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Chemical Engineering Seminar

Thursday, March 7, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Spalding Laboratory 106 (Hartley Memorial Seminar Room)
Electrochemically Decoding Life: A New Glimpse into In-Vivo Enzyme Dynamics
Akihiro Okamoto, National Institute for Materials Science University of Tsukuba Visiting Professor – Caltech,

In this talk, we delve into the heart of cellular metabolism through the lens of microbial electrochemistry, utilizing a whole-cell electrochemical assay to unravel the kinetics of respiratory enzymes within living cells. By manipulating microbial electron flow with redox mediators, we have gained insights into the mechanisms of critical respiratory enzymes, including outer-membrane multi-heme cytochrome complexes and periplasmic enzymes like nitrite and fumarate reductases. Our research challenges long-standing assumptions, underscoring the importance of membrane potentials and specific protein interactions, rather than the molecular crowding thought to dominate enzyme behavior in vivo. We will explore how this innovative method can be expanded across different organisms using advanced high-throughput electrochemical systems. This novel approach not only deepens our comprehension of the biochemical pathways essential for life but also opens the door to new research avenues in the study of enzyme catalysis and cellular biochemistry.

For more information, please contact Aracely Sustaita by phone at 626.395.3654 or by email at [email protected].