pISSN 2288-6982
eISSN 2288-7105




BioDesign 2020; 8(4): 87-92

Published online December 30, 2020

© Korean Society for Structural Biology

Cryo-electron microscopy research at the institute of membrane proteins: current status and future prospects

Ji Won Kim and Jie-Oh Lee*

Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Membrane Proteins, POSTECH, Pohang 37673, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:

Received: December 1, 2020; Revised: December 16, 2020; Accepted: December 17, 2020


Transmembrane proteins are among the most important targets for drug discovery. Cryo-EM is particularly useful in membrane protein research because crystallization of target proteins is not necessary. The Institute of Membrane Proteins is currently being constructed at POSTECH to utilize this technological development and facilitate membrane protein research in Korea. Several instruments, including two cryo-EMs will be installed at the institute for public use. Facilities necessary for antibody development against transmembrane proteins will also be installed. Experts, who can operate these instruments as well as help other external scientists, have been hired. In addition to supporting external research, the institute will carry out internal research. Fourteen research groups from universities and national laboratories have currently participated in this project. By collaborating with staff scientists at the institute, these research groups will conduct structural analysis of membrane proteins and develop antibody drugs against them.