Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST
Mechanisms and Kinetics of Membrane Protein Crystallization in Self-Assembled Mesophases
NIST Center for Neutron Research
Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.
|Paul David Butler
Membrane proteins participate in virtually all interactions between cells and the surrounding media and play vital roles in all biological processes involving transport across cell membranes, charge separation, energy converting biological processes, and signal transduction. However, despite their obvious importance, atomic structures have been determined for only a few dozen of these proteins because of the difficulty of producing membrane protein crystals of the quality required for high-resolution x-ray or neutron diffraction studies. Numerous approaches involving surfactant-based systems exploiting the spontaneously self assembling properties of lipids have recently attracted considerable attention due to some promising initial results using the so-called crystallization “in meso” techniques. We are interested in understanding the phases formed and the mechanisms involved in the successful crystallizations to date in order to enable rational design approaches to extending their utility. We use Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) in combination with a variety of other techniques such as light scattering and polarized microscopy to understand the details of the structures of the various components and their interactions at various stages in the crystallization process.
Complex fluids; In-cubo; Lipid mesophase; Membrane protein; Neutron scattering; Protein crystallization; Small-angle scattering; Surfactant;
Open to U.S. citizens
Open to Postdoctoral applicants