Going bananas over a new potassium binding protein
May 1, 2016
University of Glasgow NMR spectroscopist Brian Smith's work was promoted in a featured article in the May 2016 issue of Structure and highlighted in a blog written by the Editor of Structure and Cell Chemical Biology, Cell Press. The work describes how the cytoplasmic stress response protein Kbp binds potassium ions with high specificity, but an affinity in vitro almost weak enough to make it a plausible intracellular potassium sensor. Collaborator Dan Walker's lab showed that ygaU deletion strains of E.Coli that don't express Kbp struggle to grow on media that contain potassium ions suggesting a previously unknown pathway that could be targeted to generate new antibiotics.