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:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a provider ... today announced the release of the SentiVeillance ... improved facial recognition using up to 10 surveillance, ... computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based facial ... it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... recognition analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today ... Sheridan as director of public safety business development. ... of diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on ... Vigilant. In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ken Hanson, a medical imaging research scientist at ... been selected as this year’s recipients of two top awards from SPIE, the ... with other honorees to accept their awards at a banquet in San Diego, California, ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... aircraft flying hobbyists, and the University Aviation Association (UAA), the unifying voice for ... UAS4STEM Collegiate Challenge will encourage teamwork, competition, and success through a STEM-based education ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... RMC Pharmaceutical ... and engages Timothy Reinhardt to manage the new site. , Tim has 25 ... with his most recent role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier Quality ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... specialists DST Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, thereby expanding its product portfolio to ... from hay fever, urticaria, asthma, atopic eczema or a food allergy. Allergies are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: