Kopriva Science Seminar Series, Arianna Celis
- Friday, March 10, 2017 at 3:10pm
- Chemistry and Biochemistry Building, Byker Auditorium - view map
Arianna Celis, a doctoral students in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and recipient of a Kopriva Graduate Student Fellowship, will present "The last stop on a new road to heme: Using protein structure to unravel the reaction mechanism of a novel enzyme in pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria" as part of the College of Letters and Sciences's Kopriva Science Seminar Series.
Arianna Celis is the recipient of a 2016 Kopriva Graduate Student Fellowship.
Known as the “pigments of life,” modified tetrapyrroles such as hemes and chlorophylls are not only beautiful and colorful, but play vital roles in life processes like respiration and photosynthesis. Heme is one of nature’s most ancient and versatile co-factors and is essential for aerobic life. A pathway for how this molecule is synthesized in most gram-positive bacteria, which includes many pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, has recently been proposed. This pathway ends in a step catalyzed by an unusual enzyme known as HemQ. The mechanism by which HemQ performs its function is of great interest as some have proposed it to be a potential target for antibiotic treatment against gram-positive bacterial pathogens. Using the HemQ from Staphylococcus aureus, the oxidant that drives this reaction, the oxidation state of the iron at the start of the reaction, and the major intermediates formed during this reaction have been identified. In addition, the first substrate-bound X-ray crystallography structure of HemQ has been obtained. With these results, a mechanism for how this unique enzyme catalyzes its reaction is proposed and will be presented here.
A reception will follow the lecture.
Celis' lecture is presented by the Kopriva Science Seminar Series, which is funded through an endowment created by Phil Kopriva, a 1957 microbiology graduate from MSU. Kopriva, who died in 2002, also created an endowment to fund the Kopriva Graduate Fellowship Program, which provides support and opportunities for graduate students in the College of Letters and Science, particularly in the biomedical sciences. The series features seminars by MSU graduate students, faculty members and guest speakers. For more information about this and other Kopriva lectures, please visit www.montana.edu/lettersandscience/kopriva.html.
Free and open to the public