The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: The role of glucose metabolism in the regulation of immunity

Villadangos Group

O-GlcNAc glycosylation involves addition of a single sugar, β-N-acetylglucosamine, to serine or threonine residues of proteins. It is a unique type of glycosylation found on nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. The addition and removal of O-GlcNAc is catalysed by O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAse (OGA) respectively. It is a reversible modification akin to phosphorylation. Indeed, O-GlcNAc glycosylation occurs in dynamic interplay with phosphorylation, either on the same or adjacent residues. The cross-talk between these two modifications in turn regulates various cellular processes. We are characterising the function of O-GlcNAc glycosylation in immune cells by identifying changes in patterns of glycosylation in different metabolic states and upon encounter of pathogens. The function of glycosylated proteins will be further studied to understand the relevance of their O-GlcNAc status in various immune cell activities.

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Project Supervisor

Professor Jose Villadangos

Project Co-supervisor

Dr Nishma Gupta

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

Villadangos Group

[email protected]

3 vacancies

Host Pathogens Interactions
Cross Cutting Disciplines
Discovery Research
Translational and Clinical Research

The Villadangos group studies the first event that triggers adaptive immune responses: the presentation of pathogen or tumour antigens to T cells by dendritic cells, B cells and macrophages. We are characterising the development, regulation and impairment of antigen presenting cells by pathogens, inflammatory mediators and tumours. We are also dissecting the biochemical machinery involved in antigen capture, processing and presentation. We use this knowledge to understand how T cell-dependent immunity is initiated and maintained, and apply it to design better vaccines and immunotherapies against infectious agents and cancer.

Villadangos Group Current Projects