Mechanisms of membrane protein quality control


  • Prof Pedro Carvalho

    University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Project summary

All cells in our body are highly compartmentalized by small membrane-bound structures or ?organelles?, each with a unique identity and a specialized set of functions. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the largest of these organelles and carries out several essential functions. For example, it produces membrane proteins through which cells communicate with their environment, and the lipids that build cellular membranes. Optimal coordination of these various functions, requires certain ER proteins to be degraded either because they are abnormal, no longer needed or simply because they are in the wrong place. Accumulation of these unwanted proteins in the ER has dire consequences to cellular physiology and might result in diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. However, how among the thousands of proteins of the ER some are selected for degradation, the signals involved and how these are decoded, is not known and will be the focus of these studies.