Assistant: Margot Hoyt
While working on the crystal structure of the 250-kDa Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) core in John Kuryans laboratory, André developed a strong fascination for macromolecular assemblies. Inspired by the large CaMKII structure, André joined Günter Blobels laboratory with the idea of starting a comprehensive structural and functional characterization of the ~120 million Dalton nuclear pore complex (NPC), one of the largest proteinaceous assemblies in eukaryotic cells. In Günter Blobels laboratory André set up a structural biology subgroup that established the NPC as a viable target for an interdisciplinary divide-and-conquer approach, employing X-ray crystallographic, biochemical and in vivo studies, funded by a grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Simultaneously, André stared a second line of research on the regulation of the histone-modifying machinery. André joined the Caltech faculty in November 2010.
The Hoelz lab carries out structure-function studies of the nuclear pore complex with the ultimate goal of elucidating the atomic structure of the NPC. The applied structure determination as well as the described design principles of the NPC may serve as paradigms for other macromolecular assemblies.