Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


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


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:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>