The role of ribosylation in co-ordinating cell death and inflammation

The role of ribosylation in co-ordinating cell death and inflammation

Project details

Once infected by pathogens, host cells activate innate immune responses. ADP-ribosylation, catalysed by PARPs, is a recently emerging ‘battleground’ in host–pathogen conflicts.

TNF is a key component of the innate immune response and we recently discovered that: 

  1. tankyrase (PARP5A) mediated ADP-ribosylation prevents TNF-induced death by triggering removal of a TNFR1 induced cell death complex (Liu, Sci Adv 2022: eabh2332
  2. the SARS-CoV-2 macrodomain can remove this modification and unleash TNF killing. 

This is a way that cells protect themselves from infection, and has been likened to a ‘temple of doom’. The project will explore the consequences of these findings.

Students will learn most general molecular biology, tissue culture and cutting-edge protein biochemistry techniques. 

About our research group

Our lab is an international, multi-disciplinary group with a stimulating and supportive mix of post-docs, PhD students and research assistants (~10 people). Similarly, there are a broad mix of projects ranging from purely academic to commercially focused. Working in this environment exposes students to a wide range of experiences that will enable them to develop their career post-PhD in a way that suits their own career aspirations. This project is solely academic (most appropriate for a PhD); many PhD students from our lab have gone on to do post-docs in top European labs.


Email supervisors



Professor John Silke

John Silke
Laboratory Head; Leader, Infection, Inflammation and Immunity Theme

Project Type: