Speaker: Dr. Cristina Paulino
Associate Professor and Head of the cryo-Electron Microscopy Unit
Department of Structural Biology and Membrane Enzymology - Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB)
University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Host: Manuel Palacín
Node: Chemistry & Structural Biology / Preclinical Models of Cancer
Date: Wednesday 29 June 2022, 12.00h
My research aims at elucidating the mechanism of action of membrane transporters on a molecular level. To address these questions, we use an interdisciplinary approach with cryo-EM as a central technique and contrast findings with comprehensive functional and computational studies. My talk will highlight how several advantages of cryo-EM can be exploited to study these pharmacological relevant transporters, taking our studies on ASCT2 as an example. ASCT2 belongs to the SLC1A superfamily and is the main source of glutamine uptake in human cells. Its upregulation is strongly linked to cancer cell growth and poor patient survival, making it a potential target in cancer therapy. We were able to solve the first structures of ASCT2, and answer key mechanistic questions. Our observations are of great fundamental interest and pave the way for the rational design of inhibitors.