MURATA Lipid Active Structure

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Research Director: Michio MURATA
Professor, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University
Research Term: Oct 2010 - Mar 2016
Special Extention Period: Apr 2016 - Mar 2017
Grant Number: JPMJER1005

 

Structural biology has made enormous contributions to a scientific understanding of protein structure and functions. In contrast, lipid molecules comprising biological membranes remains largely unknown with respect to their conformation and interactions. In our project, we aimed to elucidate the 3D structure and dynamics of lipid molecules in action. First, we adopted model membranes to investigate the lipid-lipid interplay in microdomains so-called ‘lipid rafts’. Next, we elucidated an essential role of water molecules in the state-of-art mechanism in recognizing hydrophobic lipid chains by binding proteins. Finally, we developed versatile methodologies in affinity evaluation and in X-ray crystallography by solving problems inherent to highly hydrophobic ligands such as lipid mediators and drugs. These results will leads to deepening our understanding of lipids/membranes and also to the progress in biomedical applications and drug discovery.

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