University of Cambridge > > CUED Control Group Seminars > Microbial growth behavior and the control of protein synthesis in and out of steady state

Microbial growth behavior and the control of protein synthesis in and out of steady state

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Fulvio Forni.

Fast growth is central for microbial life and microbes thus need to finetune their cell machinery for rapid biomass accumulation. In this talk I discuss recent advances in understanding this coordination for the model organism Escherichia coli. Via the lens of a low-dimensional theory I particularly consider how growth is shaped by a balance between protein synthesis (via ribosomes) and the metabolic processes which are needed to sustain ribosomal activity. An extensive comparison with data establishes the mathematical framework and shows how cells adjust the balance between metabolism and ribosome activity to navigate the constraints of protein synthesis in steady conditions. Mechanistically this balance is accomplished by a control circuit in which the molecule guanosine pentaphosphate serves as a central regulator which senses the availability of metabolites and controls the synthesis of metabolic and ribosomal proteins. I discuss the functioning of this circuit and how its mathematical implementation allows to predict cellular growth even beyond steady growth and when conditions rapidly change.

The seminar will be held in the JDB Seminar Room, Department of Engineering, and online (zoom):

This talk is part of the CUED Control Group Seminars series.

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