Chemistry Seminar: Dr. Sheila Smith, University of Michigan

Friday, October 12 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

A. Paul Schaap Science Center, Auditorium 1000
35 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423-3605

Biochemical and Biophysical Investigation of the Binding Interaction of Copper(II) and  Riboflavin Binding Protein

Abstract: Riboflavin Binding Protein (RBP) is a small monomeric vitamin transporter responsible in all egg-laying species for getting Vitamin B2 from the mother to the egg. Active transport into the oocyte occurs through a receptor that also mediates the transport of the protein phosvitin.
Previously published work by our lab has shown that chicken RBP binds copper (II) in vitro, and releases it under the conditions typically used to purify the protein from chicken eggs. This bound copper is ligated to the protein in a Type II binding site with a single histidine residue and 2-3
unknown ligands. Upon biding to RBP, cupric ion is partially reduced, even under aerobic conditions in the absence of an external reducing agent. In this talk, I will present the data used to establish the copper binding site, and our current efforts to better understand the biological role of
the binding interaction, and the nature of the binding site.

BIO: Dr. Sheila Smith, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Michigan- Dearborn, loves first row transition metals, especially iron and copper. As an undergraduate at NCState, she was forced to work with heavier atoms (Ruthenium, as if!), but hit
her stride as a graduate student at UNC working on the electrocatalytic chemistry of iron siderophores. As a postdoctoral research associate, first at Amherst College and then at Michigan State University, she worked first on the characterization of an air-sensitive FeS cluster SAM-dependent enzyme, and then on electron paramagnetic resonance studies of both iron and copper proteins. She’s putting all that knowledge and all those skills to work now on unraveling the mysteries of copper transport in chickens and improving undergraduate education in inorganic chemistry (IONiC) and biochemistry. In her spare time (hah!), she enjoys sailing the Great Lakes in the Elemental, building and paddling skin-on-frame qajaqs, motorcycling around the Rockies. She is also the proud(?) co-owner of a flock of mutant chickens.

Event Type

Academics, Natural & Applied Sciences Division, Chemistry and Biochemistry

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