Oliver Beckstein

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The structure of the sodium-benzylhydantoin transport protein Mhp1 from Microbacterium liquefaciens comprises a five-helix inverted repeat, which is widespread among secondary transporters. Here, we report the crystal structure of an inward-facing conformation of Mhp1 at 3.8 angstroms resolution, complementing its previously described structures in(More)
MDAnalysis is an object-oriented library for structural and temporal analysis of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories and individual protein structures. It is written in the Python language with some performance-critical code in C. It uses the powerful NumPy package to expose trajectory data as fast and efficient NumPy arrays. It has been tested(More)
Sodium/proton (Na(+)/H(+)) antiporters, located at the plasma membrane in every cell, are vital for cell homeostasis. In humans, their dysfunction has been linked to diseases, such as hypertension, heart failure and epilepsy, and they are well-established drug targets. The best understood model system for Na(+)/H(+) antiport is NhaA from Escherichia coli,(More)
Adenylate kinase (AdK), a phosphotransferase enzyme, plays an important role in cellular energy homeostasis. It undergoes a large conformational change between an open and a closed state, even in the absence of substrate. We investigate the apo-AdK transition at the atomic level both with free-energy calculations and with our new dynamic importance sampling(More)
Water plays a key role in biological membrane transport. In ion channels and water-conducting pores (aquaporins), one-dimensional confinement in conjunction with strong surface effects changes the physical behavior of water. In molecular dynamics simulations of water in short (0.8 nm) hydrophobic pores the water density in the pore fluctuates on a(More)
The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) is the prototypic member of the 'Cys-loop' superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels which mediate synaptic neurotransmission, and whose other members include receptors for glycine, gamma-aminobutyric acid and serotonin. Cryo-electron microscopy has yielded a three-dimensional structure of the nAChR in its closed(More)
A hydrophobic constriction site can act as an efficient barrier to ion and water permeation if its diameter is less than the diameter of an ion's first hydration shell. This hydrophobic gating mechanism is thought to operate in a number of ion channels, e.g. the nicotinic receptor, bacterial mechanosensitive channels (MscL and MscS) and perhaps in some(More)
The structure of a homopentameric alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is modelled by combining structural information from two sources: the X-ray structure of a water soluble acetylcholine binding protein from Lymnea stagnalis, and the electron microscopy derived structure of the transmembrane domain of the Torpedo nicotinic receptor. The alpha7(More)
The major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporter lactose permease (LacY) alternates between cytoplasmic and periplasmic open conformations to co-transport a sugar molecule together with a proton across the plasma membrane. Indirect experimental evidence suggested the existence of an occluded transition intermediate of LacY, which would prevent leaking of(More)
Ion channels are gated, i.e. they can switch conformation between a closed and an open state. Molecular dynamics simulations may be used to study the conformational dynamics of ion channels and of simple channel models. Simulations on model nanopores reveal that a narrow (<4 A) hydrophobic region can form a functionally closed gate in the channel and can be(More)