Investigation into Orientation and Cellular Function of SMIM1
University of Vermont
Biochemical investigation into the role of SMIM1 in human cells, especially with regard to its role as the Vel system antigen. SMIM1, originally discovered as the antigen for the Vel blood group, is deficient in Vel- individuals due to heterozygosity for a mutant allele. This project aimed to investigate the role of Vel in human cells with regard to biochemical interactions in the cell, and elucidate the orientation of the protein in the cell membrane. Results suggest that SMIM1 is oriented with the N terminus on the inside of the cell. The protein is also phosphorylated in the cell, and appears to form dimers in the cell. The general role of the protein in the cell, however, remains to be seen.