id="title" class="nomar"Center for Structures of Membrane Proteins
The CSMP is a PSI Membrane Protein Structure Determination Center consisting of investigators from the University of California, San Francisco and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.
Dr. Robert M. Stroud
Dr. Daniel L. Minor
Dr. Andrej Sali
Dr. James Holton
Dr. Kathleen Giacomini
Dr. William Harries
Ms. Suzan Betheil
The goal of the CSMP is to express, purify and determine the structures of representative members of membrane protein classes. Where classes of membrane proteins are represented in prokaryotes, it is likely that structures for a homolog will be determined first for prokaryotic or archaeal members. Many human proteins have no good homologs in prokaryotes or archaea. These include psychopharmaceutical receptors that are targets for neuro-psychopharmaceutical drugs, the reuptake pumps that are currently targets for the new anti-depressants, the ~1500 GPCRs in the human genome that include numerous key drug targets today. Nearly 30% of all eukaryotic proteins are membrane proteins, and these include protein targets for over 40% of all drugs in use today. There is no understanding of the mechanisms, and atomic interactions of any one of these. In most cases the particular membrane protein targets of today's drugs are not yet determined. This is primarily because they are membrane proteins, where preparation in structurally homogeneous and functionally active state, and subsequent structure determination have been extremely challenging.
CSMP supports an integrated program, with interdependent subprojects, and core facilities that provide for routine processes, including protein purification, characterization, x-ray diffraction at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley at beamlines 5.0.2, and 8.3.1.
Bioinformatics supports two key aspects of the overall effort. It contributes to the construction of a target list of representative proteins whose structures are to be determined. The second contribution of bioinformatics is that it leverages the experimentally determined structures by structurally and functionally characterizing many more related protein sequences. Target selection and protein structure modeling are clearly inter-dependent. The better are our prediction methods, the smaller is the number of experimentally determined target structures that are needed for a given level of structural coverage and accuracy.
Membrane proteins that span the membrane three or more times will be expressed and then subject to 3-dimensional structure determination by one of several methods.