Ribosome Structure Is Focus of Stetten Symposium, Oct. 18
By Alisa Zapp Machalek
Decades of painstaking research have finally paid off for those studying ribosome structure and those interested in pushing the limits of crystallographic techniques. Within the last 15 months, four different research groups published crystal structures of all or part of a bacterial ribosome. Leaders of three of these groups will discuss their findings at the 19th DeWitt Stetten, Jr. Symposium, entitled "Revealing the Ribosome" and sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The symposium, which is part of the NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.
Ribosomes, often called "protein factories," manufacture every protein in every organism ranging from bacteria to humans. Each ribosome contains several strands of RNA and more than 50 proteins. Bacterial ribosomes are composed of a large (50S) and a small (30S) subunit. This complexity and the ribosome's large size have complicated efforts over the past 40 years to determine its crystal structure.
With a number of bacterial ribosome structures in hand and higher resolution structures in progress scientists hope to glean invaluable insights into the protein factories of all organisms. In addition, the studies may lead to clinical applications. Many of today's antibiotics target ribosomes in pathogenic bacteria. A more detailed knowledge of these critical cellular components may help scientists develop new antibiotic drugs or improve existing ones.
Dr. Ada Yonath
Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
Dr. Peter Moore
All three of the speakers are long-time NIGMS grantees, with more than 40 years of combined research grant support.
For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine at 594-5595.
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