Dr. Cathy Drennan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Biology and Chemistry
Friday, March 10, 2022
Room 120 – Meyerhoff Chemistry Building
Host: Aaron Smith
“Capturing Snapshots of Metalloenzyme Maturation”
Metalloproteins are ubiquitous in biology, accounting for about 30-50% of all proteins. The catalysis of chemically-challenging reactions in biology often requires a metallocofactor. Biological fixation of both molecular nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas, for example, involves the use of complex multi-metal ion centers. The catalytic prowess of metalloenzymes can come at a price, however, as metal ions and metallocofactors can be toxic to the cell. To prevent toxicity and ensure metallocofactor delivery, specialized proteins known as metallochaperones are often employed. This presentation dives into the area of metalloprotein maturation, focusing on how structural biology (crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy) can be used to obtain snapshots of metallochaperones on their own and in complex with their client proteins. A goal of this work is to understand the molecular basis for metalloenzyme maturation with particular attention paid to adenosylcobalamin and iron-sulfur cluster enzyme maturation.