Daniel Shook, Biochemistry
"Mass Spectroscopy of Crotamine"
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Richard Karpel
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2010
This study will examine Crotamine, a snake venom protein that can carry plasmid DNA into the nucleus of a host cell. In its wild type form, Crotamine is extremely toxic. The goal of this study is to utilize Mass Spectrometry techniques to discover the specific amino acid residues that bind to DNA. Mass Spectrometry data of isolated Crotamine as well as Crotamine-DNA complexes will be observed using a Top Down method that will allow the protein to be broken up at a variety of locations. This information will give a better understanding of which lysines in the protein bind to DNA. In the future, this data could allow nontoxic variations of Crotamine to be created that retain the DNA binding properties.