LENS Webinar #4, Global Health Threats: Cancer-related research using neutrons
Gerhard Gröbner: How does the Bcl-2 Protein family regulate apoptosis at the mitochondrial membrane level?
Jean-Michel Jault: Towards the catalytic cycle of a multidrug ABC (“ATP-Binding Cassette”) transporter
10 September 2020, 11:00am CET
Chair: Anne Martel, Institut Laue Langevin
Gerhard Gröbner works at Umeå University in Sweden as biophysical chemist to understand biological membranes, and especially how the function of their proteins is connected to the unique membrane environment. He uses a multidisciplinary biophysical/biochemical approach with focus on NMR methodology and neutron reflectometry to unravel the key structural and functional principles of the Bcl-2 protein family involved in regulation of mitochondrial apoptosis.
The main aim is to determine the membrane-bound structures of the cell-survival Bcl-2 protein itself, its molecular recognition/inhibition of its opposing apoptotic (cancer cell killing) Bax protein and the role of the mitochondrial membrane as an active partner under oxidative apoptotic stress conditions. This way, the research will generate novel molecular knowledge about how these Bcl-2 protein family regulates cell survival versus cell death; knowledge useful in understanding cancer and designing effective tumor therapies.
Jean-Michel Jault is a research director at the CNRS (“Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique”); Director of the UMR5086 CNRS/University of Lyon “Molecular Microbiology and Structural Biochemistry”; Principal investigator of the team “Bacterial nucleotide-binding proteins: resistance to antibiotics and new enzymes”.
Resistance to chemiotherapeutic treatment is an overwhelming problem in health care, not only in cancer therapies but also to eradicate life-threatening micro-organisms. Multidrug efflux transporters play a major role in this phenomenon and in particular some members of the ATP-Binding Cassette (ABC) superfamily. Recent structural advances have considerably increased our understanding of the functioning of these multidrug efflux pumps and I will summarize the current status of the knowledge we have about these pumps, and show how neutron diffraction might help to solve some of the remaining questions.
- The ESFRI Roadmap for Research Infrastructures in Europe has influenced European and national strategies, policies and funding since the first edition was launched in 2006. The latest roadmap, published on 7 December 2021, recognises the important role of the LENS Initiative in bringing together European analytical facilities to "identify synergies and opportunities for closer collaboration" and "improve the cooperation of various communities and enhance user facilities".
- The first call for applicants for the GNeuS fellowship programme is open from 1 November 2021 until 15 January 2022.
- In the context of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), LENS has compiled a variety of resources demonstrating how neutron scattering methods are being applied in energy, materials, and environment research, to help reduce our impact on the global climate.