www.ciisb.org  |  8 Apr 2024, 10:20



Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that our project, Innovation of Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology, submitted to OP JAK Call 02_23_015 Research Infrastructures I., was approved for funding, and we can implement our investment plan without any cuts! The budget of 288 million CZK will enable us to purchase equipment in 2024-2026, which will help us keep our research infrastructure state-of-the-art. Follow our website and social media accounts on Twitter or LinkedIn so that you will not miss out on any news about equipment installations and specialized workshops introducing updated technologies.

Thanks to the governmental approval of budget increase for the LM projects financing the running costs of the CIISB core facilities and additional effort of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MEYS CZ), the budget for 2024 increased by about 20% relative to our expectations.

The Jubilee 20th Meeting of the Czech Structural Biology Society and the 7th CIISB users' meeting were held in Nové Hrady 21-23. 3. 2024. As usual, this traditional annual gathering was inspiring, pleasant, and well-organized. Thanks to the organizers and warm congratulations to the Student Best Thesis, Presentation, and Poster Prize Competition winners.

For the next year, I extend a special invitation to you to attend the CTLS 2025 Congress organized by CEITEC Masaryk University in Brno, 10-12. 6. 2025. This event is a "must" for everyone interested in core facilities or research infrastructure management and operations. Please follow the congress website here: https://ctls2025.com/.

April 8, 2024

Pavel Plevka

Basic and Advanced Protocols in Biological Calorimetry course

The University of Zaragoza, a member of the MOSBRI Consortium (www.mosbri.eu), will be running a Short Course on Basic and Advanced Protocols in Biological Calorimetry (BioCal). Deadline for application for this course is May 1st, 2024.


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Instruct Centre Message: Centre Forum Registration and New Technologies

The Instruct Pilot R&D Call deadline has been extended until 15 April. Read more about Centre Forum Technology Session, International Collaborations, Advanced Isotopic Labelling Methods for NMR – IBS Grenoble and the 15th Internship Call.

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Germany Becomes 17th Instruct-ERIC Member

Germany has joined as the 17th Member of Instruct-ERIC. Researchers in Germany can now receive funded access to structural biology technology and services across Europe. Existing Instruct centres and members will now be able to collaborate with researchers in Germany through access visits, training courses, and hosted via internships and R&D Calls. The addition of Germany as a member is also a huge boost to Instruct: facilities across Europe can now collaborate with the excellent scientists in the country, and Germany is making progress towards also establishing a centre within Instruct. Prof. Harald Schwalbe, Instruct Director, said: "Scientific institutions and companies in Germany have contributed significantly in recent years to the development and establishment of structural biology methods and technologies. We will establish in Germany a network of Instruct centres with associated laboratories that meet European standards, which in turn will allow access to all facilities, across locations."

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Upcoming Events in Structural Biology

Make sure you are up to date with the latest integrated structural biology events, conferences, and training courses taking place in the coming months. Find out more about each event below, or take a look at the full list here.


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Scanning transmission electron microscope Glacios 2 for cryo-electron microscopy installed at CEITEC Masaryk University

A new 200kV (scanning-)transmission electron microscope for life-science applications has been installed at CEITEC Masaryk University (part of CIISB and Instruct-ERIC).

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Biennial Conference Registration Open

Registration for the Instruct Biennial Structural Biology Conference is open! The 6th Edition of the conference will take place in the beautiful coastal town of Cascais, Portugal, 23-24 May 2024.

Join us for two days of talks on the very latest in integrated structural biology – with sessions on the increasing involvement of AI, the impact structural biology has on health and the environment, how structural biology aligns with imaging technologies, and what we can do for global sustainability.

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The 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus, and Alexei I. Ekimov for the discovery and development of quantum dots.

The three Nobel Prize laureates in Chemistry 2023 are being recognized for the discovery and development of these tiny particles, which have unique properties and now spread their light from television screens and LED lamps. They catalyze chemical reactions and their clear light can illuminate tumor tissue for a surgeon.

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CIISB Access

Applications 2023

  • 99 internal applications
  • 52 external applications (Czech)
  • 18 applications from foreign users

You can find more information here.

Application overview in total

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Internal users 123 178 177 147 183 166 129 99
External users 35 50 51 58 94 69 79 52
Foreign users 5 14 15 27 13 16 27 18
Acces Overview

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iNEXT-D FIB-Tomo workshop

This is to announce the iNEXT-Discovery one-week hands-on FIB-Tomo workshop on cellular cryo-FIB lamella preparation and cryo electron tomography April 15-19th 2024.

This is a workshop distributed over four participating centres of the iNEXT-Discovery infrastructure https://inext-discovery.eu.

Practicals will be run in parallel sessions on each site and shared morning lectures on the background and technical aspects will be followed jointly by all the participants.

It comprises sample vitrification, cryo-FIB milling to obtain lamella and cryo-ET data acquisition & evaluation.

If you are interested to join please register here: https://fibtomo.sciencesconf.org/ .

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Invitation to an advanced online training workshop on ”Remote access for electron microscopy”

We would like to cordially invite you to a free 2.5hr advanced online training workshop on ”Remote access for electron microscopy” on Wednesday 24th April, 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm CEST (1:00 pm - 3:30 pm BST). The workshop is co-organized by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Euro-BioImaging and Instruct as part of the eRImote project. The workshop will be delivered by training and application specialists from Thermo Fisher Scientific and is targeted at facility staff and advanced users.

The workshop encompasses remote operations and remote data analysis and includes interactive live demonstrations and presentations relating to both TEM and SEM systems. Ample time will be allocated for discussing individual use cases and answering questions. The workshop will focus on technical aspects of remote instrument control and data analysis, while aspects of IT infrastructure requirements and training will only be covered briefly.

The deadline to register for the workshop is Friday 19th April 2024.

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10th CCP-EM Spring Symposium 30th April - 2nd May 2024

We are pleased to announce the 10th Annual CCP-EM Spring Symposium! The conference aims to provide a forum to highlight state-of-the-art developments in computational cryoEM and related themes, as well as showcasing outstanding recent biological applications. We aim to promote an inclusive, friendly atmosphere, welcoming those both old and new to the community. Topics include instrument technology, sample preparation, image processing, single particle reconstruction, tomography and model building.
The meeting also includes the Diamond Light Source Biological Cryo-Imaging User Meeting for eBIC & B24 and associated satellite meetings for correlative microscopy (eBIC), soft X-ray tomography (B24) & automated live processing for SPA and cryoET (eBIC).
The conference will be held as a hybrid meeting, with the physical event at the EMCC in Nottingham, plus virtual access online via Zoom. It is kindly sponsored by CryoSol, Dectris, Quantum Detectors, Nanosoft, SubAngstrom and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
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The Final iNext-Discovery Consortium Meeting & 4th Symposium on Recent Advances in Cryo-EM

Two joint scientific conferences - The Final iNext-Discovery Consortium Meeting and the 4th Symposium on Recent Advances in Cryo-EM - will be hosted by CEITEC Masaryk University, Brno, on June 10-13, 2024. No registration fees will be charged for attending both conferences.

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Multimodal Microscopy Workshop: Probing the Triad of Structure, Mechanics, and Chemistry in Biological Systems

We would like to invite you to join the Multimodal Microscopy Workshop: Probing the Triad of Structure, Mechanics, and Chemistry in Biological Systems on June 10-12, 2024.

This event promises to be an enriching experience for researchers, scientists, and enthusiasts keen on exploring advanced microscopy techniques to delve into the intricate details of biological samples.

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CTLS 2025 Congress, Brno

We're excited to invite you to join us at the CTLS 2025 Congress happening in the beautiful city of Brno from 10-12 June 2025! This gathering is going to be an excellent opportunity, bringing together core facility administrators, managers, researchers, and professionals to talk, collaborate, and dive into why core facilities are key to shaping the scientific world. Don't miss out and check the congress website, where we will publish the programme soon!

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CIISB Research Highlights

Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed. 2024

A tetrastranded DNA structure, KNa-quadruplex (KNaQ), is described. KNaQ forms from repetitive DNA sequences that are abundant in (parasitic) worms but extremely rare in humans or livestock. This opens a possibility of exploiting the fold as a plausible antiparasitic drug target. The structure's unique properties distinguish it from all other known DNA quadruplexes and can be used to design novel recognition DNA elements/sensors.

Lukáš Trantírek and Martina Zivkovič Research Groups


DNA quadruplex structures provide an additional layer of regulatory control in genome maintenance and gene expression and are widely used in nanotechnology. We report the discovery of an unprecedented tetrastranded structure formed from a native G-rich DNA sequence originating from the telomeric region of Caenorhabditis elegans. The structure is defined by multiple properties that distinguish it from all other known DNA quadruplexes. Most notably, the formation of a stable so-called KNa-quadruplex (KNaQ) requires concurrent coordination of K+ and Na+ ions at two distinct binding sites. This structure provides novel insight into G-rich DNA folding under ionic conditions relevant to eukaryotic cell physiology and the structural evolution of telomeric DNA. It highlights the differences between the structural organization of human and nematode telomeric DNA, which should be considered when using C. elegans as a model in telomere biology, particularly in drug screening applications. Additionally, the absence/presence of KNaQ motifs in the host/parasite introduces an intriguing possibility of exploiting the KNaQ fold as a plausible antiparasitic drug target. The structure's unique shape and ion dependency and the possibility of controlling its folding by using low-molecular-weight ligands can be used for the design or discovery of novel recognition DNA elements and sensors.

Gajarsky, M. et al. DNA Quadruplex Structure with a Unique Cation Dependency,

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2024, e202318261. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202313226

Nature Communications 2024

Slice through a tomogram of a stage-III ΔspoIVB B. subtilis sporangium, used for the segmentation (ii) of various forespore and mother cell ultrastructures. Panel ii shows the corresponding segmentation.

Christine Moriscot and Cecile Morlot Research Groups


Bacterial spores owe their incredible resistance capacities to molecular structures that protect the cell content from external aggressions. Among the determinants of resistance are the quaternary structure of the chromosome and an extracellular shell made of proteinaceous layers (the coat), the assembly of which remains poorly understood. Here, in situ cryo-electron tomography on lamellae generated by cryo-focused ion beam micromachining provides insights into the ultrastructural organization of Bacillus subtilissporangia. The reconstructed tomograms reveal that early during sporulation, the chromosome in the forespore adopts a toroidal structure harboring 5.5-nm thick fibers. At the same stage, coat proteins at the surface of the forespore form a stack of amorphous or structured layers with distinct electron density, dimensions and organization. By analyzing mutant strains using cryo-electron tomography and transmission electron microscopy on resin sections, we distinguish seven nascent coat regions with different molecular properties, and propose a model for the contribution of coat morphogenetic proteins.

Bauda, E., Gallet, B., Moravcova, J. et al. Ultrastructure of macromolecular assemblies contributing to bacterial spore resistance revealed by in situ cryo-electron tomography.

Nat Commun 15, 1376 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-45770-6

Research Highlights Archive


Selected publications

D. Arbon, et al.: Chelation of Mitochondrial Iron as an Antiparasitic Strategy, ACS Infect. Dis., 10 (2024) 676-687, 10.1021/acsinfecdis.3c00529

A. Dhillon, et al.: Structural insights into the interaction between adenovirus C5 hexon and human lactoferrin, Journal of Virology, (2024) 19, 10.1128/jvi.01576-23

M. Gajarsky, et al.: DNA Quadruplex Structure with a Unique Cation Dependency, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, (2024) 11, 10.1002/anie.202313226

V.V. Hausnerová, et al.: RIP-seq reveals RNAs that interact with RNA polymerase and primary sigma factors in bacteria, Nucleic Acids Res., (2024) 23, 10.1093/nar/gkae081

M. Charousova, et al.: Engineered human H-chain ferritin with reversed charge of the internal cavity exhibits RNA-mediated spongelike effect for loading RNA/DNA-binding molecules, Biomater. Sci., 12 (2024) 1249-1262, 10.1039/d3bm01257c

L. Kavcic, et al.: From structural polymorphism to structural metamorphosis of the coat protein of flexuous filamentous potato virus Y, Comm. Chem., 7 (2024) 19, 10.1038/s42004-024-01100-x

M. Kejik, et al.: Lewis Acidic Aluminosilicates: Synthesis, <SUP>27</SUP>Al MQ/MAS NMR, and DFT-Calculated <SUP>27</SUP>Al NMR Parameters, Inorganic Chemistry, 63 (2024) 2679-2694, 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.3c04035

T. Mujawar, et al.: A Platform for the Synthesis of Oxidation Products of Bilirubin, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 146 (2024) 1603-1611, 10.1021/jacs.3c11778

M. Polak, et al.: Isotopic Depletion Increases the Spatial Resolution of FPOP Top-Down Mass Spectrometry Analysis, Anal. Chem., 96 (2024) 1478-1487, 10.1021/acs.analchem.3c03759

P. Vankova, et al.: Insights into the pathogenesis of primary hyperoxaluria type I from the structural dynamics of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase variants, Febs Letters, (2024) 15, 10.1002/1873-3468.14800

J. Czubinski, et al.: pH-Dependent oligomerisation of γ-conglutin: A key element to understand its molecular mechanism of action, Food Hydrocolloids, 147 (2024) 12, 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2023.109386

Z. Bielková, et al.: Zero-field splitting in tetracoordinate Co(II) complexes containing heterocyclic aromatic ligands, J. Mol. Struct., 1295 (2024) 9, 10.1016/j.molstruc.2023.136667

Š. Klimovič, et al.: Hyaluronic acid-based hydrogels with tunable mechanics improved structural and contractile properties of cells, Biomaterials Advances, (2024) 159, 10.1016/j.bioadv.2024.213819

All publications
Link  www.ciisb.org

© 2024
Masaryk University