Featured structures

01 Jun 2017Image of eye overlaid with alphaB crystallin Focusing on Crystallin

As you read the words on this page, the light enters your eyes and the eye lens focuses it on the retina. From here the image is sent to your brain for processing. The major protein from the eye lens is shown here in June’s featured structure from our 2017 calendar.

01 May 20172017 Calendar image for May 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 2017Structure of DHFR 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 2017Giardia image with kinesin 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 2017Zika Virus from PDBe calendar 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 2017Ebola Glycoprotein fusion loop 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 2016Luciferase and a face-shapped door knocker Christmas Lights

“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 2016Audrey Stevens' Inhibitor structure shown in cartoon representation 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 2016Honey Bee and Slow Bee Paralysis Virus 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 2016Model of the Zika virus structure 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.