Biomedical Research Education & Training
Faculty Member

Chazin, Walter J., Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
Chancellor's Chair in Medicine

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Phone Number: 615-936-2210

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Chazin, Walter's picture
Academic history
BSc, McGill Univ
Ph.D., Concordia Univ
Postdoc, ETH-Honngerberg
Postdoc, The Scripps Research Institute

Office Address   Mailing Address


5140 BIOSCI/MRBIII Vanderbilt University Center for Structural Biology 37232-8725

Research Keywords
DNA replication, DNA recombination, DNA repair, cancer, signal transduction, ubiquitination, structural biology, cell biology, protein structure, proteomics, NMR, biochemistry

Research Specialty
Structural Cell Biology- DNA replication, recombination and repair, ubiquitination, calcium signal transduction

Research Description
Our program in structural cell biology includes research to understand the mechanisms of action of multi-protein assemblies that process DNA. Current efforts are focused on establishing and understanding the various functional roles of replication protein A (RPA), a heterotrimeric protein of 70, 32 and 14 kDa subunits. RPA is the major single-strand DNA binding protein in the cell and has been shown to form an integral part of most DNA processing assemblies. Our studies involve proteomic mapping of interactions with other DNA processing proteins and 3D structure determination of protein and protein-DNA complexes. These studies are providing novel insights into the structural basis for mutational defects leading to cancer and the essential foundation for the development of anticancer therapies.
Signalling via protein ubiquitination plays an essential role in an increasing number of cellular processes. A series of ligases catalyze the activation and subsequent covalent attachment of ubiquitin to substrate proteins. The E3 class of ubiquitin ligases typically involves the coordinated activity of a group of proteins that form a multi-protein complex of substrate and E2 ligase recognition elements, scaffolds, and molecular bridges. Our reseach involves the study of a newly discovered ubiquitin ligase activity associated with the RNA spliceosome and of a novel calcium-regulated ubiquitination process that is required for proper embryogenesis and development. Our studies involve proteomic strategies to determine which members of the complex interact with eachother and 3D structure determination of the corresponding protein complexes. These results are revealing information about how protein ubiquitination functions as a signaling mechanism and how defects in E3 ligase proteins lead to malfunction in fundamental cellular processes.
Calcium and calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs) play a central role in intracellular signal transduction pathways and are associated with a wide-range of effects on health and disease. Our research is directed towards understanding the molecular basis for the cellular activities of CaBPs, particularly the transduction of calcium signals to cellular targets. The primary experimental approach involves the determination of 3D structures of specific CaBPs in the presence and absence of calcium and cellular targets, using NMR, X-ray crystallography and computational methods. These are complemented by protein engineering and small molecule design. Ultimately, we seek the ability to control binding properties and interactions with target proteins, thereby enabling the design of specific biological activities and therapeutic strategies relevant to CaBP-mediated disease. . . .

Chazin, WJ. Evolution of the NIGMS Protein Structure Initiative. Structure, 16(1), 12-4, 2008

Corbin, BD, Seeley, EH, Raab, A, Feldmann, J, Miller, MR, Torres, VJ, Anderson, KL, Dattilo, BM, Dunman, PM, Gerads, R, Caprioli, RM, Nacken, W, Chazin, WJ, Skaar, EP. Metal chelation and inhibition of bacterial growth in tissue abscesses. Science, 319(5865), 962-5, 2008

Ball, HL, Ehrhardt, MR, Mordes, DA, Glick, GG, Chazin, WJ, Cortez, D. Function of a Conserved Checkpoint Recruitment Domain in ATRIP Proteins. Mol Cell Biol, 2007 PMCID:1899971

Chazin, WJ. The impact of X-ray crystallography and NMR on intracellular calcium signal transduction by EF-hand proteins: crossing the threshold from structure to biology and medicine. Sci STKE, 2007(388), pe27, 2007

Dattilo, BM, Fritz, G, Leclerc, E, Kooi, CW, Heizmann, CW, Chazin, WJ. The extracellular region of the receptor for advanced glycation end products is composed of two independent structural units. Biochemistry, 46(23), 6957-70, 2007 PMCID:2527459

Weiner, BE, Huang, H, Dattilo, BM, Nilges, MJ, Fanning, E, Chazin, WJ. An Iron-Sulfur Cluster in the C-terminal Domain of the p58 Subunit of Human DNA Primase. J Biol Chem, 282(46), 33444-51, 2007

Bunick, CG, Miller, MR, Fuller, BE, Fanning, E, Chazin, WJ. Biochemical and structural domain analysis of xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group C protein. Biochemistry, 45(50), 14965-79, 2006 PMCID:2579963

Jiang, X, Klimovich, V, Arunkumar, AI, Hysinger, EB, Wang, Y, Ott, RD, Guler, GD, Weiner, B, Chazin, WJ, Fanning, E. Structural mechanism of RPA loading on DNA during activation of a simple pre-replication complex. EMBO J, 25(23), 5516-26, 2006 PMCID:1679769

Johnson, E, Chazin, WJ, Rance, M. Effects of calcium binding on the side-chain methyl dynamics of calbindin D9k: a 2H NMR relaxation study. J Mol Biol, 357(4), 1237-52, 2006

Meyn, SM, Seda, C, Campbell, M, Weiss, KL, Hu, H, Pastrana-Rios, B, Chazin, WJ. The biochemical effect of Ser167 phosphorylation on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii centrin. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 342(1), 342-8, 2006

Shah, VN, Wingo, TL, Weiss, KL, Williams, CK, Balser, JR, Chazin, WJ. Calcium-dependent regulation of the voltage-gated sodium channel hH1: Intrinsic and extrinsic sensors use a common molecular switch. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2006 PMCID:1450128

Sheehan, JH, Bunick, CG, Hu, H, Fagan, PA, Meyn, SM, Chazin, WJ. Structure of the N-terminal calcium sensor domain of centrin reveals the biochemical basis for domain-specific function. J Biol Chem, 281(5), 2876-81, 2006

Sunahori, K, Yamamura, M, Yamana, J, Takasugi, K, Kawashima, M, Yamamoto, H, Chazin, WJ, Nakatani, Y, Yui, S, Makino, H. The S100A8/A9 heterodimer amplifies proinflammatory cytokine production by macrophages via activation of nuclear factor kappa B and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther, 8(3), R69, 2006 PMCID:1526633

Vander Kooi, CW, Ohi, MD, Rosenberg, JA, Oldham, ML, Newcomer, ME, Gould, KL, Chazin, WJ. The Prp19 U-box crystal structure suggests a common dimeric architecture for a class of oligomeric E3 ubiquitin ligases. Biochemistry, 45(1), 121-30, 2006 PMCID:2570371

Arunkumar, AI, Klimovich, V, Jiang, X, Ott, RD, Mizoue, L, Fanning, E, Chazin, WJ. Insights into hRPA32 C-terminal domain-mediated assembly of the simian virus 40 replisome. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 12(4), 332-9, 2005 PMCID:2600586

Bhattacharya, S, Lee, YT, Michowski, W, Jastrzebska, B, Filipek, A, Kuznicki, J, Chazin, WJ. The modular structure of SIP facilitates its role in stabilizing multiprotein assemblies. Biochemistry, 44(27), 9462-71, 2005

Malmendal, A, Vander Kooi, CW, Nielsen, NC, Chazin, WJ. Calcium-Modulated S100 Protein-Phospholipid Interactions. An NMR Study of Calbindin D(9k) and DPC. Biochemistry, 44(17), 6502-6512, 2005

Nakatani, Y, Yamazaki, M, Chazin, WJ, Yui, S. Regulation of S100A8/A9 (calprotectin) binding to tumor cells by zinc ion and its implication for apoptosis-inducing activity. Mediators Inflamm, 2005(5), 280-92, 2005 PMCID:1279038

Bhattacharya, Shibani, Bunick, Christopher G, Chazin, Walter J. Target selectivity in EF-hand calcium binding proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1742(1-3), 69-79, 2004

Bunick, Christopher G, Nelson, Melanie R, Mangahas, Sheryll, Hunter, Michael J, Sheehan, Jonathan H, Mizoue, Laura S, Bunick, Gerard J, Chazin, Walter J. Designing sequence to control protein function in an EF-hand protein. J Am Chem Soc, 126(19), 5990-8, 2004

Christodoulou, John, Malmendal, Anders, Harper, Jeffrey F, Chazin, Walter J. Evidence for differing roles for each lobe of the calmodulin-like domain in a calcium-dependent protein kinase. J Biol Chem, 279(28), 29092-100, 2004

Hu, Haitao, Sheehan, Jonathan H, Chazin, Walter J. The mode of action of centrin. Binding of Ca2+ and a peptide fragment of Kar1p to the C-terminal domain. J Biol Chem, 279(49), 50895-903, 2004

Lee, Young-Tae, Jacob, Jaison, Michowski, Wojciech, Nowotny, Marcin, Kuznicki, Jacek, Chazin, Walter J. Human Sgt1 binds HSP90 through the CHORD-Sgt1 domain and not the tetratricopeptide repeat domain. J Biol Chem, 279(16), 16511-7, 2004

Stauffer, Melissa E, Chazin, Walter J. Physical interaction between replication protein A and Rad51 promotes exchange on single-stranded DNA. J Biol Chem, 279(24), 25638-45, 2004

Stauffer, Melissa E, Chazin, Walter J. Structural mechanisms of DNA replication, repair, and recombination. J Biol Chem, 279(30), 30915-8, 2004

Wingo, Tammy L, Shah, Vikas N, Anderson, Mark E, Lybrand, Terry P, Chazin, Walter J, Balser, Jeffrey R. An EF-hand in the sodium channel couples intracellular calcium to cardiac excitability. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 11(3), 219-25, 2004

Arunkumar, AI, Stauffer, ME, Bochkareva, E, Bochkarev, A, Chazin, WJ. Independent and coordinated functions of replication protein A tandem high affinity single-stranded DNA binding domains. J Biol Chem, 278(42), 41077-82, 2003

Bhattacharya, S, Large, E, Heizmann, CW, Hemmings, B, Chazin, WJ. Structure of the Ca2+/S100B/NDR kinase peptide complex: insights into S100 target specificity and activation of the kinase. Biochemistry, 42(49), 14416-26, 2003

Hu, H, Chazin, WJ. Unique features in the C-terminal domain provide caltractin with target specificity. J Mol Biol, 330(3), 473-84, 2003

Ohi, Melanie D, Vander Kooi, Craig W, Rosenberg, Joshua A, Chazin, Walter J, Gould, Kathleen L. Structural insights into the U-box, a domain associated with multi-ubiquitination. Nat Struct Biol, 10, 250-5, 2003

Mer, G, Bochkarev, A, Gupta, R, Bochkareva, E, Frappier, L, Ingles, C J, Edwards, A M, Chazin, W J. Structural basis for the recognition of DNA repair proteins UNG2, XPA, and RAD52 by replication factor RPA. Cell, 103(3), 449-56, 2000

M??ler, L, Blankenship, J, Rance, M, Chazin, W J. Site-site communication in the EF-hand Ca2+-binding protein calbindin D9k. Nat Struct Biol, 7(3), 245-50, 2000

Smith, JA, Bifulco, G, Case, DA, Boger, DL, Gomez-Paloma, L, Chazin, WJ. The structural basis for in situ activation of DNA alkylation by duocarmycin SA. J Mol Biol, 300(5), 1195-204, 2000

Botuyan, M V, Koth, C M, Mer, G, Chakrabartty, A, Conaway, J W, Conaway, R C, Edwards, A M, Arrowsmith, C H, Chazin, W J. Binding of elongin A or a von Hippel-Lindau peptide stabilizes the structure of yeast elongin C. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 96(16), 9033-8, 1999 PMCID:17727

Miick, S M, Fee, R S, Millar, D P, Chazin, W J. Crossover isomer bias is the primary sequence-dependent property of immobilized Holliday junctions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 94(17), 9080-4, 1997 PMCID:23039

Linse, S, J??nsson, B, Chazin, W J. The effect of protein concentration on ion binding. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 92(11), 4748-52, 1995 PMCID:41784

Potts, B C, Smith, J, Akke, M, Macke, T J, Okazaki, K, Hidaka, H, Case, D A, Chazin, W J. The structure of calcyclin reveals a novel homodimeric fold for S100 Ca(2+)-binding proteins. Nat Struct Biol, 2(9), 790-6, 1995

Skelton, N J, K??rdel, J, Akke, M, Fors??n, S, Chazin, W J. Signal transduction versus buffering activity in Ca(2+)-binding proteins. Nat Struct Biol, 1(4), 239-45, 1994

Postdoctoral Position Available

Postdoctoral Position Details
One is for accomplished structural biologist to work on the assembly and function of multi-protein E3 ubiquitin ligases. A second position is for US citizen or green card holder for work on DNA replication and repair proteins. Please apply by e-mail to sending CV and names of three references.

Updated Date