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We participated in the live research fair “19 Fira Recerca en Directe” from 18 to 21 April 2023 and presented the activity “Protein crystals, proteins in 3D”.

The three-dimensional structure at the atomic level of proteins is useful for understanding how their activation mechanism operates and how the protein or protein complexes exert their function. In addition, the three-dimensional structure is necessary for the design of drugs against protein targets involved in disease. In our laboratories, the proteolysis Lab and the MitoLab, we grow crystals of proteins of medical interest. The proteins are placed in special solutions in which the protein crystallizes. By applying X-ray from synchrotron radiation against such crystals, the beam collides with the electrons of the atoms from the protein. The X-ray diffraction data is collected and processed so that the atomic structure of the protein is deciphered and interpreted.

At the Fair we presented our research about the three-dimensional structure determination of proteins. The visiting students, from selected schools in Catalonia, prepared protein crystals that grew in situ. In addition, the students could play some games that we prepared and responded to questions in a highly interactive manner. The experience was intensive, the students learned about the crystal structures of proteins and our laboratories learned a lot about science dissemination, and we had a lot of fun.




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