The UNMC Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics collaborative group at the University of Nebraska Medical Center apply 3D structural techniques and other biophysical methods to the analysis of important biological macromolecules, to drive research and direct the synthesis of novel therapeutics. Structural biology and molecular biophysics applies the principles and techniques of biology, chemistry, computer science, physics and mathematics, to elucidate the governing forces and structures of biological macromolecules, supra-molecular structures, organelles, and cells. Atomic images of the arrangement of amino acid side chains in 3D give the atomic details needed to visualize the active sites of enzymes, see the DNA binding sites of transcription factors and view the protein-protein interactions of signaling molecules. Function can be understood through determination of atomic structures followed by sensible application of biophysical methods to measure and interpret the molecular forces involved. These tools uncover the architecture of the macromolecules of life and reveal what causes their action and, in the case of disease, dysfunction. Understanding the structure, function and energetics of medically relevant macromolecules can help researchers better understand the causes of cancer and aid in the development of drugs based on the structure of targeted proteins.
Atomic Force Microscopy
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