On November 18th, 2015, Prof. Andrew R. Marks from Columbia University, the Member of National Academy of Sciences (USA), visited Institute of Biophysics (IBP), CAS and gave a lecture entitled Towards a Structural Basis of Complex Disorders of Heart, Muscle, Brain and Metabolism. The lecture, which is a part of the special lecture series of SHI zhangBei Lecture of IBP, was hosted by Prof. JI Guangju.
Prof. Andrew R. Marks mainly focuses on the pathophysiological roles of Ca2+ releasing proteins such RyRs and IP3Rs in the heart, brain, skeletal muscle and pancreas. By using single-particle electron cryomicroscopy, his team reported the rabbit RyR1 structure at 4.8 ? in the absence of Ca2+ in a closed state on Nature.
In this lecture, Prof. Andrew R. Marks briefly introduced his contributions to the findings on the function of RyRs. In 1989, he successfully cloned the whole sequence of RyR and identified two regulators, calstabin1and calstabin2, for this huge protein. Then he found that RyR can be modified by phosphorylation, oxidation, and nitrosylation and plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of heart, brain, skeletal muscle as well as pancreas.
In addition, Prof. Andrew R. Marks introduced the latest achievement of RyR1 structure from his laboratory. By using single-particle electron cryomicroscopy, they report the rabbit RyR1 structure at 4.8 ? in the absence of Ca2+ in a closed state. The work has been published on Nature (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v517/n7532/full/nature13950.html). He also showed a new RyR1 structure in an open state. Through comparing the tow structures, he provided a theory to explain how Ca2+ goes through this ion channel.
Prof. Andrew R. Marks gave the lecture with vivid words, rigorous logic and great passion, which could be a lively lesson for the audience. After the lecture, Prof. Andrew R. Marks and the audience shared their views on the issues of common interest.