Membranes are critical components of all cells, particularly eukaryotic cells, which use membranes to keep the machinery and ingredients for various reactions in separate spaces. Each type of membrane is studded with specialized machines, or proteins, that are unique to its function. These proteins function in transport, signalling, and chemical reactions – and often malfunction in the case of disease. Studying their structure is crucial to understanding their mechanism, and their impact on cell biology and disease.
Membrane protein structure is a focus area for the Subramaniam Lab at the NIH, which uses high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy to visualize protein structures.
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