Protein Engineering of Ion Conducting Nanopores

Prof. Dr. Viktor Stein


Ion transport is mediated by highly efficient and selective protein channels across cellular membranes. In many cases, their mechanism of action is well understood. Yet, harnessing their many useful properties for biotechnological applications remains largely unexplored. The goal of the AG Stein is to re-engineer naturally occurring protein-based ion channels into highly specific biosensors that can detect biotechnologically and biomedically relevant molecules. Protein-based ion channels with custom response functions are constructed using a combination of structure-guided protein engineering and high-throughput screening. This is followed up by their detailed biophysical characterization to understand the molecular basis of their sensor function.