The aim of this proposal is to understand the stabilizing, cryoprotecting and anti-aggregation roles disaccharides (particularly trehalose) have on proteins and other biological materials. The project proposal is very much a continuation of my previous “ordinary” VR funded project (Grant nr. 2015-05434). The research project is important due to the diverse applications of mainly trehalose for e.g. the conservation and freshness of food materials, the cryopreservation of stem cells, embryos for test-tube fertilization and body organs for transplantations, as well as medical treatments of protein aggregation related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. The cryopreservation of food and pharmaceuticals is a multibillion business, which makes cryopreservation of biological systems to one of the most important areas in the basic and applied studies of biology and medicine. Our aim is to reach the following goals:(a) Understand why trehalose has such extraordinary stabilizing, cryoprotecting and anti-aggregation effects on proteins. What are the unique properties of trehalose compared to other disaccharides?(b) Understand how ice formation and different types of relaxation processes affect the stability and cryopreservation of proteins.(c) Understand how trehalose and other disaccharides interact with proteins.(d) Obtain deeper insights into how trehalose is able to inhibit aggregation of e.g. ß-amyloid 40, which causes Alzheimer’s disease.
Full Professor at Nano and Biophysics
Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2023