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1.  Comparative Proteomics Identifies the Cell-Associated Lethality of M. tuberculosis RelBE-like Toxin-Antitoxin Complexes 
The Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) genome encodes approximately 90 toxin-antitoxin protein complexes, including three RelBE family members, which are believed to play a major role in bacterial fitness and pathogenicity. We have determined the crystal structures of Mtb RelBE-2 and RelBE-3, and the structures reveal homologous heterotetramers. Our structures suggest RelE-2, and by extension the closely related RelE-1, use a different catalytic mechanism than RelE-3, because our analysis of the RelE-2 structure predicts additional amino acid residues that are likely to be functionally significant and are missing from analogous positions in the RelE-3 structure. Toxicity assays corroborate our structural findings; overexpression of RelE-3, whose active site is more similar to Escherichia coli YoeB, has limited consequences on bacterial growth, whereas RelE-1 and RelE-2 overexpression results in acute toxicity. Moreover, RelE-2 overexpression results in an elongated cell phenotype in Mycobacterium smegmatis and protects M. tuberculosis against antibiotics, suggesting a different functional role for RelE-2.
PMCID: PMC3791866  PMID: 23523424
2.  The TB Structural Genomics Consortium: A decade of progress 
The TB Structural Genomics Consortium is a worldwide organization of collaborators whose mission is the comprehensive structural determination and analyses of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins to ultimately aid in tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment. Congruent to the overall vision, Consortium members have additionally established an integrated facilities core to streamline M. tuberculosis structural biology and developed bioinformatics resources for data mining. This review aims to share the latest Consortium developments with the TB community, including recent structures of proteins that play significant roles within M. tuberculosis. Atomic resolution details may unravel mechanistic insights and reveal unique and novel protein features, as well as important protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, which ultimately leads to a better understanding of M. tuberculosis biology and may be exploited for rational, structure-based therapeutics design.
PMCID: PMC3310434  PMID: 21247804
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Protein structure; X-ray crystallography; Structural genomics; Drug discovery
3.  A triclinic crystal form of Escherichia coli 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol kinase and reassessment of the quaternary structure 
The structure of a triclinic crystal form of 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol kinase has been determined. Comparisons with a previously reported monoclinic crystal form raise questions about our knowledge of the quaternary structure of this enzyme.
4-Diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol kinase (IspE; EC contributes to the 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate or mevalonate-independent biosynthetic pathway that produces the isomers isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. These five-carbon compounds are the fundamental building blocks for the biosynthesis of isoprenoids. The mevalonate-independent pathway does not occur in humans, but is present and has been shown to be essential in many dangerous pathogens, i.e. Plasmodium species, which cause malaria, and Gram-negative bacteria. Thus, the enzymes involved in this pathway have attracted attention as potential drug targets. IspE produces 4-­diphosphos­phocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol 2-phosphate by ATP-dependent phosphorylation of 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol. A triclinic crystal structure of the Escherichia coli IspE–ADP complex with two molecules in the asymmetric unit was determined at 2 Å resolution and compared with a monoclinic crystal form of a ternary complex of E. coli IspE also with two molecules in the asymmetric unit. The molecular packing is different in the two forms. In the asymmetric unit of the triclinic crystal form the substrate-binding sites of IspE are occluded by structural elements of the partner, suggesting that the ‘triclinic dimer’ is an artefact of the crystal lattice. The surface area of interaction in the triclinic form is almost double that observed in the monoclinic form, implying that the dimeric assembly in the monoclinic form may also be an artifact of crystallization.
PMCID: PMC2833027  PMID: 20208151
mevalonate-independent pathway; isoprenoid biosynthesis; kinases

Results 1-3 (3)