Neurotransmitter receptor proteins are critical to learning and memory. Mutations are associated with neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and autism. Structures of two such receptors, solved by x-ray crystallography, provide a blueprint for the development of therapeutics. Read more »
Researchers used new protein design approaches to develop a potential inhibitor of Epstein-Barr-Virus-associated cancer. The study shows not just how to help defeat the virus, but also opens up a whole new way to design proteins against viruses and ultimately, cancer. Read more »
Researchers showed that a bacterial signaling protein critical for pathogenesis in Vibrio cholerae is actually a homolog of the human enzyme, cGAS, which detects invading DNA. These results reveal a surprising evolutionary connection between bacterial signaling and human innate immunity. Read more »
The beauty and wild colors of bird feathers are derived from the combinations of relatively few molecules. Research at the ALS shows that the expression of colors (or melanin), depends on the proportion of the molecules.
Read more »
When Rachel Haurwitz joined UC Berkeley biology professor Jennifer Doudna’s lab in 2007 as a graduate student, little did the two women know that the interesting bacterial immune system they were studying would be the subject of news headlines and the basis for a biotech startup just a few years later.
Computationally designed proteins that accurately mimic key viral structures can help produce better vaccines. The resulting protein structures, validated at the ALS, encourage the further development of this strategy for a variety of vaccine targets, including HIV and influenza. Read more »
Researchers studying organic material from dinosaur bones have been able to show that the samples contained original soft tissue material from Mesozoic dinosaurs. The x-ray techniques at the ALS were key to showing a possible mechanism for this unexpected preservation.
Read more »
The molecular structures of two proteins from a family of genome-editing enzymes reveal how they target and cleave DNA. The results point the way to the rational design of new and improved versions of the enzymes for basic research and genetic engineering. Read more »
Genentech has developed a unique one-armed antibody, onartuzumab, which is now in late-stage clinical trials in multiple cancer types. The company used crystal structures obtained at ALS Beamline 5.0.2 to demonstrate the mechanism of action of this unique potentially therapeutic antibody. Read more »
Berkeley Lab and University of California researchers have developed a new technique for monitoring protein phosphorylation inside single living cells, enabling them to follow live cellular chemical changes without bias and without harming the cells. Read more »