Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Edna Stewart Rose Hills

Biochemical Characterization of a CO-Activated Soluble Guanylate Cyclase (sGC)

In mammals, soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) serves as the primary receptor for the signaling gas nitric oxide (NO). Binding of NO activates the enzyme, which leads to various signaling pathways that regulate many physiological functions, including vasodilation and neurotransmission. Activators of sGC are currently used as therapeutic agents for cardiopulmonary and urogenital diseases. I will be investigating an sGC homolog called Cyg11 present in the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Preliminary results indicate that carbon monoxide activates the algal homolog more compared to nitric oxide, a novel activity that warrants complete biochemical characterization. Thus, I plan to obtain a complete enzymatic activity profile with different ligands bound to Cyg11. Investigating this novel CO activation in C. reinhardtii sGC may provide insights that add to our understanding of NO stimulation of mammalian sGC.

Message To Sponsor

Dear Rose Hills Foundation, Thank you very much for funding my research at the Marletta Lab this summer. I was able to gain valuable skills as I move forth in my career in molecular biology research. In addition, I was able to make novel discoveries about a useful enzyme that could help us understand our own physiology as well as the workings of microbes all around us. Your contribution to the next generation of scientists is very appreciated.
Profile image of Edna Stewart
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Ben Horst
Sponsor: Rose Hills Independent
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