The world ocean has somewhere between 10 000 and 100 000 seamounts more than 1 km
tall and as many as 1 000 000 features over 100 m tall. These are some of the least understood
habitats on the planet. Large seamounts, particularly those close to or within the
photic zone, support and attract rich biotic communities and are important for the status
of marine food webs and biodiversity. Intensive boom-and-bust fi sheries have depleted
fi sh populations and damaged or destroyed associated benthic communities.
Although highly controversial just a few years ago, the idea that G-pro-tein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) may undergo homo-oligomerization or
hetero-oligomerization has recently gained considerable attention. The
recognition that GPCRs may exhibit either dimeric or oligomeric structures
is based on a number of different biochemical and biophysical approaches.
Since the first production of tools at the beginning of human presence on Earth, human evolution is
linked to the invention of new tools, usually combined with new environmental adaptations.
The symbiosis of man with tools and environments represents one of the main factors in human
evolutionary processes. It is evident how this coupling is based on the biophysics of our bodies and the
development of the social memory system called culture.
Reconstitution of membrane proteins allows their study in a
membrane environment that can be manipulated at will.
Because membrane proteins have diverse biophysical pro-perties, reconstitution methods have so far been developed
for individual proteins on an ad hoc basis. We developed a
postinsertion reconstitution method for CCR5, a G protein
coupled receptor, with seven transmembraneahelices and
small ecto- and endodomains.
The adenosine A2a
receptor belongs to the seven trans-membrane helix G-protein-coupled receptor family, is
abundant in striatum, vasculature and platelets and is
involved in several physiological processes such as blood
pressure regulation and protection of cells during anoxia.
For structural and biophysical studies we have expressed
the human adenosine A2areceptor (hA2aR) at high levels
inserted into the Escherichia coliinner membrane, and
established a puri®cation scheme.