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Structural Biology – News and Features

A sperm cell zipping up an egg cells.

How Does the Body Avoid Multiple Sperm Fertilizing an Egg?

Some cases of infertility are associated with mutations in the genes that are responsible for egg coat formation. The egg coat is an extracellular matrix essential for egg growth, fertilization and protection of the embryo.
Representation of DNA.

Genetic Tuning: The Next Frontier of Genetic Medicine

Discover how genetic tuning differs from gene editing and other modalities of genetic medicine and how the ability to fine-tune genes will transform precision medicine.

Imaging Protein Dynamics in Native Environments

Cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET) is a way to observe proteins in their native environment by imaging frozen cells at different angles to obtain 3D structural information.
An electron micrograph showing three EBV virions in red-orange.

Researchers Identify Epstein-Barr Virus’ Weak Points

Studies of interactions between two lab-generated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and an essential Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) protein have uncovered targets that could be exploited in designing treatments and vaccines for this extremely common virus.
T cells.

STAP-1’s Role in Activating Certain Immune Cells Deciphered

A new study has shed light on the importance of the protein STAP-1 in activating certain immune cells. Understanding the role of STAP-1 in these cells could give researchers a better glimpse into immune-related disorders and ways to treat them.
Protein structure.

Molecular “Brake” Could Help Develop Cancer Immunotherapies

A molecular “snapshot” of a protein can be critical to understanding its function. Scientists at Stanford and NYU have published and investigated a new structure of the protein LAG-3 which could enable the development of new cancer treatments.
A cell dividing.

New Insights on Altered Protein Folding's Effects on Multicellular Evolution

Researchers have discovered a mechanism steering the evolution of multicellular life, putting the spotlight on the regulation of proteins to understand evolution.
A row of pipettes filled with red liquid

High-Throughput Screening: Advances, Applications and Combined Approaches

In this article, we highlight various high-throughput screening strategies being used to interrogate large libraries of compounds and hear from researchers working to further streamline specific approaches to increase speed and improve quality and accuracy.
Cancer cells.

Fusion Proteins “Hijack” Gene Regulation in Cancer Development, Study Finds

A group of abnormal proteins known as fusion proteins aberrantly engage with a collection of proteins that switches genes on and off. Genes that should be activated get repressed and genes that should be repressed get activated, causing cancer.
Model of the sugar shield (green) on the GABAA receptor (grey) in a membrane (red) generated by GlycoSHIELD.

Sugar-Predicting Software May Help Accelerate Drug Development

Sugars cover nearly all proteins present at the surface of the cells in our bodies, forming a shield around the proteins. Thus, these sugars influence how cells interact with their environment including pathogens.