Hoenger Lab
University of Colorado at Boulder
Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Structural and Functional Investigations
into Cytoskeletal Assemblies by
Cryo Electron Microscopy
and 3D Image Analysis

 

For information regarding Graduate Assistantships please contact Andy Hoenger at Andreas.Hoengeatcolorado.edu

The Science

Our research focuses on cryo-electron microscopy and 3-D reconstruction of large macromolecular assemblies and cellular structures, whenever possible in vivo. In the past structural biology was often confined to in vitro approaches, thereby reducing a complex biological system to a very limited problem.

While this will certainly still be the case for sometime while generating atomic-resolution data such as X-ray, electron crystallography or NMR spectroscopy; cryo-electron microscopy in combination with tomographic 3D reconstruction approaches clearly has the potential to investigate cellular structures in vivo.

This resolution of 2-3 nm detail, although not atomic, will allow recognition within single protein domains in the context of larger macromolecular assemblies and cellular organelles directly in the cell.

Background

With expertise in microtubule structures and microtubule associated proteins (MAPS), and molecular motors of the Dynein and Kinesin families, we will use a correlative microscopy approach for high-resolution studies on various dynamic aspects in cells such as cell division and intracellular transport processes.

The Future

In addition to focusing on microtubule structures the lab will investigate the regulation of the entire cytoskeleton, and in particular the functional connections between microtubules, actin and intermediate filament structures in an intact cell.

University of Colorado, MCD Biology, 347 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0347