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Inorganic Chemistry Seminar Series: Brooke Christian (Appalachian State University)

November 17, 2022 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Brooke Christian Headshot

About the Seminar:


Stabilization of therapeutics by CAHS D, a tardigrade-specific intrinsically disordered protein


Protein-based therapeutics are susceptible to temperature-induced inactivation. To make proteins more stress resistant, we turned to the tardigrade as a model organism. Tardigrades require a class of intrinsically disordered cytosolic abundant heat soluble (CAHS) proteins to survive desiccation. We have shown that CAHS D can protect the activity of a variety of proteins from inactivation due to loss of water and shows promise as an excipient for protein-based therapeutics. In addition to preserving the activity of enzymes, we are using CAHS D to stabilize ligands without interfering with the ligand-receptor interaction. Specifically, CAHS D can protect insulin and monoclonal antibodies from heat stress. In the future, we hope that these therapeutics can be stored and transported without the need for refrigeration.

About the Speaker:


Ph.D. Biological Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC), 2010. Her graduate work focused on mechanisms of translation initiation in mammalian mitochondria.
B.S. Chemistry, Appalachian State University (Boone, NC), 2005

Professional Experience:

Dr. Christian joined the department of chemistry at Appalachian State University in 2015. She teaches Biochemistry I, Biochemistry II, Biochemistry I Laboratory, Introduction to Chemical Research, and General Chemistry I Laboratory.
NIH Postdoctoral fellow at Yale University School of Medicine, she studied the contribution of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species to the neurodegenerative disease Ataxia-Telangiectasia.


Current research projects in the Christian lab are focused on cellular stress, specifically, stress induced by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS). The first project involves the contribution of mtROS in the assembly of oxidative phosphorylation complexes. Dr. Christian uses tissue culture and animal models to investigate mitochondrial superoxide dismutase and mitochondria-targeted catalase overexpression systems. The second project uses the same models to investigate adipocyte (fat cell) differentiation, with a long-term goal of targeting this process to help reduce childhood obesity. The third project tests the ability of tardigrade-specific proteins to stabilize protein-based therapeutics, with the hope of storing and shipping these drugs at room temperature. Techniques used in the Christian lab include tissue culture, western blotting, qPCR, PAGE (denaturing/SDS and blue native), shRNA knockdown of genes of interest, immunofluorescence, and subcellular fractionation.


November 17, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Tove Room (Polk Hall 128A)
120 Broughton Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607 United States
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