*Seminar Series: IMB Seminar Series
*Location: QBP Auditorium, Bld 80
*Date: 23/06/2017
*Time: 12:30

Speaker #1 details
*Title of talk: Redesigned spider toxin with antimicrobial, anticancer and cell penetration properties
*Speaker's name: Dr Sónia Henriques
*Speaker's organisation: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ
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Talk Abstract: The increasing number of resistant bacteria is stimulating the search for alternative antibiotics. Antimicrobial peptides poses an interesting alternative as they are actively used by every species as part of the innate immune system. Gomesin, a 18-residues peptide with two disulfide bonds arranged with ladder connection, is expressed in hemocytes of the Brazilian spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana and was shown to have potent antimicrobial activity towards Gram-negative bacteria and selective anticancer properties against melanoma cells. In a recent study, a cyclic analogue of Gomesin was shown to be as active but more stable than its native form. In the current study we rationally designed a series of cyclic Gomesin analogues to improve its antimicrobial activity and investigate its mode-of-action. We successfully improved the activity by ~10-fold against tested Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria and melanoma cells without increasing toxicity. Mode-of-action studies revealed that cyclic Gomesin and its analogues act on bacteria and melanoma cells by targeting and disrupting cell membranes. Interestingly, cyclic Gomesin analogues were found to enter inside other tested human cell lines in a membrane-dependent but non disruptive way suggesting that membrane-disruption vs membrane-permeation is cell-type dependent and is very likely determined by cell membrane composition. In summary, we have designed stable cyclic Gomesin analogues with potent antimicrobial activity and with efficient cell-penetrating properties that can be used as stable scaffolds to deliver active sequences inside human cells. In addition, we have found that their mode-of-action and anticancer properties are dependent on the composition of the cell membrane.
Speaker's bio: Sónia Troeira Henriques graduated in Biochemistry in 2003, and obtained a PhD degree in Molecular Biophysics in 2008 (University of Lisbon, Portugal). In 2008, Dr Henriques was awarded an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship and started her postdoctoral research at the University of Queensland at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB). In 2009, Dr Henriques was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship and was appointed as invited lecturer in Portugal (Medicine School, University of Lisbon). Dr Henriques returned to IMB in 2012 upon reception of an ARC DECRA and she was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship in 2015. Dr Henriques research is focused on the study of membrane-active peptides, their mode of action at the cell membrane level, their potential use for drug design and/or as tools to deliver macromolecules into cells.

Speaker #2 details
*Title of talk: Elucidating the roles of nuclear hormone receptor and epigenetic signalling in breast cancer
*Speaker's name: Dr Tae Gyu Oh
*Speaker's organisation: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, UQ
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Talk Abstract: A major direction over the past five years has been to define the genome-wide functions and consequences of these genes in transcriptional regulation and clinical outcome, utilising the massively parallel Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The combination of molecular approaches and computational analysis of multi-omic data/cohorts is providing new insights into specific mechanisms that regulate gene expression and function, which are relevant to tumorigenesis and metastasis.
Speaker's bio: Tae Gyu Oh graduated in pharmacology and obtained training and expertise in mechanism of drug and clinical pharmacology in the Baptist Church hospital, South Korea. A PhD degree (Muscat lab) was granted in 2016. In 2014, Tae Gyu Oh was awarded from the US Endocrine society as outstanding abstract awardee. In 2015, Tae Gyu Oh was also selected as a speaker at the EMBO conference. From August 2017, Tae Gyu Oh will start postdoctoral position in Ron Evans lab, HHMI, SALK institute.

Other Details:
*Host name: Dr Nathan Palpant
Host phone number:
*Host email: imbevents@uq.edu.au