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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Biological Sciences
Medical School
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

PI: Carrie M. Wilmot, Associate Fellow

X-ray Crystallographic Studies of Reaction Intermediates in Proteins Containing Organic or Metal Co-factors

This research focuses on the dynamics of molecular catalysis, particularly involving novel co-factors and metal ions. The principal tool of the research is macromolecular x-ray crystallography. The project involves freeze trapping catalytic intermediates in the crystal, both anaerobically and aerobically, leading to "snapshots” along the reaction pathways. These can be assembled into "movies of catalysis” at the molecular level. By understanding these reactions in such detail, better drugs can be designed, proteins can be rationally engineered for biotechnological purposes, and chemists can design simpler industrial catalysts to control analogous reactions. Specific topics of interest to this group include structural enzymology involving the co-factor tryptophan tryptophylquinone of methylamine dehydrogenase and dioxygen activation by the copper-containing amine oxidase from yeast.

Group Members

Peder Cedervall, Graduate Student
Janice Frias, Graduate Student
Brandon Goblirsch, Graduate Student
Joshua Goldford, Undergraduate Student
Lyndal Hill, Research Associate
Ed Hoeffner, Staff
Val Klema, Graduate Student