Welcome to the Gideon Davies group website
The Davies group probes the biological chemistry of carbohydrates: from enzymes and their chemistries through to in vivo applications of chemistry. We use protein crystallography, enzyme kinetics, calorimetry, enzyme inhibition and imaging to study the structural enzymology of proteins involved in the synthesis, modification and degradation of diverse glycoconjugates, oligo- and polysaccharides.
We have active projects involved in processes as diverse as the O-GlcNAc modification of higher eukaryotes, the synthesis of bioactive glycoconjugates in plants, diverse mannosyl transfer reactions and their inhibition and the manipulation of antibiotic synthesis pathways to derive new macrolide antibiotics.
One of the groups's major areas of research is the fundamental study of enzyme reaction coordinates - the conformational analysis of enzymes - in order to unveil the secrets of catalysis and inform strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Some recent publications
Thompson et al., 2012. Structural and mechanistic insight into N-glycan processing by endo-α-mannosidase. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 109, 781-786.
Thompson et al., (2012). The reaction coordinate of a bacterial GH47 α-mannosidase: a combined quantum mechanical and structural approach. Angew Chemie Int Ed 51, 10997-11001 (selected as VIP paper).
Lee et al 2011. Mechanistic evidence for a front-side, SNi-type reaction in a retaining glycosyltransferase. Nature Chem Biol 7, 631–638.
Quinlan et al., 2011 Insights into the oxidative degradation of cellulose by a copper metalloenzyme that exploits biomass components Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 108, 15079-15084.
Lammerts van Bueren et al 2010. Analysis of the reaction coordinate of a-L fucosidases: a combined structural and quantum mechanical approach. J Am Chem Soc 132 , 1804-1806.
He et al 2010. Visualizing the reaction coordinate of an O-GlcNAc hydrolase. J Am Chem Soc 132 , 1807-1809.
Davies, G.J., Planas, A., and Rovira, C. 2012. Conformational analyses of the reaction coordinate of glycosidases. Accounts Chem Res 45, 227-234.
Gloster, T.M., and Davies, G.J. 2010. Glycosidase inhibition: Assessing mimicry of the transition state. Org Biomol Chem 8 , 305-320.
Martinez-Fleites, C., He, Y., and Davies, G.J. 2010. Structural analyses of enzymes involved in the O-GlcNAc modification. Biochim Biophys Acta 1800, 122-133.
Check out the "News" section for more details.
PhD positions for Oct 2013
Three Ph.D positions are potentially available.
The first of these, in natural product biosynthesis is outlined here.