This research proposal details our plan to establish the """"""""proof of concept"""""""" that will support a subsequent R01 application to perfect and extend our methodology to expedite the functional and therapeutic analysis of hypothetical proteins identified by genomic sequencing. Accomplishing this challenging goal promises to provide an unprecedented wealth of information about cell biology, development, evolution and physiology that will have a significant impact on human health.
The aim of this application is to further validate and increase the efficiency of our FAST-NMR (functional annotation screening technology by NMR) assay to assign a function to hypothetical proteins identified by the NIH-NIGMS Protein Structure Initiative (PSI). FAST-NMR uniquely combines structural biology, NMR ligand affinity screens and bioinformatics to discover biochemical functions or functional hypotheses of proteins of unknown function. The goal of the proposed research is to screen functionally annotated and hypothetical proteins with NMR structures determined by the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) to verify the accuracy of FAST-NMR functional assignments. Additionally, a high-performance affinity chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPAC-MS) component will be incorporated into the FAST-NMR screen to improve the efficiency and throughput of the assay. NESG proteins are associated with growth regulation and cancer, antibiotic resistance and other biomedically-important targets. Obtaining a functional assignment for these as of yet undiscovered proteins should provide key information for developing new therapies to treat various human diseases. The central hypothesis of our FAST-NMR assay is that proteins with similar function will have similar active-site structural characteristics, despite global differences in sequence and structure. A functional annotation is obtained by identifying similar active-site structure and sequence composition between proteins of known and unknown function. FAST-NMR is a further refinement of the generally accepted paradigm that global sequence or structure homology infers a similarity in function. Our proposed research is significant because the resultant FAST-NMR methodology will address an important need of PSI by providing an approach to annotate the expanding number of """"""""orphaned"""""""" proteins deposited in the PDB whose function are currently unknown. The identification of novel therapeutic targets by screening NESG proteins in our FAST-NMR assay is invaluable for expediting the drug discovery process and improving human health.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is relevant to human health because accelerating the functional annotation of the vast number of novel proteins identified from genomic sequencing will lead to the discovery of new therapeutic targets and expedite the drug discovery process. The development of effective therapeutics is essential to addressing global public health problems associated with infectious disease, cancer and other illnesses.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Study Section
Macromolecular Structure and Function B Study Section (MSFB)
Program Officer
Beanan, Maureen J
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University of Nebraska Lincoln
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Catazaro, Jonathan; Periago, Jessica; Shortridge, Matthew D et al. (2017) Identification of a Ligand-Binding Site on the Staphylococcus aureus DnaG Primase C-Terminal Domain. Biochemistry 56:932-943
Catazaro, Jonathan; Lowe, Austin J; Cerny, Ronald L et al. (2017) The NMR solution structure and function of RPA3313: a putative ribosomal transport protein from Rhodopseudomonas palustris. Proteins 85:93-102
Worley, Bradley; Sisco, Nicholas J; Powers, Robert (2015) Statistical removal of background signals from high-throughput (1)H NMR line-broadening ligand-affinity screens. J Biomol NMR 63:53-8
Stark, Jaime L; Mehla, Kamiya; Chaika, Nina et al. (2014) Structure and function of human DnaJ homologue subfamily a member 1 (DNAJA1) and its relationship to pancreatic cancer. Biochemistry 53:1360-72
Stark, Jaime L; Copeland, Jennifer C; Eletsky, Alexander et al. (2014) Identification of low-molecular-weight compounds inhibiting growth of corynebacteria: potential lead compounds for antibiotics. ChemMedChem 9:282-5
Catazaro, Jonathan; Caprez, Adam; Guru, Ashu et al. (2014) Functional evolution of PLP-dependent enzymes based on active-site structural similarities. Proteins 82:2597-608
Worley, Bradley; Halouska, Steven; Powers, Robert (2013) Utilities for quantifying separation in PCA/PLS-DA scores plots. Anal Biochem 433:102-4
Copeland, Jennifer C; Zehr, Levi J; Cerny, Ronald L et al. (2012) The applicability of molecular descriptors for designing an electrospray ionization mass spectrometry compatible library for drug discovery. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen 15:806-15
Worley, Bradley; Richard, Georgia; Harbison, Gerard S et al. (2012) 13C NMR reveals no evidence of n-ýý* interactions in proteins. PLoS One 7:e42075
Shortridge, Matthew D; Griep, Mark A; Powers, Robert (2012) ¹H, ¹³C, and ¹?N NMR assignments for the helicase interaction domain of Staphylococcus aureus DnaG primase. Biomol NMR Assign 6:35-8

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