Dr. C. Maroun and his team conduct ambitious research on the interactions between membrane proteins by using an interface-based prediction of cell plasma membrane protein-protein interactions. The ultimate goal is to explore the effects of pathogenic mutations on the 3D structure and activity of those of integral-to-membrane protein complexes. This research has led to the generation of a relational knowledge-based database and the corresponding web server interface listing predictions of the interactions of transmembrane segments proteins.
Membrane proteins can be assembled as homo- or hetero-oligomers. In this figure are shown the transmembrane domains of a potassium channel homodimer. Calculated hydrocarbon boundaries of the lipid bilayer are indicated by red and blue dots (PDB ID code 2R9R).
Along with this work, new projects are being launched to explore the structure/function relationships of RNA-binding proteins in complex with nucleic acids. The development of effectors of this association is in collaboration with the spin-off Synsight for computer-aided drug design.