Maansi Shah L&S Sciences
Discovering DivL interacting proteins in Caulobacter crescentus
DivL is an essential protein in Caulobacter crescentus that acts upstream of the master cell-cycle regulator, CtrA. Sequence analysis shows DivL to be homologous to histidine protein kinases, however, it has a tyrosine at its active site rather than a histidine. DivL is an essential protein but a mutant form of the protein, in which autophosphorylation is prevented by the substitution of phenylalanine for the tyrosine at the phosphorylation site, is still capable of supporting viability. Thus, DivL activates CtrA by a mechanism other than phosphorylation. The goal of my project is to identify proteins upstream or downstream of DivL in its cell-cycle regulation pathways via genetic screening, complementation analysis and sequencing. Discovering the identity of some of these proteins will give us insight into the function of an essential protein and help deepen our understanding of cell cycle regulation as a whole.