During my dissertation research, I looked at the assembly of a motor protein, E. coli ClpA. It works in tandem with another protein, ClpP, to form a sort of “molecular paper shredder”. ClpA pulls proteins into ClpP, which then destroys the protein. My work centered on the hydrodynamic and thermodynamic properties that guided the assembly of ClpA, particularly through the use of the technique of Analytical Ultracentrifugation.
During graduate school I was named the Alabama Chapter of the American Chemical Society’s Outstanding Chemistry Graduate Student in 2010 and awarded an Alabama EPSCoR Graduate Research Scholars Program Training Grant from 2008-09.
En route to finishing my Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2011, we published the following papers on my research:
P. Keith Veronese , Ryan P. Stafford and Aaron L. Lucius. The Escherichia coli ClpA Molecular Chaperone Self-Assembles into Tetramers. Biochemistry, 2009, 48 (39), pp 9221–9233 DOI: 10.1021/bi900935q
P. Keith Veronese and Aaron L. Lucius. Effect of Temperature on the Self-Assembly of the Escherichia coli ClpA Molecular Chaperone. Biochemistry, 2010, 49 (45), pp 9820–9829 DOI: 10.1021/bi101136d
Veronese PK, Rajendar B, Lucius AL. Activity of E. coli ClpA bound by nucleoside diphosphates and triphosphates. J Mol Biol. 2011 Jun 10;409(3):333-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2011.02.018.
Lucius AL, Veronese PK, Stafford RP. Dynamic light scattering to study allosteric regulation. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;796:175-86. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-334-9_9.