Andrea Soranno, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314-273-1632

  • 2913 South Bldg.




  • disordered proteins, single molecule, fluorescence, FRET, Alzheimer's disease, SARS CoV 2 nucleocapsid, Apolipoprotein E, ApoE, biomolecular condensates, polymer models

  • Role of disordered proteins in function and dysfunction: from Alzheimer's disease to SARS CoV 2

Research Abstract:

My main research interests are the physical principles and molecular mechanisms determining the role played by structural disorder in modulating function and dysfunction of proteins.
At variance with the classical structure-function paradigm that we are familiar with from 50 years of structural biology, intrinsically disordered proteins (or regions) lack a persistent structure but, nevertheless, participate in many biological processes such as transcription, translation and signal transduction. Conformational disorder is observed in a broad spectrum of proteins, including entirely disordered proteins, “linker regions” between folded domains, “tails” that flank structured domains, and local flexible regions that give rise to complex conformational ensembles.
In our lab, we combine fluorescence single-molecule spectroscopy with concepts from polymer physics to explore how these different degrees of disorder affect protein function and dysfunction, ultimately aiming to connect fundamental biophysics and molecular medicine.
In particular, we are interested in understanding: i) the molecular determinants controlling condensation of nucleic acids, from single chains to phase separation, ii) the dysfunction of disorder and its connection to disease, such as neurodegeneration and cancer. A long-term goal is to bridge the gap between detailed molecular understanding and cellular and organismic processes.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
In our lab we promote an inclusive environment that is safe and supportive, where every question can be asked, and every idea can be heard. We believe that obstacles are better overcome together, discoveries are made to be shared, and diversity is what makes our contributions unique, yet essential for everyone else. We are committed to support trainees and scientists from all traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM and make academia an inclusive environment for everyone.

Selected Publications:

Apolipoprotein E4 has extensive conformational heterogeneity in lipid free and bound forms
Melissa D Stuchell-Brereton, Maxwell I Zimmerman, Justin J Miller, Upasana L Mallimadugula, J Jeremias Incicco, Debjit Roy, Louis G Smith, Berevan Baban, Gregory T DeKoster, Carl Frieden, Gregory R Bowman, Andrea Soranno*
BioRxiv 2022

Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy and biomolecular condensates
J Jeremias Incicco, Debjit Roy, Melissa D Stuchell-Brereton,Andrea Soranno*
Methods Molecular Biology Vol 2563 2022

Macromolecular Crowding and Intrinsically Disordered Proteins: a polymer physics perspective
Jasmine Cubuk, Andrea Soranno*
Chem System Chem 2022

Shelterin components modulate nucleic acids condensation and phase-separation.
Andrea Soranno*, J Jeremías Incicco, Paolo De Bona, Eric J Tomko, Eric Galburt, Alex S Holehouse, Roberto Galletto; Journal of Molecular Biology, 2022

The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein is dynamic, disordered, and phase separates with RNA
Jasmine Cubuk, Jhullian J Alston, J Jeremías Incicco, Sukrit Singh, Melissa D Stuchell-Brereton, Michael D Ward, Maxwell I Zimmerman, Neha Vithani, Daniel Griffith, Jason A Wagoner, Gregory R Bowman, Kathleen B Hall, Andrea Soranno*, Alex S Holehouse
Nature Communications, 2021 ,12,1,1-17, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-21953-3

Integrating single-molecule spectroscopy and simulations for
the study of intrinsically disordered proteins.

Jhullian J Alston, Andrea Soranno*, Alex S Holehouse
Methods 2021

A multi-step nucleation process determines the kinetics of prion-like domain phase separation
Erik W Martin, Tyler S Harmon, Jesse B Hopkins, Srinivas Chakravarthy, J Jeremías Incicco, Peter Schuck, Andrea Soranno*, Tanja Mittag
Nature Communications: 2021, 12, 1, 1-12: DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-24727-z

Valence and patterning of aromatic residues determine the phase behavior of prion-like domains
Erik W Martin, Alex S Holehouse, Ivan Peran, Mina Farag, J Jeremias Incicco, Anne Bremer, Christy R Grace, Andrea Soranno*, Rohit V Pappu, Tanja Mittag
Science, 2020, 367,6478, 694-699 DOI: 10.1002/ange.202016804

Integrated view of internal friction in unfolded proteins from single-molecule FRET, contact quenching, theory, and simulations.
Andrea Soranno*, Andrea Holla, Fabian Dingfelder, Daniel Nettels, Dmitri E Makarov, Ben Schuler
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017; 114(10):E1833-E1839.

Last Updated: 9/12/2022 10:40:58 PM

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