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:4/17/2014)... release is available in German . ... pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect ... required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ... in parasitic birds, which lay their eggs in other birds, ... the brood parasites take their revenge by destroying the entire ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... conditions such as heart disease, epilepsy and pain, making ... there is still much scientists do not know about ... insight into the structure of sodium channels and, specifically, ... are responsible for ,fine-tuning, the activity of the channel. ... of the Journal of Biological Chemistry . , ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... expression is the process whereby the genetic information ... such as proteins, which have numerous different functions ... an important intermediary during gene expression, by relating ... mechanisms involved in manufacturing proteins. , By ... molecules present in an organism at a given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Fear of the cuckoo mafia 2Fear of the cuckoo mafia 3Structure of sodium channels different than previously believed 2Rapid and accurate mRNA detection in plant tissues 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 Cynvenio, a ... management through the genomic analysis of tumor cells in ... Finder™, a web-based cancer decision support application powered by ... with Cynvenio’s ClearID™ genomic test, Therapy Finder will provide ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... A study has been launched to test whether ... could help to tackle the problem of obesity.  This unique ... surgery based in Stowmarket) and academics at University Campus Suffolk ... technology, which is inspired by equipment used to collect data ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 ... enhancement to its Online Web Portal for Life Science organizations ... ability to specify the subject matter of their documents in ... This will help reduce time-to-delivery of translations, often a critical ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 TaiGen Biotechnology Company, Limited ("TaiGen") today announced ... a leading Russian pharmaceutical company, to develop and commercialize ... Federation , Turkey and ... a novel antibiotic for the treatment of bacterial infections ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Cynvenio Offers New Breast Cancer Therapy Finder Application for its ClearID Breast Cancer Genomic Test 2Cynvenio Offers New Breast Cancer Therapy Finder Application for its ClearID Breast Cancer Genomic Test 3Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 2Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 3Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 4DTS Improves Efficiency for Life Science Document Translations 2TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 2TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 3TaiGen Biotechnology Signed Exclusive License Agreement with R-Pharm for Nemonoxacin (Taigexyn(R)) 4
Cached News: