Colloquium Series

Time: Thursday 7 May 2015 – 1:00pm
Place: New Horizons (Building 82), Theatre G29 (map)

Proteins: Nanotechnology that evolved billions of years ago

Dr Michelle Dunstone, Monash University

Each living cell is composed and kept alive by 10,000's of different shaped proteins. Each different type of protein has a different function which is determined by its shape and location. For example, haemoglobin carries oxygen in the blood and antibodies that detect disease. Therefore understanding the structure of proteins is key to understanding how these proteins function normally and how they malfunction in disease.

Most proteins change their shape in order to perform their function. Here I present a study of hole punching protein: MACPF/CDC pore forming protein family. These proteins exist in a monomeric state. However, in the right conditions, they come together to form a large ring and punch holes in cell surfaces.

My research focuses on questions such as: What is the structure of the protein? What tools do we have at our disposal? How do proteins change shape? What controls the shape change?

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