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University of Maryland partnership receives $7.9M from NIH for superconducting research magnet
Date:8/11/2010

al for studying large proteins," explains Fushman, an expert in protein structure and dynamics who is associated with the university's Center for Biomolecular Structure and Organization (CBSO). "This will allow us to move into structural and biophysical studies of protein assemblies that include more than 1000 amino acids, as well as large complexes of proteins and nucleic acids. We can begin to decipher interactions between important biological macromolecules that we could not study before. This is huge!"

Fushman conducts biochemical and biophysical studies to understand the molecular basis of how proteins are marked for degradation by a signaling protein called ubiquitin. Once a protein is tagged by ubiquitin chains, it is then disposed of by a multimolecular complex called the proteasome. "The proteasome is like a big molecular shredder which grinds up proteins that are no longer needed or which have become misfolded or abnormal," Fushman explains. "It controls the cell life cycle, and we know that if it isn't functioning properly, it could lead to the development of cancers, or neurological diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or Huntington's, or problems with the immune response."

Kwaku Dayie, associate professor, and Vitali Tugarinov, assistant professor, both in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and members of CBSO, will also be key users of the new technology. Both have been leaders in the development of NMR methods that allow and facilitate studies of large macromolecules. Jonathan Dinman and Anne Simon, both professors of cell biology and molecular genetics and experts in the study of viruses, will also utilize the spectrometer to advance their research.

"The capabilities of this ultra high field/high frequency NMR will create unique opportunities for life sciences researchers in Maryland," says Norma Allewell, vice president for research and professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University
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Contact: Kelly Blake
kellyb@umd.edu
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert

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