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Job-Art: Wissenschaftliche Jobausschreibungen

MASTER THESIS IN STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY - Structural basis of calcineurin inhibition by FATZ-1: implications in muscle fiber remodeling

Mster studies in biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry or related
Dept of Structural and Computational Biology, Max Perutz Labs, University of Vienna


The Djinovic Lab uses a combination of biochemical, biophysical and structural biology approaches to study the structure and assembly of sarcomeric Z-discs


Striated muscle is the responsible for movement in animals and is composed of muscle fibers. These are generally classified into two main types: slow- and fast-twitch. The first one is designed for continuous, extended muscle contraction over a long time period, while the latter is designed for short bursts of strength. The composition of muscle fibers is tightly regulated to enable an organism to respond and adapt to changing physical demands. Accordingly, the formation of slow-twitch muscle fiber is promoted and regulated by the protein phosphatase calcineurin and its downstream targets, such as the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT). In addition, it is well known that calcineurin is inhibited by sarcomeric Z-disc protein FATZ-1, also known as myozenin-1 or calsarcin-2, and as a consequence, FATZ-1-null mice exhibit an excess of slow-twitch muscle fibers (Frey et al. 2008; Seto et al. 2013). Although the mechanism by which calcineurin is inhibited by FATZ-1 has been characterized in detail in mice, very little is known about their interaction at the molecular level.


Job description: We are looking for a highly motivated and dedicated student to use an integrative structural biology approach to investigate calcineurin inhibition by FATZ-1 at the molecular level. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to (i) combine X-ray crystallography and SAXS to generate a structural model of the complex and (ii) use biochemical and biophysical methods to validate the mechanistic model.


Requirements: Studies of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Chemistry or related field. Interested students, please send CV and motivation letter to kristina.djinovic(at)univie.ac.at


Duration of thesis: 10 months, salary: 440 € per month. Beginning: immediately.


Name: Kristina Djinovic Carugo

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