HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
'Crystal engineering' helps scientists solve 3-D protein structures

A new technique for engineering protein crystals is helping scientists figure out the three-dimensional structures of some important biological molecules, including a key plague protein whose structure has eluded researchers until now. The technique, developed with support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), promises to help pharmaceutical companies develop more effective drugs to treat various diseases by tailor-making molecules to "fit" a protein's shape.

Featured in the cover article of the April 2004 issue of Structure, University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Zygmunt Derewenda, Ph.D., describes how his group was able to coax certain proteins to crystallize by carefully altering their surfaces using "targeted mutagenesis." In effect, the technique substitutes a small amino acid for certain large ones. This effectively shrinks bulky groups of atoms on protein surfaces that might otherwise prevent the proteins from crystallizing.

"In order to determine a high-resolution structure of a protein, we need to study it in its crystal form," Derewenda explained. "Yet many proteins do not crystallize easily, or even at all, with current laboratory techniques. Using our approach, we can now make some of these proteins more amenable to crystallization without seriously affecting their overall structure or function."

Already, the crystal engineering technique has helped solve the structures of some particularly stubborn proteins, including the so-called V antigen of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes the plague. Despite numerous attempts, researchers had been unsuccessful in unlocking the secrets of this protein, which plays a key role in the bacterium's ability to cause the plague. Working with Derewenda's group, David S. Waugh, Ph.D., of the NIH's National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md., was able to crystallize the protein and then determine its structure
'"/>

Contact: Alisa Zapp Machalek
pub_info@nigms.nih.gov
301-496-7301
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
6-Apr-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Atacama rover helps NASA learn to search for life on Mars
2. Reducing allergens in the home helps inner-city children with asthma
3. As informatics grows, Indiana University helps set research agenda
4. New diagnostic technology helps justify earlier cataract surgery
5. New technique helps scientists reveal interactions between genes and drugs
6. Living at home helps young mothers stay in school
7. Hormone helps fish to mate, may affect human hearing
8. Harmless virus helps slow HIV by boosting immune proteins
9. Study helps explain island populations susceptibility to exotic diseases
10. Utah scientist helps discover new mouse species -- and maybe a new genus
11. Choice of food helps hungry caterpillar

Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/4/2014)... 4, 2014) — Think about the way our bodies ... neighboring cells know that they are supposed to become ... these tissues find the correct place and alignment? Researchers ... crucial questions. , In a new study, UM researchers ... with their surrounding neighbors, at the head-trunk region. Their ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... 2014) – A majority of Madagascar,s 101 species of ... serious consequences for the rainforests they call home. A ... impacts lemurs can have on rainforest tree populations, which ... have on the region,s rich biodiversity. , A large ... by lemurs. Lemurs in turn disperse the seeds ...
(Date:11/3/2014)... Cancer Center study published in this month,s ... describes the activity of a recently discovered communication molecule ... It has been known to limit inflammation and the ... system: IL-37 inhibits the ability of the immune system ... mechanism that underlies IL-37,s effect on the immune system ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):The inside story: How the brain and skull stay together 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 2Gardeners of Madagascar rainforest at risk 3PNAS: From HIV to cancer, IL-37 regulates immune system 2
(Date:11/27/2014)... England , November 27, 2014 ... online on ScienceDirect   Elsevier , ... products and solutions, is pleased to announce the launch ... . The launch of ... the rapid advances at the forefront of applied sciences ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 Deep Research Report on ... in-depth research report on the Ammonium Bifluoride market, ... classification, application, and industry chain structure as well ... market analysis, including China’s domestic market as well ... China, Japan etc. regions) industry analysis covering macroeconomic ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... Nov. 26, 2014 The Alliance ... a survey of European physicians at the "1 ... and Biological Therapies" at the Spanish Ministry of ... by EuropaBio and the Spanish Bioindustry Association (ASEBIO), ... physicians from Spanish oncology and rheumatology societies, representatives ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 SonaCare Medical, a leading ... devices, recently participated in the American Urology Association’s ... .” Key opinion leaders in urology presented on ... small renal masses while attendees had the opportunity ... in hands-on labs. Attendees at the Los Angeles, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Elsevier Announces the Launch of a New Journal: Extreme Mechanics Letters 2Elsevier Announces the Launch of a New Journal: Extreme Mechanics Letters 3Ammonium Bifluoride Market International Analysis of Manufacturing, Technology & Trends Now at ReportsnReports.com 2Ammonium Bifluoride Market International Analysis of Manufacturing, Technology & Trends Now at ReportsnReports.com 3ASBM Presents European Physicians Survey at Spanish Ministry of Health 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 2SonaCare Medical Supports American Urology Association’s Small Renal Mass 360° Summit 3
Cached News: