Accessibility statement

Elena Blagova

Tel: (+44) (0)1904 328269

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Research Interests and Experience

I work in the research group of Prof. Keith Wilson where I perform biochemical and preliminary X-ray studies on a range of proteins. The projects involved recombinant DNA techniques and overexpression of proteins in E. coli cells, isolation, purification and crystallization of proteins and their complexes using both standard methods and novel crystallization approaches, and preparation and screening of heavy atom derivatives (including SeMet). I have extensive experience in analytical biochemical methods used in crystallography-grade quality protein production (gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometry, dynamic light scattering, analytical gel filtration, optical rotation measurements, enzymes assays, limited proteolysis etc.). I also have experience in protein characterization by biophysical techniques (SEC-MALLS, ITC, SPR).

Major projects


  • Collaborative project funded by Novozymes on industrial enzymes.
  • EPSRC funded project on Iron siderophore binding proteins (CeuE from Campylobacter jejuni; FepB from Escherichia coli, CeuE analog from thermo Laceyella sacchari and their complexes with synthetic catechol siderophore analogues.


  • EU SPINE (Structural Proteomics in Europe) project: Bacillus anthracis proteins
  • Human ATP-dependent mitochondrial Lon Protease
  • EU SPINE2-complexes project (MDM2 oncoprotein and its interaction with the partners)
  • Transcriptional regulators in Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium difficile (codY, YloQ)
  • BBSRC Sporulation in Bacillus subtilis: AppA, SpoIIE, SpoIID, SpoIIP, SpoIIQ-SpoIIIAH complex
  • BBSRC Structure-function studies of the virulence associated proteins from Rhodococcus equi: VapA, VapD, VAPG, VapH and VapE

Selected publications

  • Structure of the virulence-associated protein VapD from the intracellular pathogen Rhodococcus equi.
    J L Whittingham, E V Blagova, C E Finn, H Luo, R Miranda-CasoLuengo, J P Turkenburg, A P Leech, P H Walton, A G Murzin, W G Meijer, A J Wilkinson. , Acta Cryst. 2014 D70, 2139-2151.
  • Structure of an Intercellular Channel Complex in Sporulating Bacillus subtilis.
    V M. Levdikov, E V Blagova, A McFeat, M J Fogg, K S Wilson and A J Wilkinson. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2012, 109(14); 5441-5
  • Structure of the Phosphatase Domain of the Cell Fate Determinant SpoIIE from Bacillus subtilis.
    V M Levdikov, E V Blagova, A E Rawlings, K Jameson, J Tunaley, D J Hart, I Barak, A J Wilkinson.  J Mol Biol. 2012, 415(2), 343-58
  • The structure and interactions of SpoIISA and SpoIISB, a toxin-antitoxin system in Bacillus subtilis.
    P Florek, V M Levdikov, E Blagova, A A Lebedev, R Škrabana, S Resetárová, P Pavelcíková, I Barak, A J Wilkinson.  J Biol Chem., 2011, 286, 6808-19.y
  • Expression of soluble, active fragments of the morphogenetic protein SpoIIE from Bacillus subtilis using a library-based construct screen.
    A E Rawlings, V M Levdikov, E Blagova, V L Colledge, P J Mas, J Tunaley, L Vavrova, K S Wilson, I Barak, D J Hart, A J Wilkinson. Protein Eng, 2010, 23, 817-25
  • Structure of the catalytic domain of the human mitochondrial Lon protease: proposed relation of oligomer formation and activity.
    J Garcia-Nafria, G Ondrovicova, E Blagova, V M Levdikov, J A Bauer, C K Suzuki, E Kutejova E, A J Wilkinson, K S Wilson. Protein Science, 2010, 19, 987-99
  • Structural rearrangement accompanying ligand binding in the GAF domain of CodY from Bacillus subtilis.
    V M Levdikov, E Blagova, V L Colledge, A A Lebedev, D C Williamson, A L Sonenshein, A J Wilkinson. J Mol Biol., 2009, 390(5), 1007-18
  • The structure of CodY, a GTP- and isoleucine-responsive regulator of stationary phase and virulence in gram-positive bacteria.
    V M Levdikov, E Blagova, P Joseph, A L Sonenshein, A J Wilkinson. J Biol Chem., 2006, 281, 11366-11373
  • Implementation of semi-automated cloning and prokaryotic expression screening: the impact of SPINE.
    P M Alzari, H Berglund, N S Berrow, E Blagova, D Busso, C Cambillau, V Campanacci, E Christodoulou, S Eiler, M J Fogg, G Folkers, A Geerlof, D Hart, A Haouz, M D Herman, S Macieira, P Nordlund, A Perrakis, S Quevillon-Cheruel, F Tarandeau, H van Tilbeurgh, T Unger, M P Luna-Vargas, M Velarde, M Willmanns, R J Owens. Acta Cryst., 2006, D62, 1103-1113
  • Application of high-throughput technologies to a structural proteomics-type analysis of Bacillus anthracis.
    K Au, N S Berrow, E Blagova, I W Boucher, M P Boyle, J A Brannigan, L G Carter, T Dierks, G Folkers, R Grenha, K Harlos, R Kaptein, A K Kalliomaa, V M Levdikov, C Meier, N Milioti, O Moroz, A Muller, R J Owens, N Rzechorzek, S Sainsbury, D I Stuart, T S Walter, D G Waterman, A J Wilkinson, K S Wilson, N Zaccai, R M Esnouf, M J Fogg. Acta Cryst., 2006, D62, 1267-1275
  • The structure of the oligopeptide-binding protein, AppA, from Bacillus subtilis in complex with a nonapeptide.
    V M Levdikov, E Blagova, J A Brannigan, L Wright, A A Vagin, A J Wilkinson. J Mol Biol., 2005, 345, 879-892
  • Three-dimensional structure of kynureninase from Pseudomonas fluorescens.
    C Momany, V Levdikov, L Blagova, S Lima, R S Phillips. Biochemistry, 2004, 43, 1193-203
  • The crystal structure of YloQ, a circularly permuted GTPase essential for Bacillus subtilis viability.
    V M Levdikov, E V Blagova, J A Brannigan, L Cladiere, A A Antson, M N Isupov, S J Seror, A J Wilkinson. J Mol Biol., 2004, 340, 767-82.
  • Crystallization of the GTP-dependent transcriptional regulator CodY from Bacillus subtilis.
    E V Blagova, V M Levdikov, K Tachikawa, A l Sonenshein, A J Wilkinson. Acta Cryst., 2003, D59, 155-157.
Elena Blagova