that:
1. There is a peak of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) expression at the onset of metamorphosis which involves three main players: drosomycin, drosomycin-like 2 and drosomycin-like 5;
2. This peak is dependent on the ecdysone peak that induces metamorphic moult;
3. This peak of AMP expression is independent of bacteria presence and canonical immune pathways;
4. This peak of AMPs influences the persistence of bacteria throughout metamorphosis.
Furthermore, we show that this immune response acts both locally and systemically deploying specific AMPs in each of these contexts, through ecdysone signalling in a Broad-dependent manner.
This endocrine regulation of immunity effectors at the onset of metamorphosis increases the success of this developmentally critical period and, by extension, that of the holometabolan programme. We speculate that this co-option of immunity by the metamorphosis programme may constitute an anticipatory response that has evolved to face the strong selective pressure imposed by the inherent risk of infection this novel transition entails.

Catarina Nunes [1], Takashi Koyama [1][2], Élio Sucena [1][3]: [1] Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal; [2] Department of Biology University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; [3] Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal