Monika Raj

Emory University

Talk Session: SESSION 2: NEW TOOLS FOR PEPTIDE AND PROTEIN CHEMISTRY
Date: Sunday, June 12, 2022
Talk Time: 11:45 am - 12:05 pm
Talk Title: Chemical Tools for Selective Detection of Methyl Lysine PTMs

Monika Raj, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Emory University. Dr. Raj is a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Dr. Raj obtained her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at University of Pennsylvania and then at New York University in the Arora Group.

Research in the Raj Group takes place at the interface between the fields of organic synthesis, bioorganic chemistry, and catalysis. They are interested in utilizing organic chemistry tools to solve problems in the field of biology, leading to the development of new chemical reactions, catalysis, and ligation methodologies for the synthesis of biological molecules.

Selective modification of biomolecules provides scientists with an effective tool for a multitude of bioanalytical, therapeutic, biological and bioengineering applications. However, chemical strategies that can target a particular functional group at a single site in the presence of reactive amino acid side chains on protein surfaces are limited. We have developed multiple bioconjugation approaches for the selective labeling of proteins containing mono- and di-methyl lysine posttranslational modifications, PTMs.

This method does not require any genetic engineering of the protein target and protection of the side chains of other amino acids. The resulting bioconjugation reactions lead to the formation of a highly stable bond at the site of the methyl lysine PTMs. The broad utility of these bioconjugation reactions is demonstrated by the conjugation of various affinity probes and fluorophores on methyl lysine PTMs. The dysregulation of mono- and di-methyl lysine PTMs has been linked to a variety of different biological malfunctions, yet the chemical methods for selective detection of these methyl lysine PTMs are still lacking.

These selective tagging methodologies can effectively detect mono- and di-methyl lysine PTMs thus have the potential to further our understanding of the role of methylated lysine containing PTMs in regulating various cellular signaling processes and aid in biomarker discovery.

Monika Raj, talk image 2

Monika Raj
Monika Raj, talk image 1
Monika Raj, talk image 3
Monika Raj, talk image 4