Caput Cellular Protein Trafficking


Course Objective

The aim of this theoretical course for master students is to study a
number of recent, state-of-the-art review papers in the area
of protein secretion and cellular protein trafficking. The students will
get insight into the principles and mechanisms by which prokaryotic and
eukaryotic cells target and insert proteins into membranes and target
them them to subcellular organelles and the extracellular environment.
course will highlight the similarities between eukaryotic and
prokaryotic organisms in the mechanisms of protein secretion and
Furthermore the application of this knowledge and research in medical
sciences and in biotechnology is addressed. The emphasis is on bacterial
systems. End terms for the student:
- To know and understand the biochemical principles and molecular
and cellular processes that play a role in protein targeting to
- To know and understand the biochemical principles and the
molecular and cellular processes that play a role in the insertion of
membrane proteins into biomembranes
- To know and understand the biochemical principles and the
molecular and cellular processes that play a role in the transport of
proteins through biological membranes and into the extracellular

Course Content

A comparison of prokaryotic and eukaryotic protein trafficking systems
is made to elucidate their similarities and differences.

Protein trafficking in Gram-negative bacteria, like E. coli:
- Biogenesis of plasma membrane proteins.
- Targeting and assembly of periplasmic and outer membrane proteins.
- Protein translocation across membranes: secretion systems, their
structure, biology, and function.

Protein traffiscking in eukaryotes:
- Biogenesis of membrane proteins into the membrane of organelles
- intracellular protein trafficking and vesicle transport in the
endosomal system.

Teaching Methods

This course can be taken on an individual basis and is not restricted to
a certain period or time. When you are interested in following this
course, you can contact the coordinator; Peter van Ulsen. He will invite
you then for an introduction. In general the course follows this path:
- an introductory meeting with course coordinator (1h).
- Followed by self-study of the literature.
- An additional meeting for questions and discussion of the literature
can be arranged upon request. Questions may
also be asked via e-mail.
- students enroll for a written Exam.

Method of Assessment

Written exam with assay questions


As a basis Chapters 12 and 13 of the book "Molecular Biology of the
Cell",Alberts et al. Garland Science Ltd (6th edition; 2014) or later
editions can be

Reviews are used to study the specific topics of the course. These
1: Noinaj N, Rollauer SE, Buchanan SK. The β-barrel membrane protein
machinery from Gram-negative bacteria. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2015
doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Mar 19. Review. PubMed PMID:
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4476940.

2: Wang P, Dalbey RE. Inserting membrane proteins: the YidC/Oxa1/Alb3
in bacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011
Mar;1808(3):866-75. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2010.08.014. Epub 2010 Aug 26.
PubMed PMID: 20800571.

3: Schertzer JW, Whiteley M. Bacterial outer membrane vesicles in
communication and the host-pathogen interaction. J Mol Microbiol
2013;23(1-2):118-30. doi: 10.1159/000346770. Epub 2013 Apr 18. Review.
PMID: 23615200.

4: Ellis TN, Kuehn MJ. Virulence and immunomodulatory roles of bacterial
membrane vesicles. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2010 Mar;74(1):81-94. doi:
10.1128/MMBR.00031-09. Review. PubMed PMID: 20197500; PubMed Central

5: Cross BC, Sinning I, Luirink J, High S. Delivering proteins for
export from
the cytosol. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Apr;10(4):255-64. doi:
Review. PubMed PMID: 19305415.

6: Schleiff E, Becker T. Common ground for protein translocation: access
for mitochondria and chloroplasts. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011
doi: 10.1038/nrm3027. Epub 2010 Dec 8. Review. PubMed PMID: 21139638.

7: Costa TR, Felisberto-Rodrigues C, Meir A, Prevost MS, Redzej A,
Trokter M,
Waksman G. Secretion systems in Gram-negative bacteria: structural and
mechanistic insights. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 Jun;13(6):343-59. doi:
10.1038/nrmicro3456. Review. PubMed PMID: 25978706.

8: Brandizzi F, Barlowe C. Organization of the ER-Golgi interface for
traffic control. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jun;14(6):382-92. doi:
10.1038/nrm3588. Review. PubMed PMID: 23698585; PubMed Central PMCID:

9: Schmidt K, Stephens DJ. Cargo loading at the ER. Mol Membr Biol. 2010
Nov;27(8):398-411. doi: 10.3109/09687688.2010.506203. Review. PubMed

This list is subject to change, it can be updated and extended.

Target Audience

Students of all Master's programmes within Health and Life Sciences

General Information

Course Code AM_470605
Credits 6 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. J.P. van Ulsen
Examiner dr. J.P. van Ulsen
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: