Professor Keith S Wilson

01904 328262

Protein Crystallography and Structural Enzymology

Research Summary

My research is involved with the relation between structure and function in biologically active macromolecules using the techniques of protein crystallography for which the York Structural Biology Laboratory (YSBL) is extremely well equipped. Current interests include:

  • Methods development for structural biology; map interpretation and graphical representation (with Kevin Cowtan and CCP4)
  • Industrial enzymes, where we collaborate strongly with Novozymes A/S
  • Structural insight into iron uptake mechanisms (with Anne Duhme-Klair)


Selected recent publications

  • The structure of a calcium-dependent phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C from Pseudomonas sp-62186, the first from a gram-negative bacterium. 
    O.V. Moroz, E. Blagova, A.A. Lebedev, A. Nørgaard, D.R. Segura, T.H. Blicher, J. Brask & K.S. Wilson. (2017) Acta Crystallogr., D73, 32-44
  • Carbohydrate structure: the rocky road to automation.
    J. Agirre, G.J. Davies, K.S. Wilson, K.D. Cowtan (2017) Curr. Op. Struct. Biol., 44, 39-47.
  • Cell cycle regulation and novel structural features of thymidine kinase, an essential enzyme in Trypanosoma brucei.
    M. Valente, J. Timm, V. Castillo-Acosta, T. Balzarini, J.E. Nettleship, H. Rada, K.S. Wilson & D. González-Pacanowska. (2016) Molecular Microbiol., 107, 365-385.
  • Siderophore scavenging in bacterial iron uptake: a periplasmic binding protein with preference for enterobactin hydrolysis product.
    D.J. Raines, O.V. Moroz, J.P. Turkenburg, K.S. Wilson & A.-K. Duhme-Klair. (2016) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA), 113, 5850-5855.
  • Privateer: conformational validation of cyclic carbohydrate structures.
    J. Agirre, J. Iglesias-Fernández, C. Rovira, G. Davies, K. Wilson and K. Cowtan. (2015) Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 22, 833-834.
  • Carbohydrate anomalies in the PDB.
    J. Agirre, G.J. Davies, K.S. Wilson & K.D. Cowtan. (2015) Nature Chem. Biol., 11, 303.
  • Structural an Kinetic Characterisation of Thymidine Kinase from Leishmania major.
    J. Timm, C. Bosch-Navarette, E. Recio, J.E. Nettleship, H. Rada, D. González-Pacanowska & K.S. Wilson. (2015) PlosNTD,DOI:1-.1371/journal.ptnd.0003781, 1-19.


Keith Wilson has 45 years of experience in structural biology. He did his doctorate with Louise Johnson in Oxford with a PDRA position at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics in Berlin that led to the first structure of an intact ribosomal protein. 2 years as a lecturer in Physics in York was succeeded by his leadership of the EMBL Hamburg Outstation during which time he pioneered the development of modern synchrotron data collection and its use for atomic resolution crystallography. Keith returned to a Chair in Chemistry in York in 1995.