I'm a member of Professor Colin Robinson's group whose research focuses on the twin-arginine translocase (Tat). This large membrane protein complex is unique in its capability of transporting large, fully-folded proteins across the cytoplasmic/thylakoid membrane of bacteria/chloroplasts.
Interest in this complex arises from its capability to transport biotechnologically relevant proteins into the periplasmic space and growth medium. It is also implicated in bacterial virulence. Currently, it is unknown how Tat achieves such an impressive feat without jeopardising membrane integrity. The focus of my PhD is to try and gain structural insight into the Tat translocase, which will undoubtedly assist the elucidation of Tat's mechanism of action.
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