June 29, 2022
Cell resistance to drugs is a growing problem in medicine. Proteins in the cell membrane, so-called transporters, are primarily responsible for this multidrug resistance (MDR). These proteins shuttle the drugs back out of the cell before they can become effective. A joint project of Jacobs University Bremen and Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), is now investigating the properties of the transporter Pdr5, which acts as a pump. This is particularly suitable as a model system.
Among the multitude of multidrug resistance transporters, Pdr5 possesses a number of singular properties that are highly relevant in the context of MDR. For example, the research groups involved in the joint project were able to show that this membrane protein transports protons in addition to its substrates and thus generates some of its own energy. Now the researchers also want to solve the mystery of the molecular functioning of this transporter: for this, they are investigating, among other things, the mechanism of the co-transport of protons and are exploring the underlying dynamics and energetics during the transport cycle of Pdr5.
At Jacobs University the research project is led by Richard Wagner, Professor of Biophysics. His particular expertise is in the field of membrane transport in cells and cell organelles. At Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf the research group of biochemist Professor Lutz Schmitt is conducting the research on Pdr5. The project entitled "Communication between provision of energy and substrate translocation in the ABC transporter Pdr5" is funded by the DFG with approx. 235,000 euros over a period of three years.
Questions answered by:
Professor of Biophysics
Tel: +49 421 200-3136
Email: ri.wagner [at] jacobs-university.de