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Research Overview

Why study muscle and cell motility?

The movements of our limbs, the beating of our heart and the peristalsis of our gut, all powered by our muscles, are things we can readily observe macroscopically. With muscle we can investigate those movements microscopically, at the molecular and near-atomic level, using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy. Muscles contract and cells move by interaction of the motor protein, myosin, with filaments of actin, causing them to move. Our goal is to understand how motor and filament structure underlie these movements in muscle and nonmuscle systems. We study myosin and actin filament structure in relaxed muscle and how they change in structure when muscle is activated. We obtain 3D information on structure using 3D reconstruction techniques, obtaining resolutions of 5 Å and better.

Craig Lab - UMMS - IHM