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CCeMMP Seminar Series – Dr. Doreen Matthies December 2021

Cryo-EM of membrane proteins: What have we learned in the last decades and what are the challenges?

In the last decade the field of Structural Biology has made great advances in using electron microscopy to solve structures of protein complexes including membrane proteins to high resolution. Best practices of how to use Single Particle Cryo-EM and more importantly how to optimize a membrane protein sample such as an ion channel or a transporter will be discussed. Most membrane protein structures are currently resolved in a detergent micelle, but cryo-EM also makes it possible to look at membrane protein complexes in a lipid bilayer, such as synthetic or native lipid nanodiscs, liposomes, or even inside cells now. A brief introduction to each of these techniques will be discussed with examples of the conformational landscape of magnesium channel CorA, voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.2-2.1, a human excitatory amino acid transporter and more.

Dr. Doreen Matthies

Earl Stadtman tenure track investigator

Head, Unit on Structural Biology

Division of Basic and Translational Biophysics

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)