EXPANDING STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY AT WEST COAST
The Biomolecular cryoEM Facility at University California - Santa Cruz is a leading provider of cutting-edge structural biology solutions using transmission electron microscopy.
CryoEM at UCSC provides access to a complete workflow from sample analysis and optimization to grid preparation, automated high-resolution imaging, data analysis, tridimensional reconstruction, which allows structure determination via model construction and validation.
Multiple levels of service and access are available and correspond with the type of analysis desired. Onsite individual training is provided for users from different levels and there are no geographical restrictions.
Why not join our community? Get in touch today to learn more.
Meet the Team
Our lab works to identify the structural and biochemical underpinnings of biological timekeeping by circadian clocks, which synchronize physiology and behavior with the day/night cycle. By developing a mechanistic understanding of how molecular circadian clocks function, we aim to capitalize on the temporal regulation of physiology and behavior to develop innovative strategies to treat a broad spectrum of human diseases. Cryo-EM is playing an increasingly large role in our work, as we seek to describe day/night changes in clock protein dynamics and the formation of large clock protein assemblies.
The Rubin laboratory is studying the molecular mechanisms that control the cell cycle of growth and division and how these mechanisms are deregulated in cancer. The cell cycle consists of two waves of gene expression to replicate DNA and undergo mitosis. We are determining the structure, function, and regulation of proteins that control this cell-cycle dependent gene expression. These proteins include the transcription factors (TFs, e.g. E2F, B-Myb, FoxM1) whose activity stimulates transcription, proteins that negatively regulate the TFs (e.g. Rb proteins and the MuvB complex), and the kinases and ubiquitin ligases (e.g. Cdks, Aurora A, and CycF) that phosphorylate and modulate TF activity. We use an integrated approach that combines electron microscopy and other structural biology tools with cell-based assays to determine how these proteins interact with each other and chromatin to control transcription. Specific goals using electron microscopy include determining the structural mechanisms for how cell-cycle TFs bind chromatin and change chromatin structure for gene activation, how TFs are regulated by phosphorylation, how MuvB switches from a repressor to an activator of transcription, and how cell-cycle kinases and ubiquitin ligases are regulated. These studies are providing new mechanistic insights regarding how the cell cycle is controlled and how transcription factors directly modulate gene expression through influencing chromatin structure.
The Raskatov lab investigates the impact of amino acid sidechain modification on amyloid beta fibril formation. We are particularly interested in amino acid deamidation, oxidation and epimerization (racemization).