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Research in the Sanderson group focuses on the interactions of proteins and peptides with membranes.

Research Areas:

Recent Publications:

"The Association of Defensin HNP-2 with Negatively Charged Membranes: A Combined Fluorescence and Linear Dichroism Study", Catherine J. Pridmore, Alison Rodger and John M. Sanderson, Biochim. Biophys. Acta - Biomembr., 2016, 1858, 892–903.

"Optimised conditions for the synthesis of 17O and 18O labelled cholesterol", Celia de la Calle Arregui, Jonathan A. Purdie, Catherine A. Haslam, Robert V. Law and John M. Sanderson, Chem. Phys. Lipids, 2016, 195, 58–62.

"Acyl Transfer from Membrane Lipids to Peptides is a Generic Process", Robert H. Dods, Burkhard Bechinger, Jackie A. Mosely and John M. Sanderson, J. Mol. Biol., 2013, 425, 4379–4387.

Society Membership:

Member of the British Biophysical Society (committee member), Biophysical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC).


Peptide Lipidation

Lipidated Magainin II Recent work has established that a chemical process, first seen following the addition of the peptide melittin to lipid membranes, is widely applicable to other membrane binding peptides. The process involves acyl transfer from the lipid to the peptide and occurs in the absence of enzyme catalysis. The process leads the development of chemical complexity in peptide-lipid systems. For example, a mixture of melittin with a binary lipid mixture will evolve from a mixture of three components (peptide + two lipids) into a mixture with up to twenty potential lipidated melittin products and eight different lyso lipids. The lipidation process may also help to account for a number of proteins that are found with unusual lipidation patterns in vivo. To learn more, click here.

EPSRC Programme Grant

The CAPiTALS Logo Dr Sanderson is a co-investigator on a large collaborative grant awarded by the EPSRC. The CAPiTALS programme aims to engineer the assembly of soft matter, such as lipid membranes, into well defined architectures that exhibit compositional asymmetry. For membranes this includes the lateral segregation and bilayer asymmetry in response to factors such as membrane curvature. This molecular membrane engineering approach will ultimately lead to new biologically-inspired devices and "smart" soft materials. To learn more, click here.

The Lab

The Sanderson group is located in the Department of Chemistry and the Biophysical Sciences Institute (BSI) at Durham University. To read more about the BSI, click here.

The Sanderson Lab

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