Dougan - Protein homeostasis in health and disease
Dr David Dougan
Senior Research Fellow, College of Science, Health and Engineering
Protein homeostasis (commonly known as proteostasis) is a fundamental biological process of all cells. It maintains protein quality within the cell and plays a crucial role in the overall health of an organism. At the front-line of this battle to maintain correct protein function within the cell, are proteins known as molecular chaperones and proteases. These "defence" proteins, not only play an important during the normal day-to-day running of a cell, but they also play a crucial role during periods of stress.
As such molecular chaperones and proteases are often thought to underpin the cells ability to survive hostile conditions and understanding how these proteins work to protect the cell may have important implications not only in disarming pathogens (to make them more sensitive to stressful conditions inside the host) but also in developing strategies to assist the cell in overcoming metabolic or age-related diseases.