MOLECULAR LEVEL INSIGHTS INTO THE POST-TRANSCRIPTIONAL CONTROL OF GENE EXPRESSION
Cells face the daunting challenge of synthesizing the correct number of proteins at the right time with high fidelity. In the Koutmou lab we study how the cells control the process of protein synthesis by the ribosome.
Overall process of protein synthesis (Top panel)
Our lab studies protein synthesis by the powerful molecular machine, the ribosome. This process begins when the ribosome forms on an mRNA blueprint (initiation). The ribosome then iteratively links amino acids together in the order specified by the mRNA (elongation) until it encounters a termination signal. At this time, the polypeptide is enzymatically released from the ribosome (termination). The speed and accuracy of the ribosome can be modulated/regulated at any of these steps.
Molecular level determinants of protein synthesis rates and fidelity (Bottom panel)
In the Koutmou lab we develop and implement analytical, biochemistry, and biophysical approaches to study protein translation. Our over arching goal is to develop a quantitative, mechanistic framework for understanding how mRNA sequence, peptide sequence, and the post-transcriptional/post-translational status of the protein synthesis machinery impact the rate and fidelity of protein synthesis.
If you want to learn more about our research, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.