Structural biology

Definition

Structural biology is the study of the molecular structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules, particularly proteins and nucleic acids, and how alterations in their structures affect their function. Structural biology incorporates the principles of molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Small molecules are identified that inhibit the ubiquitin-specific protease USP7 with high affinity and specificity as explained by co-crystal structures, and are shown to reduce tumour growth in mice.

    • Andrew P. Turnbull
    • , Stephanos Ioannidis
    • , Wojciech W. Krajewski
    • , Adan Pinto-Fernandez
    • , Claire Heride
    • , Agnes C. L. Martin
    • , Louise M. Tonkin
    • , Elizabeth C. Townsend
    • , Shane M. Buker
    • , David R. Lancia
    • , Justin A. Caravella
    • , Angela V. Toms
    • , Thomas M. Charlton
    • , Johanna Lahdenranta
    • , Erik Wilker
    • , Bruce C. Follows
    • , Nicola J. Evans
    • , Lucy Stead
    • , Cristina Alli
    • , Vladislav V. Zarayskiy
    • , Adam C. Talbot
    • , Alexandre J. Buckmelter
    • , Minghua Wang
    • , Crystal L. McKinnon
    • , Fabienne Saab
    • , Joanna F. McGouran
    • , Hannah Century
    • , Malte Gersch
    • , Marc S. Pittman
    • , C. Gary Marshall
    • , Tony M. Raynham
    • , Mary Simcox
    • , Lorna M. D. Stewart
    • , Sheila B. McLoughlin
    • , Jaime A. Escobedo
    • , Kenneth W. Bair
    • , Christopher J. Dinsmore
    • , Tim R. Hammonds
    • , Sunkyu Kim
    • , Sylvie Urbé
    • , Michael J. Clague
    • , Benedikt M. Kessler
    •  & David Komander
  • Research |

    Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy is used to resolve the structure of the phycobilisome, a 16.8-megadalton light-harvesting megacomplex, from the red alga Griffithsia pacifica at a resolution of 3.5 Å.

    • Jun Zhang
    • , Jianfei Ma
    • , Desheng Liu
    • , Song Qin
    • , Shan Sun
    • , Jindong Zhao
    •  & Sen-Fang Sui
  • Research | | open

    Copper-dependent lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) oxidatively cleave polysaccharides. Here the authors present a structure-function characterization of fungal LPMOs, showing that a particular LPMO cleaves xylan using a mechanism that involves an alternative copper coordination geometry.

    • T. J. Simmons
    • , K. E. H. Frandsen
    • , L. Ciano
    • , T. Tryfona
    • , N. Lenfant
    • , J. C. Poulsen
    • , L. F. L. Wilson
    • , T. Tandrup
    • , M. Tovborg
    • , K. Schnorr
    • , K. S. Johansen
    • , B. Henrissat
    • , P. H. Walton
    • , L Lo Leggio
    •  & P. Dupree
  • Research | | open

    The large impedance at the interface between electrode and electrolyte poses a challenge to the development of solid-state batteries. Here the authors utilize two-dimensional lithium-ion exchange-NMR to monitor the spontaneous lithium-ion transport, providing insight into the interface design.

    • Chuang Yu
    • , Swapna Ganapathy
    • , Ernst R. H. van Eck
    • , Heng Wang
    • , Shibabrata Basak
    • , Zhaolong Li
    •  & Marnix Wagemaker
  • Research | | open

    Histone modification recognition is an important mechanism for gene expression regulation in cancer. Here, the authors identify YEATS2 as a histone H3K27ac reader, regulating a transcriptional program essential for tumorigenesis in human non-small cell lung cancer.

    • Wenyi Mi
    • , Haipeng Guan
    • , Jie Lyu
    • , Dan Zhao
    • , Yuanxin Xi
    • , Shiming Jiang
    • , Forest H. Andrews
    • , Xiaolu Wang
    • , Mihai Gagea
    • , Hong Wen
    • , Laszlo Tora
    • , Sharon Y. R. Dent
    • , Tatiana G. Kutateladze
    • , Wei Li
    • , Haitao Li
    •  & Xiaobing Shi
  • Research | | open

    Cyclic peptide macrocycles are promising anti-cancer and antimicrobial molecules. Here, the authors characterize the structure and catalytic mechanism of the prolyl oligopeptidase B from Basidiomycete fungi, showing that its dual macrocyclase-peptidase activity is crucial for amatoxin macrocyclization.

    • Clarissa M. Czekster
    • , Hannes Ludewig
    • , Stephen A. McMahon
    •  & James H. Naismith

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