A recent examination of the human genome found that more than 25% of human proteins are membrane proteins. Over 1000 receptor proteins help cells respond to external conditions and signal molecules such as hormones. More than 800 membrane transport proteins assist molecules across our membranes. More than 500 membrane proteins seem to primarily function as enzymes. About 200 membrane proteins function as adhesion proteins.
My personal interest in biological membranes began when I learned that all of the electrical signals in our brains are made possible by membrane proteins that function as ion channels. The first experimental system I got to work with was a photosynthetic bacterium that has interesting chemiosmotic coupling for energy production. Later I became interested in membrane proteins that allow cells to stick to each other, particularly cadherins.
Given the importance of membrane proteins for human physiology and because of my personal interest in membrane proteins it should be no surprise that many of the topics discussed in this blog concern cell membranes and membrane transport processes.