The goal of the Common Fund’s Structural Biology program was to develop novel methods to isolate large amounts of membrane proteins and determine their protein structures.
The program provided the following resources to the scientific community:
- Laboratory Methods
- Research Tools
- Reference Materials
During the second phase of the Structural Biology Research Program (FY2009-2013), researchers developed additional innovative approaches for membrane protein production as well as structure determination, including methodologies that can be applied to protein complexes made up of multiple protein components, such as different types of proteins. The work during this phase occurred at the two Centers for Innovation in Membrane Protein Production as well as through additional R01 grants.
Highlights of the Structural Biology program's major accomplishments are:
- Numerous scientific advances addressing complex challenges in biomedical research (see examples on the Program Highlights page)
- Dr. Brian Kobilka, grantee of the Structural Biology program, was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for groundbreaking studies on G-protein coupled receptors (work performed in part through support of this program)
- Dr. Ray Stevens, supported by the Structural Biology program, characterized hundreds of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) membrane protein structures
Please note that since the Structural Biology program is no longer supported by the Common Fund, the program website is being maintained as an archive and will not be updated on a regular basis.
G Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR)
G Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) structures solved to date through the Joint Center for Integral Membrane Protein Technologies-Complexes (JCIMPT-Complexes)
Click on the protein structure images to learn more!
In 2007, Common Fund support of pioneering methods in membrane protein production resulted in the determination of the structure of the β2 Adrenergic receptor. Since then, these methods and others have rapidly accelerated GPCR membrane protein structure determination, as shown above.
Why care about GPCRs?