Understanding key interactions between lipid membranes and proteins and their role in cellular signalling

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Andreas Haahr Larsen


DKK 350,000




Internationalisation Fellowships


In the project, we will investigate the interaction between specific domains of membrane proteins with the cell membrane. It has been shown previously that the binding and unbinding of specific lipids in the cell membrane to membrane proteins are important for both structure and function of the proteins. We will use molecular dynamics simulations for the investigations, and compare the resulting simulated data with experimental data, available via collaborators.


Lipid-protein interactions are important for many signalling processes. Through these processes, signals are mediated from one cell to another, e.g resulting in collective motion or important immunological responce. One example is the interaction of the C2 domain of PTEN with the cell. PTEN is vital for suppressing development of cancer. Lipid-protein interactions between C2 and the cell membrane is hypothesised to be essential for the functional cycle of PTEN. One main goal of the project is to investigate, challenge and expand that hypothesis.


The project will be performed in Mark Sansoms at the Biochemistry department at University of Oxford. Mark Sansom is head of the department and leader of the computational section in the department. The group is world-leading in simulating systems of membrane proteins interacting with the cell membrane, and has many important contributions to our current knowledge about such systems. Therefore, the group has know-how and physical facilities to host the project. Moreover, the group has many academic contacts with experimental groups, which the project will inevitably benefit from.

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