Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shedding light on the dark proteome with IMB’s newest Adjunct Director

07.12.2017

In a joint appointment with Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the Institute of Molecular Biology, Mainz (IMB) is excited to announce the recruitment of Edward Lemke from EMBL, Heidelberg as an Adjunct Director. Professor Lemke will be continuing his groundbreaking work blending chemistry and single molecule biophysics together to unravel the structure and function of intrinsically disordered proteins (the dark proteome).

One of the first analogies that people learn when studying biology is that the specific interaction of proteins is like a lock and key. The 3D shape of the proteins determines their ability to interact and ensures that only desired interactions occur. But now imagine that your key is flexible and fluid.


Comparison of ridgid and flexible proteins in their binding kinetics. (Top) Proteins with a ridged structure require interactions with binding partners to occur at highly specific sites. Random collisions make such interactions less common and reduce the speed for protein binding. (Bottom) Proteins which, on the other hand, are flexible in their native state can have many more binding sites and these sites are easier to access. This allows them to interact with more binding partners and they do so faster improving, for example, transport across the nuclear envelope.

Source: IMB

Not only is deciphering the key’s shape impossible but it is hard to picture how such a key could ever be specific enough to be useful. The proteins in our cells are, in fact, often like this. It is estimated that up to 50% of the human proteome is comprised of proteins whose structures are fluid and unfolded in their native state. These proteins, known as intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), make up the “dark proteome”, as their level of molecular disorder has meant their structure cannot be elucidated with conventional techniques.

In the absence of a 3D structure, understanding the precise mechanism and function of a protein is simply much more difficult. Understanding these proteins is essential as, despite their flexible nature, their interactions can be very specific and crucial in vital cellular processes like nucleocytoplasmic transport, gene regulation and host pathogen interactions.

It is here, in the dark waters of the cell’s interior that Edward Lemke is shining a light, laser light to be specific. Edward has fused his expertise in both chemistry and biophysics to probe the structure and function of these IDPs at the single molecule level. “We develop technologies that permit the manipulation of biomolecules and the custom design of new functionalities into biology using advanced chemical and synthetic biology tools,” he says.

“Combining these technologies with custom designed single molecule probes and super-resolution instrumentation, we have been illuminating unique properties of IDPs that, for example, permit them to specifically but also rapidly shuttle proteins across the nuclear envelope" (see figure).

Following his appointment as Professor at JGU and as Adjunct Director at IMB, Edward’s Lab on “Synthetic Biophysics of Protein Disorder” will be bringing their expertise to Mainz in January 2018. Edward, who received an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2015, will continue to work on optimising the fluorescent labelling techniques he uses; establishing high throughput and microfluidic platforms for single molecule and super-resolution imaging; measuring the interactions of IDPs in real time; and focusing on IDPs that function in nuclear transport.

Image: https://www.imb.de/fileadmin/imb/groups/Lemke/Lemke_proteins_for_press_release.j...
Comparison of ridgid and flexible proteins in their binding kinetics. (Top) Proteins with a ridged structure require interactions with binding partners to occur at highly specific sites. Random collisions make such interactions less common and reduce the speed for protein binding. (Bottom) Proteins which, on the other hand, are flexible in their native state can have many more binding sites and these sites are easier to access. This allows them to interact with more binding partners and they do so faster improving, for example, transport across the nuclear envelope.

Further details
Further information about Edward’s work can be found at https://www.imb.de/research/lemke/research/ or http://www.lemkelab.com

Press contact for further information
Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management
Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Fax: +49 (0) 6131 39 21421, Email: press@imb.de

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>