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About Synthelis

Synthelis is a company specializing in the production, purification and characterization of membrane proteins. It tackles a significant bio-production challenge by providing expertise in the toll expression of membrane proteins. The company provides services to produce these biomolecules in soluble form or as active proteoliposomes. They can then be used in the development of new therapeutic treatments and vaccines; in screening for candidate drugs and in characterizing ligand/receptor interactions, in diagnosis and structural biology, and in the development of antibodies.

Synthelis Headquarter Location

5, avenue du Grand Sablon

La Tronche, 38700,


+33 (0)4 76 54 95 37

Latest Synthelis News

Neutrons reveal hidden secrets of the hepatitis C virus

Jan 16, 2018

Credit: Synthelis / Illusciencia The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood born virus that causes liver disease and cancer, with more than 300,000 people dying each year and 71 million people living with a chronic infection worldwide . While antiviral medicines are currently used, there is no vaccination currently available and side effects can results in a wrong diagnosis. In the search to find novel therapies for HCV, researchers have looked to the membrane protein p7, which plays a key role in the release of the virus, for answers. However, there is little data available, and the crystallographic structure of the protein has not yet been resolved. Recent investigations using neutrons have led to the development of a novel method to study the protein's integration and structure within a native biological membrane environment. A collaboration between Synthelis SAS, University Grenoble Alpes, and the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL) enabled researchers to observe the structure of a functional p7 protein complex from HCV for the first time within a physiologically relevant lipid bilayer, at nanoscale resolution. To do this, the scientists performed neutron reflectometry (NR) on FIGARO, a time of flight reflectometer at the world's flagship centre for neutron science, ILL in Grenoble, France. Momentum transfer ranges of 0.008> qz> 0.2 Å-1 and minimum reflectivities of R ~ 5x10-7 were measured using wavelengths λ = 2-20 Å, two angles of incidence and a dqz/qz resolution of 10%. The Nature Scientific Reports study found that the p7 protein from HCV assembles within the lipid membrane into oligomers that take the shape of a funnel. The conical shape indicates a preferred protein orientation, revealing a specific protein insertion mechanism, and helping to outline potential target mechanisms for future drug development. Figure 1. The cell-free preparation of supported bilayers containing p7 and NR and EIS measurements (not to scale). For neutron reflectivity, membranes were formed on quartz and an incident neutron beam was transmitted through the substrate and reflected from Credit: Thomas Soranzo (Synthelis SAS, University Grenoble Alpes), Donald K. Martin (University Grenoble Alpes), Jean-Luc Lenormand (University Grenoble Alpes), and Erik B. Watkins (Los Alamos National Laboratory) As membrane protein dysfunction is also correlated with a wide range of diseases, this advancement in methods to analyse membrane proteins in their native condition, at an atomic scale, also has the potential to help support new therapeutic approaches in other areas, such as for the development of antibodies against HIV. Erik Watkins, former ILL FIGARO Instrument Scientist, said: "This new approach is a simple and efficient method complementary to other structural and more complex techniques such as NMR and crystallography. This has proved a powerful tool for characterising the protein conformation in its natural environment and one we can look to use for membrane protein discoveries not just in advancements in HCV, but further afield as well." Bruno Tillier, Managing Director, Synthelis added: "Neutrons have proved a key resource for this project as we needed to analyse the p7 protein structure in a specific environment. Now we can look to take this deep understanding of the virus not only to devices, like biosensors, but also to study the behaviour of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers to other fields." Donald Martin, Head of the research team SyNaBi and professor at University Grenoble Alpes also said: "These new results augur well for our continued development of novel nanostructured systems and devices. The ongoing fruitful collaboration between physicists, biologists and engineers from these institutions in Grenoble provides the important fundamental understanding of physical and biological processes that underlies the development of such nanostructured systems and devices." Thomas Soranzo, University Grenoble Alpes and former Synthelis scientist also said: "a major bottleneck in neutron reflectivity analysis of membrane proteins in planar bilayer is the sufficient insertion of polypeptides. This combinatory, new method not only allows significant incorporation of material but also allows specific labelling that could improve membrane protein structure/function studies." March 8, 2016 Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have developed a nanoparticle technology that can be used to stabilise membrane proteins so that their structure can be studied in a lipid environment. The method, described in ... November 29, 2017 Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have developed an approach to overcome a major stumbling block in testing new drug targets. The research is reported in a Nov. 24 paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. August 16, 2017 University of Michigan biophysicists and chemists have created a new polymer that mimics a cell membrane, allowing proteins found within cell membranes to fold and function naturally in the synthetic material. November 20, 2017 After a flu virus infects a host cell and hijacks its inner workings to create copies of itself, these copies gather into viral buds that break free from the host cell to infect again. A new study from MIT now provides the ... March 7, 2017 A team of scientists from MIPT, Research Center Jülich (Germany), and Institut de Biologie Structurale (France) has developed a new approach to membrane protein crystallization. For the first time, the scientists have showed ... July 7, 2017 Proteins in lipid membranes are one of the fundamental building blocks of biological functionality. Lawrence Livermore researchers have figured out how to mimic their role using carbon nanotube porins. Recommended for you January 16, 2018 Smart boxers bind their hands with strips of cloth to avoid injury when they pack a punch. Millions of years ago, the "smasher" mantis shrimp, one of nature's feistiest predators, figured out a similar way to protect the ... January 16, 2018 MIT biologists have designed a new peptide that can disrupt a key protein that many types of cancers, including some forms of lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer, need to survive. January 16, 2018 The better a building is insulated, the less heat is lost in winter—and the less energy is needed to achieve a comfortable room temperature. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) regularly raises the requirements for ... January 15, 2018 Drug treatments can save lives, but sometimes they also carry unintended costs. After all, the same therapeutics that target pathogens and tumors can also harm healthy cells. January 15, 2018 Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new type of health-monitoring electrode that exhibits optimum adhesion to skin and can record high quality signals. Two young spin-off founders want to turn it into a marketable ... January 12, 2018 Researchers at Purdue University have identified the mechanism that allows organic solar cells to create a charge, solving a longstanding puzzle in physics, according to a paper published Friday (Jan. 12) in the journal Science ...

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