EventProf. Giovanni Maglia

Biological nanopores for single-molecule enzymology and protein sequencing

Biological nanopores are a class of membrane proteins that form nanometer-size apertures on lipid membranes. Under an applied potential the ionic current through nanopores is used to identify molecules or to follow reactions at the single-molecule level. Nanopores current are advantageous because they are easily integrated into low-cost and portable analytical devices.


Here we show that the transport of proteins and peptides across nanopores can be finely controlled. Folded proteins can trapped inside nanopores by exploiting electrophoretic forces, while small peptides can be stretched and unfolded by engineering strong electroosmotic flows through the nanopore. Using these approaches, nanopores may be used as nanoscale reactor for single-molecule enzymology studies, or sensors for sequencing individual proteins as they translocate across the nanopore.


About The Speaker


Giovanni Maglia was born in Bologna (Italy). He attended the University of Bologna for his undergraduate studies in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and went to the University of Pennsylvania (USA) for his Masters thesis. He obtained his PhD from the University of Birmingham (UK) investigating the physical bases of the hydride transfer reaction catalyzed by dihydrofolate reductase.  After a short spell at the university of Leuven (BE), he moved to the University of Oxford for his post-doctoral research on DNA nanopore sequencing. In 2010 Giovanni Maglia received an ERC starting grant to initiate his independent research at the University of Leuven (BE). From November 2014, he is associate professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Groningen (NL), and in 2016 he received a ERC consolidator grant. His research interests include nanopore biophysics, single-molecule enzymology, single-molecule proteomics and sensing, and designing artificial transmembrane machines.