August 5 at 10:00 - 11:00, 2021 (JST)
Dr. Ai Niitsu (Postdoctoral Researcher, Theoretical Molecular Science Laboratory, RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR)) Edit
via Zoom

Designing artificial ion channel proteins has been a major challenge since rational design of membrane proteins is still in its infancy. To address this challenge, we aim to understand the most fundamental interaction in membrane proteins, helix-helix packing, using artificial peptides. Here, we rationally design, synthesise and characterise transmembrane peptides which self-assemble into stable channels. In this talk, I will present our computational de novo peptide design, structure modelling and molecular dynamics simulations, followed by biophysical experiments indicating structure and function of the designed channels. These works shed light on a sequence-to-structure/stoichiometry of membrane alpha-helices, which will aid more accurate membrane protein designs in future.

*Please refer to the email to get access to the Zoom meeting room.


  1. Scott, A.J., Niitsu, A., Kratochvil, H.T. et al. Constructing ion channels from water-soluble α-helical barrels. Nat. Chem. 13, 643–650 (2021)
  2. Mahendran, K., Niitsu, A., Kong, L. et al. A monodisperse transmembrane α-helical peptide barrel. Nature Chem 9, 411–419 (2017)

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