The Sanderson Group
One of the Sanderson’s group’s main goals is to elucidate the interaction of DNA binding proteins with their DNA target sites. Recently we have been studying topoisomerases from Gram positive organisms which control the superhelical density and decatenate the bacterial chromosome during segregation. These topoisomerases are targeted by a very important class of antibiotics known as the quinolones. Our group in collaboration with that of Professor Mark Fisher, St. George’s have recently solved the structure of the quinolone-DNA topoIV complex from S. pneumoniae.
We also study of the structures involved in DNA repair and Site-specific recombination in bacteria. We are also interested in the study of viral proteins of therapeutic importance. In collaboration with Professor Michael Malim FRS, DIID, GKT we have been studying the interaction of human proteins which interact with HIV Vif.
Structural studies on thymidine kinase (TK) from Human Herpes Simplex virus type 1 and other viral kinases have been a central focus of our group. This work is a long-standing collaboration with Professor William C. Summers at Yale (Depts of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and Yale Medical School) and Prof. Pieter Herdewijn at the Rega Institute, Leuven University, Belgium. We have solved to very high resolution the complexes of HHV-1 TK with all the major anti-herpetic agents from the pharmaceutical companies. These agents are: aciclovir (GSK), ganciclovir (Roche) and penciclovir (GSK) and newly designed compounds.