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Integration and topology of membrane proteins

by Boekel, Carolina, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Membrane proteins comprise around 20-30% of most proteomes. They play important roles in most biochemical pathways. All receptors and ion channels are membrane proteins, which make them attractive targets for drug design. Membrane proteins insert and fold co-translationally into the endoplasmic reticular membrane of eukaryotic cells. The protein-conducting channel that inserts the protein into the membrane is called Sec61 translocon, which is a hetero-oligomeric channel that allows transmembrane segments to insert laterally into the lipid bilayer. The focus of this thesis is how the translocon recognizes the transmembrane helices and integrates them into the membrane.We have investigated the sequence requirements for the translocon-mediated integration of a transmembrane ?-helix into the ER by challenging the Sec61 translocon with designed polypeptide segments in an in vitro expression system that allows a quantitative assessment of membrane insertion efficiency. Our studies suggest that helices might interact with each other already during the membrane-insertion step, possibly forming helical hairpins that partition into the membrane as a single unit. Further, the insertion efficiency for Nin-Cout vs. Nout-Cin transmembrane helices and the integration efficiency of Alzheimer’s A?-peptide fragments has been investigated.Finally, detailed topology mapping was performed on two biologically interesting proteins with unknown topology, the human seipin protein and Drosophila melanogaster odorant receptor OR83b.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Chemistry; Biochemistry; insertion; Sec61; translocation; biokemi; Biochemistry

ISBN:978-91-7155-827-5

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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