Nicholas Keep's homepage

Professor of Biomolecular Science
Crystallography , Dept of Biological Sciences
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Office: +44-20-7631-6852 
Lab:     +44-20-7631-6868 
Fax:     +44-20-7631-6803 


Position Held

bulletExecutive Dean of the School of Science and Professor of Biomolecular Science.

bulletMember of the Institute for Structural Molecular Biology

Research Interests

My research uses macromolecular crystallography and, in collaboration with colleagues in the ISMB, single particle electron microscopy and NMR, to understand biological function.  My current major focus is on the proteins implicated in dormancy and resucitation in M.tuberculosis and in proteins involved in muscular dystrophy. I am always interested in collaborations with other groups on new structural biology projects.


bulletI am the Senior Tutor on the MSc in Structural Biology Using the Internet and the Advanced Certificate in Techniques in Structural Molecular Biology

bulletI give other lectures at BSc, MSc and PhD level.

PhD Students

Simon Edwards Ph.D. Student 1998-2001

Halina Garavini Ph.D. Student 1999-2003

David Knight Ph.D. Student 2000-2004

Ritu Garg Part-time Ph.D. Student 2001-2007

Chris Kennaway Ph.D. Student 2002-2005

Pryank Patel Ph.D. Student 2004-2007

Gemma Gargent MRes/Ph.D. Student 2005-2010

Laura Hancock Part-time Ph.D. Student 2007-2010

Francois-Xavier Chauviac Ph.D. Student with Neil Stoker RVC 2007-2011

Philipp Wesche Ph.D Student with Kirsten Harvey SoP 2010-2014

Doris Quay Ph.D Student 2011-2015

Altin Sula Ph.D Student 2011-2015

Jenny Pritchard Ph.D. Student 2014-

Eugen Strehle Part time M.Phil. Student 2002-2004


Dr Anne Nicolas Postdoc 2001-2003

Dr Martin Cohen-Gonsaud Postdoc 2002-2005

Dr Giles Robertson Postdoc 2006-2009

I also supervise Cancer Research Technology staff using X-ray facilities at Birkbeck currently Drs Andrew Turnbull and Wojciech Krajewski

Recent References (2004-2016)

Densham, R.M,, Garvin, AJ ; Stone, H. R, Strachan, J., Baldock, R. A., Daza-Martin, M., Fletcher, A., Blair-Reid, S., Beesley, J., Johal, B., Pearl, L.H., Neely, R., Keep, N.H., Watts, F. Z.,Morris, J.R. (2016) Human BRCA1-BARD1 ubiquitin ligase activity counteracts chromatin barriers to DNA resection. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 23, 647-655

Northey, T., Venthur, H , De Biasio, F., Chauviac, F.-X., Cole, A., Ribeiro, K.A.L.R., Grossi, G., Falabella, P., Field, L.M., Keep, N.H. & Zhou, JJ (2016) Crystal Structures and Binding Dynamics of Odorant-Binding Protein 3 from two aphid species Megoura viciae and Nasonovia ribisnigri. Scientific Reports 6, 24739

Quay, D.H X, Cole, A.R; Cryar, A., Thalassinos, K., Williams, M.A, Bhakta, S. & Keep, N.H, (2015) Structure of the stationary phase survival protein YuiC from B.subtilis. BMC Structural Biology 15 :12

Lichman, B.R., Gershater, M.C., Lamming, E. D., Pesnot, T., Sula, A., Keep, N.H., Hailes, H.C., & Ward, J.M. (2015) 'Dopamine-first' mechanism enables the rational engineering of the norcoclaurine synthase aldehyde activity profile. FEBS J. 282, 1137-1151

Chauviac, F.-X., Robertson, G., Quay, D.H.-X., ,Bagnéris, C., Dumas, C Henderson, B., Ward, J. Keep, N.H., & Cohen-Gonsaud, M. (2014). RpfC (Rv1884) atomic structure shows high structural conservation within the resuscitation promoting factor catalytic domain. Acta Cryst F70, 1022-26.

Sula, A., Cole, A.R., Yeats, C., Orengo, C.,& Keep, N.H. (2014) . Crystal structures of the human Dysferlin inner DysF domain BMC Structural Biology 14:3

Zihni, C., Munro, P.M., Elbediwy, A., Keep, N.H., Terry, S.J., Harris, J., Balda, M.S. & Matter, K. (2014) Dbl3 drives Cdc42 signaling at the apical margin to regulate junction position and apical differentiation. The Journal of Cell Biology , 204, 111 - 127.

Munshi, T., Gupta, A., Evangelopoulos, D., Guzman, J. D. Gibbons, S., Keep, N.H. & Bhakta, S. (2013) Characterisation of ATP-Dependent Mur Ligases Involved in the Biogenesis of Cell Wall Peptidoglycan in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLOS One 8, e60143

Chauviac F.-X., Bommer, M., Yan, J., Parkin, G., Daviter, T., Lowden, P., Raven, E.L., Thalassinos, K., & Keep, N.H (2012) Crystal Structure of Reduced MsAcg, a Putative Nitroreductase from Mycobacterium smegmatis and a Close Homologue of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Acg J. Biol. Chem. 287, 44372-44383.

Evangelopoulos, D., Cronin, N., Daviter, T., Sim, E., Keep, N.H., Bhakta, S. (2011) Characterization of an oxidoreductase from the arylamine N-acetyltransferase operon in Mycobacterium smegmatis. FEBS J. 278 , 4824-32.

Clark AR, Naylor CE, Bagneris, C., Keep NH & Slingsby, C. (2011) Crystal Structure of R120G Disease Mutant of Human alpha B-Crystallin Domain Dimer Shows Closure of a Groove. J.Mol. Biol. 408, 118-134

Basavannacharya, C., Moody, PR., Munshi, T., Keep, N.H. & Bhakta, S. (2010). Essential residues for the enzyme activity of ATP-dependent MurE ligase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Protein and Cell 1:1011-1023.

Basavannacharya, C., Robertson, G., Munshi, T., Keep, N.H. & Bhakta, S. (2010). ATP-dependent MurE ligase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Biochemical and structural characterisation. Tuberculosis 90, 16-24.

Bagneris, C., Bateman, O.A., Naylor, C.E., Cronin, N., Boelens, W.C., Keep, N.H. & Slingsby, C. (2009). Crystal structures of alpha-crystallin domain dimers of alphaB-crystallin and Hsp20. J. Mol. Biol. 392, 1242-1252.

Zhou J.J., Robertson G., He X., Dufour, S., Hooper A.M., Pickett, J.A., Keep, N.H. and Field, L.M. (2009). Characterisation of Bombyx mori Odorant-binding Proteins Reveals that a General Odorant-binding Protein Discriminates Between Sex Pheromone Components. J. Mol. Biol. 389, 529-545.

Patel, P. Harris, R., Geddes, S.M., Strehle1, E.-M., Watson, J.D., Bashir, R., Bushby, K., Driscoll, P.C. and Keep, N.H. (2008). Solution Structure of the Inner DysF Domain of Myoferlin and Implications for Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2B J. Mol. Biol. 379, 981-990.

Garg, R. Riento, K. Keep, N.H., Morris, J.D.H. and Ridley A.J. (2008). N-terminus-mediated dimerization of ROCK-I is required for RhoE binding and actin reorganization. Biochemical Journal 411, 407-414

Guerrera, I. C, Keep, N. H and Godovac-Zimmermann, J. (2007). Proteomics Study Reveals Cross-Talk between Rho Guanidine Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitor 1 Post-Translational Modifications in Epidermal Growth Factor Stimulated Fibroblasts. J. Proteome Res. 6, 2623-2630

Morris, J.R, Pagnon, L, Boutell, C, Katagiri, T., Keep, N.H and Solomon, E., (2006). Genetic analysis of BRCA1 ubiquitin ligase activity and its relationship to breast cancer susceptibility. Human Molecular Genetics 15, 599-606.

Keep, N.H., Ward, J.M, Robertson, G., Cohen-Gonsaud, M. and Henderson, B.M. (2006) Bacterial resuscitation factors: revival of viable but non-culturable bacteria Cellular and Molecular Life 63 2555-2559.

Keep, N.H., Ward, J.M, Cohen-Gonsaud, M. and Henderson, B.M. (2006). Wake up! Peptidoglycan lysis and bacterial non-growth states. Trends Microbiol. 14: 271-276

Kennaway, C.K., Benesch, J.L.P., Gohlke, U, Wang, L., Robinson, C.V., Orlova, E.V., Saibil, H.R. and. Keep, NH. (2005). Dodecameric structure of the small heat shock protein acr1 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis J.Biol. Chem. 280, 33419-33425.

Cohen-Gonsaud, M., Barthe, P, Bagnéris, C., Henderson, B., Ward, J. Roumestand, C. and Keep, N.H. (2005). The structure of a resuscitation-promoting factor from M.tuberculosis shows homology to lysozymes. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 12, 270-273.

Cohen-Gonsaud, M., Barthe, P., Pommier; F., Harris, R., Driscoll, P.C., Keep, N.H. and Roumestand, C. (2004). Letter to the Editor: 1H, 15N, and 13C chemical shift assignments of the resuscitation promoting factor domain of Rv1009 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J. Biomol. NMR 30, 373-374

Harvey, K., Duguid, I.C., Alldred, M.J., Beatty, .S.E. , Ward, H., Keep, N.H., Lingenfelter, S.E., Pearce, B.R., Lundgren, J., Owen, M.J., Smart, T.G., Lüscher, B., Rees, M.I. and Harvey R.J. (2004). The GDP-GTP Exchange Factor Collybistin: An Essential Determinant of Neuronal Gephyrin Clustering. J. Neuroscience 24, 5816 -5826

Cohen-Gonsaud, M., Keep, N.H., Davies, A.P, Ward, J., Henderson, B. and Labesse, G. (2004) Resuscitation promoting factors possess a lysozyme-like domain. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 29, 7-10.