UMass Boston News

Spring 2017 Biology Seminar Series: Hemayet Ullah

Graphic showing cellular and viral mRNAs translation
Event Date: April 28, 2017 - 3 p.m.
Event Type: Student Event
Location: Integrated Sciences Complex, 3rd Floor, Room 3300

Biology Professor Adan Colon-Carmona is hosting this week's Seminar Series. He is bringing in guest speaker Dr. Hemayet Ullah from Howard University. His talk is entitled, "Host-Targeted Antiviral (HTA) compounds: Arabidopsis Scaffold Protein RACK1 Facilitates Development of Broad HTAs." The discussion abstract is as follows: 

"RACK1 (Receptor for Activated C Kinase 1) is a WD-40 type scaffold protein family protein, conserved in single cell eukaryote yeast to human and plays regulatory roles in diverse signal transduction and stress response pathways. Loss of function mutant in the predominant isoform-RACK1A in the model plant Arabidopsis indicates it regulates diverse environmental stress resistance and developmental pathways through a negative regulation of stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway.  It is hypothesized that chemical knock-out, as opposed to genetic knock-out, of RACK1A will provide a functional advantage (fertilizer additive) in protecting crops from diverse environmental stress through the effect of hypersensitivity to ABA. Dozens of small compounds based on our lab derived crystal structure of RACK1A are isolated (patented) and functionally tested as their ability to provide resistance to diverse environmental stresses in crop plants.

Recent report indicates that host RACK1 protein regulates Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES) utilizing hepatitis C virus replication in human cell line (Majzoub et al., 2014).  RACK1 is found to be an essential determinant for HCV translation and infection. Inhibition of RACK1 did not affect Drosophila or human cell viability and proliferation, and RACK1-silenced adult flies were viable, indicating that this protein is not essential for general translation. More than 65 different viruses, including many human pathogenic viruses utilize IRES based translation. The findings demonstrate a specific function for RACK1 in IRES based mRNA translation and uncover a target for the development of broad antiviral intervention (patented)."

To view the event flyer, click here. To view the whole schedule for the Spring 2017 Biology Seminar Series, click here.  

Please note the time difference. 

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit two weeks prior to the event.