Friday, 6 April 2018

Mutant bacteria to study changes in membrane proteins

Fluctuations in phospholipid composition can cause changes in membrane protein function, providing a previously unrecognized way to control cellular processes.

There are two types of membrane proteins inside the phospholipid environment. Hydrophilic (water-loving) are exposed on the membrane surface where they stably interact with the aqueous environment surrounding membranes, and hydrophobic (water-repelling) are exposed to the interior of membranes.

Because of this balance of hydrophilic and hydrophobic proteins on the inside and outside side of the cell membrane, the conditions remain stable.

To find out, researchers constructed mutants of the bacterium Escherichia coli and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in which the composition of these "building blocks" could be varied. How cells regulate various processes is central to maintaining cell viability, and it's a unique property of each cell type.

For further details see:

119-Plat - "Lipids as determinants of membrane protein structure" is authored by William Dowhan, Mikhail Bodanov and Heidi Vitrac. It will be presented at 10 a.m. PST, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, in the Esplanade, Room 156 of the Moscone Center, South. Abstract: … 1290aae09439cc2f9905

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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