issue contents

ISSN: 2053-230X

August 2022 issue

Highlighted illustration

Cover illustration: Erwinia tasmaniensis levansucrase in complex with (S)-1,2,4-butanetriol [Polsinelli et al. (2022), Acta Cryst. F78, 289–296]. Levansucrases are biotechnologically interesting fructosyltransferases due to their potential use in the enzymatic or chemo-enzymatic synthesis of glycosides of non-natural substrates relevant to pharmaceutical applications. E. tasmaniensis levansucrase shows enantiomer selection for (S)-1,2,4-butanetriol and its biochemical characterization suggests the possible application of short aliphatic moieties containing polyols with defined stereocentres in fructosylation biotechnology.

research communications

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Levansucrases are useful tools in biotechnology for the synthesis of fructosyl glycosides. The structure of Erwinia tasmaniensis levansucrase in complex with (S)-1,2,4-butanetriol suggests a possible influence of polyols with defined stereocentres in the modulation of fructosylation.

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An unusual case of protein–substrate complexes that were obtained under similar conditions but contain different packing arrangements is reported. The crystals exhibit a combination of various crystal imperfections (pseudosymmetry, twinning and translational non­crystallographic symmetry), masking the true crystal symmetry and challenging data processing and structure determination.

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Elizabethkingia bacteria cause opportunistic infections in neonates, the elderly and the immunocompromised with mortality rates of up to 40%. The high-resolution structures of glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (GluRS) from E. meningosepticum and E. anopheles reveal similarities to bacterial GluRSs that can be exploited to accelerate rational drug discovery for these globally important emerging infectious Gram-negative bacteria.
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