Structural biology and SEC-MALS, go together like… horses and stalls? One might be tempted to make the analogy and rather unfortunate rhyme, especially in horse country. The University of Texas, Dallas is where Prof. Sheena D’Arcy has set her stake in the ground, and SEC-MALS is as essential to her work on protein structure, dynamics and function as, well, a horse is to a cowboy.
Prof. D’Arcy is interested in high-resolution studies of large protein complexes involved in transcription initiation and chromatin dynamics. These complexes are master regulators of gene expression and dictate cell identity, so understanding how they work at the molecular level will have broad repercussions for regenerative medicine, as well as for diseases such as cancer that are associated with aberrant gene transcription.
After expressing the proteins recombinantly, the D’Arcy lab performs a variety of biochemical, biophysical, and structural studies to:
Multiple experimental techniques are applied, including HDX-MS and x-ray crystallography. As might be expected, light scattering supports this research extensively. The miniDAWN® and Optilab® were some of the first pieces of equipment ordered when the D’Arcy lab was established in August 2015, for use downstream of a size-exclusion chromatography column. The SEC-MALS setup is used at several stages in the research pipeline and is almost always in use;
“Our SEC-MALS set up is a workhorse in the laboratory; it is easy to use and reliably gives us high quality analytical data. My students say that MALS is Raleigh (really) the best!"