Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar
- Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 3:10pm
- Chemistry & Biochemistry Building, Byker - view map
Dr. Shawn McGlynn, Associate Professor Earth Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, will present "Energy Controlled Distribution of Isotopes in Biocatalytic Systems: Case Study on Adenylyl-Sulfate Reductase."
One consequence of the rate enhancement of chemical reactions in biology is that significant discrimination of stable isotopes can occur as they flow through metabolic pathways. A further result of the rate enhancement afforded by biological catalysts is rapid equilibration of chemical potentials. These two properties together - the kinetic isotope effects of individual catalysts and equilibration rate enhancement - allow for a linkage to be formed between the chemical potential (driving force) of a metabolism and its overall isotope fractionation. It may be possible to make inferences of a cells metabolic state simply by measuring the distribution of physiologically metabolized isotopes. Going further, it may be possible to make inferences on the states of ancient cells which left a record of their metabolic activity in sedimentary deposits. In this talk I will give an overview of the above ideas and connect them to the distribution of sulfur isotopes through time, which we have determined are controlled in to a large degree by a single enzyme.