Genome Technology Center

Charting Membrane Protein Interaction Maps with "druggable" Integral Membrane Proteins - from Yeast to Humans

Igor Stagljar, University of Toronto


Due to their pivotal role in many cellular processes, their direct link to human diseases and their extracellular accessibility to drugs, the identification of proteins associated with integral membrane proteins is desirable. However, due to their complex chemical properties, membrane proteins are very hard to manipulate, making the study of their corresponding interactors even more challenging. Previously, our lab developed a yeast-based genetic technology for the in vivo detection of membrane protein interactions, called the split-ubiquitin membrane yeast two-hybrid (MYTH) system. Our current efforts are directed to identify, characterize, and perturb focused collections of membrane proteins in an effort to understand complex biological processes such as cell signaling and membrane transport at a systems level. During my talk, I will discuss exciting new findings indicating that the newly identified interactors play novel roles in regulating the activity of several yeast and human integral membrane proteins of medical importance. Our initial success suggests that the MYTH system, whose unique strength lies in its ability to identify interactors for the full-length integral membrane proteins, represents a robust technology that will be versatile in identifying key interactors for the majority of integral membrane proteins from any organism.

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