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The Evolution of Protein Structures

To mark MIT’s 150th anniversary, the MIT Department of Biology will present a forum on “The Evolution of Protein Structures” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, in Room 32-123.

The determination of the 3-D structure of proteins has been one of the great achievements of modern biology and biochemistry. Over the past 50 years, we have moved from understanding the fold of one single protein — hemoglobin — to more than 50,000. This knowledge underlies many of the most important advances in biomedicine and disease therapy. This forum will highlight recent advances in understanding how these extraordinary molecular machines — that form the basis of all life processes — have evolved.

Lecturers will include Institute Professor Phillip A. Sharp, of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, on “Split gene structure and protein function”; Associate Professor of Biology Amy E. Keating on “The alpha helical coiled coil: An ancient and versatile protein structure”; Associate Professor of Biology Thomas U. Schwartz on “Protein conservation without sequence conservation: Membrane coats”; and Professor of Biology Jonathan King on “Evolution of the Greek key eye lens crystallins.”

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