Membrane protein folding: from simplistic models to the biological reality of co-translation


  • Prof Paula Booth

    King's College London

Project summary

Cells in our bodies communicate with the outside world via proteins embedded in membranes that surround them. Like all components of living systems, membrane proteins must assemble themselves. Genes carry the code for proteins, but it is unclear how genetic information is translated into functional proteins. Proteins begin as a string of amino acids, which then fold up to the correct shape in the right part of the body. Flaws in the folding process result in malfunction and disease.

I will study folding while the protein amino acid string is being synthesised. Previous work has only looked at how proteins fold when fully formed and removed from their site of formation. As part of this step change in studying membrane protein folding, I will generate a high definition film of the process.    

My findings will improve our understanding of the process of membrane protein folding.