Mikaela Rapp

Mikaela Rapp


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Works at Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Telephone 08-16 24 87
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 16
Room A 556
Postal address Institutionen för biokemi och biofysik 106 91 Stockholm


Responsible for the course Molecular Lifesciences (Molekylära livsvetenskaper), 7.5 hp. The course is a part time distance course that runs the second part of the spring term. 



Molecular mechanisms of magnesium channels

My research aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of magnesium channels. This broad class of membrane proteins governs magnesium transport across lipid membranes in order to maintain an appropriate concentration of magnesium inside cells and organelles. Their role is a pre-requisite for cell survival as many essential cellular processes depend on magnesium.

How these channels operate on a molecular level and their physiological roles within the cell is still far from clear. We do not understand the chemistry behind magnesium selectivity and transportation across the membrane. Other open questions in the field include how channel gating (opening and closing) is accomplished, and how sensing and regulation of intra-cellular magnesium levels is coupled to the gating event. This discrepancy is in large part due to technical difficulties associated with working with hydrophobic membrane proteins. This is unfortunate, not only for academic research but because many of magnesium channels are implicated in human disease and are key targets for the pharmacological industry.

My research group search for answers to these questions by studying prokaryotic and eukaryotic magnesium channels using a multidisciplinary approach. Their 3D structures are investigated by X-ray crystallography, while channel function is studied in vivo. To couple structural characteristics of a protein to its function, we have developed a range of in vitro methods where we assay purified proteins.



Last updated: May 28, 2020

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