The Cleveland Center for Structural Biology (CCSB) applies state-of-the-art technologies to characterize and solve the three-dimensional structures of proteins and other biological molecules. By defining the structure of molecules, fundamental mechanisms of function and interaction can be delineated in exquisite detail. As examples, resolution of a specific protein structure can determine how the active site on an enzyme accommodates substrate, how an antibody recognizes its specific epitope, or how the domains of one protein can interact with another protein or nucleic acid. Analysis of molecular structure enables researchers to modify biomolecules in a rational way to alter their function. Understanding of molecular structure also facilitates design of small molecules, which can regulate function within model systems and whole organisms, key steps in development of therapeutics. The structural biologists at the Cleveland Clinic have applied their expertise to a broad range of biomolecules in heart and vascular disorders, cancer, and infectious diseases.
The Center began as a joint venture between Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University and includes Cleveland State University, MetroHealth Medical Center, and University Hospitals. In its early stages, the Center gained major funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Cleveland Foundation, and the State of Ohio's Board of Regents. These funds were used to obtain an array of instruments to analyze structure. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) equipment acquired by the Center includes 900-, 800-, 600-, and 500-MHz instruments. One 600-MHz magnet is located at the Lerner Research Institute, and others are at the Structural Biology Center on the Case campus. The Center also has X-ray crystallography equipment and provides access to mass spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and Biacore technologies.
The Center's efforts at the Cleveland Clinic are led by Jun Qin, Ph.D. and Saurav Misra, Ph.D. of the Molecular Cardiology Department in the Lerner Research Institute.