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MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS LABORATORY

Areas of Research
 
  • Mitochondrial Membrane Protein Folding, Function, and Regulation
  • Membrane Protein Folding and Misfolding
  • Molecular Experimental Biophysics
Vacancy / PhD positon available
 
Potential Ph. D. students interested in working with cutting-edge biophysical technology and in correlating molecular details of mitochondrial membrane protein function with oxidative stress and its in cell regulation are strongly encouraged to apply. S/He must have strong motivation and ambition to succeed in challenging research questions related to human membrane proteins.
 
 
 
Current Research
 
 

Transmembrane beta-barrels of the mitochondrial outer membrane are vital for metabolite transport, sequestering misfolded proteins, and maintaining cell homeostasis. Mitochondrial outer membrane proteins (mOMPs) are also important in ROS suppression, aging, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. We address the biogenesis and function of mOMPs at the molecular and cellular level. We correlate structure-folding-function in the mitochondrial metabolite transporter VDAC (Voltage-Dependent Anion Channel), the main component of Sorting and Assemby Machinery (SAM), namely Sam50, and the mitochondrial import channel Tom40 of the Translocases of the Outer Membrane (TOM) complex. We elicit molecular details of mOMP assembly, and correlate mOMP folding with its function. We determine how the interactome of the outer mitochondrial membrane governs cell survival, and the onset of aging, cancer or neurodegeneration. We also understand how bacterial OMPs (mitochondrial ancestors) fold and function.

The ultimate goal of the research in my laboratory is to identify a functional link between proteostasis, membrane protein remodelling and quality control, and occurrence of disease states.

 

 

Dr. R. Mahalakshmi

Associate Professor

Biological Sciences

Dr. R. Mahalakshmi

 

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