research advances

Synopses of important developments in the field of structural biology and structural genomics, including advances from the Protein Structure Initiative. The featured articles and technical highlights are specially written for the Structural Biology Knowledgebase, while the research highlights are taken from NPG publications.

February 2009

  • featured articles

    • High-energy storage system

      Despite the cellular importance of inorganic polyphosphate, particularly in bacteria, exactly how it is processed is not known. Two new polyphosphate kinase structures should make things clearer.

      Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105, 17730-17735 (2008)

  • research highlights

    • Paving the path to single-molecule structures

      A new generation of brilliant X-ray laser sources will be coming online within the next few years. Researchers now show that using these lasers to determine the structures of single molecules should be possible.

      Nat. Phys.,

  • technical highlights

    • Dealing with difficult families

      A 'genome pool' strategy that targets multiple members of a protein family boosts structure determination rates, particularly when tricky proteins are avoided.

      Structure 16, 1659-1667 (2008)

  • research highlights

  • technical highlights

    • Drug targets to aim for

      The TDR Targets database combines genomic data on tropical-disease pathogens with structural and biochemical information to help researchers draw up a shortlist of potential drug targets.

      Nature Rev. Drug Disc. 7, 900-907 (2008)

  • featured articles

    • Transporter mechanism in sight

      Structural studies of the leucine transporter reveal details of the early steps in substrate transport across the membrane.

      Science 322, 1655-1661 (2008)

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