September 22, 2003
Featured on the cover of the latest issue of Accounts
of Chemical Research, a major journal published by the American
Chemical Society, is a review article coauthored by Alice
Vrielink, a research professor with the Department of Molecular, Cell,
and Developmental Biology and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
article by Vrielink and coauthor Nicole Sampson of State University of
New York, Stony Brook, describes current understanding of an important
family of enzymes called cholesterol oxidases. The structures of cholesterol
oxidases produced by different bacteria are presented as a study of nature's
approach to protein design. Vrielink's laboratory has solved the three-dimensional
structures of three cholesterol oxidases.
Bacterial cholesterol oxidases were originally isolated for use in blood
tests for cholesterol levels. The enzymes have also become important tools
for use in cell biology research. In addition, cholesterol oxidase has
recently been found to play an important role in diseases caused by bacterial
infections, such as tuberculosis and leprosy.
"Understanding the molecular details of this enzyme will enable
pharmaceutical companies to design antibiotics to treat these types of
infections. This is particularly relevant in light of the significant
degree of antibiotic drug resistance that these bacteria have developed,"
Paul Ortiz, assistant professor of community studies, authored an essay that appears in the new book, Time Longer than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950 (New York: New York University Press, 2003). Coedited by Charles M. Payne, the Sally Dalton Robinson Professor of African American studies, History and Sociology at Duke University, and Adam Green, assistant professor of history and American studies at New York University, the book provides a crucial prehistory of the modern civil rights movement by showcasing the depth and breadth of black oppositional spirit and activity. Ortizs chapter is entitled "Eat Your Bread without Butter, but Pay Your Poll Tax!: Roots of the African American Voter Registration Movement in Florida 1919-1920."