Dr Joseph Costello
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK
My current research involves investigating how a particular group of membrane proteins, tail-anchored proteins, are targeted to the correct location in mammalian cells. Failure to properly deliver proteins to the appropriate organelle results in cellular dysfunction and contributes to a number of different diseases (e.g. Zellweger syndrome, Adrenoleukodystrophy, Tay Sachs). The cell uses a range of different systems to ensure proteins get to the right place. We are currently studying the systems which are involved in the targeting of tail-anchored proteins to the mitochondria, ER and peroxisomes. To investigate this we use a combination of immunofluorescence microscopy studies of mammalian cell lines and in-vitro protein analysis as well as assessing the impact that disease-causing mutations have on cellular function and biochemistry. This allows us to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms which lead to disease as well as gaining a greater understanding of fundamental processes in cell biology.