Lipid-Protein Interactions in Cellular Processes

Lipid-Protein Interactions in Cellular Processes

Purification of intrinsic membrane proteins and their reconstitution into functional lipoprotein complex is a difficult problem, albeit its solution may hold the key to the unraveling of important processes in cell biology, e.g. intracellular membrane traffic, membrane fusion and fission, cell-virus interaction, and many others. In the absence of a generally applicable method for membrane proteins purification, we are using two approaches: (i) systematic investigations on the mechanism of action of a large variety of detergents, with the aim of discovering patterns in their behavior towards membranes and membrane proteins (towards a rational membrane proteomics), and (ii) purification and reconstitution of different membrane proteins, again in the hope of finding common patterns of behavior. Along the latter line of research we are now pursuing the purification of human autophagy proteins (Atg) in view of reconstituting pre-autophagosomal structures.

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