Zygmunt S. Derewenda


Primary Appointment

Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics


  • MSc, Biophysics, University of Lodz, Poland
  • PhD, Chemistry, University of Lodz, Poland
  • Postdoc, Protein Crystallography, University of York, United Kingdom

Research Disciplines

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Physiology, Structural Biology

Research Interests

Structure-function relationships in proteins

Research Description

Current funded projects in the laboratory:
(1) Elucidation of molecular mechanisms controlling smooth muscle contractility;
(2) Development of drugs against the influenza and Ebola viruses;
(3) Studies of the mechanism of protein crystallization and development of new methods in this field.
List of Publications in Pubmed


  • Training in Molecular Biophysics

Selected Publications


Derewenda, Z. S. (2023). C-H Groups as Donors in Hydrogen Bonds: A Historical Overview and Occurrence in Proteins and Nucleic Acids. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, 24(17). doi:10.3390/ijms241713165

Janczyk, P. L., Zylkiewicz, E., De Hoyos, H., West, T., Matson, D. R., Choi, W. -C., . . . Stukenberg, P. T. (2023). Aurora A phosphorylates Ndel1 to reduce the levels of Mad1 and NuMA at spindle poles. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, 34(1). doi:10.1091/mbc.E21-09-0438


Derewenda, Z. S. (2022). Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the discovery of DNA's Double Helix. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 78, 1469-1473. doi:10.1107/S2059798322010658


Derewenda, Z. S. (2021). On the centennials of the discoveries of the hydrogen bond and the structure of the water molecule: the short life and work of Eustace Jean Cuy (1897-1925). ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA A-FOUNDATION AND ADVANCES, 77, 362-378. doi:10.1107/S2053273321006987


Derewenda, Z. S., Hawro, I., & Derewenda, U. (2020). C&x2500;HMIDLINE HORIZONTAL ELLIPSISO hydrogen bonds in kinase-inhibitor interfaces. IUBMB LIFE, 72(6), 1233-1242. doi:10.1002/iub.2282


Acheson, J. F., Derewenda, Z. S., & Zimmer, J. (2019). Architecture of the Cellulose Synthase Outer Membrane Channel and Its Association with the Periplasmic TPR Domain. STRUCTURE, 27(12), 1855-+. doi:10.1016/j.str.2019.09.008


Radwanska, M. J., Jaskolowski, M., Davydova, E., Derewenda, U., Miyake, T., Engel, D. A., . . . Derewenda, Z. S. (2018). The structure of the C-terminal domain of the nucleoprotein from the Bundibugyo strain of the Ebola virus in complex with a pan-specific synthetic Fab. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 74, 681-689. doi:10.1107/S2059798318007878

Artamonov, M. V., Sonkusare, S. K., Good, M. E., Momotani, K., Eto, M., Isakson, B. E., . . . Somlyo, A. V. (2018). RSK2 contributes to myogenic vasoconstriction of resistance arteries by activating smooth muscle myosin and the Na+/H+ exchanger. SCIENCE SIGNALING, 11(554). doi:10.1126/scisignal.aar3924


Bukrejewska, M., Derewenda, U., Radwanska, M., Engel, D. A., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2017). Crystal structures of the methyltransferase and helicase from the ZIKA 1947 MR766 Uganda strain. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 73, 767-774. doi:10.1107/S2059798317010737

Derewenda, Z. S., & Godzik, A. (2017). The "Sticky Patch" Model of Crystallization and Modification of Proteins for Enhanced Crystallizability. PROTEIN CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, 1606, 77-115. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-7000-1_4


Derewenda, Z. (2016). The discreet charm of protein binding sites hardcover. Crystallography Reviews, 22(4), 282-283. doi:10.1080/0889311x.2016.1183660

Derewenda, Z. S. (2016). Adventures in cooperativity.. Postepy biochemii, 62(3), 286-297.

Utepbergenov, D., Hennig, P. M., Derewenda, U., Artamonov, M. V., Somlyo, A. V., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2016). Bacterial Expression, Purification and In Vitro Phosphorylation of Full-Length Ribosomal S6 Kinase 2 (RSK2). PLOS ONE, 11(10). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164343

Baker, L. E., Ellena, J. F., Handing, K. B., Derewenda, U., Utepbergenov, D., Engel, D. A., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2016). Molecular architecture of the nucleoprotein C-terminal domain from the Ebola and Marburg viruses. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 72, 49-58. doi:10.1107/S2059798315021439


Derewenda, Z., Dziubanska, P., Derewenda, U., Ellena, J., Haley, K., & Engel, D. (2014). The crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of the Ebola virus nucleoprotein. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA A-FOUNDATION AND ADVANCES, 70, C1594. doi:10.1107/S2053273314084058

Pitman, D. J., Holton, T., Goldschmidt, L., Derewenda, Z., & Eisenberg, D. (2014). Enhancing Predictions Of Surface Entropy Reduction For Improved Crystallizability Of Proteins. PROTEIN SCIENCE, 23, 143-144.

Dziubanska, P. J., Derewenda, U., Ellena, J. F., Engel, D. A., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2014). The structure of the C-terminal domain of the Zaire ebolavirus nucleoprotein. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 70, 2420-2429. doi:10.1107/S1399004714014710

Goldschmidt, L., Eisenberg, D., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2014). Salvage or Recovery of Failed Targets by Mutagenesis to Reduce Surface Entropy. STRUCTURAL GENOMICS AND DRUG DISCOVERY: METHODS AND PROTOCOLS, 1140, 201-209. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-0354-2_16


Artamonov, M. V., Momotani, K., Stevenson, A., Trentham, D. R., Derewenda, U., Derewenda, Z. S., . . . Somlyo, A. V. (2013). Agonist-induced Ca2+ Sensitization in Smooth Muscle REDUNDANCY OF RHO GUANINE NUCLEOTIDE EXCHANGE FACTORS (RhoGEFs) AND RESPONSE KINETICS, A CAGED COMPOUND STUDY. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, 288(47), 34030-34040. doi:10.1074/jbc.M113.514596

Utepbergenov, D., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2013). The unusual mechanism of inhibition of the p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) by flavonol rhamnosides. BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-PROTEINS AND PROTEOMICS, 1834(7), 1285-1291. doi:10.1016/j.bbapap.2013.03.018

Yeh, T. -Y., Kowalska, A. K., Scipioni, B. R., Cheong, F. K. Y., Zheng, M., Derewenda, U., . . . Schroer, T. A. (2013). Dynactin helps target Polo-like kinase 1 to kinetochores via its left-handed beta-helical p27 subunit. EMBO JOURNAL, 32(7), 1023-1035. doi:10.1038/emboj.2013.30

Derewenda, U., Artamonov, M., Szukalska, G., Utepbergenov, D., Olekhnovich, N., Parikh, H. I., . . . Derewenda, Z. S. (2013). Identification of quercitrin as an inhibitor of the p90 S6 ribosomal kinase (RSK): structure of its complex with the N-terminal domain of RSK2 at 1.8 Ã resolution. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 69, 266-275. doi:10.1107/S0907444912045520

Gerstel, M., Olekhnovich, N., Brooks-Bartlett, J., Derewenda, Z. S., Deane, C. M., & Garman, E. F. (2013). Quantitative radiation damage studies in macromolecular X-ray crystallography. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA A-FOUNDATION AND ADVANCES, 69, S407-S408. doi:10.1107/S010876731309644X

Artamonov, M., Momotani, K., Utepbergenov, D., Franke, A., Khromov, A., Derewenda, Z. S., & Somlyo, A. V. (2013). The p90 Ribosomal S6 Kinase (RSK) Is a Mediator of Smooth Muscle Contractility. PLOS ONE, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058703


Utepbergenov, D., Derewenda, U., Olekhnovich, N., Szukalska, G., Banerjee, B., Hilinski, M. K., . . . Derewenda, Z. S. (2012). Insights into the Inhibition of the p90 Ribosomal 56 Kinase (RSK) by the Flavonol Glycoside SL0101 from the 1.5 Ã Crystal Structure of the N-Terminal Domain of RSK2 with Bound Inhibitor. BIOCHEMISTRY, 51(33), 6499-6510. doi:10.1021/bi300620c


Momotani, K., Artamonov, M. V., Utepbergenov, D., Derewenda, U., Derewenda, Z. S., & Somlyo, A. V. (2011). p63RhoGEF Couples Gαq/11-Mediated Signaling to Ca2+ Sensitization of Vascular Smooth Muscle Contractility. CIRCULATION RESEARCH, 109(9), 993-U42. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.248898

Zheng, M., Cierpicki, T., Burdette, A. J., Utepbergenov, D., Janczyk, P. L., Derewenda, U., . . . Derewenda, Z. S. (2011). Structural Features and Chaperone Activity of the NudC Protein Family. JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 409(5), 722-741. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2011.04.018

Cieslik, M., Derewenda, Z. S., & Mura, C. (2011). Abstractions, algorithms and data structures for structural bioinformatics in PyCogent. JOURNAL OF APPLIED CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, 44, 424-428. doi:10.1107/S0021889811004481

Kowalska, A. K., Zheng, M., Derewenda, U., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2011). The crystal structure of the p27 component of human dynactin. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA A-FOUNDATION AND ADVANCES, 67, C222. doi:10.1107/S0108767311094463

Derewenda, Z. S. (2011). It's all in the crystals .... ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-BIOLOGICAL CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, 67, 243-248. doi:10.1107/S0907444911007797

Bielnicki, J. A., Shkumatov, A. V., Derewenda, U., Somlyo, A. V., Svergun, D. I., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2011). Insights into the Molecular Activation Mechanism of the RhoA-specific Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor, PDZRhoGEF. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, 286(40), 35163-35175. doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.270918

Zylkiewicz, E., Kijanska, M., Choi, W. -C., Derewenda, U., Derewenda, Z. S., & Stukenberg, P. T. (2011). The N-terminal coiled-coil of Ndell is a regulated scaffold that recruits LIS1 to dynein. JOURNAL OF CELL BIOLOGY, 192(3), 433-445. doi:10.1083/jcb.201011142


Derewenda, Z. S. (2010). Application of protein engineering to enhance crystallizability and improve crystal properties. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION D-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY, 66, 604-615. doi:10.1107/S090744491000644X

Cooper, D. R., Grelewska, K., Kim, C. -Y., Joachimiak, A., & Derewenda, Z. S. (2010). The structure of DinB from Geobacillus stearothermophilus: a representative of a unique four-helix-bundle superfamily. ACTA CRYSTALLOGRAPHICA SECTION F-STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS, 66, 219-224. doi:10.1107/S1744309109053913