Unraveling TOR-mediated signaling in relation to protein synthesis and nitrogen metabolism

01 October 2017 → 30 September 2020
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Regulation of metabolism
    • Intracellular compartments and transport
    • Plant genetics
plant growth nitrogen metabolism protein synthesis phosphoproteomics
Project description

The growth and development of organisms depends on beneficial environmental conditions and results from a tight regulation between cell division and elongation. The Target of Rapamycin (TOR) kinase has been identified as the key coordinator in growth-related processes such as protein synthesis, ribosome biogenesis and cell division. The TOR signaling pathway upon energy and nutrient sensing is largely conserved amongst eukaryotes. However, many plant orthologues of regulatory components of TOR kinase activity are missing, pointing to the existence of plantspecific growth mechanisms which are to date poorly understood. This project will elaborate on the function of TOR in protein synthesis, based on a novel link discovered in our group between the TOR complex and translation initiation factors. In addition, our research will explore a function for TOR signaling and specific downstream targets involved in nitrogen metabolism in Arabidopsis and maize. Altogether, this project will shed light on the crosstalk mechanisms between TOR, protein synthesis and the nitrogen metabolism and create opportunities to optimize plant growth under limiting nitrogen conditions towards a more sustainable agriculture.