Navigation Links
X-ray diffraction may play key role in stopping 'kissing bug,' fungus
Date:10/19/2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. If finding the cure for a fungus and parasite that affects millions of people were the subject of a detective show, University of Missouri Chemistry Professor John Tanner would be the forensic expert in the lab, using high-tech equipment to make a model that could eventually solve the crime.

Tanner, who also teaches chemistry in the College of Arts and Science, has joined forces with Pablo Sobrado, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech, to study a unique enzyme found on two "crime scenes": in Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus that causes pulmonary diseases in immuno-compromised people; and in a blood-sucking insect prevalent in South America and now being found in the southwestern U.S., called the Chagas parasite, also known as the "kissing bug" for the red welts left on the victims' faces after being bitten in his or her sleep.

"My job is to figure out what the enzyme looks like using X-ray diffraction," Tanner said. "This enzyme makes a special sugar molecule that these organisms need to survive, so if we can find a way to stop the reaction that makes that sugar, then we might find a way to kill these pathogens."

In Tanner's lab at the University of Missouri, researcher Dale Karr is in the first stages of the process growing tiny crystals of the enzyme. These crystals will eventually be used in X-ray crystallography, a technique in which diffraction patterns that are produced by bombarding crystals with intense X-ray beams are decoded to determine the atomic structure of the enzyme. With this information, and Sobrado's information on how the protein can be isolated and characterized, different drugs that may inhibit the enzyme can be designed and tested.

"The enzyme is like a lock, and if we can see what the lock looks like, we can find a key to fit in the lock and prevent the enzyme from being active," said Tanner. "This is interesting because it's a new project for us, and the collaboration with Pablo has enabled my group to enter a different field with a focus on drug design. That's exciting for me; hopefully the fruits of our labor will some day help people."

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has given a $1.5 million grant to support the five-year research project.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steven Adams
AdamsST@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. An X-ray for your genes
2. LiXEdrom: Innovative measuring chamber for X-ray study of liquid jets
3. Early results from the worlds brightest X-ray source
4. First X-ray lasers early success brings approval for next-phase facility
5. Lensless imaging of whole biological cells with soft X-rays
6. E-beam and X-ray irradiation technologies
7. Scientists using X-ray vision to produce more nutritious flour
8. Researchers demonstrate nanoscale X-ray imaging of bacterial cells
9. Scientists make important step toward stopping plaque-like formations in Huntingtons disease
10. Mango effective in preventing, stopping certain colon, breast cancer cells
11. Stopping MRSA before it becomes dangerous is possible, Sandia/UNM researchers find
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... The research team of The Hong Kong ... identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching ... and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security ... ... A research team led by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... Tenn. , April 27, 2017  Pendant Biosciences, ... developing innovative surface modification and drug delivery technologies, today ... Johnson Innovation, JLABS @ Toronto . ... Executive Officer of Pendant Biosciences, noted, "We are excited ... Toronto community, and are honored to be ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Looking for ... and cooking events company, offers one-of-a-kind gifts, ranging from gourmet cooking experiences to ... cuisine, and guests leave inspired with new cooking tips and techniques, thanks to ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Led by ex-FDA ... clinical trials comes to Tampa, San Francisco and Boston in 2017. The ... regulated organizations such as Pfizer Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals, Advaxis, Inc., Ocular Therapeutix Inc., ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Baltimore bio tech ... mail security screening solution at the National Postal Forum 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, ... fast, highly accurate, easy to use and low cost threat detection solution for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: