A team of scientists led by David Baker at the University of Washington developed a method to design artificial proteins to serve as a framework for viral antigens. Their study was published recently in the journal eLife. Berkeley Lab scientists collected data at the Advanced Light Source to visualize the atomic structure and determine the dynamics of the designed scaffolds.
Berkeley Lab scientists have demonstrated for the first time that cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a Nobel Prize-winning technique originally designed to image proteins in solution, can be adapted to image atomic changes in a synthetic soft material.
A group of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have used the capabilities available at the Advanced Light Source’s SIBYLS beamline to gain insight into an enzyme that functions in blood clotting. ADAMTS13, which stands for a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin-1 repeats, member 13, is a multi-domain protease enzyme whose catalytic mechanism involves a metal. It is the only known protein to regulate the adhesive function of von Willebrand factor (VWF), a blood clotting protein involved in hemostasis.
Bioscientists at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at Berkeley Lab lent their expertise to a project led by scientists at the University of Washington to design proteins in the lab that zip together like DNA. The technique could enable the design of protein nanomachines to help diagnose and treat disease, allow for more precise engineering of cells, and perform a variety of other tasks.
Cyclic proteins that assemble from multiple identical subunits (homo-oligomers) play key roles in many biological processes, including enzymatic catalysis and function and cell signaling. Researchers in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division worked with University of Washington’s David Baker, who led a team to design in silico and crystallize self-assembling cyclic homo-oligomer proteins.