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Last updated::2019-08-15    

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2019-04-19

Department of Life Sciences breakthrough: using cryo-EM for enzymology research

The result of the research was featured on the Journal cover... The result of the research was featured on the Journal cover.

 

A research led by Dr. Chin-Yu Chen of Department of Life Sciences, National Central University and Dr. Ming-Daw Tsai of the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, has been published in the esteemed Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). This is the first article in using high-resolution cryo-EM for enzymology research and these cryo-EM structures provide insight into the enzyme's mechanism. The result was featured on the Journal cover and could be highly potential for industrial application, including biofuel production.

 

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to three frontier researchers for their work on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The technique allows for imaging biomolecules in their native states by quickly freezing the samples in vitreous ice. For understanding life phenomena, cryo-EM has been used for structural analysis of proteins, viruses and cells. It has successfully revealed the molecular structure of protein complexes in a functioning state and their spatial structure at near-atomic resolution. NCU and Academia Sinica Cryo-EM Center worked together to bring this innovative technique into elucidation of the structural basis of pH effect and cofactor bispecificity of ketol-acid reductoisomerase by determining the different structures of enzyme and its complexes.

Dr. Chin-Yu Chen, the first author and corresponding author of the article thanked the Academia Sinica and the Taiwan Protein Project, TPP for their vision and support by equipping them with the most advanced cryo-EM. Just as an artisan needs the proper tools for their masterpieces, they need the adequate equipment for scientific breakthroughs. She also expressed her gratitude towards Dr. Ming-Daw Tsai for collaboration which led to the great success of their research. 

The journal cover shows the 3D image of the dodecameric protein enzyme.. The journal cover shows the 3D image of the dodecameric protein enzyme.

Web:https://pubs.acs.org/toc/jacsat/current

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