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Dr Tracey Barrett

Senior Lecturer in Structural Biology

Contact details

tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6822
fax: +44 (0)20 7631 6803

Research website

Science Week 2016

[Birkbeck Blog] Dr Barrett was part of the discussion panel for the film screening and discussion around the film, Life Story: The Race for the Double- Helix (11 April 2016)

About Dr Tracey Barrett

Research interests

  • Our major interests include the NF-κB transcriptional pathways that are central to diverse cellular processes such as developmental switching, cell death and immunity.
    Owing to their importance, aberrant activation of these normally tightly regulated mechanisms has been linked to several pathologies including a range of human cancers and inflammation. Both pathways can be inappropriately stimulated, when their normal 'control' mechanisms break down as a direct result of mutations within key regulatory proteins. This has also been shown to occur in response to infection by certain viruses such as the Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpes virus, the main causal agent of AIDS-related cancer, and the Human T-cell leukaemia virus HTLV-1 (responsible for an aggressive form of T-cell leukaemia in adults).
    Both viruses produce host mimetic proteins that use a number of elegant strategies to 'hijack' the NF-κB pathways that as a result are permanently 'switched on' or constitutively activated. We therefore seek to understand the molecular basis underlying viral oncoprotein mediated constitutive activation by determining the crystal structures of key protein-protein complexes.
    We are also interested in DNA repair with ongoing projects in prokaryotic excision repair mechanisms, eukaryotic homologous recombination and replication.

Selected publications

    • Bagnéris, Claire, Alexander Ageichik, Nora Cronin, Mary Collins, Chris Boshoff, Gabriel Waksman and Tracey Barrett (2008) Crystal structure of a vFlip-IKKgamma complex: Insights into viral activation of the IKK signalosome, Mol Cell. 30: 620-31.
    • Eryilmaz, Jitka, Simona Ceschini, James Ryan, Stella Geddes, Timothy R. Waters and Tracey E Barrett (2006) Structural insights into the cryptic DNA dependent ATP-ase activity of UvrB, J.Mol.Biol. 357: 62-72.
    • Waters, Timothy R., Jitka Eryilmaz, Stella Geddes and Tracey E. Barrett (2006) Damage detection by the UvrABC pathway: Crystal structure of UvrB bound to fluorescein-adducted DNA. FEBS Letts.580: 6423-6427.
    • Bjørås, Magnar, Erling Seeberg, Luisa Luna, Laurence H. Pearl and Tracey E. Barrett Reciprocal Flipping underlies substrate Recognition and catalytic activation by the human 8-oxo-guanine DNA glycosylase, J.Mol.Biol. (2002) 317: 171-177.
    • Ceschini, Simona, Anthony Keeley, S.B. Mark McAlister, Mark Oram, John Phelan, Laurence H. Pearl, Irina R. Tsaneva and Tracey E. Barrett (2001) Crystal structure of the fission yeast mitochondrial Holliday junction resolvase Ydc2, Embo. J, 20:6601-6611.