Research Interests in the Nelson Lab

         My lab is interested in mitochondrial carrier structure and function, especially the 

ADP/ATP carrier of yeast. In collaboration with Dr. Martin Klingenberg of Munich

Germany, I am making site directed mutants of amino acids I believe will inactivate the

protein. These mutants are glycerol minus (unable to grow by respiration on glycerol/

ethanol as a carbon source.) Once mutants are characterized as glycerol minus, Dr.

Klingenberg's lab purifies the mutant protein from yeast mitochondria and characterizes

it biochemically in a reconstituted transport assay system. We then try to select for

regain of function mutations in the same gene (AAC2) that restore the glycerol growth

phenotype. These mutant plasmids are then recovered from the yeast and sequenced to

find the second mutation. We are currently building up sets of mutants that inactivate

and then restore activity. These often involve charge pairs. When one charge is lost

the function is lost but it is regained when a complementary charge is also lost, thus a

charge pair is predicted.

In collaboration with Dr. Ron Kaplan of the University of South Alabama in

Mobile, a deletion of the citrate carrier gene from yeast has been made.

In that background, the yeast gene, or the rat liver gene for the citrate

carrier can be expressed and mutated.

Data on Mitochondrial carriers

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Main Nelson Lab Homepage, Cytochrome P450 Data