Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The structure of a key enzyme for infectious diseases solved at ESRF

12.08.2003


The molecular structure and shape of CDP-ME kinase


The shape of the CDP-ME kinase active site with location of substrates.


A European team of scientists from the University of Dundee (UK), the Technical University of Munich (Germany) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESRF, (France) have determined the structure of a key target enzyme for novel drug development to treat infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted bacterial infections. The results of their collaboration are published on the August 5 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Synchrotron radiation at the ESRF played a key role in the determination of the structure of the enzyme CDP-ME kinase. The experiment took place on one of the macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the ESRF. This kinase helps to produce many of the molecules that bacteria and parasites need to live and multiply. A molecule that can prevent the kinase from working normally will poison and kill the pathogenic organisms.

The determination of the structure of the enzyme provides a template for the design of small molecules that will inhibit its action and prevent it from working normally. In the future, the structure may help lead to the development of new potent therapies for a wide range of microbial infections. “These drugs could potentially help the treatment of not only malaria and tuberculosis but also toxoplasmosis, chlamydia, meningitis and cholera for example”, explains Professor Bill Hunter, one of the authors of the article.



About the technique

Protein crystallography consists of the production of highly pure protein samples. These samples are then crystallised to produce single crystals of the protein. When X-rays interact with single crystals, the interaction between the constituents of the crystal and the X-rays results in the production of an interference pattern – known as a diffraction pattern. By the use of suitable physical and chemical techniques it is possible to use the diffraction patterns in order to determine the spatial distribution of the electrons within the crystal sample. The chemical interpretation of this produces the structural model that reveals the three-dimensional structure of the protein.

The ESRF presents substantial improvements for the exploitation of this technique; in particular the use of intense, highly collimated X-ray beams greatly aids the investigation of small weakly diffracting crystals.

Montserrat Capellas | ESRF
Further information:
http://www.esrf.fr/News/FrontNews/PressRelease_11_08_2003/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>