Enrique De La Cruz, PhD

Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Research Departments & Organizations

Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Biochemistry; Biophysics; Cytoskeleton; Kinetics; Molecular Biology; RNA Helicases; Thermodynamics

Research Summary

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:

  1. identifying the molecular origins of actin filament elasticity and the mechanical basis of filament severing by regulatory proteins;
  2. defining how ATP utilization by DEAD-box proteins (DBPs) is coupled to duplex rRNA unwinding; and
  3. determining the catalytic pathways, specificities and biological activities of nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase (NPP) enzymes.

Specialized Terms: Cytoskeleton; RNA helicases; Kinetics; Thermodynamics; Polymer Mechanics; Processivity

Extensive Research Description

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Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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Contact Info

Enrique De La Cruz, PhD
Mailing Address
Molecular Biophysics and BiochemistryPO Box 208114
266 Whitney Avenue

New Haven, CT 06520-8114

Curriculum Vitae