Enrique M. De La Cruz PhD
Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
Cytoskeleton; RNA helicases; Kinetics; Thermodynamics; Polymer Mechanics; Processivity
Identifying the chemical and physical principles of work production by molecular motor protein enzymes and polymers has emerged as a major area in contemporary Biochemistry and Biophysics. My research program integrates comprehensive kinetic and thermodynamic analyses of catalytic reaction pathways with computational and mathematical modeling to develop and test predictive models of work output by molecular motor proteins, enzyme function and adaptation, and biopolymer fragmentation. Our work has revealed how enzymatic adaptations among evolutionary related molecular motor proteins determine their biological function, and how cells regulate the length and assembly dynamics of polymers that drive cell movement.
Our current and future efforts focus primarily in three areas: A) identifying the molecular origins of actin filament elasticity and the mechanical basis of filament severing by regulatory proteins; B) defining how ATP utilization by DEAD-box proteins (DBPs) is coupled to duplex rRNA unwinding; and C) determining the catalytic pathways, specificities and biological activities of nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) enzymes.
- BR McCullough, E Grintsevich, C Chen, H Kang, A Hutchison, A Henn, W Cao, C Suarez, J-L Martiel, JL Blanchoin, E Reisler & EM De La Cruz (2011) Modulation of actin filament flexibility promotes severing by cofilin. Biophys. J. 101, 151-9.
- AC Reymann, R Boujemaa-Paterski, JL Martiel, C Guérin, W Cao, HF Chin, EM De La Cruz, M Théry & L Blanchoin (2012) Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity. Science 336:1310-4.
- W Cao, MM Coman, S Ding, A Henn, ER Middleton, E Rhoades, DD Hackney, AM Pyle & EM De La Cruz (2011) Mechanism of Mss116 ATPase reveals functional diversity of DEAD-box proteins. J. Mol. Biol. 409, 399-414.
- LP Saunders, W Cao, WC Chang, RA Albright, DT Braddock & EM De La Cruz (2011) Kinetic analysis of autotoxin reveals substrate-specific catalytic pathways and a mechanism for lysophophatidic actin distribution. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 30130-41.
- A Henn, W Cao, N Licciardello, SE Heitkamp, DD Hackney & EM De La Cruz (2010)
Pathway of ATP utilization and duplex rRNA unwinding by the DEAD box helicase,
DbpA. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 107, 4046-50. *Faculty of 1000 “Must Read”
- EM De La Cruz, J Roland, BR McCullough, L Blanchoin, and J-L Martiel (2010) Origin
of Twist-Bend Coupling in Actin Filaments. Biophys. J., 99:1852-1860.
- HF Chin, Y Cai, S Menon, S Ferro-Novick, KM Reinisch & EM De La Cruz (2009) Kinetic analysis of the guanine nucleotide exchange activity of TRAPP, a multimeric Ypt1p exchange factor. J. Mol. Biol. 389, 275-88.
- A Henn, W Cao, D Hackney & EM De La Cruz (2008) The ATPase cycle mechanism of the DEAD-box rRNA helicase, DbpA. J. Mol Biol. 377, 193-205.
- BR McCullough, L Blanchoin, JL Martiel & EM De La Cruz (2008) Cofilin Increases the Bending Flexibility of Actin Filaments: Implications for Severing and Cell
Mechanics. J. Mol. Biol., 381, 550-558.
- LP Saunders, A Ouellette, H Zhou, R Bandle, EM De La Cruz* & DT Braddock* (2008) Identification and validation of small molecule inhibitors against the prometastatic enzyme Autotaxin, a lysophospholipase D. Mol. Cancer Ther. 7, 3352-62. (*Corresponding author)