Jochen Zimmer’s lab published structure of plant cellulose synthase in Science. Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer produced on earth. Cellulose synthase is an trimeric integral membrane protein that stiches together glucose subunits to form long cellulose cables that constitute the walls of every plant. The structure was revealed by cryo electron microscopy using UVA’s Titan Krios microscope and it explains how this enzyme forms cellulose protofibrils in a biosynthetic pathway that is coupled membrane translocation.
The researchers have published their findings in the journal Science. The research team consisted of Pallinti Purushotham, Ruoya Ho and Jochen Zimmer.
The research was supported as part of The Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Science, award No. DESC0001090.
UVA’s Molecular Electron Microscopy Core is funded by National Institutes of Health recovery grant 1G20RR31199. The Titan Krios and Gatan K3/GIF detector used in the research were funded by NIH grants SIG S10-RR025067 and U24-GM116790.