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Protein Structural Analysis & Design Laboratory

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1319

Model for how monoclonal antibody 3D6 (yellow and green tubes) can recognize a helical peptide (blue) in Brugia malayi asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase and neutralize its enzymatic activity by occluding the active site.  See M. A. Kron et al. (2008), under Publications.
Welcome to the PSA Laboratory

About Our Work

By modeling and analyzing the structures of proteins and the small organic molecules they bind, our goal is to understand how 3-dimensional molecular structures encode the preference to bind a specific partner molecule necessary for cellular function. Contributions of molecular flexibility and water molecules during binding make the process more complex and fascinating - like a molecular dance choreographed by chemistry.

A related problem we tackle is to discover the natural binding partner(s) for proteins by screening millions of molecules as potential partners, modeling their 3-dimensional interactions, and using pattern recognition to discover features shared with other protein complexes. In collaboration with experimentalists, we put our knowledge to the test through protein design and activity assays of small molecules, to address pressing environmental and medical challenges.

Leslie Kuhn, Lab Director

Professor Emeritus

Interaction between sea lamprey olfactory receptor 1 and 3-ketopetromyzonol sulfate pheromone (white tubes).