ABCs of Transport
Ahmet S. Vakkasoglu, Ph.D.
Cells are structural and functional units of all living organisms that are compartmentalized and enclosed by semi-permeable lipid membranes. In order to maintain physiological activities, cells need to transport essential nutrients and ions via transport proteins. ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) transporters are one of the major classes of transport proteins which hydrolyze ATP in order to transport their substrates unlike majority of membrane channels. However, it is still not clear how ATP hydrolysis and substrate transport are coupled. In this talk, I will present our recent findings on how an ABC transporter protein can decouple substrate transport and ATP hydrolysis.
Ahmet S. Vakkasoglu graduated from Bogazici University with a B.S. degree in Chemistry in 2000. He started to work on reduction of nitrate species and investigation of solid state catalysts by using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy at Bilkent University where he got his M.S. degree in Chemistry in 2002. Then he moved to United States, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and studied proton pumping membrane proteins with FTIR Spectroscopy. He graduated from University of Illinois with a degree in Biophysics and Computational Biology in 2008. Since then he has been a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University studying biochemistry of membrane transport proteins and employing x-ray crystallography to obtain high resolution 3D structures of proteins.