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The ERAD-L Pathway - From Recognition to Degradation of Misfolded Proteins

Corporate Fellowships
Awarded in 2006

GENENTECH-SUPPORTED FELLOWSHIP PROJECT - 2006

Postdoc: Shilpa Sambashivan(Chemical & Systems Biology)
Faculty Advisor: Axel Brunger (Molecular & Cellular Physiology)

The Endoplasmic Reticulum Associated Degradation pathway is an important quality control pathway that is essential for clearing misfolded proteins from cells in a timely manner thus preventing the accumulation of toxic aggregates. Aberrant functioning of the ERAD Pathway has been linked to several diseases including Parkinson’s disease. The pathway is highly evolved with specific branches of the pathway dedicated to the clearance of misfolded proteins in different cellular locations. Employing biochemical assays and structural techniques like X-ray crystallography, single-molecule studies, and electron microscopy, Shilpa and the Brunger lab were interested in determining the molecular interactions between misfolded proteins and the various components of the ERAD-L pathway.