Thanks to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation I successfully concluded my doctoral internship this year. The Sloan program helped me advance my PhD research titled: Crystallization of novel proteins from the Lucinidae family of clams. My host institution was Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute at Buffalo, NY under the supervision of Dr. Eddie Snell and Dr. William Bauer.
The main protein for my research is a cysteine rich protein (CRP) with unknown functionality and unknown structure. Considering the fact that clams from Lucinidae family lives in symbiosis, CRP may have interactions with clam’s hemeproteins to assist in the completion of the symbiotic cycle. CRP may facilitate hydrogen sulfide transport in vivo interacting specifically with hemeproteins (Hb). To address these issues, this project aimed to study CRP in order to determine a structural model of CRP/HbI to investigate function of CRP and the mechanism of processing H2S. This was structured in three specific aims:
Aim I:obtain single crystals of CRP and/or CRP-HbI complex
Aim II: obtain X-ray diffraction of CRP and/or CRP-HbI crystals
Aim III: Solve structure and determine structural model for CRP-HbI complex
Thanks to Sloan Foundation support up to this point, I achieved the first two aims. The third aim is a work in progress this semester and the data obtained will be soon submitted for publishing. This is the first structural information for this protein. This project was also partially supported by BioXFEL.