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Structural Biology

To understand how the human body works, it’s vital to understand the individual components that work together to sustain life. That’s what scientists in the Institute’s Structural Biology Program seek to do by revealing the molecular architecture of life’s most basic building blocks, notably the vast array of proteins that carry out virtually every biological function.

To do this, they use an array of cutting-edge and gold-standard techniques such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), which allows them to discern the structures of these important molecules in stunning detail. Their work is crucial for understanding the processes that underlie every aspect of health, and for improving therapies for diseases such as asthma, cancers, diabetes, neurological conditions and infectious diseases.

Faculty

Recent Publications

Bai L, Kovach A, You Q, Kenny A, Li H. 2019. Structure of the eukaryotic protein O-mannosyltransferase Pmt1−Pmt2 complexNat Struct Mol Biol.

Bai L, Li H. 2019. Cryo-EM is uncovering the mechanism of eukaryotic protein N-glycosylation. FEBS 286(9):1638–1644.

Zhao LH*, Ma S*, Sutkeviciute I*, Shen DD*, Zhou XE, de Waal PW, Li CH, Kang Y, Clark LJ, Jean-Alphonse FG, White AD, Yang D, Dai A, Cai X, Chen J, Li C, Jiang Y, Watanbe T, Gradella TJ, Melcher K, Wang MW#, Vilardaga JP#, Xu HE#, Zhang Y#. 2019. Structure and dynamics of the active human parathyroid hormone receptor-1. Science
* Equal contributions 
# Co-corresponding authors

Hu K, Jordan AT, Zhang S, Dhabaria A, Kovach A, Rangel M, Ueberheide B, Li H, Darwin KH. 2019. Characterization of guided entry of tail-anchored proteins 3 homologues in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Bacteriol.

Liu P, Yin YL, Wang T, Hou L, Wang XX, Wang M, Zhao GG, Shi Y, Xu HE, Jiang Y. 2019. Ligand-induced activation of ERK1/2 signaling by constitutively active Gs-could 5-HT receptors. Acta Pharmacol Sin.

Zhou E, Melcher K, Xu HE. 2019. Structural biology of G protein-coupled receptor signaling complexes. Protein Sci 28(3):487–501.

Announcements

Registration is now open for the Van Andel Research Institute Symposium on Structural Biology! 
Please join us for the Symposium on Structural Biology, which will highlight the latest advances in the fields of DNA-metabolizing enzymes and membrane proteins! Dr. Xiaodong Chen of MD Anderson Cancer Center will deliver the keynote address. The symposium will be Sept. 12-13 at the Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich. Learn more and register here.