Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists unlock key enzyme using newly created 'cool' method

Date:
February 26, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Scientists -- using a new cooling method they created -- have uncovered the inner workings of a key iron-containing enzyme, a discovery that could help researchers develop new medicines or understand how enzymes repair DNA. Taurine/alpha-ketoglutarate dioxygenase, known as TauD, is a bacterial enzyme that is important in metabolism. Enzymes in this family repair DNA, sense oxygen and help produce antibiotics.

A team of Michigan State University scientists -- using a new cooling method they created -- has uncovered the inner workings of a key iron-containing enzyme, a discovery that could help researchers develop new medicines or understand how enzymes repair DNA.

Taurine/alpha-ketoglutarate dioxygenase, known as TauD, is a bacterial enzyme that is important in metabolism. Enzymes in this family repair DNA, sense oxygen and help produce antibiotics.

Specifically, the MSU team was interested in how iron and oxygen atoms reacted together in the enzyme. Understanding how TauD works, which serves as a model for many other proteins, has implications in the scientific and medical fields, said Robert Hausinger, MSU professor of microbiology and molecular genetics.

"This is a broad enzyme family with similar mechanisms," he said. "Understanding how TauD works sheds light on how many other enzymes function from bacteria to humans. This can be applicable to a wide variety of essential enzymes of medical and agricultural interest."

For example, Hausinger said, understanding how the enzyme works can help scientists design inhibitors to prevent it from doing its job, which is a key step in preventing diseases. Also, understanding how the iron inserts oxygen atoms into other molecules provides insight into how enzymes metabolize the majority of medical drugs or environmental pollutants in the human body.

As understanding how enzymes work can be very complicated -- such reactions often are complex, fast and require multiple steps -- the MSU team developed a new method to follow the TauD reaction. The difficult part for researchers was to slow down the reaction enough that the individual steps can be observed; one way to slow down an enzymatic reaction is to cool it.

The team used a stream of cold nitrogen gas to slow down the reaction at -36 C (-33 F). To prevent freezing and to keep the reaction going, the scientists used ethylene glycol -- the same antifreeze that goes in vehicles.

Once the reaction started, the team used lasers -- in an advanced method called Raman spectroscopy -- to follow the vibrations of iron and oxygen atoms in TauD to determine how the reaction progressed. They found never seen before steps in the TauD reaction, overturning conventional thought.

The project was a collaboration between the laboratories of Hausinger and Denis Proshlyakov of MSU's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with support from MSU colleague Piotr Grzyska and Evan Appelman of the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.

The research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, was recently published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Piotr K. Grzyska, Evan H. Appelman, Robert P. Hausinger, and Denis A. Proshlyakov. Insight into the mechanism of an iron dioxygenase by resolution of steps following the FeIV%u2550O species. PNAS, Online before print February 10, 2010 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911565107

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Scientists unlock key enzyme using newly created 'cool' method." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226115123.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, February 26). Scientists unlock key enzyme using newly created 'cool' method. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226115123.htm
Michigan State University. "Scientists unlock key enzyme using newly created 'cool' method." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226115123.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins