Developing individual particle electron tomography (IPET) for studying protein dynamics via the structure determination of a single protein
The research objective of this laboratory is to develop a technique for directly determining the high-resolution structure (better than 1nm) of an individual protein at an intermediate resolution (1-2nm). The motivation of this development is that. The dynamic personalities and structural heterogeneity of proteins are essential for their proper functions. However, structural determination of dynamic and heterogeneous proteins is very challenging by conventional approaches, such as X-ray, NMR and electron microscopy (EM) single-particle electron microscopy because all these current techniques require an average from thousands to millions different proteins. This lab reported a high-resolution structure determination method, named individual particle electron tomography (IPET) to determine an individual protein at near an intermediate resolution, such as 1.4nm IgG antibody (PLoS ONE, 2012, 7(1):30249). We will continually develop this approach by optimization from both experiments and computer programs to achieve high-resolution structure of a single protein for addressing the most importance questions in the fields of biology and soft-materials.