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Research GBB Molecular Cell Biology Student projects

“Investigating the export pathway of peroxisomal membrane proteins”


While a huge amount of research over the years has focussed on how proteins are imported into peroxisomes, little is known concerning how proteins are exported. Recent data from our group indicates that peroxisomal membrane proteins (PMPs) can be exported for degradation in the cytosol in a ubiquitin dependent manner. However, the mechanisms that govern PMP export are, for a large part, unknown.

Description of the project.

This project aims to identify additional proteins that are involved in the export process and to characterise them further. Techniques will include yeast culturing, general biochemistry, heterologous protein expression/purification and in vitro assays.

Relevant publications from the group

1.           Williams C & van der Klei IJ (2013) Pexophagy-linked degradation of the peroxisomal membrane protein Pex3p involves the ubiquitin–proteasome system. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 438(2):395-401.

2.           Williams C (2014) Going against the flow: A case for peroxisomal protein export. Biochim Biophys Acta - Molecular Cell Research.

3.           Williams C, et al. (2012) Insights into ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme/ co-activator interactions from the structure of the Pex4p:Pex22p complex. EMBO J 31(2):391-402.

4.           Williams C, van den Berg M, Stanley WA, Wilmanns M, & Distel B (2013) A disulphide bond in the E2 enzyme Pex4p modulates ubiquitin-conjugating activity. Scientific reports 3:12.


Dr. Chris Williams

Email: c.p.williams

Last modified:02 September 2015 3.24 p.m.