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Dr Steven Burston

Expertise

Proteins are the workforce of every cell and are synthesised by assembling amino acids in a particular sequence which is dictated by the genetic code of DNA. However, it is the folding of this string of amino acids into a unique three-dimensional shape which gives proteins their ability to function. My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of protein machines, termed molecular chaperones, which assist "protein quality control" within the biological cell i.e. they ensure that proteins are correctly folded in the right place at the right time, or alternatively that they are unfolded and degraded when necessary. This regulation of protein folding and degradation is essential for the survival of each cell. There are a number of diseases result in the malfunction of this system, which in turn may give rise to observed symptoms. Examples of these include BSE/CJD, Alzheimer's Disease, Huntington's Disease.

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Key words

  • protein folding
  • molecular chaperones
  • molecular motors