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The Roles of Metals in Biology (LEBRUNU16SF)

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database and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof N Le Brun
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

An opportunity exists within the Le Brun group in the School of Chemistry at UEA to pursue research to understand the roles of metals in biology. The group has built strong research themes in: (i) iron-sulfur cluster regulatory proteins that sense gas molecules such as oxygen or nitric oxide; (ii) iron metabolism, including mechanisms of iron storage and release in bacterial and eukaryotic cells; and (iii) copper metabolism, including proteins involved in the detoxification of the metal by exporting it out of the cell.

Techniques used in our research (directly in the group or through collaborations) include molecular biology, protein biochemistry, spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, rapid reaction kinetics and X-ray crystallography. Collaborators include groups located in the UK and internationally and exchange visits are encouraged.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at http://www.uea.ac.uk/pgresearch/pgrfees.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) Zhang, B., Crack, J. C., Subramanian, S., Green, J., Thomson, A. J., Le Brun, N. E. and Johnson, M. K. (2012) Reversible cycling between partially cysteine persulfide-ligated [2Fe-2S] clusters and cysteine ligated [4Fe-4S] clusters in FNR. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 109, 15734-15739.
ii) Crack, J. C., Green, J., Thomson, A. J. and Le Brun, N. E. (2012) Iron-sulfur sensor-regulators. Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. 16, 35-44.
iii) Crack, J. C., Smith, L. J., Stapleton, M. R., Peck, J., Watmough, N. J., Buttner, M. J., Buxton, R. S., Green, J., Oganesyan, V. S., Thomson, A. J., and Le Brun, N. E. (2011) Mechanistic insight into the nitrosylation of the [4Fe-4S] cluster of WhiB-like proteins. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 1112-1121.
iv) Hearnshaw, S., West, C., Singleton, C., Zhou, L., Kihlken, M. A. Strange, R. W., Le Brun, N. E., Hemmings, A. M. (2009) A tetranuclear Cu(I) cluster in the metallochaperone protein CopZ. Biochemistry. (rapid communication), 48, 9324-9326
v) Crow, A., Lawson, T. L., Lewin, A., Moore, G. R. and Le Brun, N. E. (2009) The structural basis for iron mineralization by bacterioferritin. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 6808-6813

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