The Cate Lab at University of California-Berkeley explores how genes are put into action by translation. Translation is the universal process of protein synthesis, in which the ribosome translates the four-letter genetic code in messenger RNA into the twenty-letter code of proteins. The lab also works on strategies for making new sequence defined polymers using engineered ribosomes. We post all manuscripts first to BioRxiv.
Areas of Research
Protein Synthesis Understanding how the ribosome makes proteins and how these proteins fold remains a major challenge in biology. The lab is interested in how the ribosome initiates protein synthesis in humans, a highly-regulated step important for human health. The lab is also exploring proteins as they emerge from the ribosome, and how they are targeted to their final destination. Using bacterial translation, we are exploring ways to engineer the ribosome to make polymers other than proteins. To determine the mechanisms underlying protein synthesis and its regulation, the lab uses a combination of cryo-electron microscopy, systems biology, biochemistry, biophysics, and cell biology.
Plant Genome Engineering. CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing has opend incredible opportunities to explore plant biology as never before. We collaborate with the Staskawicz Lab in the IGI to explore plant defenses, with the long-term goal of safeguarding crops from encroaching pathogens.