Michael Suits

Dr. Michael Suits received his BScH and PhD in biochemistry from Queen’s University. He was a European Molecular Biology Organization Fellow at the York Structural Biology Laboratory, University of York (UK). He is now a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research post-doctoral fellow at the University of Victoria.

The availability of whole genome sequence information has equipped scientists with blueprints encoding the complement of protein factors that distinguish one organism from another. These factors interact in precise fashion with other proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, DNA and RNA to perpetuate life or elicit pathogenesis. In order to investigate these processes in atomic detail, structural biologists utilize X-ray crystallography, a powerful technique with the potential to provide insight at the very level where molecular interactions facilitate biological function. Broadly, Suits’ research interests involve the use of X-ray crystallography together with kinetic and biophysical methods to characterize protein factors which contribute to bacterial pathogenesis.

Recent Publications

Ficko-Blean E, Stuart CP, Suits MD, Cid M, Tessier M, Woods RJ, Boraston AB. Carbohydrate recognition by an architecturally complex α-N-acetylglucosaminidase from Clostridium perfringens. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33524. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033524. Epub 2012 Mar 27. (PubMed abstract)

Nielsen MM, Suits MD, Yang M, Barry CS, Martinez-Fleites C, Tailford LE, Flint JE, Dumon C, Davis BG, Gilbert HJ, Davies GJ. Substrate and metal ion promiscuity in mannosylglycerate synthase. J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 29;286(17):15155-64. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.199844. Epub 2011 Feb 2. (PubMed abstract)

Zhu Y, Suits MD, Thompson AJ, Chavan S, Dinev Z, Dumon C, Smith N, Moremen KW, Xiang Y, Siriwardena A, Williams SJ, Gilbert HJ, Davies GJ. Mechanistic insights into a Ca2+-dependent family of alpha-mannosidases in a human gut symbiont. Nat Chem Biol. 2010 Feb;6(2):125-32. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.278. Epub 2009 Dec 27. (PubMed abstract)

Suits MD, Sperandeo P, Dehò G, Polissi A, Jia Z. Novel structure of the conserved gram-negative lipopolysaccharide transport protein A and mutagenesis analysis. J Mol Biol. 2008 Jul 11;380(3):476-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2008.04.045. Epub 2008 Apr 26. (PubMed abstract)

Suits MD, Pal GP, Nakatsu K, Matte A, Cygler M, Jia Z. Identification of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 heme oxygenase with tandem functional repeats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Nov 22;102(47):16955-60. Epub 2005 Nov 7. (PubMed abstract)