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Nianshu Zhang

Ageing (and hence longevity) is intimately related to the ability of an organism to cope with both intrinsic and extrinsic stresses. Nutrient starvation is one of the common but major stresses for all organisms. We use Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model to understand how eukaryotic cells regulate starvation-specific gene expression and how this regulation impacts on cell survival (chronological aging).

 

Currently, two complementary approaches are adopted to address the issue. One is to reveal the genetic interaction network governing stress response and chronological ageing. The other is to elucidate the mechanisms by which the nutrient starvation signals are transmitted and converged on transcription factors responsible for the activation of stress response. Furthermore, the knowledge gained from both approaches is being applied to develop novel expression systems for biotechnology.

 

Collaborators:

 

Jules Griffin (CSBC)

Hui Lu (University of Manchester)

Steve Oliver (CSBC)

Yanchun Yan (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences).

 

Key recent publications:

 

  1. Quan Z, Oliver SG, Zhang N (2011) JmjN interacts with JmjC to ensure selective degradation of Gis1 by the proteasome, Microbiology. 157: 2694-701.
  2. Zhang N and Bilsland E (2011) Contributions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae towards understanding mammalian gene function and therapy. Methods Mol Biol. 759: 501-23.
  3. Zhang N and Oliver SG (2010) The transcription activity of Gis1 is modulated by proteasome-mediated limited proteolysis. J. Biol. Chem. 285: 6465-6476.
  4. Zhang N, Wu J and Oliver SG (2009) Gis1 is required for transcriptional reprogramming of carbon metabolism and the stress response during transition into stationary phase in yeast. Microbiology. 155: 1690-8.