Conformational changes in proteins are important for protein function, including ligand recognition, protein-protein interactions and chemical modifications of proteins. The Protein Dynamics group uses experimental and computational methods to elucidate the importance of changes in protein conformation and protein interactions caused by mechanical stress.
Our major focus is to understand the structural dynamics of the proteins in cellular adhesion sites called focal adhesions. We are particularly focusing on talin and vinculin, two proteins in the complex that connects the actin cytoskeleton to the integrin receptors on cell surface. We also participate in material research aiming for novel biosensors and better tools for gene transfer. In addition, we participate in research focusing on avidin-biotin technology in collaboration with Professor Kulomaa.
The experimental tools include recombinant proteins and mutagenesis, interaction analysis methods, fluorescence spectroscopy and optical microscopy. The computational biology makes it possible to understand the protein behavior at atomic resolution, and we use molecular dynamics simulations as a main tool.
Biocenter Finland plays important role in our operation and
we provide services in protein production and protein analysis