This week BMC Seminar will be Thursday, 12th March at 12:00 in Room 343 in Læknagarður
Speaker: Eiríkur Steingrímsson, Professor at Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland
Title: From melanogaster to melanoma.
Short abstract: The Drosophila MITF gene was isolated and characterized over 10 years ago and shown to be expressed in the embryonic gut. However, the role of the gene in the fly was unclear. In collaboration with the Pignoni lab at Upstate University in Syracuse New York we have shown that the Drosophila bHLHZip transcription factor Mitf (homolog of the mammalian MiT-family proteins MITF, TFEB, TFE3 and TFEC) is a master regulator of the v-ATPase holoenzyme and that, through the v-ATPase, Mitf modulates the activity of the nutritional sensor TORC1, which in turn affects the cytoplasmic vs nuclear localization of Mitf and hence its transcriptional activity. Thus, Mitf, the v-ATPase and TORC1 form a regulatory loop that modulates the activity of each factor to maintain cellular homeostasis. The regulation of v-ATPase by Mitf and the regulatory loop were also found in human melanoma cells. Our current model is that an evolutionarily conserved Mitf/v-ATPase/TORC1 module functions as a dynamic modulator of metabolism in response to the ever changing nutritional and energy levels within the cell.