KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Carsten Mim has a longstanding interest in membrane and membrane-associated proteins throughout his career. As an experienced Electrophysiologist, he characterized the glutamate transporter EAAT3 and EAAT4. The kinetics of EAAT4 differ from other glutamate transporters, by a voltage sensitive step that slows the turnover rate at hyperpolarized membrane potentials. Further, recorded transient and steady state currents at different temperatures showed that the binding of glutamate is enthalpy-driven unlike the binding of Na+. To visualize membrane: protein complexes, he turned to electron microscopy. His work on the Bin/Amphyphysin/Rvs domain (BAR) protein endophilin in complex with the bilayer resulted in the unexpected discovery that the stability and dynamics of endophilin scaffolds entirely depend on non-specific interactions between amphipathic helices in the bilayer. His findings also provided a first structurally motivated hypothesis how BAR-scaffolds selectively recruit downstream interaction partners through a steric selection mechanism.
When structure leads to function: Protein complexes at the membrane in endocytosis