Newsletter Archive

December 11, 2017

The success continues: collaborative effort by the Bai and Jiang labs results in the second Nature publication this year.

TRPM4 is a calcium-activated, PI(4,5)P2-modulated, non-selective cation channel that plays important roles in many physiological processes such as insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells and breath pace-making in brainstem neurons, and its mutations was found to be associated with human heart conduction dysfunction. The labs from Dr. Xiao-chen Bai and Dr. Youxing Jiang determined the single particle cryo-EM structures of the mouse TRPM4 channel in the apo- and ATP-bound states with 3.1 Å and 2.9 Å resolution, respectively (Guo et al. Nature, 2017). Along with electrophysiological analysis, this study not only reveals the unique molecular architecture of the TRPM family, but also elucidates the structural basis of ATP modulation and ion selectivity of the TRPM4 channel.

subcellular structures in increasing resolution

October 7, 2017

First publication of an atomic protein structure determined using the CEMF

The collaborative effort of Dr. Youxing Jiang’s group (Physiology and Biophysics) and Dr. Xiao-chen Bai’s group (Biophysics and Cell biology) resulted in the world’s first 3D atomic structure of a mammalian ion channel Transient receptor potential mucolipin 1 (TRPML1) (Chen*, She* et al., Nature, 2017). TRPML1 is an endo/lysosomal cation channel, and its loss-of-function mutations are the direct cause of Type IV mucolipidosis (MLIV), an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease. By using single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) in combination with mutagenesis, the TRPML1 structure reveals the PIP2 binding site and several key features in the selectivity filter that determine the cation ion selectivity. Through a particles sorting approach, the structure also reveals two equally distributed S4-S5 linker conformations in the closed channel, providing structural implication for the S4-S5 linker-mediated PIP2 gating mechanism among TRPML channels. This work marks the first publication of a structure determined using the university’s new $17 million Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility (CEMF).

subcellular structures in increasing resolution

October 7, 2017

Come join us to celebrate the EXCITING WIN for the field of Cryo-Electron Microscopy!!!

We will celebrate this Friday October 6th at 5:00 PM in the NL5 elevator lounge (3 elevator side). I hope you will find time to come by for a toast and snacks.

subcellular structures in increasing resolution

April 6, 2017

Single-Particle Discussion Group begins

First Thursday of each month, 4-5 p.m., NB10.606

To address the needs of the nascent cryo-EM single-particle reconstruction community at UT Southwestern, we have organized a monthly group to discuss methods and strategies to tackle problems as they arise. This will be of most use to people that have already collected some cryo-EM data; however all are welcome to attend. The format will consist of very informal conversations about specific problems. People who have questions can prepare two or three slides to provide a brief introduction of the project background and the nature of the problem. (Images may include raw micrographs, 2D averages, or a slice of a 3D reconstruction.)

As with all informal lab meetings/discussion groups on campus, the material presented is considered confidential.

March 31, 2017

Farewell Happy Hour for Kangkang Song

Dany’s lab will have a special Happy Hour to say farewell to Dr. Kangkang Song, who will start in April as EM facility manager at the University of Massachusetts. Please feel free to join us!

March 28, 2017

Volta Phase Plate (VPP) Data

Dany presents Volta Phase Plate (VPP) data at Cell Biology Faculty Works in Progress, showing contrast and resolution improvement compared to previous subtomogram averages: the “96nm ruler” (coiled-coil, arrow) is visible with just 200 particles averaged.

subcellular structures in increasing resolution

March 20, 2017

Polices and Training Implemented

The CEMF's Policies, Rules, and Rates have been approved by the Internal Advisory Committee; user training has begun on the Talos Arctica electron microscope.

November 2016

Arrival of Talos™ Arctica

Room under construction
Preparing the room for arrival
Faculty members posing with machine
Drs. Michael Rosen and Sandra Schmid pose with the newly delivered microscope.

June 2016

News Coverage of CEMF

Drs. Sandra Schmid, Michael Rosen and Daniela Nicastro are interviewed by WNDU16.

May 25, 2016

KERA Interview

Dr. Michael Rosen is interviewed by Justin Martin for KERA Breakthroughs.

May 16, 2016

CEMF News Release

“We are the only institution in the world with this configuration of instruments,” said Dr. Sandra Schmid, Chair of the Department of Cell Biology and holder of the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology. “It establishes UT Southwestern as one of the world’s top facilities for cryo-EM structural biology.”
Read full release

Banner featuring Drs. Rosen, Schmid, and Nicastro
The news release isfeatured on UT Southwestern's home page.

April 25, 2016

Inaugural Symposium

Symposium flyer

A symposium will celebrate the CEMF's grand opening will of the CEMF. “The Resolution Revolution: New Windows into Cellular Structure and Function” will feature distinguished guest speakers from universities nationwide.

March 14, 2016

Panorama of Krios Room

Panorama image of empty room
Panorama shot of NL1.180D, waiting for the Krios to arrive


Construction of CEMF Annex

Building in various stages of construction
The annex housing the new CEMF is shown on August 24, 2015 (left), October 19, 2015 (center), and March 1, 2016 (right)