October 2011

A most hazardous journey

Protein targeting and translocation 

Protein delivery is a highly regulated event, and we continually add additional levels of complexity to our understanding of this process. During this session, we will further our current understanding about the routes that proteins take on their journeys across membranes.

Peter Walter (University of California, San Francisco) has pioneered our understanding of protein targeting and will discuss novel insights into the events that deliver proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane.

Gunnar von Heijne (University of Stockholm) will provide a detailed description of the requirements for transmembrane domain insertion mediated by the translocon.

William Clemons (California Institute of Technology) will describe new insights into novel pathways for the targeting of the special class of tail-anchored membrane proteins.

Are you a good protein or a bad protein? 

The next session, “Factors Modulating Protein Quality Control,” will highlight recent advances in our understanding of how proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum and in the cytoplasm misfold and are then recognized by distinct quality-control processes.

Jeffrey Brodsky (University of Pittsburgh) will describe novel approaches in which factors required for endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation, or ERAD, have been identified and characterized.

Richard Wojcikiewicz (State University of New York Upstate Medical School) will provide a fascinating example in which the regulated ERAD of a housekeeping protein in the endoplasmic reticulum, the IP3 receptor, is achieved.

Tricia Serio (Brown University) will discuss how things can go wrong on the other side of the membrane: Prions are infectious proteins that aggregate in the cytoplasm and cause disease. Her talk will feature new data on how prion conformation and chaperone association are linked to aggregate formation.

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