The goal of these studies is to understand the structural basis of how macromolecules function. The current focus is on two groups of proteins: dixoygenases that use metal ions to cleave aromatic rings and proteins from gram-positive pathogens. Examples of dioxygenases are protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase (PCD), homoprotocatechuate 2,3-dioxygenase (HPCD), and 1,2-catechol dioxygenase (CTD). Examples of proteins from gram-positive pathogens are toxins and proteins involved in the formation of biofilms and in the tranfer of antibiotic resistance.
The researchers are refining structures of substrate and inhibitor complexes of mutants of PCD, HPCD, and CTD, and are solving and refining the structures of several proteins from pathogens.