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Living with radicals

Monday 27 February 2017 3:59pm

Andrew DasPhD candidate Andrew Das presented his exit seminar, Living with radicals: The trouble-maker oxygen and his accomplice superoxide, at the UOC Research Seminar Series today in the Beaven Lecture Theatre.

Andrew has been investigating one of the reactive oxygen species, superoxide, and its reaction with tyrosyl radicals formed on proteins. He studied this reaction using a variety of protein models, culminating in ribonucleotide reductase (RNR). RNR is an enzyme that is crucial for the synthesis of DNA and uses a tyrosyl radical as part of its normal functioning.

His results showed that in the presence of increased superoxide, RNR becomes inactivated in yeast with a concurrent decreased growth of the yeast. Further studies to investigate whether this mechanism is important for the normal regulation of RNR would be of interest because RNR has long been known as a drug target in certain cancer types.

Professors Tony Kettle and Christine Winterbourn have been Andrew's PhD supervisors. After he graduates in May, Andrew will undertake a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Margreet Vissers investigating the potential role of ascorbate in the management of acute myeloid leukaemia.