issue contents

Journal logoSTRUCTURAL
ISSN: 2059-7983

August 2021 issue

Highlighted illustration

Cover illustration: AlphaFold2 prediction of the full-length chain of human EGFR color coded by model confidence (dark blue, highly confident; dark orange, very low confidence) [Bouatta et al. (2021), Acta Cryst. D77, 982–911]. Individual domains are confidently predicted, but inter-domain arrangement is not, as evidenced by long unstructured linkers with very low model confidence.

feature articles

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This review discusses the AlphaFold2 system for protein structure prediction, including its conceptual and methodological advances, its amenability to interpretation and its achievements in the last Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP14) experiment.


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CCD2 is a software tool that aggregates sequence information for protein sequences (conservation, structure prediction, domain and disorder detection), enabling informed choices for expression-construct design, the single-click generation of PCR primers for cloning and easy data tracking.

research papers

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A crystal structure of a photolyase at room temperature confirms the structural information obtained from cryogenic crystallography and paves the way for time-resolved studies of the photolyase at an X-ray free-electron laser.

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This work explores the structural and spectrophotometric implications of replacing a tyrosine residue in the chromophore of a fluorescent protein with two different unnatural amino acids.

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The crystal structure of the lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase McAA9F, which is broadly active on both crystalline and soluble glycans and includes an unusual succinimide motif, is reported.

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Crystal structures are presented of the full-length VanR protein in both the inactive and activated states. Activation involves a disorder-to-order transition in a critical helix, which creates an interface for dimerization.

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The β-link, which is a motif consisting of a G1β β-bulge and a type II β-turn, is shown to play the specific role in protein architecture of connecting a β-sheet to another area of a protein in certain β-sandwiches, small β-barrels and β-sheet/α-helix proteins.

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The STENOFOLIA homeodomain binds promoter DNA as a tetramer and the α3 helix binds DNA in both the major and minor grooves.

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A simple expression and purification protocol is presented which produces a high yield and good micrographs of the apoferritin bacterioferritin B (BfrB) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Its 2.12 Å resolution cryo-EM structure is presented, revealing a unique C-terminal extension (164–181), and it is discussed how BfrB could serve the growing cryo-EM community in characterizing and pushing the limits of their electron microscopes and workflows.

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Ensemble refinement of six protein–ligand crystal structures indicates a much larger flexibility of some amino-acid side chains and ligand groups than is suggested by standard crystallographic refinement. Molecular-dynamics simulations and automatic generation of alternative conformations confirm the high flexibility of these groups, indicating that ensemble refinement can be used to identify such flexible groups.
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