Biophysical Society Conference | Tahoe 2024

Molecular Biophysics of Membranes

Poster Abstracts

28-POS Board 17 DNA-BASED LIPID BILAYER MIMETICS FOR CRYO EM OF MEMBRANE PROTEINS Thorsten Schmidt ; 1 Kent State University, Physics, Kent, OH, USA DNA is a unique polymer. It is the information storage molecule of all known life forms but can also be used to form nanoscale structures that are not found in nature. Our group is leveraging this programmability to engineer nanoscale architectures and tools for applications in Biophysics and Structural Biology. One goal of our lab is to establish DNA-lipid nanodiscs as a new customizable nanoscale lipid bilayer mimetic for single-particle cryo-EM of membrane proteins. In our first approach (Iric et al. Nanoscale 2018, 18463–18467.), we functionalized the inside of a DNA minicircle with hydrophobic side chains to hold a lipid bilayer. Alternatively, we are employing amphiphilic peptides and polymers to modulate interactions with lipids while retaining good water solubility and preventing aggregation. Our DNA nanotechnology-based approach will overcome some existing limitations of established bilayer mimetics and offer unprecedented control over structural, chemical, and physical design parameters. We expect DNA-based systems to enable qualitatively new types of experiments in structural biology and single-molecule biophysics.


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