DESCRIPTION OF THE GROUP

We study the structure and function of proteins using structural biology methods such as protein crystallography and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), bioinformatic analysis and molecular dynamics simulations, as well as by functional assays both in vitro and in cell culture. We are especially interested in proteins for which little structural information is available, so that we can answer vital questions about the activity and function of these proteins.


GROUP MEMBERS

Maria Górna Ph.D.

THE LEADER OF THE GROUP

TEAM

Maria Górna, Ph.D.
e-mail:mgorna@chem.uw.edu.pl,
CNBCh UW room 3.114

 

Matthew Merski, Ph.D.
Jan Kutner, Ph.D.
Joanna Boros-Majewska, M.Eng.
Krzysztof Młynarczyk, M.Sc.
Aleksandra Jurska, M.Eng.
Jakub Skrzeczkowski

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

Our current research is focused on human proteins with non-canonical RNA-binding domains. We are especially interested in mitochondrial proteins, since the mitochondrion is an essential organelle that is the main source of ATP and has fundamental roles in all aspects of cell biology, ranging from cell death to growth, differentiation and inflammation.Unsurprisingly, mitochondrial malfunction is associated with a plethora of diseases including cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory disorders. Proteins which are involved in pathological processes constitute therapy targets and their structures may be used in drug design.In addition, mitochondrion is an intriguing study subject due to its origin in endosymbiosis of a prokaryotic ancestor. Mitochondrial proteins often reflect an evolutionary transition between prokaryotic and eukaryotic world or offer an opportunity to discover new protein architectures.

Our additional topic of interest are the human InterFeron-Induced proteins with Tetratricopeptide repeats (IFIT). IFITs are antiviral proteins which are expressed in cells in response to viral infection, where they act as innate immune effectors that sequester viral transcripts and inhibit their translation.Building on the previous work on IFIT structure and interactions, we investigate the structure and function of higher order complexes of IFITs and their specificity for RNA to elucidate the mode of RNA recognition by IFITs and their interplay with the cellular machinery in antiviral defense, as well as to find some medical applications of IFITs in diagnostics of infectious diseases.

Laboratory of Biomacromolecular Research is a laboratory for protein crystallography with both laboratory (200m2) and office (80m2) space. The equipment includes:

  • Robots for pipetting solutions and crystallization drops: Mosquito LCP, Dragonfly
  • System for automated imaging and storage protein crystallization plates a 1000 plates capacity with UV scanner
  • Access to home X-ray sources with a copper anode
  • An advanced FPLC and an FPLC connected with a refractometer, DLS and MALS
  • Spectrophotometers and plate readers – Infinite M200 PRO with extended fluorescence, chemiluminescence and automatic pipetting station modules.
  • Microscale Thermophoresis instrument (Monolith NT.115 Red from Nanotemper)
  • Gradient PCR and real-time (RT-PCR) machines
  • Incubators set for mammalian cells, insect cells and bacterial culture, laminar flow chambers
  • Sonicators and homogenizers, a set of centrifuges for cell fractionation
  • Equipment for electrophoresis of DNA, RNA and Proteins with 2D electrophoresis system with automatic spot cutter;
  • a ChemiDoc MP station for UV, fluorescence and chemiluminescence imaging of gels and membranes

Services and products on offer:
We offer help in obtaining and interpretation of experimental models of proteins.