Structural biology and binding studies of BCL-2 family proteins

Structural biology and binding studies of BCL-2 family proteins

Project details

Apoptosis is the principle pathway that targets cells for targeted death and is required for removal of faulty cells for example due to viral infection. Defective cell death can contribute to disease in a variety of settings including cancers, heart attack, stroke and degenerative disease (Czabotar, Nature Reviews Mol Cell Biol 2014 15:49). 

We are interested in understanding how the pro-apoptotic protein Bax, a member of the BCL-2 family, promotes apoptosis (Birkinshaw, Semin Cell Dev Biol 2017 S1084-9521(17)30189-1). To understand this we will characterise 3-D structures of Bax using X-ray crystallography. In addition we will characterise binding of ligands to Bax using a combination of structural and biophysical techniques. 

The project will suit students interested in protein crystallography, structural biology and protein-ligand interactions.

About our research group

The Czabotar lab is situated in the Institute’s Structural Biology division. Our research focuses on using X-ray crystallography and other biophysical techniques to understand the processes involved in targeted cell death (Czabotar, Cell 2013 152:519-31). We aim to exploit high resolution structural information obtained by crystal structures to guide development of novel therapies for diseases in which inappropriate regulation of programed cell death plays a role.



Dr Richard Birkinshaw profile shot
Structural Biology division

Project Type: