Development of antibiotics that dysregulate the Neisserial ClpP protease

1 March 2021|

In this highly collaborative effort, the groups of Walid A. Houry, Emil F. Pai, Robert A. Batey, and Scott D. Gray-Owen describe the generation and characterization of novel antibiotics targeting the bacterial ClpP protease.

Evolving antimicrobial resistance has motivated the search for novel targets and alternative therapies. Caseinolytic protease (ClpP) has emerged as an enticing new target since its function is conserved and […]

Structure of human mitochondrial ClpP protease – drug complex gains cover of Cancer Cell

24 May 2019|

The crystal structure of ClpP protease activated by the experimental Phase 2 anti-cancer drug ONC 201, as determined by graduate student Ondrej Halgas in Emil F. Pai’s lab, was featured on the cover of the current issue (May 13th, 2019) of the journal Cancer Cell. Together with the laboratories of Walid Houry, Aaron Schimmer (Medical Biophysics) and Michael Andreeff (MD Anderson, Texas), they identified ClpP as the […]

A picture of from left to right: Vivian Saridakis (York University), Justin Nodwell, Emil Pai, Oliver Ernst, Peter Lewis, Reinhart Reithmeier, JP Julien.

Emil Pai Symposium and Retirement

8 August 2018|

Emil F. Pai is retiring after more than 25 years at the University of Toronto. Emil joined the Departments of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics from the Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg in 1991 as a NSERC Industrial Research Chair following a global search for a renowned protein crystallographer to nucleate structural biology at the University of Toronto. Emil was already well-known for determining the first crystal structure of […]

An image of student winner, from left to right: Matt McCallum, Andreea Gheorghita, Ondrej Halgas, Natalie Bamford and Thomas Bateman.

Five Biochemistry Graduate Students win big at the Annual 2018 American Crystallographic Association meeting

27 July 2018|

Congratulations to graduate students: Matt McCallum, Andreea Gheorghita, and Thomas Bateman for winning the Pauling Poster Prizes and Ondrej Halgas and Natalie Bamford for winning the Taylor & Francis Biomolecular Crystallography Poster Prize and the Louis Delbaere Pauling Poster Prize, respectively, at the 2018 American Crystallographic Association (ACA) meeting held at the Sheraton Hotel, Toronto, July 22-26.

A special congratulations to Andreea Gheorghita for also winning the inaugural ACA Three minute thesis competition.

Researchers revisit the role of conformational dynamics and the protein ensemble in catalysis

21 February 2017|
An artistic interpretation of the enzyme fluoroacetate dehalogenase binding substrate (green) in the left subunit and releasing bound water molecules (red) in the right-hand subunit.

The roles of protein dynamics and water networks in catalysis visualized

1 February 2017|

The dimeric enzyme fluoroacetate dehalogenase is one of only a handful of protein catalysts that can break the strongest bond in organic chemistry, the one between carbon and fluorine atoms, in the process transforming the highly toxic pesticide fluoroacetate into glycolate, a benign molecule.  The laboratories of Emil Pai and Scott Prosser, together with the group of Régis Pomès and collaborators in the US and Japan, have […]