Structural aspects of membrane fusion by X-ray diffraction and imaging

The goal of this project is to study the structure of fusion stalks with particular emphasis on lipid membranes with reconstituted fusogenic proteins such as SNAREs, using different X-ray techniques. The ultimate goal is to reveal the positions of the proteins in the three-dimensional electron density of the stalk structure. We want to monitor the transient formation of stalks near the ?crystallization? transition. Finally, we aim at a detailed investigation of the structure of the docking state between vesicles with different reconstituted SNAREs and mutants.