Bringing Structure to Biology
|01 May 2017||
Crystallography from the guts of a cockroach
Before obtaining a crystal structure, one must first obtain a crystal, which is not always an easy process. Once in awhile nature saves the scientist potentially decades of work and protein crystals occur in vivo.
|01 Apr 2017||
DHFR- a target for TB drugs?
This month’s featured structure from our 2017 calendar is the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis. DHFR is an essential enzyme for life as it reduces dihydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate, a cofactor for several enzymes involved in synthesising amino acids and DNA bases.
|01 Mar 2017||
Giardia kinesin- a model locomotive
The March image in our 2017 calendar is that of the parasite Giardia, responsible for the water-borne disease giardiasis. It is estimated that up to 30% of the population of the developing world may have giardiasis. This image shows the parasite in a water droplet, with two proteins depicted inside the Giardia double nuclei. The protein shown is kinesin 2a which is part of the kinesin family, a group of proteins that function as mini motors within cells, in organisms from Giardia to humans.
|01 Feb 2017||
Zika virus- one year on
First isolated in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947, the image in our 2017 calendar for February is that of Zika virus. The capsid, showing the beautiful icosahedral symmetry common to many viruses, is visually stunning, belying the disease it can cause.
|01 Jan 2017||
Ebola GP fusion loop
This featured structure explores the molecule from PDBe’s 2017 calendar for January. The image shows a fragment of a protein from Ebola virus, based on PDB entry 2m5f, which is critical for the virus to infect its host
|12 Dec 2016||
“Marley's face”, wrote Charles Dickens in his novella A Christmas Carol, “... had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar.” But what might have caused Dickens’ decaying decapod to have a dismal light?
|21 Jul 2016||
Audrey Stevens' Eponymous Protein
On 21st July 1932, on a farm in Nebraska, Audrey Stevens was born. One of the proteins she isolated during her career would be named after her and in 2001, only nine years before her death, its three dimensional structure would be determined.
|18 Jun 2016||
Slow Bee Paralysis Virus
The work of bees in pollinating our crops is as vital now as it has been for centuries, but bees are having a hard time at the moment for a variety of reasons, including viral diseases. Recent structures of a bee virus show novel features that might contribute to its infectivity.
|31 Mar 2016||
Structure of Zika Virus Revealed
31st March 2016 On 31 March 2016, the 3D structure of Zika virus, determined in near-atomic detail by cryo-electron microscopy (EM), was announced in the journal Science. The structure is now freely and publicly available to researchers and medical scientists everywhere through the Protein Data Bank (PDB) and the Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB). The structural information will facilitate accelerated development of new antiviral drugs and vaccines.
|02 Jan 2016||
Cellular recycling top 2015 PDB structure
Just as old plastic bottles are ground up at the recycling plant to be used to make new ones, so cells also recycle proteins. Proteins which are damaged or no longer required are sent to one of several different recycling plants in the cell. Once there, they are chopped up into their constituent parts so they can be used to build entirely new proteins. In 2015, more structures of one of these recycling plants, the proteasome, were made public by the wwPDB than any other molecule.