Peroxisomes are organelles responsible for essential metabolic processes such as fatty acid oxidation. These organelles contain specialized machinery for protein import and membrane protein insertion. These systems have been well characterized at the genetic, cellular and biochemical level and there is a good understanding of the number and identity of the different components and their functional relationships. There is however a lack of structural information about the proteins that are involved in the two machineries, which is reflected in the relatively poor molecular detail of the respective mechanistic models.
The general aim of this proposal is the determination of crystal structures of different proteins and protein complexes from the two systems. These structures will reveal molecular details about the different protein components and will provide new insights about the mechanisms of peroxisomal matrix import and membrane protein insertion.
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