Analysing the function of the ATPase p97 using cryo-EM

The AAA ATPase p97 is a motor protein converting energy stored in ATP into conformational changes to segregate proteins in a variety of essential cellular processes, ranging from protein degradation, gene transcription and membrane fusion. In the cell, many proteins interact with p97, with more than 20 serving as cofactors that direct p97 to a particular function.

The project is designed to characterize the dynamic conformational landscape of p97 in solution and in its cellular context. The approaches will consist of a combination of biochemical characterisation with the leading edge imaging technology of single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and cellular electron tomography (cryo-ET).

The project will advance our understanding on how p97 functions as a versatile molecular motor in cell. Findings will directly contribute to the design of therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, infectious and neurological diseases.


The University of Melbourne: A/Prof. Isabelle Rouiller.

CNRS: Dr. Slavica Jonic.