Every living cell is surrounded by a membrane that separates the inside of the cell from the environment. Embedded in this membrane are proteins that fulfill functions that are essential for the survival of the cell. A central question is how these membrane proteins are incorporated in the membrane without compromising the integrity of the cell. Insight in this membrane insertion process is largely obtained by studies in bacteria, where it occurs in a similar way as in human cells. Membrane proteins are synthesized at ribosomes inside the cell and subsequently transferred to the membrane embedded Sec-translocon. In addition to the Sec-translocon also the so-called YidC insertase can insert membrane proteins. The thesis of Zht Cheng Wu shows that binding of ribosomes to the Sec-translocon or YidC insertase is a critical step during the early stages of membrane protein insertion. Ribosomes only bind specifically to the Sec-translocon or YidC insertase when they are charged with newly synthesized membrane proteins. Some bacteria have multiple YidC insertases with different functions. In contrast to previous suggestions, these YidC insertases appear to bind ribosomes in a similar fashion. Therefore the functional difference between these YidC insertases must be due to their substrate specificity rather than their mechanism of membrane insertion. These new insights are important for further development of antibiotics against the membrane insertion process, an activity that is essential for the survival of the cell.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[S.l.]|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|