Depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and many other neuropsychiatric disorders are presumably caused by changes in the function of metalloproteins involved in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters.
This project concerns production and characterization of iron- and copper-containing monooxygenases involved in neuropsychiatric disorders. An example is the iron-containing enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase, which catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Bacterial strains for expression of different variants of this enzyme have been developed. This allows us to study the structural and functional properties of tryptophan hydroxylase, which gives valuable information for the development of new medicine in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders connected with imbalance in the serotonin level of the brain.
This project may involve expression of protein mutants, chromatographic protein purification (HPLC), enzyme activity assays, mass spectrometry, protein crystallization and protein structure determination.
For further information on the project, please contact Hans Erik Mølager Christensen, firstname.lastname@example.org, building 207, room 156.