Researchers from Heidelberg University’s Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) have achieved unexpected insights into the process of how damaged proteins are degraded within cells. Their work focused on the function of a special protease. This enzyme can hydrolyse peptide bonds in the plane of cellular membranes, a site where such water-requiring reactions commonly do not occur. The scientists working with Dr. Marius Lemberg could now show that this unusual protease recognises and degrades aberrant proteins directly in the membrane. The findings were published online in “Molecular Cell”.