Ergothioneine in an Enzyme: Using Protein Engineering to Create a Unique Antioxidant Enzyme Containing 2-thiohistidine

Abstract

Ergothioneine is a sulfur containing amino acid with unique antioxidant properties. The amino acid 2-thiohistidine is an analog of ergothioneine and displays very similar antioxidant qualities. 2-thiohistidine can be inserted into a peptide, and therefore the unique properties of ergothioneine can be conferred to a protein. Insertion of 2-thiohistidine into an enzyme for its antioxidant properties would create a unique catalyst with novel function which could be used to protect biomolecules from oxidative stress. In this project I tested the gain of function of a mutant enzyme containing 2-thiohistidine to replace the c-terminal active cysteine in Plasmodium falciparum thioredoxin reductase.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Robert Hondal

Graduate Student Mentors

Kaelyn Jenny

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Biochemistry

Second Program/Major

Pharmacology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Ergothioneine in an Enzyme: Using Protein Engineering to Create a Unique Antioxidant Enzyme Containing 2-thiohistidine

Ergothioneine is a sulfur containing amino acid with unique antioxidant properties. The amino acid 2-thiohistidine is an analog of ergothioneine and displays very similar antioxidant qualities. 2-thiohistidine can be inserted into a peptide, and therefore the unique properties of ergothioneine can be conferred to a protein. Insertion of 2-thiohistidine into an enzyme for its antioxidant properties would create a unique catalyst with novel function which could be used to protect biomolecules from oxidative stress. In this project I tested the gain of function of a mutant enzyme containing 2-thiohistidine to replace the c-terminal active cysteine in Plasmodium falciparum thioredoxin reductase.