Proteins are long-chain macromolecules that are usually folded three-dimensionally into a complex architecture. To understand the function of a protein, it is helpful to know its structure. Researchers usually study proteins in soluble or crystalline form. However, many proteins cannot be easily investigated in this way, for instance membrane proteins in a lipid bilayer. For this reason we also use solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (solid-state NMR) to analyze the structure and dynamics of proteins. This technique allows us to study insoluble and non-crystalline proteins and in addition to protein structure also to investigate chemical details, interaction with water and lipid molecules, and functionally relevant protein dynamics. The latter aspect is important because proteins are not rigid structures with a fixed architecture, but have moving parts similar to machines. To conduct solid-state NMR investigations, we place samples in a strong superconducting magnet (external field up to 20 T, i.e. ~400,000 times stronger than the earth’s magnetic field), rotate them rapidly (up to 100,000 revolutions per second; magic-angle spinning) and investigate them spectroscopically using radio waves. Important applications of our work are the analysis of membrane proteins in their natural lipid environment and the 3D structure determination of cellular molecular machines.
Research SectionStructural Biology
M. Zinke, K. A. A. Sachowsky, C. Öster, S. Zinn-Justin, R. Ravelli, G. F. Schröder, M. Habeck, A. Lange, Architecture of the flexible tail tube of bacteriophage SPP1, Nature Communications, 11 (2020), 5759.
PDB ID:2LPZ 2MEX
A. Loquet, B. Habenstein, V. Chevelkov, S. K. Vasa, K. Giller, S. Becker, and A. Lange, Atomic structure and handedness of the building block of a biological assembly, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135 (2013), pp. 19135-19138.
A. Loquet, N. G. Sgourakis, R. Gupta, K. Giller, D. Riedel, C. Goosmann, C. Griesinger, M. Kolbe, D. Baker, S. Becker, and A. Lange, Atomic model of the type III secretion system needle, Natu ...
J.-P. Demers, B. Habenstein, A. Loquet, S. K. Vasa, K. Giller, S. Becker, D. Baker, A. Lange* and N. G. Sgourakis*, High-resolution structure of the Shigella type-III secretion needle determined by solid-state NMR and cryo-electron microscopy, Nature Communications, 5 (2014), 4976.
C. Shi, P. Fricke, L. Lin, V. Chevelkov, M. Wegstroth, K. Giller, S. Becker, M. Thanbichler, and A. Lange, Atomic-resolution structure of cytoskeletal bactofilin by solid-state NMR, Science Advances, 1 (2015), e1501087.
S. Vasa, L. Lin, C. Shi, B. Habenstein, D. Riedel, J. Kühn, M. Thanbichler, and A. Lange, β-Helical architecture of cytoskeletal bactofilin filaments revealed by solid-state NMR, Proceedings of the National Academy o ...
B. Habenstein, A. Loquet, S. Hwang, K. Giller, S. K. Vasa, S. Becker, M. Habeck, and A. Lange, Hybrid structure of the type 1 pilus of uropathogenic Escherichia coli, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, 54 (2015), pp. 11691-11695.
Dr. Venita Decker (PhD student) – now Product Manager Compact NMR (TD/FT) at Bruker BioSpin GmbH, Karlsruhe
Dr. Suresh Vasa (Postdoctoral coworker) – now at TU Dortmund, Research Group Prof. Rasmus Linser
Dr. Guohua Lv (PhD student)
Dr. Antoine Loquet (Postdoctoral coworker) – now Group leader at IECB, Université de Bordeaux
Dr. Birgit Habenstein (Postdoctoral coworker) – now Managing Director of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in the VDE
Dr. Jean-Philippe Demers (PhD student) – now Postdoctoral Fellow at University of British Columbia, Canada
Dr. Robert Schneider (Postdoctoral coworker) – now Application Scientist, Bruker BioSpin, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Vinesh Vijayan (Postdoctoral coworker) – now Associate Professor at IISER Thiruvananthapuram, India
Dr. Zrinka Gattin (Postdoctoral coworker) – now Coordinator of the Max Planck Graduate Center for Quantum Materials, Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Stuttgart
Dr. Shengqi Xiang (Postdoctoral coworker)
Prof. Dr. Ann-Christin Pöppler (Postdoctoral coworker) – now Junior Professor at University of Würzburg
Dr. Benjamin Schomburg (PhD student) – now Laboratory Manager at Institute of Clinical Chemistry, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein
Dr. Hannes Fasshuber (PhD student) – now IMS Manager, Vetropack Holding AG, Austria
Dr. Maximilian Zinke (PhD student) – now PostDoc at Institut Pasteur Paris, France
Dr. Songhwan Hwang (PhD student) – now PostDoc, Research Group Prof. Han Sun, FMP
Dr. Pascal Sanchez Carranza (Postdoctoral coworker) - now Business Development Manager at Analytica Alimentaria GmbH
Prof. Dr. Chaowei Shi (Postdoctoral coworker) – now Group leader at USTC, Hefei, China
Dr. Kitty Hendriks (PhD student) – now PhD coordinator at Helmholtz-Zentrum, Berlin
Currently, we have open positions for highly motivated PhD and Master’s students and post-doctoral fellows. Candidates with a background in biochemistry, biophysics or related subjects and a strong interest in spectroscopy and/or structural biology are welcome to apply.