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Protein Science

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Description of research

The research in structural biology is to a large degree based on x-ray crystallography as a method to determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules: proteins, nucleic acids, and sugars.

In addition, the section employs a range of other methods in structural biology including small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), circular dichroism (CD), and electron microscopy (EM). But the research of the section also covers a range of functional studies, such as single-molecule studies, electrophysiological studies of membrane proteins, enzymatic assays, which complement the investigation of molecular structure.

The research topics of the section range broadly from membrane proteins and receptors, to soluble enzymes and large protein complexes.

The research is primarily basic science with a wide scope, but some of the results can also be used for development of novel drugs.

Description of research

Protein Science

The section deals broadly with proteins as the cell’s and organs’ "work horses", trying to understand the biological processes and systems from a molecular understanding of the proteins’ properties. We analyse the proteins’ physical and chemical structures and their functions under physiologically relevant conditions. Specific areas include:

Research areas and projects:

  • expression, purification and functional optimisation of enzymes (rational protein engineering and directed evolution, design of proteins)
  • folding and pathological aggregation of proteins
  • functional amyloid in bacteria: identification, purification and description of biological regulatory mechanisms
  • folding and stability of membrane proteins
  • protein interaction with membranes and surfactants
  • global proteomic analysis, including relation to various corneal disorders
  • biomarker studies in pig models of human diseases, including metabolic diseases, neurological diseases and inflammatory conditions.
  • system biological description of host-pathogen interaction at the proteome-genome and metagenome levels.
  • development of methods for absolute protein quantification.
  • structural protein studies and protein-protein interaction studies
  • transcriptome-analysis-facilitated proteomic analysis studies of species with unknown genomes
  • the extracellular matrix

Protein structure technologies:

  • structural protein studies and protein-protein interaction studies
  • spectroscopy (fluorescence, circular dichroism, FTIR, light scattering)
  • calorimetry (DSC / ITC)
  • plate reader technology
  • size separation technology (field flow fractionation)
  • surface binding (quartz crystal micro balance)
  • phospholipid vesicle technology
  • AFM
  • heterologous expression
  • chromatography
  • peptide and protein libraries

Proteomic technologies

  • mass spectrometry (MS)-based identification (LC-MS/MS and MALDI-TOF-MS)
  • quantitative MS verification of biomarkers.
  • discovery-based "shot-gun" proteomics (Q-TOF instrument).
  • hydrogen / deuterium exchange MS (Q-TOF instrument)
  • targeted proteomics (quantitative analysis of triple-Q instrument)
  • absolute quantification of proteins by SRM (selected Reaction Monitoring) and QconCAT technology.

Professors

Gregers Rom Andersen

Professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Structural Biology

Jan J. Enghild

Professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Protein science

Daniel Otzen

Professor Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center - INANO-MBG, iNANO-huset

Associate Professors

Emøke Bendixen

Senior Researcher Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Protein science

Thomas Boesen

Cryo-EM Facility Manager Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - DANDRITE

Ditlev Egeskov Brodersen

Associate professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Structural Biology

Michael Etzerodt

Associate professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Protein science

Esben Lorentzen

Associate professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Structural Biology

Bjørn Panyella Pedersen

Associate professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Structural Biology

Søren Skou Thirup

Associate professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Structural Biology

Assistant Professors

Joseph Lyons

Lundbeck Foundation fellow Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Structural Biology

Ebbe Toftgaard Poulsen

Assistant Professor Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics - Protein science