SRP-mediated targeting of membrane proteins
The aim of the project is to investigate the role of the signal recognizing particle (SRP) and FtsY, the E. coli homologues of the eucaryotic SRP and docking protein, respectively, in the targeting of membrane proteins to the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli. Until recently, research on the targeting and assembly of membrane proteins in the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli has completely focussed on the so-called general secretory pathway (GSP) which involves the sec-proteins. It has become clear that not all membrane proteins or domains thereof require the sec-machinery to insert properly into the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli. This strongly points to the existence of more than one targeting mechanism for membrane proteins. Preliminary evidence strongly suggests that the SRP and FtsY are involved in the targeting of membrane proteins to the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli.