Justin Ashworth

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The reprogramming of DNA-binding specificity is an important challenge for computational protein design that tests current understanding of protein-DNA recognition, and has considerable practical relevance for biotechnology and medicine. Here we describe the computational redesign of the cleavage specificity of the intron-encoded homing endonuclease I-MsoI(More)
Macromolecular modeling and design are increasingly useful in basic research, biotechnology, and teaching. However, the absence of a user-friendly modeling framework that provides access to a wide range of modeling capabilities is hampering the wider adoption of computational methods by non-experts. RosettaScripts is an XML-like language for specifying(More)
Marine diatoms are important primary producers that thrive in diverse and dynamic environments. They do so, in theory, by sensing changing conditions and adapting their physiology accordingly. Using the model species Thalassiosira pseudonana, we conducted a detailed physiological and transcriptomic survey to measure the recurrent transcriptional changes(More)
We sequenced the genomes of 200 individuals from 41 families multiply affected with bipolar disorder (BD) to identify contributions of rare variants to genetic risk. We initially focused on 3,087 candidate genes with known synaptic functions or prior evidence from genome-wide association studies. BD pedigrees had an increased burden of rare variants in(More)
Notch signaling determines and reinforces cell fate in bilaterally symmetric multicellular eukaryotes. Despite the involvement of Notch in many key developmental systems, human mutations in Notch signaling components have mainly been described in disorders with vascular and bone effects. Here, we report five heterozygous NOTCH1 variants in unrelated(More)
Expansion of transcription factors is believed to have played a crucial role in evolution of all organisms by enabling them to deal with dynamic environments and colonize new environments. We investigated how the expansion of the Feast/Famine Regulatory Protein (FFRP) or Lrp-like proteins into an eight-member family in Halobacterium salinarum NRC-1 has(More)
Site-specific homing endonucleases are capable of inducing gene conversion via homologous recombination. Reprogramming their cleavage specificities allows the targeting of specific biological sites for gene correction or conversion. We used computational protein design to alter the cleavage specificity of I-MsoI for three contiguous base pair substitutions,(More)
FAH (fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase) catalyses the final step of tyrosine catabolism to produce fumarate and acetoacetate. HT1 (hereditary tyrosinaemia type 1) results from deficiency of this enzyme. Previously, we prepared a partial mimic of the putative tetrahedral intermediate in the reaction catalysed by FAH co-crystallized with the enzyme to reveal(More)
Diatoms are important primary producers in the ocean that thrive in diverse and dynamic environments. Their survival and success over changing conditions depend on the complex coordination of gene regulatory processes. Here we present an integrated analysis of all publicly available microarray data for the diatoms Thalassiosira pseudonana and Phaeodactylum(More)
Enzymes use substrate-binding energy both to promote ground-state association and to stabilize the reaction transition state selectively. The monomeric homing endonuclease I-AniI cleaves with high sequence specificity in the centre of a 20-base-pair (bp) DNA target site, with the amino (N)-terminal domain of the enzyme making extensive binding interactions(More)