Andre O. Hudson — College of Science
Dr. Hudson's lab is interested in a class of enzymes known as aminotransferases, which are ubiquitous enzymes that are involved in amino acid metabloism, vitamin metabolism, carbon and nitrogen assimilation, secondary metabolism, among other pathways. They catalyze reversible reactions by transferring an amine group from a donor to an acceptor. The amino donor is usually an amino acid and the amino acceptor is usually a 2-oxo-acid.
Recently, Dr. Hudson, along with colleagues, discovered a novel aminotransferase from plants, bacteria and algae that is involved in a novel pathway for the essential amino acid lysine. This discovery of a novel pathway was instrumental in broadening the understanding of lysine biosynthesis in living organisms. In addition, the lab recently identified and characterized a tyrosine aminotransferase that is believed to be involved in the synthesis of compounds that play a role in plant defense.
The laboratory has forged a fruitful collaboration with Dr. Renwick Dobson from the University of Melbourne and the University of Christchurch to solve the three dimensional structure of enzymes that are involved in amino acid metabolism, together, they solved the structure of an enzyme involved in lysine biosynthesis from the agla, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
The laboratory uses techniques that span disciplines including; bio-informatics, molecular biology, biochemistry, enzymology and structural biology to identify enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism, facilitated by genomic information that is deposited in various databases. Dr. Hudson is interested in filling metabolic gaps in important pathways for compounds that are deemed necessary for proper growth and development. The laboratory was awarded a two year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to identify the role and characterize a subset of aminotransferase like enzymes that are predicted to play a role in amino acid metabolism from the model organisms, Arabidopsis thaliana.
In 2011, Dr. Hudson and colleagues authored three publications in peer-reviewed journals that describe various aspects of amino acid metabolism.