Physico-Chimie Curie

Internships Opportunities

Single-molecule biophysics of membrane proteins & emergent functionality

Conformational changes and diffusion dynamics of membrane proteins are key in regulating fundamental cell physiology. Membrane proteins are involved in the transport of ions, drugs or molecules across the lipid bilayer using  different  sources  of  energy – during which they undergo specific conformations & spatial re-arrangement in membranes. We are interested in deciphering nanoscale conformations and membrane organizing principles of cell-signaling receptors and membrane transporter proteins. In this thematic, we have multiple openings to address biophysics question such as:

How  does mechanical  stresses on bio membranes affect protein conformations and thus its activity? How does protein-protein interaction at the molecule level play a role in decision making at the cellular level? We employ transdisciplinary approach combining biochemistry (for in-vitro protein reconstitution), synthetic biology (such as click-chemistry for site-specific fluorescence labeling), and optical methods (single-molecule FRET, single particle tracing, fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy) to explore the influence of conformations and protein-protein interactions in cell functions. If any of these keywords interest you, and if you like working at the interface of physics and biology, please get in touch.

  1. Srinivasan, S., Regmi, R., et al. “Ligand-induced transmembrane conformational coupling in monomeric EGFR.” Nature Communications 13.1, 2022.
  2. Quemeneur, F., Bassereau, P., et al. “Shape matters in protein mobility within membranes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.14, 2014.
  3. Damm, Alicia. Interplay between the conformational dynamics of a transmembrane protein and the mechanical properties of its surrounding membrane. Diss. Sorbonne Université, 2019.

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