Prochaska Lab

Lawrence J. Prochaska, Ph.D.

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology-COSM
Professor, Biochemistry Vice-Chair of Education, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Diggs Laboratory 060, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton, OH 45435

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Our laboratory studies the biochemistry and molecular biology of membrane-bound enzymes that are crucial in heart and bacterial energy conservation reactions. Our research focuses on structure/function relationships in heart mitochondrial and thermophilic bacterial cytochrome c oxidases, using immunological, biochemical, and recombinant DNA methods. Cytochrome c oxidase is the terminal member of the respiratory chain of the mitochondrion and some aerobic bacteria. The enzyme contains hemes and copper atoms that act as oxidation-reduction centers. In the terminal electron transfer reaction catalyzed by the enzyme, molecular oxygen is reduced into water and the energy released by these oxidation-reduction reactions is conserved by the pumping of protons across the mitochondrial inner or bacterial cell membrane. The electrochemical gradient generated by the enzyme is subsequently used to drive the synthesis of ATP. The cytochrome c oxidases are multi-subunit enzymes containing from 13 subunits in the mammalian mitochondrial form to 3-4 subunits in the bacterial forms. The three largest subunits are conserved between the mitochondrial and bacterial forms. The two largest subunits contain the redox centers of the enzyme and most likely contain the proton-pumping function of the enzyme.

  • Lawrence J. Prochaska, Ph.D., Principle Investigator
  • Lois A. Shroyer, M.S., Research Associate
  • R. Ryan Geyer, Ph.D. Student
  • Teresa L. Cvetkov, Ph.D. Student
  • Rachel Omolewu, M.S. Student
  • Matthew Jaruwannakorn, Undergraduate Student
  • Dishita Patel, Undergraduate Student