Membrane targeting of Src family kinases
We are investigating the role of myristate and palmitate in targeting proteins to membranes and to plasma membrane microdomains known as rafts. Our focus is on the Src family of protein tyrosine kinases. We have stablished that Src kinases, as well as other fatty acylated proteins, use a “two signal” mechanism for membrane association: myristate + basic (a cluster of basic residues near the N-terminus) or myristate + palmitate.
We are currently studying how c-Src moves throughout the cell, specifically into and out of endosomes and the plasma membrane. High resolution microscopy techniques are being applied to live imaging in order to monitor protein trafficking in real time.