Structural biology

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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  • News and Views |

    Hydrogenases are very powerful biocatalysts for dihydrogen cleavage. Now, X-ray crystallography shows how [Fe]-hydrogenase requires ligand exchanges at the metal centre and significant molecular motions to open and close its active site to effectively transfer a hydride to an electrophilic organic substrate.

    • Yvain Nicolet
    Nature Catalysis 2, 481-482
  • News and Views |

    Inflammasomes are protein complexes that fight infection by driving inflammation or cell death. It now seems that the protein NEK7 provides a ‘licence’ for the formation of inflammasomes containing the protein NLRP3.

    • Kengo Nozaki
    •  & Edward A. Miao
    Nature 570, 316-317
  • News and Views |

    Quantitative atomic-scale images of electric potentials at surfaces have now been obtained with a non-contact atomic force microscope by functionalizing the tip as a quantum dot sensor.

    • Mats Persson
  • News and Views |

    Viral mRNA synthesis is an essential step in the influenza virus replication cycle and is a prime target for the development of new antivirals. New structures of the influenza virus RNA polymerase now unveil previously unknown details of influenza virus transcription.

    • Aartjan J. W. te Velthuis