Navigation Links
MSU scientists unlock key enzyme using newly created 'cool' method

EAST LANSING, Mich. A team of Michigan State University scientists using a new cooling method they created have uncovered the inner workings of a key iron-containing enzyme, a discovery that could help researchers develop new medicines or understand how enzymes repair DNA.

Taurine/alpha-ketoglutarate dioxygenase, known as TauD, is a bacterial enzyme that is important in metabolism. Enzymes in this family repair DNA, sense oxygen and help produce antibiotics.

Specifically, the MSU team was interested in how iron and oxygen atoms reacted together in the enzyme. Understanding how TauD works, which serves as a model for many other proteins, has implications in the scientific and medical fields, said Robert Hausinger, MSU professor of microbiology and molecular genetics.

"This is a broad enzyme family with similar mechanisms," he said. "Understanding how TauD works sheds light on how many other enzymes function from bacteria to humans. This can be applicable to a wide variety of essential enzymes of medical and agricultural interest."

For example, Hausinger said, understanding how the enzyme works can help scientists design inhibitors to prevent it from doing its job, which is a key step in preventing diseases. Also, understanding how the iron inserts oxygen atoms into other molecules provides insight into how enzymes metabolize the majority of medical drugs or environmental pollutants in the human body.

As understanding how enzymes work can be very complicated such reactions often are complex, fast and require multiple steps the MSU team developed a new method to follow the TauD reaction. The difficult part for researchers was to slow down the reaction enough that the individual steps can be observed; one way to slow down an enzymatic reaction is to cool it.

The team used a stream of cold nitrogen gas to slow down the reaction at -36 C (-33 F). To prevent freezing and to keep the reaction going, the scientists used ethylene glycol the same antifreeze that goes in vehicles.

Once the reaction started, the team used lasers in an advanced method called Raman spectroscopy to follow the vibrations of iron and oxygen atoms in TauD to determine how the reaction progressed. They found never seen before steps in the TauD reaction, overturning conventional thought.


Contact: Jason Cody
Michigan State University

Related biology news :

1. Scientists reveal driving force behind evolution
2. Hormone study gives scientists a sense of how animals bond
3. 78 scientists elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
4. U. of Colorado scientists create tiny RNA molecule with big implications for lifes origins
5. George Daley to discuss challenges and opportunities facing stem cell scientists
6. Scientists unlock mystery in important photosynthesis step
7. Scientists identify critical enzyme in healthy heart function
8. Sanford-Burnham scientists identify natural compound that inhibits cancer cell migration
9. Scientists discover molecular pathway for organ tissue regeneration and repair
10. Scientists synthesize unique family of anti-cancer compounds
11. ASU scientists develop universal DNA reader to advance faster, cheaper sequencing efforts
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion ... Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing ... applications are expected to drive the market growth. ... , The development of advanced multimodal ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical ... premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention ... recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., ... the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Andrew ... Published recently in ... journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , ... cancer care is placing an increasing burden on ... biologic therapies. With the patents on many biologics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: