David K. Wilson

David Wilson

Position Title

  • Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences
3 Briggs Hall

Research Interests

Structural biology of enzymes and protein-protein interactions. Projects include 1) protein engineering of enzymes involved in a xylose assimilation (XXX) pathway 2) structure- and combinatorial-based drug design targetting apicomplexan parasitic infection and 3) characterizing the structure and function of WD-repeat domains in protein-protein interaction. Our primary research tool is x-ray crystallography but we usually complement this with biochemical and genetic experiments.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Chemistry

Specialties / Focus

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Recognition
  • Structural Biology, Membranes and Macromolecular Assembly


  • MCB 123 Enzymes and Receptors, Fall
  • MCB 211 , Fall
  • MCB 120L Biochemistry Laboratory, Spring


  • 3 Briggs
    • Grad Student: Rigo Arenas, Chemistry; Technician: Jessica Castrejon; UG: Jessie Xie; Various former members: Eric di Luccio,PhD Asst. Prof. Kyungpook National University, Korea; Mark Wogulis, PhD Scientist, Novozymes; David Cerna, PhD NIH; Kate Kavanagh, PhD Structural Genomics Consortium, Oxford; Stefan Leitgeb, PhD Technische Universitaet Graz; Andy Ehrensberger, PhD Cancer Research UK; Chie Ueda, grad student Brandeis;


  • 1996 PhD Biochemistry Baylor College of Medicine
  • 1991 BA Biochemistry Rice University


Mak WS, Wang XK, Arenas R, Cui Y, Bertolani S, Deng WQ, Tagkopoulos I, Wilson DK, Siegel JB (2020) Discovery, Design, and Structural Characterization of Alkane-Producing Enzymes across the Ferritin-like Superfamily. Biochemistry 59:3834-3843.

Tabares-da Rosa S, Wogulis LA, Wogulis MD, Gonzalez-Sapienza G, Wilson, DK. Structure and specificity of several triclocarban-binding single domain camelid antibody fragments (2018) J. Mol. Recognit. e2755

Stoisser T, Brunsteiner M, Wilson DK, Nidetzky B (2016) Conformational flexibility related to enzyme activity: evidence for a dynamic active-site gatekeeper function of Tyr215 in Aerococcus viridans lactate oxidase. Sci. Rep. 6:27892.

Stoisser T, Klimacek M, Wilson DK, Nidetzky B (2015) Speeding up product release: a second-sphere contribution from Tyr191 to the reactivity of L-lactate oxidase revealed in crystallographic and kinetic studies of site-directed mutants FEBS J 282:4130-4140.

Stoisser T, Rainer D, Leitgeb S, Wilson DK, Nidetzky B. (2014). The Ala95-to-Gly substitution in Aerococcus viridans L-lactate oxidase revisited - structural consequences at the catalytic site and effect on reactivity with O2 and other electron acceptors. FEBS J. 282:562-578.

Yamamoto K, Wilson DK (2013) Identification, characterization and crystal structure of an aldo-keto reductase (AKR2E4) from the silkworm Bombyx mori with 3-dehydroecdysone reductase activity. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 538:156-163.

di Luccio E, Ishida Y, Leal WS, Wilson DK (2012) Crystallographic observation of pH-induced conformational changes in the Amyelois transitella pheromone-binding protein AtraPBP1. PloS ONE, 8(2).

Kamita SG, Wogulis MD, Law CS, Morisseau C, Tanaka H, Huang H, Wilson DK, Hammock BD. (2010) Function of Phenylalanine 259 and Threonine 314 within the Substrate Binding Pocket of the Juvenile Hormone Esterase of Manduca sexta. Biochemistry 49:3733-3742.

di Luccio E, Wilson DK. (2008) Comprehensive X-ray structural studies of the quinolinate phosphoribosyl transferase (BNA6) from S. cerevisiae. Biochemistry 47:4039-4050.

Wogulis M, Chew E, Donohoue P, Wilson DK. (2008) Identification of formyl kynurenine formamidase and kynurenine aminotransferase from S. cerevisiae using crystallographic, bioinformatic and biochemical evidence Biochemistry 47:1608-1621