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Review of protein design graces cover of chemistry journal

Community studies professor contributes to new book on African American activism

September 22, 2003


Review of protein design graces cover of chemistry journal

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.

The 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," Vrielink said.
-by Tim Stephens

Community studies professor contributes to new book on African American activism

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. Ortiz’s 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."

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