Biotech Updates

Biologists Discover New Mechanisms of Protein Transport in Plant Cells

August 16, 2017

Biologists led by Prof. Erika Isono from Konstanz University have discovered a previously unknown function of the SH3P2 protein, which has an important role in protein transport.

Plasma membrane proteins that will be degraded are transported to the vacoule, the largest compartment in the plant cell. For this reason, the transport pathway of a protein from the plasma membrane to the vacuole is one of the major transport pathways within a plant cell. The ubiquitin molecule marks the protein for transport, and transport proteins recognize and bind ubiquitin and carry it to the vacuole, where the protein will be degraded.

Isono's research discovered that the SH3P2 protein functions as a ubiquitin adaptor. It detects ubiquitin and guides it to the next station in the transport network called the ESCRT machinery, through which it reaches the vacuole. The research team is now looking at an additional protein called AMSH that plays a special role in this process. AMSH has the capability to remove ubiquitin.

For more details, read the news article in the Konstanz University website.