NNP’s users: Gaston Courtade, NTNU, Trondheim

Profile, research areas and collaborations

Gaston Courtade is a PhD candidate at the Department of Biotechnology at NTNU. The focus of his research within the Biopolymer NMR group, led by Prof. Finn L. Aachmann, is the study of a family of copper-dependent redox enzymes known as lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs). LPMOs have a significant role in the depolymerization of carbohydrates such as chitin and cellulose. A blog article at the NT-faculty at NTNU explains LPMOs into a bit more detail.

Since the start of his master’s project in 2013, he has used NMR to address different aspects of LPMOs, such as their three-dimensional structure, interaction with substrates, copper-binding effects, and electron transfer.

Research collaborations with focus on NMR have been an essential part of the project from the start. The Biopolymer NMR group has a long-standing cooperation with Prof. Reinhard Wimmer, head of the NMR lab at Aalborg University in Denmark, who was a valuable resource when the NMR lab at NTNU was undergoing upgrades. The LPMO project started with Prof. Vincent Eijsink and his Protein Engineering and Proteomics group as well as Prof. Morten Sørlie at NMBU. The most recent collaboration is with the group of Dr. Marylène Vandevenne at the University of Liège in Belgium.

How does NNP contribute to your research?

NNP, and particularly the Bruker Ascend 800 MHz instrument at NTNU, gives us unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, which are the cornerstone of successful protein NMR investigations. It greatly facilitates our study of structural and functional aspects of LPMOs with atomic resolution.

Gaston Courtade at the NMR lab (at the right side)

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About NNP

The NNP is a desentralized NMR center which provide state-of-the-art NMR services and related scientific support. Backbone of the center is two 800 MHz spectrometers located at UiO and NTNU, and a 600 MHz and 850 MHz spectrometer located at UiB.

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