UCL Cancer Institute


CRUK-UCL Centre Proteomics Seminar Series

26 April 2021, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Dr Paola Picotti

Professor Paola Picotti, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, presents: 'Proteomics beyond protein expression analysis: Proteomes in 3D.'

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students


Emily McLean

Hosted by: Dr Silvia Surinova


In my presentation, I will start with an overview of state of the art proteomic approaches for the quantification of proteins in complex biological and clinical samples. I will illustrate how these techniques can be used to quantify changes in protein expression on a global scale or in a targeted manner. Beyond changes in protein expression, however, biological processes can also be regulated by molecular events such as intermolecular interactions, chemical modification and conformational changes.

These events do not affect protein levels and therefore escape detection in classical proteomic screens. Reasoning that these events affect protein structure, we tested whether a global readout of protein structure could detect various types of functional alterations simultaneously. We tested this idea using a mass spectrometric approach (LiP-MS) that monitors protein structural changes in thousands of proteins simultaneously and in situ.

We showed that the structural readout, visualized as structural barcodes for each protein in a sample, captured enzyme activity changes, allosteric regulation, phosphorylation, protein aggregation and protein complex formation. It also pinpointed regulated functional sites in proteins, thus supporting the generation of mechanistic hypotheses. Coupled with protein expression changes, the structural readout dramatically increases the coverage of proteomic analyses, better links holistic and reductionist approaches, and paves the way for a new in situ structural systems biology.

This seminar is available to all staff and students affiliated with the CRUK-UCL Centre. Enquiries: Emily McLean ci.crukcentre@ucl.ac.uk


About the Speaker

Dr Paola Picotti

Picotti Lab is interested in how protein conformational changes, such as those associated with protein aggregation or allostery, impact cellular physiology and result in human disease. The Lab develops mass spectrometry-​based structural and chemical proteomic methods aimed at monitoring protein conformational changes in the complex cellular milieu. These tools are combined with classical biochemical, cell biological, and genetic approaches in several lines of research.

More about Dr Paola Picotti