DNA Nanotechnology Tools for Single-Molecule Cryo-EM of Membrane Proteins
DNA is a unique polymer. It is the information storage molecule of all known life forms, but can also be used to build up complex, artificial structures that are not found in Biology. Our group is leveraging this programmability to engineer nanoscale architectures and tools for applications in Biophysics and Structural Biology.
I will demonstrate how DNA-lipid nanodiscs1 can be made and used as novel molecular tools to study membrane proteins (MPs) in a native membrane-like environment. MPs are key players in cellular functions such as sensing, intercellular communication, material transport, cell adhesion, and energy conversion. In Structural Biology, single-particle cryo-electron microscopy is becoming the standard method for MP structure determination, but several experimental challenges have prevented solving more than 1% of human MP structures so far. Our research program seeks to overcome some of these problems leveraging the unique possibilities of DNA nanotechnology.
Finally, I will discuss the biophysics of tightly bent DNA structures such as DNA minicircles, which we analyze experimentally as well as with coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations.
More information: https://www.kent.edu/physics/profile/thorsten-lars-schmidt
(1) K. Iric et al. DNA-Encircled Lipid Bilayers. Nanoscale 2018, 10 (39), 18463–18467. https://doi.org/10.1039/C8NR06505E.
Meeting ID: 926 2462 7629