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Analysis of the of the interaction between the SecY protein translocation complex and its substrate pre-protein

Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: BB/F007248/1
Funded under: BBSRC Funder Contribution: 312,473 GBP

Analysis of the of the interaction between the SecY protein translocation complex and its substrate pre-protein

Description

An ancient and essential development for life on Earth has been the evolution of a thin film of lipids that surround and form each cell. These membranes provide a barrier to water and hydrophilic solutes. They serve to isolate biological reactions from the outside, and offer the potential to separate charge and to communicate and combine with one another to form complex structures. More complicated cells also contain internal membrane structures that provide a further division for chemical reactions and generation of electric potentials. These events facilitated the ability to harness energy and to develop and maintain the complex structures and biochemistry of the cell. The necessary exchange of materials across lipid membranes between the outside and different compartments gives rise to a transport problem for small and large molecules alike. Proteins are large polymers of amino acids made according to the genetic code of each respective gene in the cell cytosol. In order to perform their specific roles many of them need to be specifically targeted and delivered to alternative locations. This requires that they pass either across or into a specific membrane. This proposal aims to learn more about this important process using the bacterial cell membrane as a model system. The apparatus responsible for protein movement across membranes has been purified. The interaction of this protein channel and its polypeptide substrate will be studies using a variety of biochemical and biophysical approaches that we have at our disposal. New findings in this area will have implications in the understanding of protein translocation. Moreover, they will also help us understand numerous other important problems in biology that involve the interaction of protein complexes with polypeptides.

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