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Archive for the ‘Charles Brenner’ Category

Samuel Trammell successfully defends PhD thesis

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Oonthonpan and TrammellSamuel Trammell, a genetics PhD Student mentored by Dr. Charles Brenner, successfully defended his thesis on February 22, 2016, entitled “Novel NAD+ metabolomic technologies and their applications to nicotinamide riboside interventions.” Sam has accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen with Dr. Matthew Gillium working on lipid metabolism in diabetes.

Congratulations, Dr. Trammell!

Dr. Brenner interviewed in Anti-Aging Medicine, the magazine of the Japanese Society of Anti-Aging Medicine

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Brenner_Charles_2015_reducedDr. Charles Brenner was recently interviewed by Dr. Kazuo Tzubota, President of the Japanese Society of Anti-Aging Medicine, on the topic of NAD, nicotinamide riboside supplementation and aging. The interview was published in the Society’s magazine Anti-Aging Medicine, read the full interview here.

2015 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Cover_2015_newsletterThe 2015 Biochemistry @ Iowa newsletter is hot off the presses and available for download. Alumni and friends should receive a hard copy in the mail this week. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send your contact information to While you are at it, feel free to send us your news and updates! Previous newsletters are also available online.

Brenner receives ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education

Thursday, August 20th, 2015


Dr. Charles Brenner, the Roy J. Carver Chair and Head of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa, has been selected to receive the 2016 ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education, given annually to a scientist who encourages effective teaching and learning of biochemistry and molecular biology through his own teaching, leadership in education, writing, educational research, mentoring or public enlightenment.

Late in 2011, Dr. Brenner observed that the new MCAT, which was rolled out in April of 2015, would test core concepts in biochemistry for the first time and that this would have ramifications well beyond MCAT test takers. In his writings on this subject, Dr. Brenner pointed out that US colleges and universities enroll approximately 3 million new US  college freshmen per year and that as many as 500,000 begin the premedical sequence by enrolling in general chemistry. However, only about 165,000 of these students go on to take organic chemistry and 45,000 of these students apply annually to medical school for approximately 19,000 seats. Thus, the courses that are designed for premedical students actually engage a huge swath of students that end up doing something else. Thoughtful revision of the premedical curriculum has the potential to improve general education, the preparation of future researchers, educators and business people, and the preparation of health professionals (Brenner & Ringe, ASBMB Today , p. 12, 2012, Brenner, Biochem Mol Biol Ed, p 1, 2013 & Brenner, J Chem Ed, p. 807, 2013).

Specifically, in premedical curricular guidelines that were initially published in ASBMB Today, Dr. Brenner and Dr. Dagmar Ringe of Brandeis University began by recommending that the typically mandated year of biology provide a strong foundation in molecular genetics and biological information flow. Second, they recommended that chemistry courses move from the classical synthetic, organohalide orientation to one which emphasizes the reactivity of functionalized carbon and biomolecules in aqueous solutions. Third, they emphasized that a laboratory course is essential but that it could be offered in any department or discipline, so long as it includes instruction in data analysis. Finally, they wrote that premedical students take at least one semester and preferably two semesters of biochemistry in order to have the grounding to work in modern medicine.

Nationally, these recommendations appear to be having some impact. Where biochemistry courses are available, enrollment has burgeoned and in small colleges, faculty in chemistry and biology departments have begun offering biochemistry. At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, the two semester biochemistry series is the expectation for pre-health students. At many other colleges and universities, chemistry and biochemistry coursework is being developed that will create a more continuous pedagogical basis for understanding molecular science.

In her letter of nomination for Dr. Brenner, Dean Debra Schwinn wrote “Dr. Brenner is powerfully and constructively engaged locally and nationally in medical education. At his urging, the Carver College of Medicine made undergraduate biochemistry a formal premedical requirement and with his effective influence, there has been a substantial preservation of biochemistry in the first semester of our new integrated medical curriculum. Indeed, educational leaders here at Iowa all read and appreciated his involvement in the national dialog on the need to reemphasize molecular science in the education of current and future medical students (Kennelly, et al., Acad Med 88, p. 1405, 2013).”

Dr. Brenner will present a plenary symposium lecture entitled “Biochemistry and molecular biology education in a transforming academy and a molecular world” at the ASBMB Annual meeting, April 2-6, 2016 in San Diego, CA.


Marie Migaud receives Levitt Endowed Visiting Professorship

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

MigaudDr. Marie Migaud, of Queen’s University Belfast, was awarded the Helen C. Levitt Endowed Visiting Professorship in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine to perform research in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Charles Brenner. Dr. Migaud is a synthetic organic chemist who specializes in nucleosides and nucleotides. She has developed new synthetic technologies that have allowed her to produce novel analogs of nicotinamide riboside and, in collaboration with Dr. Brenner, she aims to develop a chemical biology toolkit to probe the intricacies of NAD metabolism in vertebrate systems. She will begin her 1 year visiting professorship in November 2015.

Allyson Mayer, Biochemistry Undergraduate Alumna, receives NSF Fellowship

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Biochemistry Undergraduate Alumna, Allyson Mayer, who studied in the Brenner Laboratory, was recently awarded an NSF Fellowship for her thesis project entitled “The Role of Glucose Transporter 8 (GLUT8) in Hepatic Metabolic Control.” Allyson is currently pursuing her PhD in Molecular Cell Biology under Drs. Brian DeBosch and Kelle Moley at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Congratulations, Allyson!

2014 Publications

Monday, February 16th, 2015

The Department’s 2014 publications are now in print and mostly available online.

E. Dale Abel

Riehle C, Abel ED. (2014) Insulin regulation of myocardial autophagy. Circ J. 78(11):2569-76. PMID: 25327953

Pereira RO, Wende AR, Olsen C, Soto J, Rawlings T, Zhu Y, Riehle C, Abel ED. (2014) GLUT1 deficiency in cardiomyocytes does not accelerate the transition from compensated hypertrophy to heart failure. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 72:95-103. DOI: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2014.02.011. PMID: 24583251

Riehle C, Wende AR, Zhu Y, Oliveira KJ, Pereira RO, Jaishy BP, Bevins J, Valdez S, Noh J, Kim BJ, Moreira AB, Weatherford ET, Manivel R, Rawlings TA, Rech M, White MF, Abel ED. (2014) Insulin receptor substrates are essential for the bioenergetic and hypertrophic response of the heart to exercise training. Mol Cell Biol. 34(18):3450-60. DOI: 10.1128/MCB.00426-14. PMID: 25002528

Wende AR, O’Neill BT, Bugger H, Riehle C, Tuinei J, Buchanan J, Tsushima K, Wang L, Caro P, Guo A, Sloan C, Kim BJ, Wang X, Pereira RO, McCrory MA, Nye BG, Benavides GA, Darley-Usmar VM, Shioi T, Weimer BC, Abel ED. (2014) Enhanced Cardiac Akt/PKB Signaling Contributes to Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy in Part by Impairing Mitochondrial Function Via Transcriptional Repression of Nuclear-Encoded Mitochondrial Genes. Mol Cell Biol. 35(5):831-46. DOI: 10.1128/MCB.01109-14. PMID: 25535334

Pereira RO, Wende AR, Crum A, Hunter D, Olsen CD, Rawlings T, Riehle C, Ward WF, Abel ED. (2014) Maintaining PGC-1α expression following pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy preserves angiogenesis but not contractile or mitochondrial function. FASEB J. 28(8):3691-702. DOI: 10.1096/fj.14-253823. PMID: 24776744

Fu Q, Xu B, Liu Y, Parikh D, Li J, Li Y, Zhang Y, Riehle C, Zhu Y, Rawlings T, Shi Q, Clark RB, Chen X, Abel ED, Xiang YK. (2014) Insulin inhibits cardiac contractility by inducing a Gi-biased β2-adrenergic signaling in hearts. Diabetes. 63(8):2676-89. DOI: 10.2337/db13-1763. PMID: 24677713

Dai J, Matsui T, Abel ED, Dedhar S, Gerszten RE, Seidman CE, Seidman JG, Rosenzweig A. (2014) Deep sequence analysis of gene expression identifies osteopontin as a downstream effector of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in cardiac-specific ILK knockout mice. Circ Heart Fail. 7(1):184-93. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.113.000649. PMID: 24319095

Parra V, Verdejo HE, Iglewski M, Del Campo A, Troncoso R, Jones D, Zhu Y, Kuzmicic J, Pennanen C, Lopez-Crisosto C, Jaña F, Ferreira J, Noguera E, Chiong M, Bernlohr DA, Klip A, Hill JA, Rothermel BA, Abel ED, Zorzano A, Lavandero S. (2014) Insulin stimulates mitochondrial fusion and function in cardiomyocytes via the Akt-mTOR-NFκB-Opa-1 signaling pathway. Diabetes. 63(1):75-88. DOI: 10.2337/db13-0340. PMID: 24009260

Lopez-Izquierdo A, Pereira RO, Wende AR, Punske BB, Abel ED, Tristani-Firouzi M. (2014) The absence of insulin signaling in the heart induces changes in potassium channel expression and ventricular repolarization. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 306(5):H747-54. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00849.2013. PMID: 24375641

Caro-Maldonado A, Wang R, Nichols AG, Kuraoka M, Milasta S, Sun LD, Gavin AL, Abel ED, Kelsoe G, Green DR, Rathmell JC. (2014) Metabolic reprogramming is required for antibody production that is suppressed in anergic but exaggerated in chronically BAFF-exposed B cells. J Immunol. 192(8):3626-36. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1302062. PMID: 24616478

Macintyre AN, Gerriets VA, Nichols AG, Michalek RD, Rudolph MC, Deoliveira D, Anderson SM, Abel ED, Chen BJ, Hale LP, Rathmell JC. (2014) The glucose transporter Glut1 is selectively essential for CD4 T cell activation and effector function. Cell Metab. 20(1):61-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.05.004. PMID: 24930970

Liu T, Kishton RJ, Macintyre AN, Gerriets VA, Xiang H, Liu X, Abel ED, Rizzieri D, Locasale JW, Rathmell JC. (2014) Glucose transporter 1-mediated glucose uptake is limiting for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia anabolic metabolism and resistance to apoptosis. Cell Death Dis. 5:e1470. DOI: 10.1038/cddis.2014.431. PMID: 25321477

Sheila A. Baker

Pan Y, Laird JG, Yamaguchi DM, Baker SA. (2014) A di-arginine ER retention signal regulates trafficking of HCN1 channels from the early secretory pathway to the plasma membrane. Cell Mol Life Sci. PMID: 25142030

Pearring JN, Lieu EC, Winter JR, Baker SA, Arshavsky VY. (2014) R9AP targeting to rod outer segments is independent of rhodopsin and is guided by the SNARE homology domain. Mol Biol Cell. 25(17):2644-9. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E14-02-0747. PMID: 25009288

Pan Y, Bhattarai S, Modestou M, Drack AV, Chetkovich DM, Baker SA. (2014) TRIP8b is required for maximal expression of HCN1 in the mouse retina. PLoS One. 9(1):e85850. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085850. PMID: 24409334

Heather L. Bartlett

Pierick AR, McKane M, Wen KK, Bartlett HL. (2014) Aip1p dynamics are altered by the R256H mutation in actin. J Vis Exp. (89):e51551. DOI: 10.3791/51551. PMID: 25146730

Charles M. Brenner

Brenner C. Boosting NAD to Spare Hearing. Cell Metab. 20(6):926-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.11.015. PMID: 25470539

Wu BK, Brenner C. Suppression of TET1-Dependent DNA Demethylation Is Essential for KRAS-Mediated Transformation. Cell Rep. 9(5):1827-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.063. PMID: 25466250

Mei SC, Brenner C. (2014) Quantification of protein copy number in yeast: the NAD+ metabolome. PLoS One. 9(9):e106496. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106496. PMID: 25188219

Wu BK, Mei SC, Brenner C. (2014) RFTS-deleted DNMT1 enhances tumorigenicity with focal hypermethylation and global hypomethylation. Cell Cycle. 13(20):3222-31. DOI: 10.4161/15384101.2014.950886. PMID: 25485502

Boylston JA, Brenner C. (2014) A knockdown with smoke model reveals FHIT as a repressor of Heme oxygenase 1. Cell Cycle. 13(18):2913-30. DOI: 10.4161/15384101.2014.946858. PMID: 25486479

Brenner C. (2014) Histidine Triad Superfamily. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, John Wiley & Sons Ltd: Chichester.  DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020545.pub2.

Brenner C. (2014) Metabolism: Targeting a fat-accumulation gene. Nature. 508(7495):194-5. DOI: 10.1038/508194a. PMID: 24717510

Brenner C. (2014) Understanding Faculty Salaries. ASBMB Today, 3(1):28-29.

Huang J, Stewart A, Maity B, Hagen J, Fagan RL, Yang J, Quelle DE, Brenner C, Fisher RA. (2014) RGS6 suppresses Ras-induced cellular transformation by facilitating Tip60-mediated Dnmt1 degradation and promoting apoptosis. Oncogene. 33(27):3604-11. DOI: 10.1038/onc.2013.324. PMID: 23995786

John M. Dagle

Fuller TD, Spracklen CN, Ryckman KK, Knake LA, Busch TD, Momany AM, Murray JC, Dagle JM. (2014) Genetic Variation in CYB5R3 is Associated with Methemoglobin Levels in Preterm Infants Receiving Nitric Oxide Therapy. Pediatr Res. DOI: 10.1038/pr.2014.206. PMID: 25521918

Sampath V, Garland JS, Helbling D, Dimmock D, Mulrooney NP, Simpson PM, Murray JC, Dagle JM. (2014) Anti-Oxidant Response Genes sequence variants and BPD susceptibility in VLBW infants. Pediatr Res. DOI: 10.1038/pr.2014.200. PMID: 25518008

Naderi HM, Murray JC, Dagle JM. (2014) Single mutations in ABCA3 increase the risk for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome in late preterm infants (gestational age 34-36 weeks). Am J Med Genet A. 164A(10):2676-8. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.36660. PMID: 25073622

Ryckman KK, Spracklen CN, Dagle JM, Murray JC. (2014) Maternal factors and complications of preterm birth associated with neonatal thyroid stimulating hormone. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 27(9-10):929-38. DOI: 10.1515/jpem-2013-0366. PMID: 24854527

Hartnett ME, Morrison MA, Smith S, Yanovitch TL, Young TL, Colaizy T, Momany A, Dagle J, Carlo WA, Clark EA, Page G, Murray J, DeAngelis MM, Cotten CM; Genomics Subcommittee. (2014) Genetic variants associated with severe retinopathy of prematurity in extremely low birth weight infants. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 55(10):6194-203. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.14-14841.PMID: 25118269

Kris A. DeMali

Mahauad-Fernandez WD, DeMali KA, Olivier AK, Okeoma CM. (2014) Bone marrow stromal antigen 2 expressed in cancer cells promotes mammary tumor growth and metastasis. Breast Cancer Res. 16(6):493. PMID: 25499888

DeMali KA, Sun X, Bui GA. (2014) Force transmission at cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions. Biochemistry. 53(49):7706-17. DOI: 10.1021/bi501181p. PMID: 25474123

Biggs LC, Naridze RL, DeMali KA, Lusche DF, Kuhl S, Soll DR, Schutte BC, Dunnwald M. (2014) Interferon regulatory factor 6 regulates keratinocyte migration. J Cell Sci. 127(Pt 13):2840-8. DOI: 10.1242/jcs.139246. PMID: 24777480

Bays JL, Peng X, Tolbert CE, Guilluy C, Angell AE, Pan Y, Superfine R, Burridge K, DeMali KA. (2014) Vinculin phosphorylation differentially regulates mechanotransduction at cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions. J Cell Biol. 205(2):251-63. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201309092. PMID: 24751539

Adrian H. Elcock

Andrews CT, Elcock AH. (2014) COFFDROP: A Coarse-Grained Nonbonded Force Field for Proteins Derived from All-Atom Explicit-Solvent Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Amino Acids. J Chem Theory Comput. 10(11):5178-5194. PMID: 25400526

Theillet FX, Binolfi A, Frembgen-Kesner T, Hingorani K, Sarkar M, Kyne C, Li C, Crowley PB, Gierasch L, Pielak GJ, Elcock AH, Gershenson A, Selenko P. (2014) Physicochemical properties of cells and their effects on intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Chem Rev. 114(13):6661-714. DOI: 10.1021/cr400695p. PMID: 24901537

Azzaz AM, Vitalini MW, Thomas AS, Price JP, Blacketer MJ, Cryderman DE, Zirbel LN, Woodcock CL, Elcock AH, Wallrath LL, Shogren-Knaak MA. (2014) Human heterochromatin protein 1α promotes nucleosome associations that drive chromatin condensation. J Biol Chem. 289(10):6850-61. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.512137. PMID: 24415761

Ernesto J. Fuentes

Darnell CL, Wilson JM, Tiwari N, Fuentes EJ, Kirby JR. (2014) Chemosensory regulation of a HEAT-repeat protein couples aggregation and sporulation in Myxococcus xanthus. J Bacteriol. 196(17):3160-8. DOI: 10.1128/JB.01866-14. PMID: 24957622

Lokesh Gakhar

Cheguru P, Majumder A, Yadav R, Gopalakrishna KN, Gakhar L, Artemyev NO. (2014) The solution structure of the transducin-α-uncoordinated 119 protein complex suggests occlusion of the Gβ1 γ1 -binding sites. FEBS J. 282(3):550-61. DOI: 10.1111/febs.13161. PMID: 25425538

Streeter J, Schickling BM, Jiang S, Stanic B, Thiel WH, Gakhar L, Houtman JC, Miller FJ Jr. (2014) Phosphorylation of Nox1 regulates association with NoxA1 activation domain. Circ Res. 115(11):911-8. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.304267. PMID: 25228390

Ver Heul AM, Gakhar L, Piper RC, Subramanian R. (2014) Crystal structure of a complex of NOD1 CARD and ubiquitin. PLoS One. 9(8):e104017. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104017. PMID: 25127239

Doron D, Stojković V, Gakhar L, Vardi-Kilshtain A, Kohen A, Major DT. (2014) Free Energy Simulations of Active-Site Mutants of Dihydrofolate Reductase. J Phys Chem B. 119(3):906-16. DOI: 10.1021/jp5059963.PMID: 25382260

Pamela K. Geyer

Barton LJ, Wilmington SR, Martin MJ, Skopec HM, Lovander KE, Pinto BS, Geyer PK. (2014) Unique and shared functions of nuclear lamina LEM domain proteins in Drosophila. Genetics. 197(2):653-65. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.114.162941. PMID: 24700158

Theresa L. Gioannini

Gioannini TL, Teghanemt A, Zhang D, Esparza G, Yu L, Weiss J. (2014) Purified monomeric ligand.MD-2 complexes reveal molecular and structural requirements for activation and antagonism of TLR4 by Gram-negative bacterial endotoxins. Immunol Res. 59(1-3):3-11. DOI: 10.1007/s12026-014-8543-y. PMID: 24895101

Resman N, Oblak A, Gioannini TL, Weiss JP, Jerala R. (2014) Tetraacylated lipid A and paclitaxel-selective activation of TLR4/MD-2 conferred through hydrophobic interactions. J Immunol. 192(4):1887-95. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1302119. PMID: 24420921

Catherine A. Musselman

Wang C, Chen Z, Hong X, Ning F, Liu H, Zang J, Yan X, Kemp J, Musselman CA, Kutateladze TG, Zhao R, Jiang C, Zhang G. (2014) The structural basis of urea-induced protein unfolding in β-catenin. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 70(Pt 11):2840-7. DOI: 10.1107/S1399004714018094. PMID: 25372676

Ezhov RN, Metzel GA, Mukhina OA, Musselman CA, Kutateladze TG, Gustafson TP, Kutateladze AG. (2014) Photoactive Spatial Proximity Probes for Binding Pairs with Epigenetic Marks. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem. 290:101-108. PMID: 25197204

Musselman CA, Khorasanizadeh S, Kutateladze TG. (2014) Towards understanding methyllysine readout. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1839(8):686-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2014.04.001. PMID: 24727128

Allen HF, Daze KD, Shimbo T, Lai A, Musselman CA, Sims JK, Wade PA, Hof F, Kutateladze TG.(2014) Inhibition of histone binding by supramolecular hosts. Biochem J. 459(3):505-12. DOI: 10.1042/BJ20140145. PMID: 24576085

Andrew W. Norris

Mark AL, Norris AW, Rahmouni K. (2014) Sympathetic inhibition after bariatric surgery. Hypertension. 64(2):235-6. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03183. PMID: 24866141

Baack ML, Wang C, Hu S, Segar JL, Norris AW. (2014) Hyperglycemia induces embryopathy, even in the absence of systemic maternal diabetes: an in vivo test of the fuel mediated teratogenesis hypothesis. Reprod Toxicol. 46:129-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.03.013. PMID: 24721120

Norris AW, Bahr TM, Scholz TD, Peterson ES, Volk KA, Segar JL. (2014) Angiotensin II-induced cardiovascular load regulates cardiac remodeling and related gene expression in late-gestation fetal sheep. Pediatr Res. 75(6):689-96. DOI: 10.1038/pr.2014.37. PMID: 24614802

Sui H, Yi Y, Yao J, Liang B, Sun X, Hu S, Uc A, Nelson DJ, Ode KL, Philipson LH, Engelhardt JF, Norris AW. (2014) Quantifying insulin sensitivity and entero-insular responsiveness to hyper- and hypoglycemia in ferrets. PLoS One. 9(3):e90519. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090519. PMID: 24594704

Bryce V. Plapp

Baskar Raj S, Ramaswamy S, Plapp BV. (2014) Yeast alcohol dehydrogenase structure and catalysis. Biochemistry. 53(36):5791-803. DOI: 10.1021/bi5006442. PMID: 25157460

Yahashiri A, Rubach JK, Plapp BV. (2014) Effects of cavities at the nicotinamide binding site of liver alcohol dehydrogenase on structure, dynamics and catalysis. Biochemistry. 53(5):881-94. DOI: 10.1021/bi401583f. PMID: 24437493

David H. Price

Guo J, Li T, Schipper J, Nilson KA, Fordjour FK, Cooper JJ, Gordân R, Price DH. (2014) Sequence specificity incompletely defines the genome-wide occupancy of Myc. Genome Biol. 15(10):482. PMID: 25287278

Gu J, Babayeva ND, Suwa Y, Baranovskiy AG, Price DH, Tahirov TH. (2014) Crystal structure of HIV-1 Tat complexed with human P-TEFb and AFF4. Cell Cycle. 13(11):1788-97. DOI: 10.4161/cc.28756. PMID: 24727379

Guo J, Turek ME, Price DH. (2014) Regulation of RNA polymerase II termination by phosphorylation of Gdown1. J Biol Chem. 289(18):12657-65. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.537662. PMID: 24634214

Mullen Davis MA, Guo J, Price DH, Luse DS. (2014) Functional interactions of the RNA polymerase II-interacting proteins Gdown1 and TFIIF. J Biol Chem. 289(16):11143-52. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.544395. PMID: 24596085

Liu P, Xiang Y, Fujinaga K, Bartholomeeusen K, Nilson KA, Price DH, Peterlin BM. (2014) Release of positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) from 7SK small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) activates hexamethylene bisacetamide-inducible protein (HEXIM1) transcription. J Biol Chem. 289(14):9918-25. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.539015. PMID: 24515107

Fowler T, Ghatak P, Price DH, Conaway R, Conaway J, Chiang CM, Bradner JE, Shilatifard A, Roy AL. (2014) Regulation of MYC expression and differential JQ1 sensitivity in cancer cells. PLoS One. 9(1):e87003. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087003. PMID: 24466310

Miles A. Pufall

Bongers KS, Fox DK, Kunkel SD, Stebounova LV, Murry DJ, Pufall MA, Ebert SM, Dyle MC, Bullard SA, Dierdorff JM, Adams CM. (2014) Spermine Oxidase Maintains Basal Skeletal Muscle Gene Expression and Fiber Size, and Is Strongly Repressed by Conditions that Cause Skeletal Muscle Atrophy. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 308(2):E144-58. DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00472.2014. PMID: 25406264

Peter A. Rubenstein

Bai F, Caster HM, Rubenstein PA, Dawson JF, Kawai M. (2014) Using baculovirus/insect cell expressed recombinant actin to study the molecular pathogenesis of HCM caused by actin mutation A331P. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 74:64-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2014.04.014. PMID: 24793351

Yamashiro S, Gokhin DS, Sui Z, Bergeron SE, Rubenstein PA, Fowler VM. (2014) Differential actin-regulatory activities of Tropomodulin1 and Tropomodulin3 with diverse tropomyosin and actin isoforms. J Biol Chem. 289(17):11616-29. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M114.555128. PMID: 24644292

Rubenstein PA, Wen KK. (2014) Insights into the effects of disease-causing mutations in human actins. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 71(4):211-29. DOI: 10.1002/cm.21169. PMID: 24574087

Michael J. Schnieders

Park J, Nessler I, McClain B, Macikenas D, Baltrusaitis J, Schnieders MJ. (2014) Absolute Organic Crystal Thermodynamics: Growth of the Asymmetric Unit into a Crystal via Alchemy. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 10 (7): 2781-2791.

Lipparini F, Lagardère L, Stamm B, Cancès E, Schnieders MJ, Ren P, Maday Y, Piquemal J-P. (2014) Scalable Evaluation of Polarization Energy and Associated Forces in Polarizable Molecular Dynamics: I. Toward Massively Parallel Direct Space Computations. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 10 (4): 1638-1651.

Debra A. Schwinn

Schwinn DA. (2014) Team-based patient care. Learning the delicate dance. Iowa Med. 104(3):19. PMID: 25174086

Schwinn DA. (2014) Unlocking the great GME bottleneck. Iowa Med. 104(1):22. PMID: 25167620

Shields RK, Pizzimenti MA, Dudley-Javoroski S, Schwinn DA. (2014) Fostering interprofessional teamwork in an academic medical center: Near-peer education for students during gross medical anatomy. Anat Sci Educ. DOI: 10.1002/ase.1466. PMID: 24888728

Kleine-Brueggeney M, Gradinaru I, Babaeva E, Schwinn DA, Oganesian A. (2014) Alpha1a-adrenoceptor genetic variant induces cardiomyoblast-to-fibroblast-like cell transition via distinct signaling pathways. Cell Signal. 26(9):1985-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2014.05.007. PMID: 24835978

Madeline A. Shea

Newman RA, Sorensen BR, Kilpatrick AM, Shea MA. (2014) Calcium-dependent energetics of calmodulin domain interactions with regulatory regions of the Ryanodine Receptor Type 1 (RyR1). Biophys Chem. 193-194:35-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpc.2014.07.004. PMID: 25145833

Wang X, Boyken SE, Hu J, Xu X, Rimer RP, Shea MA, Shaw AS, Andreotti AH, Huang YH. (2014) Calmodulin and PI(3,4,5)P₃ cooperatively bind to the Itk pleckstrin homology domain to promote efficient calcium signaling and IL-17A production. Sci Signal. 7(337):ra74. DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005147. PMID: 25097034

Maria Spies

Ghoneim M, Spies M. (2014) Direct correlation of DNA binding and single protein domain motion via dual illumination fluorescence microscopy. Nano Lett. 14(10):5920-31. DOI: 10.1021/nl502890g. PMID: 25204359

Spies M. (2014) Fulfilling the dream of a perfect genome editing tool. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(28):10029-30. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1408985111. PMID: 24989506

Spies M. (2014) Two steps forward, one step back: determining XPD helicase mechanism by single-molecule fluorescence and high-resolution optical tweezers. DNA Repair (Amst). 20:58-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2014.01.013. PMID: 24560558

Honda M, Okuno Y, Hengel SR, Martín-López JV, Cook CP, Amunugama R, Soukup RJ, Subramanyam S, Fishel R, Spies M. (2014) Mismatch repair protein hMSH2-hMSH6 recognizes mismatches and forms sliding clamps within a D-loop recombination intermediate. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(3):E316-25. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1312988111. PMID: 24395779

Earle Stellwagen

Stellwagen NC, Peters JP, Dong Q, Maher LJ 3rd, Stellwagen E. (2014) The free solution mobility of DNA and other analytes varies as the logarithm of the fractional negative charge. Electrophoresis. 35(12-13):1855-63. DOI: 10.1002/elps.201400040. PMID: 24648187

Nancy C. Stellwagen

Stellwagen NC, Peters JP, Dong Q, Maher LJ 3rd, Stellwagen E. (2014) The free solution mobility of DNA and other analytes varies as the logarithm of the fractional negative charge. Electrophoresis. 35(12-13):1855-63. DOI: 10.1002/elps.201400040. PMID: 24648187

Eric B. Taylor

Gray LR, Tompkins SC, Taylor EB. (2014) Regulation of pyruvate metabolism and human disease. Cell Mol Life Sci. 71(14):2577-604. DOI: 10.1007/s00018-013-1539-2. PMID: 24363178

Lori L. Wallrath

Wallrath LL, Vitalini MW, Elgin SCR. (2014) Heterochromatin: A Critical Part of the Genome. Fundamentals of Chromatin. 529-552.

Azzaz AM, Vitalini MW, Thomas AS, Price JP, Blacketer MJ, Cryderman DE, Zirbel LN, Woodcock CL, Elcock AH, Wallrath LL, Shogren-Knaak MA. (2014) Human heterochromatin protein 1α promotes nucleosome associations that drive chromatin condensation. J Biol Chem. 289(10):6850-61. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.512137. PMID: 24415761

M. Todd Washington

Pryor JM, Dieckman LM, Boehm EM, Washington TM. (2014) Eukaryotic Y-Family Polymerases: A Biochemical and Structural Perspective. Nucleic Acid Polymerases: Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology. 30: 5-10.

Ronald J. Weigel

Bogachek MV, De Andrade JP, Weigel RJ. (2014) Regulation of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition through SUMOylation of Transcription Factors. Cancer Res. 75(1):11-15. PMID: 25524900

Bogachek MV, Park JM, De Andrade JP, Kulak MV, White JR, Wu T, Spanheimer PM, Bair TB, Olivier AK, Weigel RJ. (2014) A Novel Animal Model for Locally Advanced Breast Cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. PMID: 25326397

Xia C, Schroeder MC, Weigel RJ, Sugg SL, Thomas A. (2014) Rate of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is influenced by preoperative MRI recommendations. Ann Surg Oncol. 21(13):4133-8. DOI: 10.1245/s10434-014-3852-x. PMID: 24934585

Bogachek MV, Chen Y, Kulak MV, Woodfield GW, Cyr AR, Park JM, Spanheimer PM, Li Y, Li T, Weigel RJ. (2014) Sumoylation pathway is required to maintain the basal breast cancer subtype. Cancer Cell. 25(6):748-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.04.008. PMID: 24835590

Spanheimer PM, Park JM, Askeland RW, Kulak MV, Woodfield GW, De Andrade JP, Cyr AR, Sugg SL, Thomas A, Weigel RJ. (2014) Inhibition of RET increases the efficacy of antiestrogen and is a novel treatment strategy for luminal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 20(8):2115-25. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-2221. PMID: 24526731

Cyr AR, Kulak MV, Park JM, Bogachek MV, Spanheimer PM, Woodfield GW, White-Baer LS, O’Malley YQ, Sugg SL, Olivier AK, Zhang W, Domann FE, Weigel RJ. (2014) TFAP2C governs the luminal epithelial phenotype in mammary development and carcinogenesis. Oncogene. 34(4):436-44. DOI: 10.1038/onc.2013.569. PMID: 24469049

Marc S. Wold

Chen R, Wold MS. (2014) Replication protein A: single-stranded DNA’s first responder: dynamic DNA-interactions allow replication protein A to direct single-strand DNA intermediates into different pathways for synthesis or repair. Bioessays. 36(12):1156-61. DOI: 10.1002/bies.201400107. PMID: 25171654

Nguyen B, Sokoloski J, Galletto R, Elson EL, Wold MS, Lohman TM. (2014) Diffusion of human replication protein A along single-stranded DNA. J Mol Biol. 426(19):3246-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2014.07.014. PMID: 25058683

Sommers JA, Banerjee T, Hinds T, Wan B, Wold MS, Lei M, Brosh RM Jr. (2014) Novel function of the Fanconi anemia group J or RECQ1 helicase to disrupt protein-DNA complexes in a replication protein A-stimulated manner. J Biol Chem. 289(29):19928-41. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M113.542456. PMID: 24895130

Meng Wu

Wen W, Wang Y, Li Z, Tseng PY, McManus OB, Wu M, Li M, Lindsley CW, Dong X, Hopkins CR. (2014) Discovery and Characterization of 2-(Cyclopropanesulfonamido)-N-(2-ethoxyphenyl)benzamide, ML382: a Potent and Selective Positive Allosteric Modulator of MrgX1. ChemMedChem. 10(1):57-61. DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.201402277. PMID: 25209672

Flaherty DP, Simpson DS, Miller M, Maki BE, Zou B, Shi J, Wu M, McManus OB, Aubé J, Li M, Golden JE. (2014) Potent and selective inhibitors of the TASK-1 potassium channel through chemical optimization of a bis-amide scaffold. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 24(16):3968-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.06.032. PMID: 25017033

Liping Yu

Willer T, Inamori K, Venzke D, Harvey C, Morgensen G, Hara Y, Beltrán Valero de Bernabé D, Yu L, Wright KM, Campbell KP. (2014) The glucuronyltransferase B4GAT1 is required for initiation of LARGE-mediated α-dystroglycan functional glycosylation. Elife. 3. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.03941. PMID: 25279699

Gioannini TL, Teghanemt A, Zhang D, Esparza G, Yu L, Weiss J. (2014) Purified monomeric ligand.MD-2 complexes reveal molecular and structural requirements for activation and antagonism of TLR4 by Gram-negative bacterial endotoxins. Immunol Res. 59(1-3):3-11. DOI: 10.1007/s12026-014-8543-y. PMID: 24895101

Yu L, Fink BD, Herlein JA, Oltman CL, Lamping KG, Sivitz WI. (2014) Dietary fat, fatty acid saturation and mitochondrial bioenergetics. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 46(1):33-44. PMID: 24121995

Fink BD, Herlein JA, Guo DF, Kulkarni C, Weidemann BJ, Yu L, Grobe JL, Rahmouni K, Kerns RJ, Sivitz WI. (2014) A mitochondrial-targeted coenzyme q analog prevents weight gain and ameliorates hepatic dysfunction in high-fat-fed mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 351(3):699-708. DOI: 10.1124/jpet.114.219329. PMID: 25301169

Brenner Laboratory Publishes in PLoS Biology

Friday, February 6th, 2015

The Brenner Lab was recently recognized in an IowaNow article entitled, “UI researchers find simple life forms communicate benefits of calorie restriction,” for their study, “Calorie Restriction-Mediated Replicative Lifespan Extension in Yeast is Non-Cell Autonomous,” recently published in PLoS Biology. Brenner Lab Postdoc Szu-Chieh (Christy) Mei was first author of this work. The study revealed evidence that baker’s yeast cells not only extend their own lifespan in response to caloric restriction but also communicate with other cells to share the benefit of caloric restriction.

2014 Biochemistry Newsletter now available

Friday, October 31st, 2014

The 2014 Biochemistry@Iowa newsletter is hot off the presses and available for download. Alumni and friends should receive a hard copy in the mail this week. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please send your contact information to While you are at it, feel free to send us your news and updates! Previous newsletters are also available online.

Dr. Brenner Wins the 2014 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Charles Brenner, Professor and Roy J. Carver Chair of the Department of Biochemistry, has received a 2014 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

The award, which is given to those faculty whose work represents “a significant contribution to excellence in public education,” is one of the highest honors given by the University of Iowa for faculty achievement.

Dr. Brenner has had an exceptional career, beginning with his early academic trajectory. After graduating from Wesleyan in 1983, and working at Chiron Corporation and DNAX Research Institute, he earned his PhD from Stanford in 1993 for purification and characterization of the Kex2 prohormone processing protease. During his post-doctoral appointment, which was conducted at Brandeis, he served as a Leukemia Society of America fellow and showed that histidine triad proteins are a novel superfamily of enzymes related to galactose-1-uridylyltransferase.

Dr. Brenner began his independent research program at Thomas Jefferson University in 1998, where he rose to the position of associate professor and director of the Structural Biology and Bioinformatics Program of the Kimmel Cancer Center. In 2003, he was recruited to Dartmouth, where he directed the Cancer Mechanisms Program of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. There, he also served as the Associate Director for Basic Sciences and the Scientific Director of the Thoracic Oncology Group at the cancer center. Dr. Brenner’s research has been funded by the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Brenner’s current research is largely focused on reversible modifications of DNA and proteins and the relationship between metabolism, gene expression, and organismal function. He is best known for uncovering new steps in NAD metabolism including the existence of nicotinamide riboside as a vitamin precursor of NAD in eukaryotic cells. This work combines basic mechanistic science with work that attempts to translate nicotinamide riboside into a preventative and therapeutic agent for particular diseases and conditions.

Dr. Brenner was recruited to the University of Iowa in 2009. Under his leadership, the Department has recruited eight new faculty members who are well integrated with existing strengths in Biochemistry and the Carver College of Medicine. In response to then Provost Wallace Loh’s call for proposals to develop faculty clusters focusing on grand challenges of the twentieth century, Dr. Brenner developed the idea to create the Obesity Research and Education Initiative (OREI), which he directs with Dr. Allyn Mark. The OREI, working closely with the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, have made Iowa a destination institution for interdisciplinary research and substantive outreach in problems including overweight, obesity, type 2 diabetes and its complications, human activity, behavioral economics, eating disorders and other related problems.

In his role as professor, department chair, and research scientist, Dr. Brenner is also responsible for the training and mentorship of undergraduates and graduates, post-doctoral fellows, laboratory assistants, and faculty colleagues. Brenner mentees have important positions worldwide. Three will take faculty positions this summer, namely Dr. Peter Belenky, who will become an assistant professor at Brown University, Dr. Rebecca Fagan, who will become an assistant professor at Bucknell University, and Dr. Ruth Grossmann, who will become an assistant professor at Iowa. Many of his trainees become expert practitioners in technologies that he helped to develop and disseminate at the University, such as high throughput screening and metabolomic analysis.

Dr. Brenner has also become nationally known in educational matters. As a faculty member who teaches metabolism to undergraduates and who is in touch with the changing landscape of undergraduate, medical, graduate, and professional education in the molecular sciences, he and Dr. Dagmar Ringe developed the premedical curricular recommendations endorsed by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. These recommendations, which have been further developed in peer-reviewed literature, go farther than recognizing that biochemistry will be a required subject in the 2015 Medical College Achievement Test. Recognizing that 500,000 new U.S. college freshmen per year enter the premedical pipeline and 20,000 doctors are annually produced, Dr. Brenner has advocated developing curricula that will improve the preparation of all of the biomedically-inclined students in areas including data analysis, genetics, biomolecule reactivity, macromolecular structure and metabolism.

Winners of the 2014 Regents Award were announced at the Faculty Senate meeting on April 29th. The award comes with a one-time $1000 stipend. Dr. Brenner will be presented with the award in the fall. Other winners of the award this year were Kim Brogden, Dows Institute for Dental Research and the Department of Periodontics; Charles Lynch, Department of Epidemiology; John Beldon Scott, School of Art and Art History; Larry Weber, Civil & Environmental Engineering; and Mary Wilson, Internal Medicine.

In his nomination, Dr. Brenner was noted for his deep engagement in research, his efforts to expand student learning opportunities, and his aptitude for bringing together individuals from different departments in order to establish new intercollegiate research and education initiatives. He was also commended for his ability to benefit the entire University when he builds something in order to fulfill a need for his research or the Biochemistry department.