Signalling crosstalk during response to hyper- and hypo- osmotic shock in yeast

In this project we investigate adaptation mechanisms of yeast to hyper- and hypo-osmotic shock by a combination of mathematical modelling and experiments.

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The osmotic stress pathway (see Figure) in yeast are experimentally rather well understood signalling pathways that contain the evolutionarily conserved MAP kinase cascade module, which controls further protein kinases, transcriptional regulators and also affects the cell cycle. This framework represents a model of dynamic signalling, regulation mechanisms and cell cycle control with important implications for mammalian cells. Abrogated signalling or false cross-activation of MAP kinase pathways are implicated in human diseases such as cancer and inflammatory disorders. Therefore MAP kinase pathways are currently being explored as drug targets. A better understanding of the dynamic operation of these pathways, their regulation, crosstalk and interaction with the cell cycle offers new opportunities for drug discovery and for efficient individualised treatment based on the genetic setup of the patient (pharmacogenomics).