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Garcia Alai Group

Integrative structural biology and Molecular biophysics

The Garcia Alai team develops methods for sample optimisation and characterisation for SAXS, MX and EM experiments and applies systematic pipelines of biophysical techniques to solve dynamic structural puzzles, with particular focus on protein-lipid interactions.

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Previous and current research

Structure of the endocytic adaptor complex reveals the basis for efficient membrane anchoring during clathrin-mediated endocytosis

Our lab is interested in the protein-lipid interactions that keep adaptor proteins attached to the plasma membrane through endocytosis and trafficking. We use an integrated structural biology approach to study the assembly and disassembly mechanisms of these transient complexes.

Data Analysis Platform for molecular biophysics

Our team also develops methods for sample characterisation for SAXS, MX and EM experiments and applies systematic pipelines of biophysical techniques to solve dynamic structural puzzles.

eSPC

Data analysis platform for molecular biophysics

Future projects and goals

Membrane proteins

In collaboration with groups working in the membrane protein field we are developing highly automated pipelines for sample preparation. These will integrate membrane solubilisation, detergent screening, lipid reconstitution and sample optimization in an automated workflow. Funded access to these new pipelines will be available through the EC-funded iNEXT project.

Find out about our open positions.

In yeast, endocytic coat adaptors, Sla2 and Ent1, must remain attached to the plasma membrane to transmit force from the actin cytoskeleton required for successful membrane invagination (right). The hetero-tetrameric unit binds PIP2 molecules (green) at the ANTH (cyan) and ENTH (grey) interfaces.
“Structure of the endocytic adaptor AENTH complex reveals the basis for efficient membrane anchoring during clathrin-mediated endocytosis. The complex is a tetramer formed by two ANTH (cyan) and two ENTH (grey) domains. Similarly to a peg, the adaptor complex clasps the PIP2 in the membrane and contributes to its remodelling”.
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