Brad Pierce, an assistant professor of chemistry/biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington, recently led a team that examined an oxygen utilizing iron enzyme called cysteine dioxygenase or CDO, which is found in high levels within heart, liver, and brain tissues.
First and Second coordination spheres of the CDO active site.
Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts to enable metabolic functions, but under some circumstances these oxygen-dependent enzymes can also produce highly toxic side products called reactive oxygen species or ROS.
For the first time, Pierce’s team found that mutations outside the CDO active site environment or “outer coordination sphere” have a profound influence on the release of ROS. Excess ROS has been linked to numerous age-onset human disease states.
“Most research in the past has focused on the active site inner coordination sphere of these enzymes, where the metal molecule is located,” said Pierce. “What we’re finding is that it’s really the second sphere that regulates the efficiency of the enzyme. In essence, these interactions hold everything together during catalysis. When this process breaks down, the enzyme ends up spitting out high levels of ROS and increasing the likelihood of disease.”
The study was published in December by the American Chemical Society journal Biochemistry. Pierce is corresponding author on the paper, with UT Arlington students Wei Li, Michael D. Pecore and Joshua K. Crowell as co-authors. Co-author Elizabeth J. Blaesi is a graduate research assistant at the University of Wisconsin.
Pierce believes the findings from the CDO enzyme could be applied to other oxygen-dependent enzymes, which make up about 20 percent of the enzymes in the human body.
“In principle, these findings could be extended to better understand how other enzymes within the class generate ROS and potentially be used to screen for genetic dispositions for ROS-related diseases,” he said.
Pierce’s research brings a new level of detail to enzyme study through the use of electron paramagnetic resonance or EPR, a technology similar to the magnetic resonance imaging or MRI used in the medical field. In fall 2012, the National Science Foundation awarded Pierce a three-year, $300,000 grant to study enzymes that are catalysts for the oxidation of sulfur-bearing molecules in the body.
“Dr. Pierce’s research is a good example of how basic science can set a path toward discoveries that affect human health. We look forward to his continued exploration of these findings,” said Pamela Jansma, dean of the UT Arlington College of Science.
The title of the Biochemistry paper is “Second-Sphere Interactions between the C93-Y157 Cross-Link and the Substrate-Bound Fe Site Influence the O2 Coupling Efficiency in Mouse Cysteine Dioxygenase.” It is available online here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24279989.The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,300 students and 2,300 faculty members in the epicenter of North Texas. It is the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. Total research expenditures reached almost $78 million last year. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
Traci Peterson | EurekAlert!
A new potential biomarker for cancer imaging
05.02.2016 | Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
NIH researchers identify striking genomic signature shared by 5 types of cancer
05.02.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...
Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.
Fluorescence microscopy allows researchers to visualise biomolecules in cells. They label the molecules using fluorescent probes, excite them with light and...
NASA's follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won't be the only first for this mission.
Slated for launch in 2018, NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK),...
In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister picture is being painted evoking the demise of the island states and their cultures. Are the effects of sea-level rise already noticeable on reef islands? Scientists from the ZMT have now answered this question for the Takuu Atoll, a group of Pacific islands, located northeast of Papua New Guinea.
In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister...
The ‘Internet of Things’ is growing rapidly. Mobile phones, washing machines and the milk bottle in the fridge: the idea is that minicomputers connected to these will be able to process information, receive and send data. This requires electrical power. Transistors that are capable of switching information with a single electron use far less power than field effect transistors that are commonly used in computers. However, these innovative electronic switches do not yet work at room temperature. Scientists working on the new EU research project ‘Ions4Set’ intend to change this. The program will be launched on February 1. It is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).
“Billions of tiny computers will in future communicate with each other via the Internet or locally. Yet power consumption currently remains a great obstacle”,...
02.02.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
26.01.2016 | Event News
05.02.2016 | Life Sciences
05.02.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy