- Protein ligases
- Kinases, hydroxylases and glycosyltransferases
- Folding and assembly mechanisms of silk and collagen proteins
Examples of ongoing research projects
Functional and water-resistant composite materials from crosslinked non-canonical silks and cellulose (CrossSilk)
In this project, funded by the Research Council of Finland (formerly the Academy of Finland), we aim to improve the water resistance of currently available silk- and cellulose-based biomaterials by mimicking the crosslinking of natural silks and leather. The goal is to design fully biodegradable materials with outstanding mechanical properties in both dry and wet states. We hope that the novel crosslinked silk-CNF composite materials developed in the project can be used as a renewable and biodegradable alternative to replace current plastic- and animal-based materials.
From post-translationally modified proteins to functional biomaterials (Pro2Fun)
The goal of this project, funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Emerging Investigator grant, is to develop methods to produce post-translationally modified structural proteins, including silks and collagens, in bacteria that cannot make the desired modifications naturally. There is accumulating evidence that the post-translational modifications of proteins are essential for the mechanical properties and functionalities of the resulting materials. Yet, the mechanisms behind how these modifications affect the properties of biomaterials are not fully understood, mainly due to technical limitations. Production in bacteria enables obtaining the proteins in an economical, ethical, and sustainable manner. We use the modified proteins to engineer novel functional biomaterials, which have the potential to substitute current oil- and animal-based alternatives.
Biomolecular Click Reactions Using a Minimal pH-Activated Catcher/Tag Pair for Producing Native-Sized Spider-Silk Proteins
Molecular mechanisms mediating stiffening in the mechanically adaptable connective tissues of sea cucumbers
Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation and Assembly of Silk-like Proteins is Dependent on the Polymer Length
The inducible intein-mediated self-cleaving tag (Iist) system: A novel purification and amidation system for peptides and proteins
Sea star-inspired recombinant adhesive proteins self-assemble and adsorb on surfaces in aqueous environments to form cytocompatible coatings
Biomimetic composites with enhanced toughening using silk-inspired triblock proteins and aligned nanocellulose reinforcements
Salt-inducible Protein Splicing in cis and trans by Inteins from Extremely Halophilic Archaea as a Novel Protein-Engineering Tool
Structural basis for protein trans-splicing by a bacterial intein-like domain - Protein ligation without nucleophilic side chains
Use of protein trans-splicing to produce active and segmentally 2H, 15N labeled mannuronan C5-epimerase AlgE4
Segmental isotopic labeling of multi-domain and fusion proteins by protein trans-splicing in vivo and in vitro
Segmental isotopic labeling of a central domain in a multidomain protein by protein traws-splicing using only one robust dnae intein
Infrastructure we use
With 28 member states, EMBL has more than 110 independent research groups and service teams covering the spectrum of molecular biology at six sites in Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg, Heidelberg, EMBL-EBI Hinxton, and Rome.
Staff Scientist Sesilja Aranko has been awarded the highly competed Emerging Investigator 2023 Grant from Novo Nordisk Foundation for a research project focusing on post-translational modifications in protein-based biomaterials. The grant awarded is 10 million DKK (approx. 1.34M€) for a five-year period.