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In all cells, regulated proteolytic events constantly sculpt and shape the proteome. In response to environmental conditions, proteolysis regulates cellular activities by adjusting gene expression, signal transduction and enzymatic activities. Equally important, intracellular proteolysis is a fundamental wing of protein quality control systems, as it eliminates misfolded proteins, especially under folding-stress conditions.

The enzymes that carry out most of the intracellular regulated proteolysis are AAA+ proteases. These are complex molecular machines that couple ATP-hydrolysis to substrate processing and degradation. These enzymes were carefully select their substrates and carry out proteolysis in a highly regulated manner that minimizes recognition errors, thereby allows intracellular proteolysis to proceed without damaging cell functioning.

Our lab use bacterial model systems to study the substrate-recognition principles and the mechanism of protein degradation by AAA+ proteases. In addition, as proteolysis regulates the virulence of many pathogenic bacteria, we develop inhibitors of AAA+ proteases and proteolytic pathways with the aim of using them as antibiotic compounds.
Check out our the Gur lab website at http://lifeserv.bgu.ac.il/wb/gure/ to learn more.

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