FONCyT PhD Fellow
Director: Guillermo Montich
PhD Thesis Topic
Regulation of conformation and functionality of membrane proteins by the lipid environment
The functionality of both peripheral and integral membrane-associated proteins may be controlled by the physical properties of the lipid membrane. The surface density of charges due to ionized polar groups determines the electrical potential of surface and association of peripheral proteins by electrostatic interactions. Several cellular processes are triggered by the interaction of protein with lipid of high density such as phosphatidyl inositols. The activity of phospholipases associated peripherally depends on the status of phase and lateral mobility of lipid substrate. The variety of functions performed by integral proteins, such as transport of ions, transport of metabolites, side electron transport, biosynthesis of ATP, light energy capture, among several others, it is finely regulated by the potentially with the lipid environment. It therefore intends to study the regulation of the construction and functionality of integral and peripheral proteins of the membrane by lipid environment. We will use experimental strategies (measurement of constants of union, FTIR and circular dichroism spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry) to study interactions and conformational changes. Molecular dynamics simulations to study the organization of lipids in the vicinity of the linkers segments.