Structural biology of infection and immunity

Group leader: Garry Taylor

Professor of Molecular Biophysics

Research overview

We are using molecular, cellular and structural biology to understand the structure and function of proteins involved in pathogenesis with a view to developing new drugs against a range of disease caused by microorganisms. The sialidase (or neuraminidase) superfamily are virulence factors in influenza, parainfluenza, cholera and pneumonia. Our structural studies on the paramyxovirus hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) has led to the structure-based development of a new drug that is a potential treatment for childhood parainfleunza. We are currently studying the sialidases from Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and developing inhibitors against these enzymes that are key virulence facotrs in the respiratory diseases caused by these bacteria.

More recently, we have engineered mutlivalent forms of a couple of carbohydrate-binding modules specific for sialic acid, a key component of the receptor used by the influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, some coronaviruses and pneumococci. Experients in mice using lethal viral challenges show that these mutlivalent bioloigcs have great potential as a prophylactic for the prevention of certain respiratory diseases.

Publications

Owen, CD, Tailford, LE, Monaco, S, Ĺ uligoj, T, Vaux, L, Lallement, R, Khedri, Z, Yu, H, Lecointe, K, Walshaw, J, Tribolo, S, Horrex, M, Bell, A, Chen, X, Taylor, GL, Varki, A, Angulo, J & Juge, N 2017, 'Unravelling the specificity and mechanism of sialic acid recognition by the gut symbiont Ruminococcus gnavus' Nature Communications, vol. 8, 2196. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02109-8
Lu, T, Zou, Y, Xu, G, Potter, JA, Taylor, GL, Duan, Q, Yang, Q, Xiong, H, Qiu, H, Ye, D, Zhang, P, Yu, S, Yuan, X, Zhu, F, Wang, Y & Xiong, H 2016, 'PRIMA-1Met suppresses colorectal cancer independent of p53 by targeting MEK' Oncotarget, vol. 7, no. 50, pp. 83017-83030. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.12940
Taylor, GL & Connaris, H 2015, Immunomodulatory Compounds, Patent No. WO2015110831 (A1) , IPC No. A61K31/74.

Overview

Overview header image

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences. The BSRC is grateful for funding from all funding agencies including the Institutional Strategic Support Fund from the Wellcome Trust.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research areas

Scientists associated with the thirty-two research groups that are affiliated with the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex perform highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences.

Follow the links on the left to view individual research groups associated with one or more of the eleven BSRC research areas.

Research by academic schools

Research in the BSRC is conducted by thirty-two independent research groups based in the Schools of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Medicine. Follow the links on the left to view groups associated with each school.