Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Walker, Graham C.
Location Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Primary Field Genetics
Secondary Field Biochemistry
 Election Citation
Walker has made distinguished contributions in two distinct areas. In DNA repair, he identified the co-regulated complex of DNA repair genes of E. coli, and elucidated activation of the mutagenic repair DNA polymerase V. In studying plant-microbe interactions, he characterized extracellular polysaccharides and membrane proteins essential for infection.
 Research Interests
Dr. Walker's research helped make the bacterial SOS response a paradigm for how cells respond to DNA damage, while his studies of the umuDC and dinB gene products laid the groundwork for the discovery of the Y family of TLS DNA polymerases. His current interests in bacterial DNA repair include determining the biological roles of DinB (DNA pol IV), investigating a previously unrecognized NusA-dependent pathway of transcription-coupled repair, and elucidating how the incorporation of oxidized nucleotides into DNA contributes to the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of antibiotics. His current research on eukaryotic TLS DNA polymerases focuses on whether interfering with the Rev1/3/7-dependent branch of mutagenic translesion synthesis could help to improve chemotherapy. His work on the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms by which defensin-like nodule-specific cysteine rich (NCR) peptides alter the bacterial cell cycle to undergo rounds of endoreduplication and force terminal differentiation into nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. His discovery of its symbiotic role stimulated him to discover that YbeY is previously unrecognized important metal-dependent endoribonuclease that is present in almost all bacteria and plays central roles in RNA metabolism. He is currently investigating YbeY's role in 16S rRNA processing, 70S ribosome quality control, and small RNA regulation.

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