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Systematic cell biology - Moving beyond text-book schemes

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Cells are highly complex systems and as such require complex tools to study. Indeed, in the past years new tools have revolutionized our ability to move from the study of single genes to genomes and from single RNA molecules to global expression profiles. However, the main mediators of cellular function are proteins and therefore a true understanding of how proteins mature and target to their site of function is an additional, and essential, layer for understanding cell biology at a molecular level. For many years the pathways for protein biogenesis were studied for single proteins that were established as “model proteins” giving rise to simplified textbook schemes of cellular function. Proteins that did not use the known pathways were categorized as “exceptions to the rule” and often the pathways mediating their maturation were never uncovered. In the talk I will discuss new tools for assessing the biogenetic requirements of organelle proteins in the cell by combining toolsets for systematic proteomic studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These methods rely on the ability to rapidly generate tailor made collections of mutants and screen them via a fully automated high content screening platform. This approach should enable a new light to be shed on basic questions in cell biology, thus enabling a better understanding of the complex mechanisms that guide organelle biology in yeast.

This talk is part of the MRC LMB Seminar Series series.

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