The active sites of copper oxygenases and their reactivity with H2O2


Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are relatively recently discovered enzymes that catalyse the oxidation of polysaccharides, leading to chain cleavage.  LPMOs has transformed our understanding of biomass degradation, and—moreover—are now critical components in the enzymatic breakdown of biomass in the second generation bioethanol industry.1  We and others have also recently shown that LPMOs are key virulence factors in major plant diseases.2

Transition path times with applications to protein folding and tunneling times.

Abstract: Recent experimental measurements of the transition path time distributions of proteins moving from the folded to the unfolded state and vice versa, presented the theory with challenges. Analysis of the results suggested barrier heights that are much lower than the free energies of activation of the observed transitions, what are these barrier heights? Secondly, beyond the mere feat of following a protein as it folds or unfolds, is there anything really useful that we can actually learn from such experiments? These questions lead to a few insights.

Harnessing Chemoselective and Biocompatible Reactivity for Developing New Functional Materials and Biological Probes

The development of novel chemical reactions that achieve both high chemoselectivity and biocompatibility provide a foundation for the synthesis and application of new functional materials and biological probes. This presentation will provide two representative examples of this generalizable approach applied to systems spanning the biomolecule to cellular level.

Sensing a pattern: chemical dissection of glycan function

Abstract: Carbohydrates are incredibly diverse biomolecules that facilitate communication between cells and between organisms. Nevertheless, much remains unknown about the exact molecular determinants and mechanisms of these glycan-mediated processes. In this talk, I will use two examples to illustrate how the development and utilization of chemical methods can broadly improve our understanding of carbohydrate function.

Revealing the Hidden World of Metals in Biology

Abstract: Metals are required for life, and microbes have evolved a number of small molecules to compete for, acquire, and utilize metals. Metal-binding compounds are important in a number of fields – these compounds can alter the growth of the microbial communities, enhance plant yields, control harmful pathogens, deliver metals in diseases of deficiencies, or can be used for bioremediation. Systematic methods for the discovery of metal-small molecule complexes from biological samples remain limited.


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