Peter Graumann

Investigations of the mode of specific localization for membrane proteins in Bacillus subtilis


Several bacterial membrane proteins and membrane-associated proteins have been shown to localize in a specific pattern within or at the membrane. For example, proteins of the Bacillus subtilis system for cell shape maintenance localize in a helical pattern within and underneath the membrane, competence proteins transiently accumulate at a single cell pole, and sporulation proteins relocalize from the cell membrane to the polar division septum. The mechanism(s) underlying these non-uniform membrane localization patterns and dynamics are completely unknown, yet fundamentally important. It has recently become possible to follow localization dynamics within live cells, using techniques such as FRAP (photo bleaching) and photo activation (PA). The goal of this research proposal is to investigate different patterns of membrane proteins in terms of dynamic exchange with non-localized proteins, and to attempt to follow their path of membrane insertion in space and in time. We are also screening for interaction partners of membrane proteins in Bacillus subtilis, to establish which interaction networks exist within a bacterial membrane.

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