Office of Science Researcher on Cover of March 2006 Issue of Molecular Microbiology


Dr. Huilin Li, BNL, and his collaborators were featured on the cover of Molecular Microbiology for producing a series of structures of a protein destroying molecular machine called the proteosome. The proteosome’s ability to rapidly degrade proteins is essential for the microbial cell s ability to adjust to its environment by removing proteins that could interfere with the performance of newly produced molecular machines as well as disposing of cellular trash such as misfolded or inactive proteins or pieces. Dr. Li and his associates cryo- electron microscopy images reveal the cylindrical proteosome has closed ends, in contrast to x-ray crystallography data that had indicated an unstructured open form, and therefore poses new questions about how this machine works. The cryo-electron microscopy studies were supported by Genomics:GTL funding as part of research developing imaging techniques to be applied to the study of microbial molecular machines.