Michael N. G. James

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Shigella dysenteriae is the pathogen responsible for the severe form of dysentery in humans. It produces Shiga toxin, the prototype of a family of closely related bacterial protein toxins. We have determined the structure of the holotoxin, an AB5 hexamer, by X–ray crystallography. The five B subunits form a pentameric ring, encircling a helix at the carboxy(More)
Several serotypes of Escherichia coli produce protein toxins closely related to Shiga toxin (Stx) from Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1. These Stx-producing E. coli cause outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome in humans, with the latter being more likely if the E. coli produce Stx2 than if they only produce Stx1. To investigate the(More)
In humans, two major beta-hexosaminidase isoenzymes exist: Hex A and Hex B. Hex A is a heterodimer of subunits alpha and beta (60% identity), whereas Hex B is a homodimer of beta-subunits. Interest in human beta-hexosaminidase stems from its association with Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease; these are prototypical lysosomal storage disorders resulting from(More)
Proteolytic enzymes are synthesized as inactive precursors, or "zymogens," to prevent unwanted protein degradation, and to enable spatial and temporal regulation of proteolytic activity. Upon sorting or appropriate compartmentalization, zymogen conversion to the active enzyme typically involves limited proteolysis and removal of an "activation segment." The(More)
Lysosomal beta-hexosaminidase A (Hex A) is essential for the degradation of GM2 gangliosides in the central and peripheral nervous system. Accumulation of GM2 leads to severely debilitating neurodegeneration associated with Tay-Sachs disease (TSD), Sandoff disease (SD) and AB variant. Here, we present the X-ray crystallographic structure of Hex A to 2.8 A(More)
The X-ray crystallographic structure of the recombinant poliovirus 3C gene product (Mahoney strain) has been determined by single isomorphous replacement and non-crystallographic symmetry averaging and refined at 2.1 A resolution. Poliovirus 3C is comprised of two six-stranded antiparallel beta-barrel domains and is structurally similar to the(More)
Rhomboid peptidases are members of a family of regulated intramembrane peptidases that cleave the transmembrane segments of integral membrane proteins. Rhomboid peptidases have been shown to play a major role in developmental processes in Drosophila and in mitochondrial maintenance in yeast. Most recently, the function of rhomboid peptidases has been(More)
PrP(Sc), a misfolded and aggregated form of the cellular prion protein PrP(C), is the only defined constituent of the transmissible agent causing prion diseases. Expression of PrP(C) in the host organism is necessary for prion replication and for prion neurotoxicity. Understanding prion diseases necessitates detailed structural insights into PrP(C) and(More)