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Welcome to the Landau Lab

Lab’s Date of Birth: September 2012

Virulent and Antibacterial Fibrils in Infectious and Aggregation Diseases

We are in desperate need for Cryogenic Electron Microscopes (Cryo-EM)!!

Cryo-EM and cryo‐electron tomography (cryo‐ET) are required for studying the detailed structure of macromolecules, and the architecture of cells, viruses and protein assemblies at molecular and atomic resolution, leading to numerous discoveries and applications for drug discovery and delivery, nanotechnology, and different indistries.
In Israel, accessibility to this technology is lacking. Please see a report (In Hebrew) on the subject written by an Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities appointed committee headed by Prof. Ada Yonat.

Protein fibrils that perform physiological activities, such as functional amyloids, could provide new therapeutic venues, mostly due to their unique stability and biophysical properties and their roles as key virulence determinants in microbes, antimicrobial activities, and possible involvement in systemic and neurodegenerative diseases. Yet, these fibrous proteins present great challenges in structural and functional studies due to their aggregative and partially disordered nature, and structural polymorphisms observed in similar and even identical sequences. Using X-ray micro-crystallography, we determined the first high resolution structures of bacterial amyloids involved in cytotoxicity, antibacterial activity and biofilm structuring. The similar structures of biofilm-associated and human pathological amyloidogenic regions led to repurposing of anti-Alzheimer’s compounds to act against Salmonella biofilm. Moreover, the structural similarity implies on possible inter-species interactions that could have bearing on amyloid diseases by the creation of transmissible agents. In addition, we offer atomic-resolution insight into three fibril-forming antimicrobial peptides from bacteria, an amphibian and human, which featured unique morphologies, including novel types of protein fibrils composed of densely packed helices. The self-assembly is critical for the antibacterial activity. We expect that a detailed molecular understanding of functional fibrils will provide the foundation for antimicrobial translational research and for elucidation of the etiology of and interactions between microbial and human ‘amylomes’ in health and disease.

Group Pictures

Group Picture 2019

IMG_3293 IMG_3297 IMG_3298 IMG_3303

Lab members: Eilon, Hanan, Itai, Itzik, Orli, Meytal, Nimrod, Nir, Peleg, and Roee

Group Picture 2018

From left to right: Itzik, Ofir, Orli, Itai, Meytal, Nimrod, Nir

Group Picture 2017
group picture

From left to right: Itzik, Sunny, Einav, Orli, Meytal, Nir, Michal, May (and Kiara)

Group Picture 2015
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From left to right: Sergei, Yulia, Einav, Meytal, Orly, Michal, Asher

Current Funding:

We are grateful for funding from the Technion, Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, Israel Science Foundation – Individual Research Grant, and U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) 

Past Funding:

We are grateful for funding from the Technion, DIP – Deutsch-Israelische Projektkooperation, University of Michigan – Israel Collaborative Research Grant, Henri Gutwirth Fund for the Promotion of Research, Israel Science Foundation – Individual Research Grant, U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), Marie Curie Reintegration Grant, the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and The Israel Science Foundation (I-CORE Center of Excellence in Integrated Structural Cell Biology), the Henry Taub Prize for Academic Excellence. Umbrella Cooperation – When Life Sciences and Engineering Converge, Eliyahu Pen research Fund, Mallat Family Research Fund, J. and A. Taub Biological Research, and Alon Fellowship from the Israeli Council for Higher Education.