B13 Hagn: Conformational switching of Bcl2 proteins and their complexes in a native membrane environment

In project B13, we will investigate the structural transformation of the pro-apoptotic Bcl2 protein Bak taking place on a membrane surface, a process that is required for downstream pore formation, and will probe its interaction with anti-apoptotic BclxL in a full-length context and in a native phospholipid bilayer environment. Furthermore, we will perform a comparative biophysical and structural analysis of pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl2 proteins to be able to extract the hallmarks defining a pro-apopototic member. In addition, we will continue working on the high-resolution structure determination and functional characterisation of the VDAC ion channel in phospholipid nanodiscs and its complex with anti-apopotitc BclxL. For reaching these project goals, we will mainly use NMR spectroscopy, as well as a large variety of other structural and biophysical methods that are available in the CRC1035.