Current Research

  • Protein structure and function
  • NMR spectroscopy of proteins and protein complexes
  • Biophysical characterization of proteins
  • Structural biology

The molecular details that define the structure, stability and function of interesting proteins and protein complexes, and those that dictate how proteins fold and interact with one another, are the focus of the research in the Urbauer laboratory. We employ an approach combining modern biophysical and molecular biology techniques. Advanced biomolecular NMR spectroscopy is emphasized, and is used to analyze the structures of proteins at high resolution and to study their dynamics and stabilities. For example, we have used NMR to solve the structure of a dimeric regulator of prokaryotic transcription regulation, and are currently using site-directed mutagenesis along with analytical ultracentrifugation, fluorescence spectroscopy, and other biophysical measurements to characterize comprehensively the contributions of individual amino acids to the stability and reactivity of the protein. Our core projects include the study of gene regulation and novel regulators of transcription initiation in bacteria, calcium signaling mediated by the quintessential and ubiquitous calcium signaling protein calmodulin, and nuclear hormone receptor activation. These projects are important fundamentally, and they are relevant for biomedical concerns including antibiotic target development, oxidative stress and biological aging, and diseases such as breast cancer.

Selected Publications

Xia, T. ; Sriram, N. ; Lee, S. A. ; Altman, R. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Altman, E. ; Eiteman, M. A. Glucose consumption in carbohydrate mixtures by phosphotransferase-system mutants of Escherichia coli. Microbiology 2017, 163, 866 - 877.
Urbauer, J. L. ; Cowley, A. B. ; Broussard, H. P. ; Niedermaier, H. T. ; Urbauer, R. J. Bieber Solution structure and properties of AlgH from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Proteins 2015, 83, 1137-50.
Lübker, C. ; Urbauer, R. J. Bieber; Moskovitz, J. ; Dove, S. ; Weisemann, J. ; Fedorova, M. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Seifert, R. Membranous adenylyl cyclase 1 activation is regulated by oxidation of N- and C-terminal methionine residues in calmodulin. Biochem Pharmacol 2015, 93, 196-209.
Lübker, C. ; Dove, S. ; Tang, W. - J. ; Urbauer, R. J. Bieber; Moskovitz, J. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Seifert, R. Different Roles of N-Terminal and C-Terminal Domains in Calmodulin for Activation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor. Toxins (Basel) 2015, 7, 2598-614.
Xia, T. ; Han, Q. ; Costanzo, W. V. ; Zhu, Y. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Eiteman, M. A. Accumulation of d-glucose from pentoses by metabolically engineered Escherichia coli. Appl Environ Microbiol 2015, 81, 3387-94.
Rhine, M. A. ; Rodrigues, A. V. ; Urbauer, R. J. Bieber; Urbauer, J. L. ; Stemmler, T. L. ; Harrop, T. C. Proton-induced reactivity of NO⁻ from a {CoNO}⁸ complex. J Am Chem Soc 2014, 136, 12560-3.
Gilmore, J. M. ; Bieber Urbauer, R. J. ; Minakhin, L. ; Akoyev, V. ; Zolkiewski, M. ; Severinov, K. ; Urbauer, J. L. Determinants of affinity and activity of the anti-sigma factor AsiA. Biochemistry 2010, 49, 6143-54.
Anbanandam, A. ; Bieber Urbauer, R. J. ; Bartlett, R. K. ; Smallwood, H. S. ; Squier, T. C. ; Urbauer, J. L. Mediating molecular recognition by methionine oxidation: conformational switching by oxidation of methionine in the carboxyl-terminal domain of calmodulin. Biochemistry 2005, 44, 9486-96.
Yang, W. ; Wilkins, A. L. ; Ye, Y. ; Liu, Z. R. ; Li, S. Y. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Hellinga, H. W. ; Kearney, A. ; van der Merwe, P. A. ; Yang, J. J. Design of a calcium-binding protein with desired structure in a cell adhesion molecule. J Am Chem Soc 2005, 127, 2085-93.
Allen, M. W. ; Urbauer, R. J. ; Zaidi, A. ; Williams, T. D. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Johnson, C. K. Fluorescence labeling, purification, and immobilization of a double cysteine mutant calmodulin fusion protein for single-molecule experiments. Anal Biochem 2004, 325, 273-84.
Osborn, K. D. ; Bartlett, R. K. ; Mandal, A. ; Zaidi, A. ; Urbauer, R. J. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Galeva, N. ; Williams, T. D. ; Johnson, C. K. Single-molecule dynamics reveal an altered conformation for the autoinhibitory domain of plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase bound to oxidatively modified calmodulin. Biochemistry 2004, 43, 12937-44.
Gregory, B. D. ; Nickels, B. E. ; Garrity, S. J. ; Severinova, E. ; Minakhin, L. ; Urbauer, R. J. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Heyduk, T. ; Severinov, K. ; Hochschild, A. A regulator that inhibits transcription by targeting an intersubunit interaction of the RNA polymerase holoenzyme. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2004, 101, 4554-9.
Smallwood, H. S. ; Galeva, N. A. ; Bartlett, R. K. ; Urbauer, R. J. ; Williams, T. D. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Squier, T. C. Selective nitration of Tyr99 in calmodulin as a marker of cellular conditions of oxidative stress. Chem Res Toxicol 2003, 16, 95-102.
Simeonov, M. F. ; Bieber Urbauer, R. J. ; Gilmore, J. M. ; Adelman, K. ; Brody, E. N. ; Niedziela-Majka, A. ; Minakhin, L. ; Heyduk, T. ; Urbauer, J. L. Characterization of the interactions between the bacteriophage T4 AsiA protein and RNA polymerase. Biochemistry 2003, 42, 7717-26.
Minakhin, L. ; Niedziela-Majka, A. ; Kuznedelov, K. ; Adelman, K. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Heyduk, T. ; Severinov, K. Interaction of T4 AsiA with its target sites in the RNA polymerase sigma70 subunit leads to distinct and opposite effects on transcription. J Mol Biol 2003, 326, 679-90.
Bartlett, R. K. ; Bieber Urbauer, R. J. ; Anbanandam, A. ; Smallwood, H. S. ; Urbauer, J. L. ; Squier, T. C. Oxidation of Met144 and Met145 in calmodulin blocks calmodulin dependent activation of the plasma membrane Ca-ATPase. Biochemistry 2003, 42, 3231-8.
Urbauer, J. L. ; Simeonov, M. F. ; Urbauer, R. J. ; Adelman, K. ; Gilmore, J. M. ; Brody, E. N. Solution structure and stability of the anti-sigma factor AsiA: implications for novel functions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002, 99, 1831-5.