Navigation Links
NIH funds multicenter 'glue grant' to study enzyme function
Date:5/21/2010

May 21, 2010 (BRONX, NY) A multi-institutional team of researchers, including scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, has received a prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) "Glue Grant" to develop a strategy for discovering the structure and function of unknown enzymes identified in genome-sequencing projects.

The research could improve understanding of the metabolic and chemical diversity that exists in nature and may result in new drug targets for treatments. It may also lead to new enzymes that could prove useful for catalyzing industrial reactions. Over the next five years, the team will receive $33.9 million, of which Einstein will receive approximately $11 million.

Glue Grants, which are issued by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a division of the NIH, provide resources to tackle complex problems that are of central importance to biomedical science and beyond the means of any one research group.

In recent years, scientists have sequenced the genomes of thousands of organisms, from bacteria to humans, encompassing more than 10 million genes. But it's not clear what many of these genes do or which proteins they code.

"The specific functions of perhaps half of these genes and the proteins they make are unknown or have been mistakenly characterized," says co-investigator Steven C. Almo, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and of physiology & biophysics at Einstein. "The consortium will be working to close this gap."

NIGMS currently funds a total of five such multicenter projects. This Glue Grant, known as the Enzyme Function Initiative (EFI), will focus on enzymes proteins that catalyze the chemical reactions required for life and enable organisms to live in complex environments and to adapt to a variety of conditions.

"The knowledge gained from our EFI will give us a better sense of the breadth of enzymatic and metabolic activities that exist in nature," says Dr. Almo. "It will also further our understanding of disease and help us identify new targets for drug development."

The leader of the research team is John A. Gerlt, Ph.D., Gutgsell Chair and professor of biochemistry and of chemistry and biophysics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Gerlt and his colleagues have pioneered diverse techniques for more efficiently determining the function of an enzyme by defining its substrate the molecule to which the enzyme docks to start a reaction. Their approaches involve both computational methods to narrow the substrate candidates and direct experimental screening of potential substrates.

For the EFI Glue Grant, Dr. Gerlt has assembled a team of researchers from several disciplines to discover the function of enzymes an effort that begins with determining the structure of an enzyme of interest. The team will then use computers to create a short "hit list" of possible substrates that are most compatible with the structure of this enzyme. Next, scientists with expertise in particular enzyme superfamilies will evaluate the list to pinpoint the substrate, thereby providing direct insight into the enzyme's function. Then, using a range of bacterial model systems, researchers will "knock out" the gene that codes for this enzyme. The manner in which the loss of this enzyme affects the organism will provide further information about the enzyme's function.

Dr. Almo and his colleagues will be responsible for purifying the enzymes and then using x ray crystallography to determine their molecular structure. (X-ray crystallography is a method that reveals the arrangement of atoms within a protein by striking the protein crystal with a beam of x-rays.) Dr. Almo's team includes Ronald D. Seidel, Ph.D., associate in biochemistry and associate director of the Albert Einstein Macromolecular Therapeutics Development Facility.


'/>"/>

Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. California funds UCI basic research on stem cells
2. DOD funds tiny cave camera and iris recognition technology for military, homeland security
3. Apollo Solar Energy funds new $1.5 million CdTe solar research center at NJIT
4. UF gets almost $15 million in federal funds to build research complex to help older adults
5. Stand Up to Cancer funds high-risk/high-reward cancer research by 13 young scientists
6. NIGMS invests in scientific Grand Opportunities with Recovery Act funds
7. NIEHS awards Recovery Act funds to focus more research on health and safety of nanomaterials
8. NIEHS awards Recovery Act funds to address bisphenol A research gaps
9. Recovery Act funds expand studies of stem cell biology
10. Battling cancer with engineering: NCI funds new $13 million cancer research center led by Cornell
11. Wellcome Trust funds dengue fever research in Leuven
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2017)... May 5, 2017 RAM Group ... a new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on ... mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors ... material created by Ram Group and its partners. This ... transportation, supply chains and security. Ram Group is ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on ... ... is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website ... SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Ovation Fertility supports ... a disease, bringing new hope for prospective parents who are challenged with costs ... back the World Health Organization’s designation in hopes of changing the way health ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce that its ... be appropriate as a screening test at dairies and farms for raw commingled cow ... the Charm EZ Lite system. These systems are a combination incubator and reader in ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... National executive search firm, Slone Partners, ... development and biomarker expertise, as VP of Scientific Affairs at Cambridge Biomedical. ... assay development and sample testing services. The organization acts as a leading provider ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting ... 50 years. One of the biggest challenges faced by life sciences, biotech and pharmaceuticals ... services team is Kati Abraham , who is well known in the industry ...
Breaking Biology Technology: