Department of Biochemistry University of Oxford Department of Biochemistry
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3QU

Tel: +44 (0)1865 613200
Fax: +44 (0)1865 613201
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News

Welcome to our two new group leaders
New Starters Two new group leaders join the Department today, Alfredo Castello and Elena Seiradake Published: 1 October 2014
Double success for Rob Klose
Professor Rob Klose Following on from his recent Royal Society award, Rob Klose has received two further honours in recognition of his work. He has been made a Full Professor, and now becomes Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology Published: 1 October 2014
Latest Publications
Read about some of the latest publications to come from the Department. Published: 24 September 2014

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Athena Swan Bronze Award

Vacancies

There are two job vacancies available

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Welcome

The Department of Biochemistry

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry, part of the University of Oxford's Medical Sciences Division. We are one of the largest Biochemistry departments in the world and carry out world-class research and teaching. Our researchers come from a range of disciplines and work in a collaborative environment on all aspects of modern molecular and cellular biochemistry. We hope you enjoy reading more about our activities on these pages.

Professor Mark Sansom, Head of Department

News Highlight

Enzyme from ocean bacteria reveals a unique catalytic cofactor

A serendipitous finding by Oxford researchers has identified novel features of an ecologically important enzyme.

The alkaline phosphatase PhoX is important for bacterial phosphate acquisition in low phosphate environments such as those found in much of the world’s oceans (pink). The structure of PhoX and of its active site are shown with the cofactor iron atoms orange, calcium ions green, and the oxygen atom red. A phosphate ion bound at the active site is shown in stick representation

The alkaline phosphatase PhoX is important for bacterial phosphate acquisition in low phosphate environments such as those found in much of the world’s oceans (pink). The structure of PhoX and of its active site are shown with the cofactor iron atoms orange, calcium ions green, and the oxygen atom red. A phosphate ion bound at the active site is shown in stick representation † (Click to enlarge)

The findings, from Professor Ben Berks' group in Biochemistry and Professor Susan Lea's group in the Dunn School of Pathology, are published in a paper in Science (1). Principal researchers on the work are Chien Yong and Pietro Roversi.

The group's work on the alkaline phosphatase PhoX, which has implications across disciplines ranging from chemistry to microbial ecology, has identified a new and unexpected catalytic cofactor. Structural analysis of PhoX suggests a novel mechanism of action not seen in other phosphatases.

Phosphate-containing macromolecules and metabolites are essential components in all living cells. Under conditions of phosphate deficiency, microorganisms produce alkaline phosphatase enzymes to release phosphate from phosphate-containing organic compounds in the environment.

The map is reproduced with modifications from an image by David Bice at https://www.e-education.psu.edu/earth103/node/694 under a creative commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license

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Seminars

Departmental Seminar Deepa Nath, 'Careers Talk: How to Progress in Academia' Wednesday 1st Oct, 13:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building
SBCB Seminar Series Verity Jackson, 'FLRT Signalling: Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations' Thursday 2nd Oct, 14:00 Main Lecture Theatre, Le Gros Clarke Building Department of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics, Le Gros Clark Building, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QX
SBCB Seminar Series Eiji Yamamoto, 'Anomalous dynamics of pleckstrin homology domains on a lipid membrane surface' Thursday 9th Oct, 14:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building
Departmental Seminar Dr. Zuzana Horejsi, 'tbc' Thursday 16th Oct, 11:00 Main Meeting Room, New Biochemistry Building


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