Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

Staff Profile

Dr Yulia Yuzenkova

Royal Society University Research Fellow



 Research interests

I am interested in the process of prokaryotic transcription and its regulation. Apart from classic model organism, E.coli, I work with different species, including pathogenic bacteria and cyanobacteria, which is important to get generalised knowledge and might potentially benefit medicine and biotechnology. I am focusing on several areas of research:

Metal cofactors of RNA polymerase. Metal composition of RNA polymerase (RNAP) is known to profoundly influence fidelity of transcription and RNAP assembly. I am interested to know which metal cofactors RNAP uses in vivo depending on growth conditions and stresses.

Transcription machinery of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria is one of the most ancient and ecologically important groups of organisms on Earth, which produce 30% of atmospheric oxygen and convert inert air nitrogen to digestible forms. Yet, surprisingly little is known about gene expression in cyanobacteria; and few known facts bring more questions than answers. Apparently, cyanobacteria totally lack regulators, essential in other bacteria to coordinate transcription with other cellular processes, such as translation and replication. Which features of cyanobacterial minimal transcription machinery compensate for the absence of factors? Alternatively, this machinery may not be as stripped down as it seems, and cyanobacteria use yet unknown factors.

RNA trafficking in living bacterial cells. I would like to visualise the process of RNA synthesis and distribution in bacteria, using novel fluorescent-RNA technique. Of particular interest is RNA trafficking in highly organised (with thylakoids arranged like onion skins) cytoplasm of cyanobacteria.