Navigation Links
In an enzyme critical for life, X-ray emission cracks mystery atom
Date:11/17/2011

ITHACA, N.Y. - Like a shadowy character just hidden from view, a mystery atom in the middle of a complex enzyme called nitrogenase had long hindered scientists' ability to study the enzyme fully.

But now an international team of scientists led by Serena DeBeer, Cornell assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, has pulled back the curtain using powerful synchrotron spectroscopy and computational modeling to reveal carbon as the once-elusive atom.

The research was published online Nov. 17 in the journal Science.

"For chemists, one of the first steps you want to be able to take is to actually model the site," said DeBeer. "It turns out that the chemistry of how this cluster behaves will be different depending on what atom is in the middle. This is the first step toward trying to unravel its mechanism."

Why nitrogenase? In nature, all life requires the element nitrogen from the atmosphere to form amino acids and build proteins. Bacteria need to convert nitrogen to ammonia as a precursor to more complex biosynthetic processes. The enzyme that catalyzes all this is nitrogenase, and it does it by breaking one of the strongest bonds in chemistry the nitrogen triple bond.

The chemical industry has figured out how to convert nitrogen to ammonia in high-temperature and high-pressure industrial environments. There's a fascination with understanding how the enzyme makes this same process work in nature, DeBeer said.

DeBeer and colleagues honed in on a subset of atoms in the relatively large enzyme, called the iron-molybdenum cofactor, which was thought to be the site where dinitrogen (N2) gets converted to ammonia, and where the mystery atom is situated inside.

The team used a method called X-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source to excite the electrons in the cofactor's iron cluster and to watch how electrons refilled the spots, called "holes
'/>"/>

Contact: Blaine Friedlander
bpf2@cornell.edu
607-254-8093
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Atomic-resolution views suggest function of enzyme that regulates light-detecting signals in eye
2. New insight into the controls on a go-to enzyme
3. UNC scientists teach enzyme to make synthetic heparin in more varieties
4. Rare disease provides clues about enzyme role in arrhythmias
5. Brain enzyme may play key role in controlling appetite and weight gain
6. Newly found enzymes may play early role in cancer
7. HWI scientist first in world to unravel structure of key breast cancer target enzyme
8. Researchers first to see reactive oxygen species in vital enzyme
9. Disabling enzyme allows mice to gorge without becoming obese, new study finds
10. Structure of enzyme against chemical warfare agents determined
11. Researchers find pathway and enzyme unique to tularemia organism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2014)... Calif. Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell systems soon could be ... settings at lower costs and with faster refueling times ... National Laboratories and Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers (HHC). , The ... hydrogen storage system that can refuel at low pressure ... charge a battery-powered forklift, giving hydrogen a competitive advantage ...
(Date:4/15/2014)... 2014) New research published in the March/April ... College of Nutrition shows whey protein, either as ... of a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet, may provide men ... The meta-analysis included 14 randomized controlled trials with a ... weight loss studies that used whey protein to replace ...
(Date:4/14/2014)... a hard pill to swallow, but if you,re over ... in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to ... Joe Thompson, a psychology doctoral student, associate professor Mark ... and actuarial science doctoral student, deliver the news in ... , In one of the first social science experiments ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon 2Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon 3Low-cost, hydrogen-powered forklifts with rapid refueling, zero emissions coming soon 4New meta-analysis builds on the power of whey protein for improved body composition 2New meta-analysis builds on the power of whey protein for improved body composition 3Study says we're over the hill at 24 2
... This release is available in German . ... ships to have a 10 per cent decrease in fuel consumption. ... skirt of air under water. Researchers at the University of Bonn, ... (doi: 10.1002/adma.200904411) how the fern does this. Their results can ...
... sounds like it would make for an interesting show ... into tracking these species is less "Deadliest Catch" and ... partnered with scientists and analysts from around the globe ... inform decision makers on where and how to best ...
... available in French . , Explaining and ... and McGill Biologist Dr. Frdric Guichard is no exception ... life, death, reproduction and communication of mussels. Guichard says ... question current fishery management and marine preservation practices. "If I ...
Cached Biology News:Bionic coating could help ships to economize on fuel 2Bugging out: NC State researchers help track wayward pests through mapping 2Bugging out: NC State researchers help track wayward pests through mapping 3The bivalve effect 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... January 15, 2014 This webinar ... on nonclinical and clinical safety assessment in biosimilars. ... guide a path for biosimilar drug development, however ... of biosimilarity with regards to quality, safety and ... of biosimilar drug development and registration, development strategies ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... NC (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 ... an enhancement to its Online Web Portal for Life ... now have the ability to specify the subject matter ... nearly 50 life science sub-domains. This will help reduce ... and scientific fields, and decrease the likelihood of error. ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Doylestown, PA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... – 11 p.m. , Location: Warrington Country Club, 1360 ... Hepatitis B Foundation, the only national nonprofit organization solely ... improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide, ... 11 at Warrington Country Club in Warrington, Pa. ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... York, NY (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... initiated coverage of Alliqua, Inc. (OTCQB: ALQA). Alliqua ... and marketing proprietary products to serve the wound ... , In late 2012, Alliqua was restructured ... launched the company’s new strategy to become a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2DTS Improves Efficiency for Life Science Document Translations 2Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3
... New sol-gel inks developed by researchers at the University ... three-dimensional structures of metal oxides with nanoscale features. , ... nanoscale opens a new avenue to functional devices. Potential ... The researchers describe the new inks in a paper ...
... Calif., Oct. 11 CompareNetworks,Media Group, the leading ... industries, today announced the launch of Acuity Medical,Education, ... CompareNetworks. With the arrival of two key new ... Liza Frenzik as Special,Projects Director, the CompareNetworks team ...
... Fisher,Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO ), the world ... construct an $11 million, state-of-the-art BioCenter,for the manufacture ... the site of its existing bioprocess production business ... a response to the increasing demand for,disposable bioprocessing ...
Cached Biology Technology:Sol-gel inks produce complex shapes with nanoscale features 2CompareNetworks Media Group Delivers CME/CE Through Acuity Medical Education 2Thermo Fisher Scientific to Expand Manufacturing Operation for Single-Use Bioprocessing Containers 2Thermo Fisher Scientific to Expand Manufacturing Operation for Single-Use Bioprocessing Containers 3Thermo Fisher Scientific to Expand Manufacturing Operation for Single-Use Bioprocessing Containers 4
Anti-ACTH Immunogen: Porcine ACTH conjugated to BSA. Available Date: 38566...
Goat polyclonal to BACE1 ( Abpromise for all tested applications). entrezGeneID: 23621 SwissProtID: P56817...
... Immunogen: Peptide ... encompassing the human, mouse, and ... Accession Number: NM_000314 ... Routinely evaluated by immunoblot. ...
Mouse monoclonal [MN-8C4] to zona radiata ( Abpromise for all tested applications). Antigen: Purified eggshell proteins (zona radiata proteins and small amounts of zona pellucida proteins) from ...
Biology Products: