Research center

Research center

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Chile has a trajectory of over 50 years and was one of the first biochemistry laboratories to be established in the country. Since its beginnings, it has been involved in research related to protein biophysics and enzymology, positioning itself at the forefront of these areas within Chile.

Much of the research is underpinned by the molecular evolution of protein families, demanding a multidisciplinary approach where structural biology plays a fundamental role. In this context, we employ both X-ray crystallography, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and more recently, we have been working with cryo-electron microscopy.

Research lines

An important part of our research focuses on studying the evolution of proteins and enzymes in traits such as enzymatic promiscuity, substrate specificity, allosteric regulation, catalytic mechanisms, and adaptation to various extreme environments (psychrophiles, thermophiles, halophiles).

We employ the methodology of ancestral enzyme reconstruction to trace the evolutionary pathways of these traits and the associated structural aspects. In addition to X-ray crystallography, SAXS, and cryoEM, we utilize approaches such as steady-state enzymatic kinetics, rapid kinetics (pre-steady-state), fluorescence, circular dichroism, thermodynamic studies of molecular interactions, protein stability, bioinformatics, computational molecular dynamics simulations, and recently, multiparametric single-molecule fluorescence.

Instrumentation

Let’s keep unlocking the power of collaboration 💪🔬@AdeliaBelem visited @NanotecLNNano supported by our Mobility Fellowships, where she met new colleagues and learned the entire cryomicroscopy routine, including single particle analysis and cryo-tomography 👇

This project has been made possible in part by a grant from the Chang Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of Silicon Valley.