Center for Structural Biology

Chief
Susan M. Lea, D.Phil., F.Med.Sci.

The newly formed Center for Structural Biology (CSB) will serve as the focus for structural biology activities across the CCR.  The Center's foundation is built from the merger of the Structural Biophysics Laboratory and the Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory. 

The Center will: 1) plan, develop and conduct research studies on the molecular structure and interactions of biological macromolecules and therapeutics pertinent to human health, with a particular emphasis on cancer and infection; 2) support training of personnel in advanced structural methods; 3) develop and apply new tools for molecular characterization using novel biophysical and biochemical techniques including cryo-electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and scattering methods; 4) lead methods development to enable full understanding of large, multi-component molecular machines; and 5) apply structural and chemical insights to develop mechanistic understanding to inform therapeutics strategies.

 


There are no Open Positions at this time. Check back again later, or take a look at CCR's Careers page.


Resources

The Center for Structural Biology offers several resources to CCR and other NIH intramural investigators.

Biophysics Resource

The Biophysics Resource (BR), operated by the Center, provides CCR investigators with access to both the latest instrumentation and expertise in characterizing the biophysical aspects of systems under structural investigation.

The Biophysics Resource operates as an open, shared-use facility; in general, BR users learn to operate the instruments and conduct their own experients. Our staff members train all first-time users and are also available to consult with investigators on experimental design/analysis or collaborate with them on more complex studies. To learn more, visit the Biophysics Resource.

SAXS Core Facility

The mission of the SAXS Core Facility is to provide support to research projects from CCR principal investigators (PIs), NIH intramural PIs and extramural academic research groups and laboratories. The support includes providing routine access to the APS PUP SAXS/WAXS beamline and in-house SAXS instrument, and expertise in experimental design, data collection, processing, analysis and interpretation. Our main focus is to determine the structure of biomacromolecules and their complexes in solution. The research field includes, but is not limited to, structural studies of nucleic acids, proteins, protein assemblies, virus particles, lipid membranes, protein/DNA and protein/RNA complexes. To learn more, visit the SAXS Core Facility.

NMR facility with staff memberNMR Facility for Biological Research

Within the Center is a state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facility that researchers use to solve atomic resolution three-dimensional (3D) structures, probe molecular dynamics, and aid in structure-based drug design and molecular targeting. The facility is managed by Dr. Janusz Koscielniak, who is an expert in NMR spectrometer hardware and software. The instruments have been used to study how nucleic acids bind inhibitors, define new functional interaction sites in biomachines, and to reveal structural and dynamic properties critical to biological function.

NMR Selected Recent Publications

A sampling of recent publications from the NMR Facility is presented below.

 

2019

Ding, J., Swain, M., Yu, P., Stagno, J. R., Wang, Y. X. Conformational flexibility of adenine riboswitch aptamer in apo and bound states using NMR and an X-ray free electron laser. J. Biomol. NMR., Sep;73(8-9):509-518, 2019. PMID: 31606878  PMCID: PMC6817744

Biancospino, M., Buel, G. R., Niño, C. A., Maspero, E., di Perrotolo, R. S., Raimondi, A., Redlingshöfer, L., Weber, J., Brodsky, F. M.*, Walters, K. J.*, Polo, S.* Clathrin light chain A drives selective myosin VI recruitment to clathrin-coated pits under membrane tension. Nature Communications, 10(1):4974, 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12855-6. *co-corresponding. PMID: 31672988  PMCID: PMC6823378

Chao, F.-A., Li, Y., Zhang, Y., Byrd, R.A. Probing the broad time scale and heterogeneous conformational dynamics in the catalytic core of the Arf-GAP ASAP1 via methyl adiabatic relaxation dispersion. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141(30):11881-11891, 2019. PMID: 31293161

Solomon, W.C., Myint, W., Hou, S., Kanai, T., Tripathi, R., Yilmaz, N.K., Schiffer, C.A., Matsuo H. Mechanism for APOBEC3G catalytic exclusion of RNA and non-substrate DNA. Nucleic Acids Research, 47(14):7676-7689, 2019. PMID: 31424549  PMCID: PMC6698744

2018

Liu, Y., Holmstrom, E., Yu, P., Tan, K., Zuo, X., Nesbitt, D. J., Sousa, R., Stagno, J. R., Wang, Y. X. Incorporation of isotopic, fluorescent, and heavy-atom-modified nucleotides into RNAs by position-selective labeling of RNA. Nat Protoc., May;13(5):987-1005, 2018. PMID: 29651055

Calabrese, D. R., Chen, X., Leon, E., Gaikwad, S., Phyo, Z., Hewitt, W. M., Alden, S., Hilimire, T. A., He, F., Michalowski, A. M., Simmons, J. K., Saunders, L. B., Zhang, S., Connors, D., Walters, K. J.*, Mock, B. A.*, Schneekloth, J. S. Jr.* Chemical and structural studies provide a mechanistic basis for recognition of the MYC G-quadruplex. Nature Communications, 9:4229, 2018. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06315-w. *co-corresponding.  PMID: 30315240  PMCID: PMC6185959 

Maiti A, Myint W, Kanai T, Delviks-Frankenberry K, Sierra Rodriguez C, Pathak VK, Schiffer CA, Matsuo H. Crystal structure of the catalytic domain of HIV-1 restriction factor APOBEC3G in complex with ssDNA. Nature Communications, Jun 25;9(1):2460, 2018. PMID: 29941968  PMCID: PMC6018426

News from the Center

Single Particle Cryoelectron Microscopy

Together with the NCI Center for Molecular Microscopy, Dan Shi and Justus Benson have set up a Talos Arctica with a K3 camera for collection of single particle cryoelectron microscopy data. Thank you Dan and Justus for your hard work and contribution to CCR as a whole.

Seminars

There are several seminar series available to staff members interested in structural biology and/or molecular discovery.

Structural Biology Virtual Seminar Series

All seminars will be at 1:00 PM via WebEx.

2020                        Speaker
12/17/2020              Dr. Tina Schroeder, Chemical Biology Laboratory, CCR, NCI
12/03/2020              Dr. Barbie Ganser-Pomillos, University of Virginia
11/05/2020              Dr. Tanja Mittag, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 
10/08/2020              Dr. Hashim Al-Hashimi, Duke University 
09/24/2020              Dr. Liang Tong, Columbia University
09/17/2020              Professor Sir Tom Blundell, University of Cambridge, UK

2021                        Speaker
01/14/2021              Dr. Natalie Ahn, University of Colorado Boulder                        
02/18/2021              Dr. Dario Alessi, University of Dundee, UK
03/11/2021              Dr. Melanie Cobb, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
04/01/2021              Dr. David Jeruzalmi, City College of New York

CBL Molecular Discovery Seminar Series

View the Molecular Discovery Seminar Series, sponsored by the Chemical Biology Laboratory (CBL).

Frederick Structural Biology Forum Seminar Series 

View the Frederick Structural Biology Forum Seminar Series.

About

The newly formed Center for Structural Biology (CSB) will serve as the focus for structural biology activities across the CCR.  The Center's foundation is built from the merger of the Structural Biophysics Laboratory and the Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory. 

The Center will: 1) plan, develop and conduct research studies on the molecular structure and interactions of biological macromolecules and therapeutics pertinent to human health, with a particular emphasis on cancer and infection; 2) support training of personnel in advanced structural methods; 3) develop and apply new tools for molecular characterization using novel biophysical and biochemical techniques including cryo-electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction and scattering methods; 4) lead methods development to enable full understanding of large, multi-component molecular machines; and 5) apply structural and chemical insights to develop mechanistic understanding to inform therapeutics strategies.

 

PI & Key Staff

Positions


There are no Open Positions at this time. Check back again later, or take a look at CCR's Careers page.


Contact Info

Center for Structural Biology
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 538, Room 213
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
Ph: 301-846-1421
Administrative Lab Manager
301-846-1421
Secretary
301-846-1300