Cell survival hinges on a host of processes, one of which is DNA repair. Though research has shown that the RadD protein plays an important role in processing damaged or branched DNA in E. coli, previous efforts to demonstrate DNA unwinding activity for RadD have failed.
Miguel Angel Osorio Garcia, an IPiB graduate student in the Cox Lab, unlocked part of this enigmatic process as part of his Ph.D. research. He used high-resolution X-ray crystallography to image RadD bound to ADP. The resulting biomolecular structure revealed a zinc-ribbon element not modeled in previous RadD crystal structures.
“Insights into the mode of nucleotide binding and additional structure refinement afforded by the new RadD model will help to drive investigations into the activity of RadD as a genome stability and repair factor,” Osorio Garcia and his coauthors say in their PLOS ONE manuscript about their findings.
Osorio Garcia also demonstrated how RadD interacts with one of its protein partners in E. coli. Future work in the lab will help demonstrate if these structural features and interactions fit into cellular DNA repair.
While at UW–Madison, he has also been a trainee in the Biotechnology Training Program (BTP). While in BTP, he completed an internship at Promega, which he says helped him make some decisions as he approaches his Ph.D. defense and graduation.
“This internship strongly affirmed my interest in the biotech industry as a career choice,” Osorio Garcia says.
After defending his Ph.D. research, he plans to work in industry, directly applying his research skills to developing new biotechnologies.
To learn more about Osorio Garcia’s research, attend his Ph.D. defense on Friday, November 4 at 3:00 p.m. CT in Room 1211 of the DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Building.