Paul Schimmel, The Scripps Research Institute, "New Biology from Natural Metamorphosis of a Class of Conventional Enzymes"

Nov 15 2011, 11:00 am
Distinguished Lecture Series Guest Speaker: 

Paul Schimmel, Ph.D.

Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor
The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology
The Scripps Research Institute

Date & Time: 
Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 11:00AM
Location: 
Klaus 1116E
Host: 
Jeffrey Skolnick
Abstract: 
A group of enzymes known as aminoacyl tRNA synthetases interpret genetic information through catalysis of aminoacylation reactions that establish the genetic code. Errors of interpretation are corrected by a universal mechanism that is facilitated by novel domains incorporated into these same enzymes. This error-correcting activity is closely associated with the beginnings of living organism, and defects in this activity lead to disease and even lethality. The paradigm of incorporating novel domain additions to develop a specialized activity has been expanded in higher organisms where these domain additions are incorporated into a large library of naturally occurring new structures arising from alternative splicing and proteolysis. This metamorphosis into new structures gives rise to a diversity of new functions that go beyond translation of genetic information. Investigations of several of these structural metamorphs have uncovered new biology that has clinical applications.
Additional Info: 

Paul Schimmel is Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor at The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. He formerly was the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Department of Biology at MIT. His major research activities have concentrated on the decoding of genetic information, with emphasis on the rules of the universal genetic code which are established through aminoacylation reactions catalyzed by a group of enzymes known as aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. The latter are believed by many to be among the first enzymes to arise on this planet in the early stages of the evolution of life.
Lab Website

Paul Schimmel Flier.jpg

Video: 
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