November 5, 2008
BioE and Chemical Engineering Professor Jay Keasling’s joint proteomics study has uncovered a protein link that may help fight tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Keasling and collaborators at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered proteins residing in the immune system and the self-cleaning system by which cells rid themselves of unwanted parts that point to “cross-talk” between them.
In partnership with Chemistry Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, profiles were obtained for 546 different types of proteins in the membrane of a phagosome, an organelle of macrophages (a type of white blood cell) that essentially “eats” and destroys invading organisms (a process called phagocytosis). This represents the most comprehensive proteomic analysis of a phagosomal membrane to date.
Phagocytosis is the process by which a macrophage type white blood cell engulfs a bacterium in a membrane-bound shell called a phagosome. The phagosome fuses with a lysosome which carries digestive enzymes that destroy the bacterium.
Read the full story at Lawrence Berkeley Lab.