THESIS DEFENSE — PUBLIC SEMINAR: A STRUCTURE-FUNCTION STUDY OF MFSD2A

Start Date & Time: 
Friday, 2 June, 2017 - 14:00
End Date & Time: 
Friday, 2 June, 2017 - 15:00
Venue: 

Training Room 5C, Level 5,  Duke-NUS

Speaker: 
Speaker Details: 

QUEK QIAO YUN DEBRA
IBM PhD PROGRAM (INTAKE 2013)

Synopsis: 

Our lab showed previously that the major facilitator superfamily domain containing protein 2A (MFSD2A) transports lysophospholipids, and that its function is critical for normal mouse brain development. Here, we investigate the importance of the membrane transporter MFSD2A for human brain development and function. We found that MFSD2A transport function is essential for brain development and function in humans just as in mice. Further, our results support the hypothesis that MFSD2A preferentially takes up LPCs having monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acyls. This suggests that LPCs having saturated fatty acids are particularly critical for normal human brain development and function.

There was previously no information in the literature about the structure and transport mechanism of MFSD2A. This information is important for two reasons. First, MFSD2A is a physiologically important transporter. Second, MFSD2A is found at the blood-brain barrier (BBB), where it has the potential to act as a conduit for drug uptake across the BBB for treatment of brain diseases. An elucidated structure will facilitate the design of drugs and pro-drugs. Here, we present the first structural models of human MFSD2A, built using a combination of computational and biochemical approaches.

Thesis Advisor  :  
Prof. David Silver