Conference Series

European Molecular Biology Organization



Structures, mechanisms,and medical aspects






16 - 20 April | 2011 |Santa Margherita di Pula| Italy

About the Conference Series




Transport Update: Transport from Cagliari airport to Hotel Flamingo will be provided by "Follesa Turismo Services" There will be busses at approximately every other hour, from around 9 am until around 9 pm.

Please look for the bus driver, displaying the EMBO logo, right outside of the arrival gate (not in the parking lot)


Protein transport is an essential process in all living cells. Up to thirty percent of the proteins produced by a cellĀ  have to cross between one and five membranes to reach their destination. The compartmentalisation of the eukaryotic cell, with its division of labour between the cellular organelles, relies entirely on high fidelity protein sorting and translocation.


rollover thumbnails for larger image

Great progress has been made in the analysis of trafficing signals and architecture of the molecular machines involved in protein translocation and subsequent folding. Surprisingly, multiple pathways have evolved to translocate different proteins across the same membrane according to their specific properties (folded or unfolded, presence or absence of hydrophobic segments, etc). Some transport pathways are universal, others that developed in bacteria are found in present-day organelles that originated by endosymbiosis, while yet others evolved specifically in eukaryotes to deal with the unique problems arising from the transfer of genetic information from the endosymbiont to the host nucleus


Other systems are more specialized and evolved to perform a specific task or tasks, and many systems bear the hallmarks of recent adaptations and evolution. Most protein translocation nanomachines are highly sophisticated, comprising multiple receptors, motors, checkpoints, gated channels and complex regulatory circuits.  Only an integrated approach covering the vast range of protein translocation systems from prokaryotes to eukaryotes will allow us to understand underlying principles.

Atomic resolution structures of components of the many protein translocation machines that are now being solved lead to revision and fine-tuning of our mechanistic insights into the way they function. At the same time, new techniques in molecular and cellular biology allow us not only to address new mechanistic questions but also to visualize translocation at the molecular level.


Biophysics, bioinformatics, and imaging in living cells, which are now being exploited to great effect, call for greater knowledge of core subjects such as chemistry and physics and their greater integration with traditional  approaches.

Click image below to view/download poster

The immense significance of protein translocation in the overall field of molecular and cellular biology has attracted researchers from different fields to address the key questions. The cross-discipline research that is an essential component of present-day research to understand these different aspects is reflected in the different expertise and scientific backgrounds of the scientists invited to attend this meeting.


Knowledge of protein traffic is achieved through stimulating combinations of genomics and proteomics and biochemical, biophysical and structural approaches. Our understanding of these processes is entering a new era that will lead to an in-depth mechanistic and molecular understanding.

New data, working hypotheses and models for the different protein transport systems must be regularly challenged by experts working on unrelated systems and confronted with similar intellectual and technical questions.
Regular international, top-level, focussed meetings are needed to define and develop common fundamental themes and system-specific aspects. At the same time, we want to train and disseminate new knowledge to researchers early in their career, to stimulate new approaches. The best forum to achieve this a regular series of conferences that would allow for a continuous challenge of ideas to bolster the excellence of scientific output in this prominent field of molecular cell biology research in Europe.

We look forward to welcoming you to Italy!

The Organisers



This meeting is supported by FEBS Youth Travel Funds

European Molecular Biology Organization | Meyerhofstrasse 1 | 69117 Heidelberg | Germany