The organisation/function relationship of Galectin/glycolipid complexes: molecular insights into membrane mediated protein oligomerisation
Galectins are mammalian lectins that bind gangliosides (glycolipids) in the cellular membrane and regulate many cellular processes. They have been identified as important modulators of immune responses and positively correlated with increased aggressiveness of tumours, thus galectins are enticing targets for medical intervention. However, their interactions with the glycolipid receptors needs to be understood in order to guide the design of selective galectin-targeting therapeutics. Characterisation of galectin/glycolipid interactions and the understanding of their effect on biological function of galectins is still incomplete. The PhD work will be focused on obtaining molecular insights regarding the interaction of galectins and gangliosides, and the process of oligomerisation of galectins.