Structure – Function Relationship of Proteins
The Structure-Function Relationship lab focuses primarily on understanding how protein function is regulated through protein-protein interactions and conformational changes. In particular, we are interested in identifying the molecular mechanisms that govern the processes of protein transport across membranes. Protein transport across the bacterial membrane is an essential process in prokaryotes. At the moment we are working with the Tat bacterial transport system. The Tat pathway is necessary for respiration, cell division and motility, quorum sensing, resistance to heavy metals, iron acquisition, and biofilm formation. The Tat pathway, on the other hand, is necessary for virulence in all the pathogens evaluated. The unique ability of the Tat system to transport folded proteins is also attractive for biotechnological processes. In our group, we study the Tat system using biophysical techniques (chromatography, fluorescence, and circular dichroism), molecular biology, NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and in vivo analysis.
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