Biochemical characterization of four distinct proteins

Gustavo A Avila, University of Texas at El Paso


Proteins are ubiquitous in all living organisms, executing the majority of cellular functions in distinct ways. Understanding a protein's role necessitates investigating its structure and function, which are closely related. My research couples these two aspects by delving into the biochemical and structural characterization of proteins in four distinct systems, all playing central roles in numerous significant disease progressions. These four original research endeavors were all targeted for structural studies with a unifying relationship to establish our new structural biochemistry lab. These four systems are: (1) Gam1, an early adenovirus protein globally inhibiting host SUMOylation; (2) Anthrax toxin complexed with its cellular receptor; (3) hCRY1, a core component of the circadian rhythm; and (4) an antibody against cancer cell-surface glycans. Traditional molecular, biochemical, and biophysical techniques such as molecular cloning, in vitro protein-protein assays, and structure determination have been utilized in the above mentioned projects to analyze protein functions. All four projects have obtained results at different stages, two have reached key milestones and two have established knowledge towards the future steps to structural analyses. All of these projects have built a strong foundation for the current and future success of the lab. Each project has contributed in general to understand the biological process at the molecular level. In addition, the four chosen systems involve investigations of protein-protein, protein-carbohydrate and protein-DNA interactions, all are critical for elucidating how biomolecules work collaboratively to perform the function of the cell. The results from these projects will ultimately improve our ability to develop novel biological and biomedical applications in hopes of developing treatments for the diseases.

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Recommended Citation

Avila, Gustavo A, "Biochemical characterization of four distinct proteins" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3636243.