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CAS Key Laboratory of Computational Biology Seminar: Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Structure by Cryo-electron Tomography (May 24, 2017)
2017-05-18
 

Speaker: Vladan Lučić,Ph.D.
Project Group Leader
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Department of Molecular Structural Biolog
Web: http://www.biochem.mpg.de/277447/15_ContentSynCompl

Time: 10:00 am, 24th May (Wednesday)
Place: Room 300, SIBS Main Building 
Host: Prof. Philipp Khaitovich

Title: Quantitative analysis of synaptic structure by cryo-electron tomography

Abstract:
The precise organization of molecular complexes have a critical role in the synaptic transmission, as well as in many other cellular processes. Our current research focuses on the molecular organization of neuronal synapses at the nanometer scale. It is based on imaging of synaptic structures within their natural environment at high resolution by cryo-electron tomography. Specifically, we use quantitative characterization of synaptic complexes to establish a correspondence between their structural properties and different functional states of the synapse. This allowed us to decipher the synaptic function of the most prominent complexes and to obtain new insights into the function and organization of selected synaptic proteins. In order to extract maximum information from our tomograms, we also develop image processing methods for the detection of complexes as well as for the optimization of correlative microscopy methods that integrate light, transmission electron and scanning microscopy. Ultimately, this approach is expected to yield a molecular map of the synapse and set a stage for similar investigations of other cell biological systems that require detailed structural understanding of large molecular assemblies in situ.

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