My main goal is to derive a model for the structure of PIN1 and 5 protein, and optionally other PIN proteins, using techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry and crystallography. Members of PIN family are plant-specific auxin transporters, which play crucial role in plant morphogenesis, development and responses to the environment. Although it is well known that PIN proteins drive polar auxin transport, till nowadays the auxin research community is missing detailed functional and mechanistic models of these enigmatic transporters.
My vision is that we will be able to develop a detailed molecular map of PINs together with associated pharmacophoric map for their substrates and inhibitors, a goal that will offer me an ideal system for further research focused on PINs auxin substrate specificity and transport capacity. On the way I will expect to reveal how the PINs are energized, and create links with the auxin herbicide industries to explore opportunities for collaborations on agro-pharmaceutical compound design.