Protein Structure & Regulation

Our research aim is to answer fundamental questions related to the structure and function of proteins involved in important biochemical processes. Major topics on this theme include how membrane proteins form structure during biogenesis, how proteins are trafficked to and from the cell membrane in response to insulin stimulation, how protein folding is influenced by redox phenomena and how protein homeostasis is regulated by ubiquitin. There is a strong emphasis on the determination of protein structures using X-ray crystallography, NMR and cryo-EM. Targets of these studies include photosynthetic light harvesting complexes, plant photoreceptors and large multimeric complexes involved in RNA and DNA metabolism. These structural studies are complemented by function studies aimed at elucidating molecular mechanisms of action.

Our work is supported by expertise from the Structural Biology and Biophysical Characterisation Facility and the Scottish Centre for Macromolecular Imaging. Multi-omic systems approaches, including next-generation sequencing are provided through Glasgow Polyomics.

Examples of some of the structures that we have determined are illustrated below:

Protein Structure and Regulation staff

Michael Blatt

Professor Michael Blatt

Professor - Regius Professor of Botany (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: Ion channel structure and function in plant cell signalling. Mechanisms and roles of membrane trafficking proteins in cellular homeostasis and stress responses of plants.

Neil Bulleid

Professor Neil Bulleid

Professor in Cell Biology (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: How proteins fold, assemble and are modified in the endoplasmic reticulum of mammalian cells.

John Christie

Professor John Christie

Professor of Photobiology (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: Molecular basis of UV/blue light signalling in plants; Engineering novel fluorescent proteins; Design of synthetic photoswitches for optogenetic applications

Richard Cogdell

Professor Richard Cogdell

Professor - Hooker Chair of Botany (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: The Structure and Function of Purple Bacterial Photosynthetic Membrane Proteins.

Gwyn Gould

Professor Gwyn Gould

Professor of Cell Biology (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: The role of membrane traffic in cytokinesis. SNARE protein function and regulation. Regulated membrane traffic in adipocytes.

Gareth Jenkins

Professor Gareth Jenkins

Professor of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of the UV-B, UV-A and Blue Light-Regulation of Gene Expression. Cold-Induced Gene Expression. Gene Expression and Development in the Epidermis.

Sharon Kelly

Dr Sharon Kelly

Research Fellow (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: Protein structure and folding; protein-protein interactions; protein-ligand interactions; and protein-DNA interactions.

Dr Thimo Kurz

Senior Lecturer (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Laura Spagnolo

Dr Laura Spagnolo

Reader (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Brian Smith

Dr Brian Smith

Senior Lecturer (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: NMR spectroscopy for the determination of protein and nucleic acid structure, dynamics and interaction. Methylated DNA binding proteins. Nematode fatty acid binding proteins.

Kostas Tokatlidis

Professor Kostas Tokatlidis

Cathcart Chair (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: Mitochondria biogenesis (protein targeting/folding/assembly) in health and disease.

Helen Walden

Professor Helen Walden

Professor of Structural Biology (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: Specificity and disease in the ubiquitin system

Cheryl Woolhead

Professor Cheryl Woolhead

Professor of Molecular Biotechnology (Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology)

Research interests: Biogenesis of E.coli inner-membrane proteins from the ribosome tunnel to the lipid bilayer.