lunes, 8 de abril de 2013

Research Chemistry & Structural Biology

Chemistry & Structural Biology
Structural Biology of Membrane Proteins, Macromolecular Assemblies and Viruses - Ben Hankamer

Structural Biology of Membrane Proteins, Macromolecular Assemblies and Viruses - Ben Hankamer

A/Prof Ben Hankamer

The Solar Bio-fuels consortium, co-directed by Ben Hankamer, has brought together eight international teams and approximately 100 researchers to develop high-efficiency microalgal bio-fuels and bio-product production systems. This represents a rapidly expanding area of biotechnology of global significance. The consortium's work covers all aspects of the process from economic modelling, purification of microalgae, optimisation of production conditions and the scale-up of photobioeractor systems.

Structural Biology: The first step of all biofuel production processes is light capture. Using single particle analysis, crystallography and electron tomography as part of the IMB Visible Cell® project, we are developing a pseudo-atomic resolution 3D atlas of the model algaChlamydomonas reinhardtii. Such 3D molecular atlases guide the enhancement of light capture and conversion efficiency of the photosynthetic machinery.

Membrane proteins, macromolecular assemblies and viruses: To increase the speed of structure determination, we have established a powerful single particle analysis pipeline, as well as new biotechnologies for template assisted 2D crystal production. The single particle process involves merging of large numbers of 2D projection images of randomly-oriented molecules to calculate 3D reconstructions. Our current benchmark resolution is ~10 Å, at which individual α-helices begin to be resolved, and we are actively developing processes to improve this further. In parallel, we have developed detergent-resistant 2D templates that chelate Ni at the surface, to facilitate the systematic production of 2D crystals of tethered His-tagged membrane proteins. Using these twin approaches, we are studying a wide range of important membrane proteins (e.g. photosynthetic membrane protein complexes, ATPases, mechanosensitive channels), macromolecular assemblies (AAA ATPases and related proteins, ferritin, NS1 and toxin complexes) as well as icosahedral viruses. These structures provide fundamental new insights into many fascinating molecular machines and feed into the Visible Cell® project.

Research Projects
High-Resolution Single Particle Analysis: biology and process development

The Visible Cell® Project: resolving the 3D structure of the macromolecular assemblies and biophysical modelling

Template mediated 2D crystallisation: towards streamlined membrane protein crystallisation

Microalgal biofuel and bioproduct systems: development of bio-fuels systems for bio-H2, biodiesel and BTL-diesel production that are coupled to CO2 sequestration

Key Publications

Stephens E., Ross I.L., King Z., Mussgnug J.H., Kruse O., Posten C., Borowitzka. M.A. & Hankamer B (2010). 2nd generation microalgal biofuels: Economic and technical evaluation of the hope, hype and reality. Nature Biotechnology 28: 126-128.

Kruse, O., Hankamer B. (2010). Microalgal hydrogen production. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 21: 238-243.

Landsberg, M.J., Vajjhala, P.R., Rothnagel, R., Munn, A.L., and Hankamer, B. (2009). 3D structure of the AAA ATPase Vps4: Advancing structural insights into the mechanisms of endosomal sorting and enveloped virus budding. Structure 17: 427-437.

Yang, X., Molimau, S., Doherty, G.P., Marles-Wright, J., Rothnagel, R., Hankamer, B., Lewis, R.J., and Lewis, P.J. (2009). The structure of bacterial RNA polymerase in complex with the essential transcription elongation factor NusA. EMBO Reports 10: 997-1002.

Pantelic, R.S., Lockett, L.J., Rothnagel, R., Hankamer, B., and Both, G. (2008). Cryo-electron microscopy map of Atadenovirus reveals cross-genus structural differences from human adenovirus. Journal of Virology82: 7346-7356.

Mussgnug, J., Thomas-Hall, S., Rupprecht, J., Foo, A., Klassen, V., McDowall, A., Schenk, P., Kruse, O., and Hankamer, B. (2007). Engineering photosynthetic light capture: Impacts on improved solar energy to biomass conversion. Plant Biotechnology Journal 5: 802-814.

Iwata, M., Imamura, H., Stambouli, E., Ikeda, C., Tamakoshi, M., Nagata, K., Makyio, H., Hankamer, B., Barber, J., Yoshida, M., Yokoyama, K., and Iwata, S. (2004). Crystal structure of a central stalk subunit C and reversible association/dissociation of vacuole-type ATPase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 101: 59-64.
Structural Biology of Membrane Proteins, Macromolecular Assemblies and Viruses - Ben Hankamer section
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Contact Ben HankamerProfessor Ben Hankamer Telephone: +61 7 3346 2012 Fax: +61 7 3346 2101 Email: Postal address: Institute for Molecular Bioscience...

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Hankamer software downloadsThe 3D Bilateral Edge-detection (3D BLE) algorithm is capable of segmenting low contrast images corrupted with high levels of noise with a high degree of accuracy and is designed to process 3D electron tomographic data. 3D BLE opens up the possibili...

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