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German workshop on
structural predictions of membrane proteins
From ion channels to G-protein coupled receptors

November 26th–27th, 2019 - Forschungszentrum Jülich (GERMANY)

ProfileCopyright: Giulia Rossetti

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are seven-transmembrane proteins involved in signal transduction across the cell membrane. Ion channels are membrane-bound enzymes whose catalytic sites are ion-conducting pores that open and close in response to specific stimuli. Ion channels are important contributors to cell signalling and homeostasis. Due to their physiological and pathological relevance, their expression in the plasma membrane, which facilitates molecular interactions in the extracellular milieu, and defined binding sites, GPCRs and ion channels are highly druggable targets. Indeed, these proteins constitute ~40% of drug targets, yet rational drug design is hampered by the lack of experimental structural information for most of them. For instance, the structures of 62 out of the ~800 GPCRs in the human genome have been solved to date. Computational methods such as molecular simulation and bioinformatics can help fill in this gap and, combined with experimental techniques, can reveal major aspects in the structural basis of ligand binding and protein function. Molecular simulations can furthermore assist in drug design approaches.

By gathering together top-level German researchers in the field of GPCRs, ion channels and computational biology, this meeting will discuss challenges and perspectives of molecular simulation- and bioinformatics-based  predictions of G-protein coupled receptors’ and ion channels’ structural determinants. Molecular simulations studies of ion channels and transporters will also be presented. The workshop receives support from the DynIon DFG research group, which is devoted to promoting unattainable synergy between computer simulations and experiments to the study of ion channels and transporters. The workshop will open with a lecture from Prof. Michael Klein, whose pioneering studies on membrane-bound proteins and ion channels have paved the way to our understanding of a variety on these fascinating proteins, from nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, to voltage-gated cation channels, Influenza M2 proton channel, and will be closed by a lecture from Prof. Thomas Beck, whose extensive work on the chloride channel has made significant progress in understanding the mechanism of this biological machine.


Registration is free but required.



The Organizers

Paolo Carloni (Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University)

Antonella Di Pizio (Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich)





Web master:
Emiliano Ippoliti (Forschungszentrum Jülich, GERMANY)

Additional Information








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