'How and Why Barnase moves to promote Catalysis'

Speaker Professor Mike Williamson
Type Lectures & Talks
When 04 Oct 2013, 12:30PM - 01:30PM
Venue Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre, Henry Wellcome Building
Open To University staff and students
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact N/A

Professor Mike Williamson from the University of Sheffield will give this talk for the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.

Summarising his talk, Professor Williamson said: "My laboratory uses NMR (and other methods where appropriate) to determine the structure and dynamics of proteins in solution and to study their interactions with ligands. In addition we are developing new methods for characterising structures. Further details are in my web page, linked on the right. Recent work includes:

We have been developing new tools to characterise volume fluctuations in proteins, which occur on timescales between ns and ms. In particular, we have shown that changes in the NMR spectrum resulting from hydrostatic pressures of up to 2 kbar can be used to show how proteins move, and also how they start to denature under pressure. The mobilities are greatest at the active site, and usually involve buried water molecules, which are very important for increasing local flexibility.

We have demonstrated that exposed salt bridges are not energetically favourable in solution, even though they are often observed in crystals.

In collaboration with Prof Hunter in MBB, we have determined structures for two trans-membrane proteins involved in bacterial light-harvesting. The structures are very similar in organic solvents and in micelles. These structures have been used to model the intact photosynthetic complex

We have studied how proteins recognize polysaccharides such as starch, cellulose and xylan. The activities of enzymes that degrade these plant polymers tend to be organized into ‘cellulosomes’ which are large assemblies of many different enzymes. We have determined the structure of the key assembly component of the anaerobic cellulosome and showed that it probably relies on protein / carbohydrate recognition to assemble

We have a longstanding interest in polyphenols such as those from tea, and in how they interact with the body. As part of this study, we have shown that the main component of green tea, epigallocatechin gallate, has the potential to slow down HIV infection."

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