Natively inhibited Trypanosoma brucei cathepsin B structure determined by using an X-ray laser
Authors: Redecke L, Nass K, DePonte DP, White TA, Rehders D, Barty A, Stellato F, Liang M, Barends TR, Boutet S, Williams GJ, Messerschmidt M, Seibert MM, Aquila A, Arnlund D, Bajt S, Barth T, Bogan MJ, Caleman C, Chao TC, Doak RB, Fleckenstein H, Frank M, Fromme R, Galli L, Grotjohann I, Hunter MS, Johansson LC, Kassemeyer S, Katona G, Kirian RA, Koopmann R, Kupitz C, Lomb L, Martin AV, Mogk S, Neutze R, Shoeman RL, Steinbrener J, Timneanu N, Wang D, Weierstall U, Zatsepin NA, Spence JC, Fromme P, Schlichting I, Duszenko M, Betzel C, Chapman HN
CellNetworks People: Schlichting Ilme
Journal: Science. 2013 Jan 11;339(6116):227-30. doi: 10.1126/science.1229663

The Trypanosoma brucei cysteine protease cathepsin B (TbCatB), which is involved in host protein degradation, is a promising target to develop new treatments against sleeping sickness, a fatal disease caused by this protozoan parasite. The structure of the mature, active form of TbCatB has so far not provided sufficient information for the design of a safe and specific drug against T. brucei. By combining two recent innovations, in vivo crystallization and serial femtosecond crystallography, we obtained the room-temperature 2.1 angstrom resolution structure of the fully glycosylated precursor complex of TbCatB. The structure reveals the mechanism of native TbCatB inhibition and demonstrates that new biomolecular information can be obtained by the "diffraction-before-destruction" approach of x-ray free-electron lasers from hundreds of thousands of individual microcrystals.