The Maxwell lab investigates the structure and mechanism of DNA topoisomerases and associated proteins.
Tony is working to further our understanding of key biological processes in which they are involved, and to harness this knowledge for the development of therapeutic agents, specifically antibiotics.
This work is carried out within the Molecules for Nature Institute Strategic Programme, under Theme 2: Biological Context.
DNA topoisomerases are vitally important enzymes involved in the control of the topological state of DNA. Their major biological functions are in DNA replication, transcription and the control of gene expression.
Topoisomerases provide fascinating systems for studying DNA-protein interactions and energy coupling in biological systems. Their study also has clinical relevance from the standpoint of antibacterial and anti-tumour drugs.
DNA gyrase, the enzyme from bacteria that carries out DNA supercoiling, is the target for clinically-important antibiotics, such as the fluoroquinolones.
In addition to gyrase, we are working on several related enzymes, including bacterial topoisomerase IV and the recently-discovered gyrases and topo VI enzymes from plants and plasmodial species. The work involves a wide range of methodologies including bacteriology, mutagenesis, protein engineering, plant molecular biology, enzymology, biophysical methods and X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM.
Tony is an Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia.
McKie SJ,Desai P,Seol Y,Allen AM,Maxwell A,Neuman K (2022)Topoisomerase VI is a chirally-selective, preferential DNA decatenase.eLife (11)Publisher's version: 2050-084X
McKie SJ,Neuman KC,Maxwell A (2021)DNA topoisomerases: Advances in understanding of cellular roles and multi-protein complexes via structure-function analysis.BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biologyPublisher's version: 0265-9247
Feng L,Mundy J,Stevenson C,Mitchenall L,Lawson D,Mi K,Maxwell A (2021)The pentapeptide-repeat protein, MfpA, interacts with mycobacterial DNA gyrase as a DNA T-segment mimicProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of AmericaPublisher's version: 1091-6490
Postdoc and PhD positions are frequently available. More information available on request.