Navigation Links
Powe Award supports research on how enzymes enable the pathogenicity of 2 human disease organisms
Date:6/16/2009

Blacksburg, Va. -- Pablo Sobrado, assistant professor of biochemistry (http://www.biochem.vt.edu/faculty.php?lname=Sobrado&view=yes) with the infectious disease research group at Virginia Tech, has received a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award for his research on enzymes that are essential for infection in two important human pathogens.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) presents the Powe award to faculty members who are in the first two years of their tenure track as an investment in promising achievements in an important area. The award to Sobrado will support his research on the mechanism of iron acquisition by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Aspergillus fumigatus.

Iron is essential for all life. M. tubercuolis and A. fumigatus need iron in order to replicate. The level of free iron in humans is lower than the required concentration for these pathogens to survive. To overcome this limitation, these organisms secrete molecules called siderophores to obtain iron from the host. The iron-siderophore complex is then taken by the microbes, increasing the concentration of iron to satisfy their metabolic needs and enable infection. The synthesis of siderophores in M. tuberculosis and A. fumigatus requires special enzymes (hydroxylase) that are dependent on the cofactor flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). The function of these enzymes is essential to form the hydroxamate potion of the siderophore, which binds the iron molecule.

"There is no information about the mechanism of action or the structure of these enzymes. Our group will be a leader in the study of these important enzymes," Sobrado said. "If we can learn how it functions, we can perhaps identify inhibitors that can be developed as antibiotics or antifungal agents," he said. "Since humans do not have siderophores, an inhibitor should not be toxic to us."

Using modern biology techniques, Sobrado's group is the first in the world to obtain recombinant functional siderophore hydroxylases from M. smegmatis (a model organism of M. tuberculosis) and A. fumigatus. "We have been able to obtain highly active enzymes with FAD bound; this will allow us to elucidate the three-dimensional structure and the mechanism of action," he said.

The structural work is being done in collaboration with Andrea Mattevi, professor of molecular biology, who co-ordinates the protein crystallography group at the University of Pavia.

Sobrado's team includes graduate and undergraduate students. "It is an opportunity for undergraduates to learn about protein engineering, how to develop assays, and to do protein purification," he said.

Sobrado is affiliated with the Fralin Life Science Institute (http://www.biotech.vt.edu/), an interdisciplinary research center at Virginia Tech, whose purpose is to bring scientists from different disciplines together under one roof to solve some of biology's more complex challenges. The infectious diseases research area of the institute focuses on reducing and managing emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases including prevention and control, infectious disease ecology and epidemiology, molecular pathogenesis, and host-pathogen interactions.

Sobrado received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University. He was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Chile and the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

The Powe award competition permits only two applications from each of ORAU's 115 university members. Both Virginia Tech applicants were selected. The second winner is Jeremiah T. Abiade, assistant professor in the mechanical engineering and the material science and engineering departments.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Trulove
STrulove@vt.edu
540-231-5646
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. The BBVA Foundation presents its Frontiers of Knowledge Awards
2. Springer Series editor John Smol receives two prestigious biology awards
3. Stanfords Woods Institute awards new round of Environmental Venture Projects
4. Five outstanding young gastroenterologists receive AGA Foundation 2009 Research Scholars Award
5. Researcher garners major award from NIH for further exploration into the mechanisms of obesity
6. Award for pioneering stem cell research to mend broken bones
7. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker awarded the Order of the Rising Sun
8. Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation awards $191,000 in grants
9. Supply-Chain Council Announces Winners of 2009 Supply Chain Excellence Awards
10. Civil engineers name NJITs John Schuring Educator of Year Award
11. University of Liverpool awarded $3.3 million for genomics hub
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Powe Award supports research on how enzymes enable the pathogenicity of 2 human disease organisms
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) ... Cross reference: Picture is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) ... DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. ... biometric innovations, at CeBIT in Hanover next ... from DERMALOG will be used to produce the new refugee identity ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... Germany , March 9, 2016 ... country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public service ... or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ... African country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public ... name or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... DE SOTO, Kansas , March 3, ... Plus® to offer Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a blood ... detection of lung cancer Early CDT®-Lung test ... individuals. --> Early CDT®-Lung test to its ... --> Oncimmune, a leader in early cancer detection, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is ... Chuck has been a volunteer member of Committee since 1987. Since then, he has ... directors and treasurer and was chairman for both the program and exposition committees. In ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ROCHELLE, VIRGINIA (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 ... ... announced today that Jon Clark has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. ... was responsible for industry collaborations and managing the development of small molecule monographs ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... MedDay, a biotechnology company focused on the treatment ... Moukheibir as Chairman of its Board of Directors. ... , who contributed to the rapid development of the Company ... started her career in strategy consulting and investment banking in ... .  She held C-Suite level roles in some of ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Heidelberg Instruments, a leader in design, development ... Volume Pattern Generator (VPG) line of lithography systems. The breakthrough VPG+ system is ... a solution for mid volume direct write lithography applications. It utilizes the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: