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Research Keywords:

McEwan A. R.; Integrase; Phage; Streptomyces; Protein; DNA; Recombination; Integration; Macromolecular Complexes; Crystallography; EMSA; in vitro; in vivo;

Research Profile

Post Doctoral Research in the Prof. M. C. M. Smith Group

Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen

Investigation into the structure and function of phiC31 Streptomyces Phage Integrase (Int). Int is a member of the 'large serine recombinase' family. Int is required for integration of the phage genome into the host chromosome. This process of integration in highly site specific yet requires no additional co-factors or special conformations of DNA. The reverse reaction is equally specific in the presence of (the recently identified) Xis protein. The precise mechanism remains unknown. Int has been targeted as an application for use in gene therapies. Understanding of the mechanism and selectivity of Int is therefore essential if we are to adapt these proteins to specific sequences. Currently research has been directed towards a better understanding of the structure and function of these protein by studying the interactions between the protein and its substrates.  Recent work has been directed towards an analysis of mutations in both protein and substrate, through in vitro & in vivo recombination assays and electro-mobility shift assays and collaborations to determine other structural information such as high resolution structures.


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