Biochemistry Seminar: Catherine L. Drennan, "Capturing Snapshots of Metalloenzymes in Action"

Wed, Apr 26, 2023 - 12:00 PM — Wed, Apr 26, 2023 - 01:00 PM
Admission Fee
Free. Coffee & tea will be available in the ASRC Cafe at 11:30 AM
Event Address
The speaker will be in-person:
ASRC Main Auditorium
85 Saint Nicholas Terrace
Current CUNY Cleared4 Pass is required for entrance; masks are optional.
Phone Number
Event Location
The seminar can also be viewed via Zoom.
Zoom link:
Passcode: ASRC-CDI
Event Details

Catherine L. Drennan, Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry, MIT, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will give a talk on "Capturing Snapshots of Metalloenzymes in Action."


The use of radical-based chemistry allows for amazing transformations in living organisms. To carry out their functions, radical enzymes like ribonucleotide reductase often need to be flexible and assume different conformational states, with units of the protein swinging back and forth to enable reactants to bind the protein or products to leave while protecting radical-based intermediates during the chemical steps in the reaction. In this presentation, Drennan will present her lab’s structural studies of ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs). RNRs employ metallocofactors to generate radical species to afford the conversion of ribonucleotides (the building blocks of RNA) to deoxyribonucleotides (the building blocks of DNA). These enzymes are chemotherapeutic targets and proposed antibacterial targets. Here, she will describe how the “resolution revolution” of cryo-electron microscopy allowed for the capture of an active state structure of ribonucleotide reductase for the first time.

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