Anthony J. Clarke

Professor College of Biological Science Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Guelph, Ontario aclarke@uoguelph.ca Office: (519) 824-4120 ext. 54124

Bio/Research

Research in my laboratory concerns investigating the structure and function relationship of enzymes involved in the metabolism of the bacterial cell wall polymer peptidoglycan, and the biodegradation of cellulose. Peptidoglycan is a heteropolymer of both aminosugars and short peptides that compl...

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Bio/Research

Research in my laboratory concerns investigating the structure and function relationship of enzymes involved in the metabolism of the bacterial cell wall polymer peptidoglycan, and the biodegradation of cellulose. Peptidoglycan is a heteropolymer of both aminosugars and short peptides that completely surrounds bacterial cells as a single macromolecule to provide their rigidity and structure. Its biosynthesis occurs in three stages involving the cytoplasm, the cytoplasmic membrane, and the cell wall. Specific reactions in each of these stages have proven to be effective targets for antibiotic therapy, including the inhibition of peptide crosslinking within the cell wall by the ß-lactam class of drugs (penicillins and celphalosporins). Our studies focus on the events within the cell wall with the aim to identify new potential targets for antibiotic development.

The biodegradation of the plant cell wall polymer cellulose involves the concerted action of three distinct enzymes. One field of biofuel production involves the application of these enzymes in the generation of cellulosic ethanol and other value-added products from waste plant matter. To be economically viable, the efficiency of the cellulolytic enzymes needs to be enhanced and to this end, we combine protein engineering with the biophysical analyses of cellulose degradation.

Both the search for new antibiotic targets and enhancing the production of biofuels provide fascinating challenges for experimental research involving a wide range of experimental approaches that span the biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, molecular biology, and structural biology.


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Lori Bona Hunt
l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 ext. 53338

Kevin Gonsalves
kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca
519-824-4120 ext. 56982