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The University of Southampton
Structural BiologyPart of Biological Sciences

Biol3012 Cell Membranes

Cell Membranes provides an understanding of the structures and functions of important membrane proteins and highlights the roles structural biology and biophysics play in elucidating this very complex and challenging molecular environment.

Membrane proteins and systems investigated in the Cell Membranes module cover those involved in transport of substrates across membranes, cell recognition and signalling and energy production.

Membrane proteins are the most difficult to prepare, handle and work with of all biomolecular systems. Finding conditions in which they will crystallise is a serious challenge. Membrane proteins make up less than 1% of all structures deposited in the PDB.

The requirement for structural information on membrane proteins is highlighted by the fact that genomic sequence analysis predicts 20-30% of proteins produced by most organisms will be integral membrane proteins, critical for cellular function and, crucially, represent 60-70% of current drug targets.

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