With this award from the Chemistry Major Research Instrumentation Program, Professor David Rovnyak from Bucknell University and colleagues Thomas Selby, Marie Pizzorno, Timothy Strein and Charles Clapp will acquire an isothermal titration calorimeter (ITC). The proposal is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) study of molecular interactions by microscale calorimetry; (b) guest-host binding by bile micelles; (c) study of protein-protein interactions between viral proteins; (d) characterization of inhibitors of soybean lipoxygenase-1; and (e) binding and specificity of phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) enzymes.
Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) is a very sensitive thermodynamic technique that is used to characterize binding interactions between species such as those between a small molecule and an enzyme. ITC measures directly the heat absorbed or released during a binding process. This provides insight on the strength of chemical and biochemical binding interactions. The calorimeter will also be incorporated into several upper division level laboratory classes. Thus this instrument will be used not only in research but also in educational and outreach activities.