Protein secretion research in the north

August 31, 2011

Shortly I will start with an internship at the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Prof. Driessen). There I will deal with the mechanisms of protein secretion in bacteria. I will in more detail concentrate on the Sec-pathway. The dominant part of this process is achieved by a multi-subunit translocase. This protein consists out of a channel (trimeric SecYEG) which penetrates the lipid membrane. In addition SecA protein belongs to the complex which is some sort of molecular motor that mediates the stepwise protein translocation through the channel at the cost of ATP. Other important proteins during translocation are SecD, SecF and YajC which associate to SecYEG). Chaperones such as SecB guide secretory proteins through the channel, while co-translational targeting via the signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor SRPR is also possible. The latter case also occurs for membrane proteins.

The reasearch of the department, generally spoken, is to identify structure-function relations of the above named translocase. In order to achieve this it is important to concentrate on the chain of events during the process and the conformational changes of the participating molecules.

Shortly there will be more information on the topic. On the following website more information can be found: http://www.rug.nl/fmns-research/molecular-microbiology/research/proteintranslocation

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