Molecular basis of DNA recognition by SOG1: the master regulator for DNA damage control in plants

Project Details


DNA is the most important molecule in every living cell. DNA damage
leads to abnormalities and diseases. Therefore, every organism
needs to protect its DNA. Upon damage, the DNA must be repaired
as soon as possible and the division of cells with damaged DNA
must be stopped. Plants and animals achieve this through the DNA
Damage Response (DDR) pathway. In animals, this is centrally
controlled by the well-known p53, but in plants this is less clear.
Here, SOG1 was proposed as a master regulator responsible for a
correct DDR. The SOG1 protein belongs to the NAC family, a large
plant-specific protein family implicated in the development and stress
resistance of plants. Despite its important function, little is known
about SOG1 and the way it functions. In this project, the structurefunction relationship of the SOG1 protein of Arabidopsis thaliana is
investigated, with special attention to its DNA binding specificity in
vitro, to answer the question how SOG1 is able to differentially
regulate over 300 genes. The specificity of SOG1 for different DNA
sequences will be studied as well as its structure in complex with
DNA. In addition, it will be investigated how this process is influenced
by phosphorylation and by its two intrinsically disordered domains.
Together, this will lead to novel insights in the action of NAC proteins,
which in the future could potentially lead to applications to increase
crop yields.
Effective start/end date1/11/2131/10/25


  • intrinsically disordered proteins
  • Structural biology
  • Plant cell cycle

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Proteins
  • Structural biology
  • Molecular biophysics
  • Plant cell and molecular biology


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