... understanding life in molecular detail

Research Highlights

Below are some of the recent research demonstrating how we use cryo-electron microscopy at the ABSL to answer different biological problems.

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BK Polyomavirus

Dan Hurdiss et al from Neil Ranson and Andrew MacDonald's lab present the first structure of human BK polyomavirus (7.6 Å) and compare it with a VP1-only VLP at similar resolution, providing new insights into the location of minor capsid proteins, genome recognition, and organization of the viral minichromosome. This article was featured on the cover of the journal Structure (cover designed by Daniel Hurdiss and Neil Ranson). For full text see doi:10.1016/j.str.2016.02.008

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Cowpea Mosaic Virus

Little is known about how the plant-infecting cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) - an invaluable tool in biotechnology - packages its single-strand RNA genome into the capsid. Here the authors present two high-resolution cryo-EM structures of CPMV, and a new model for RNA recognition and capsid assembly. The article featured in Nature Communications by Hesketh et al, doi:10.1038/ncomms10113.

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Special edition of the journal Methods

A special edition of the journal Methods, Single Particle Cryo-EM, from sample to reconstruction, edited by Stephen Muench and Michelle Peckham, included several articles by researchers at Leeds (Volume 100, 2016) (cover designed by Daniel Hurdiss and Stephen Muench).

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Structure of the vacuolar ATPase

Shaun Rawson et al from Stephen Muench's lab solved a high-resolution structure of vacuolar ATPase. The complex rests in a catalytic state different from those previously reported. The work gives new insights into the organization, mechanism, and the basis for functional properties such as high thermodynamic efficiency. For full text see http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.str.2014.12.016.