Structural Biology

Module code: BS3070

Practically all events in cells depend on the existence of protein complexes which interact with other components to bring about diverse cellular functions. The aim of this module is to provide an overview of functional protein complexes within cells, how such complexes are identified and how their mechanism of action can be explored at the molecular level. To this end we introduce a range of in vitro and in vivo approaches available to identify and characterise protein complexes and we describe examples of the type of information that can be obtained by these approaches. 

The module covers a number of important biophysical techniques, such as fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy, crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and yeast 2 hybrid system used to study protein complexes in vitro and in vivo. Alongside this introduction to methodology, specific examples will be covered some of which are self-contained while others will complement other modules covering gene expression, cell biology and mechanisms of disease. Many molecular diseases arise from a failure in protein interactions and, in some cases, can be alleviated by specific drugs which act by blocking or modifying protein function. The module is particularly appropriate if you are undertaking project work within biochemistry, molecular physiology and molecular genetics as it will cover the techniques that are commonly applied in modern research.

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