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Physiological role and protein-protein interactions of GABARAP
Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAA receptors) mediate fast synaptic inhibition, they modulate sleep and mood and are important targets to treat mental disorders. The GABAA receptor-associated protein (GABARAP) directly interacts with the GABAA-receptor and modulates its surface expression, clustering and ion channel properties. GABARAP belongs to a protein family implicated in vesicular transport events. Vesicular transport and targeting events are fundamental processes in autophagocytosis, which plays a key role in neuronal development, neurodegeneration and apoptosis. The full variety of all functions of GABARAP within the cell and their relevance remains to be fully elucidated. We determined the high resolution structure of human GABARAP by liquid state NMR. Furthermore we identified novel GABARAP-interacting cellular proteins and study the structure of their complexes with GABARAP by NMR and X-ray crystallography. To gain a deeper understanding of the role of GABARAP within the cell we are further characterizing the physiological role of the various protein-protein interactions of GABARAP.

Structural Biochemistry:
N. Mohrlüder, Y. Thielmann, M. Schwarten, Peixiang Ma, D. Willbold

Molecular Biophysics:
O. Weiergräber

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