Scott Bailey

Scott Bailey

Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: 
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bloomberg SPH
Secondary Appointment: 
Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry
Office: 443-756-6791

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room W8308
Baltimore, MD  21205

Research topic: 

Structural and molecular mechanisms in nucleic-acid biology

Research in my laboratory focuses on the molecular basis of the processes that relate to protein nucleic acid interaction. The strategy that we use is based primarily on structural studies using X-ray crystallography, for which I have extensive training. A central premise of our work is that in order for structural studies to provide understanding of these processes we must know the structure of the entire assembly that executes the process, captured at each step in the process. From such studies we derive mechanistic models relating the physical features and chemistry of proteins and nucleic acids to their function. Interrogation of these models using mutagenesis, biochemistry and cell-based techniques further relates structure to function and provides a more complete molecular description of the process at hand.

Most recently my laboratory focuses on the CRISPR-Cas system, a RNA-based adaptive immune system found in bacteria that protects against invasion by viruses and plasmids. Mechanistic studies of the CRISPR-Cas system is contributing to ongoing efforts aimed at exploiting this system to both protect domesticated bacteria (such as those used in food and pharmaceutical production) and combat human pathogens and the spread of antibiotic resistance. Moreover, RNA-guided nucleases from the CRISPR-Cas system are currently being adapted for genome editing and regulation strategies in a wide variety of organisms, including humans. Indeed, the potential of the CRISPR-Cas toolkit is just being realized and studies centered on understanding how the CRISPR-Cas systems function represents an important need. To this end, my laboratory has provided structural and mechanistic insight into how CRISPR-Cas systems identify and cleave their DNA targets.

Selected Publications: 

Estrella MA, Kuo FT, Bailey S (2016) RNA activated DNA cleavage by the Type III-B CRISPR-Cas effector complex. Genes & Dev. 30(4): 460-470.

Hayes RP, Xiao Y, Ding F, van Erp PBG, Rajashankar K, Bailey S, Wiedenheft B, Ke A (2016) Structure of CRISPR RNA-guided complex bound to foreign DNA reveals mechanisms for target recognition. Nature 530(7591): 499-503.

Mulepati S, Heroux A, Bailey S (2014) Crystal structure of a CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex bound to a ssDNA target. Science 345: 1479-1484. PMCID: PMC4427192

Chen H, Choi J, Bailey S (2014) Independent Cut Site Selection by the Two Nuclease Domains of the Cas9 RNA-guided Endoribonuclease. J. Biol. Chem. 289: 13284-13294.

Mulepati S, Bailey S (2013) In vitro Reconstitution of the Escherichia coli RNA-guided Immune System Reveals Unidirectional, ATP-dependent degradation of DNA target. J. Biol. Chem. 288: 22184-22192. PMCID: PMC3829311

Mulepati S, Orr A, Bailey S. (2012) Crystal Structure of the Largest Subunit of a Bacterial RNA-guided Immune Complex and its Role in DNA Target Binding. J. Biol. Chem. 287: 22445-22449. PMCID: PMC3391111

Mulepati S, Bailey S. (2011) Structural and biochemical analysis of the nuclease domain of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) associated protein 3 (cas3). J. Biol. Chem. 286: 31896-31903. PMCID: PMC3173111

Durniak KJ, Bailey S. Steitz TA. (2008). The structure of a transcribing T7 RNA polymerase in transition from initiation to elongation. Science 322: 553-557

Bailey S, Eliason WA, Steitz TA. (2007). Structure of Hexameric DnaB Helicase and its Complex with a Domain of DnaG Primase. Science 318: 459-463.

Bailey S, Wing RA, Steitz TA. (2006). The Structure of T. aquaticus DNA Polymerase III Is Distinct from Eukaryotic Replicative DNA Polymerases. Cell 126: 893-904.