News and Events
Topic: Body Temperature Controlled Kinase Activity: from Rhythmic Alternative Splicing in Mammals to Sex Determination in Reptiles
Date: 12/06/2019
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Venue: Room 407-8, 4/F, Li Ka Shing Medical Sciencs Building, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories
Category: Conferences

Seminar Poster

Professor Florian Heyd
Professor of RNA Biochemistry,
Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
Freie Universität Berlin,

About the Speaker:
Professor Florian Heyd studied biochemistry in Berlin and Cambridge (England). He obtained the PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) from Essen University in 2006 and then moved to Montreal for a first postdoc. He joined the lab of Kristen Lynch in Dallas in 2008 for a second postdoc and relocated with the lab to Philadelphia in 2009. In 2011, Professor Heyd moved to Marburg, Germany, where he started as an independent PI with an Emmy-Noether-Fellowship from the DFG. He have been Professor of RNA Biochemistry at the FU Berlin since 2013.
Professor Heyd's current research focuses on the regulation and functional impact of alternative splicing during activation of mouse and human T cells as well as in the brain, for example in a time of day dependent manner.

Endothermic organisms maintain their core body temperature in a narrow range with subtle circadian oscillation, tissue-specific differences or alterations in pathological conditions. In contrast, ectotherms adapt to the external temperature, which, in some reptiles, induces temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). However, a molecular thermometer that is able to sense small changes in temperature has remained elusive. Here Professor Heyd’s group show that the activity of CDC-like kinases (CLKs) is highly responsive to physiological temperature changes. Lower body temperature activates CLKs, resulting in strongly increased phosphorylation of SR-repeats, with wide implications for circadian, tissue-specific and disease-associated alternative splicing and pre-mRNA processing. Temperature sensitivity is conferred by conformational changes, which at higher temperature, blocks substrate access to the active centre. CLK temperature-sensitivity is conserved across evolution and adapted to growth temperatures of diverse ectotherms. Interestingly, the dynamic temperature range of reptilian CLK homologs suggests a role as molecular thermometer controlling TSD.

CME Accreditation:
* One CME point for attendance pending for approval by the Medical Council of Hong Kong (MCHK).


All are welcome.
For enquiries, please contact Mr. Jonathan Lee at 3763 6005.