Research from my distant-past:

1. Organometallic Compounds

From 2008-2009 I was a research assistant in Prof. Lawrence Gahan's Laboratory working with organometallic compounds aiming to mimic the active region of the purple acid phosphatase (PAP) enzyme. This enzyme is known to be related to building of bones in humans, and may have implications in osteoporosis.

Kantacha, A., Buchholz, R. R. et al., Phosphate ester cleavage promoted by a tetrameric iron (III) complex, J. Biol. Inorg. Chem., 16 (25–32), 2011, doi: 10.1007/s00775-010-0696-0

Honours year of my undergraduate study was also undertaken with Prof. Lawrence Gahan and involved synthesising and characterising a simple organometallic mimic of enzymes called phosphoesterases, which break down pesticides and nerve agents of the phosphoester form.

Buchholz R. R. et al., A structural and catalytic model for zinc phosphoesterases, Dalton Trans., 43 (6045–6054), 2008, doi: 10.1039/B806391E
Crystal structure of the biomimetic I synthesised.
Figure 2: Crystal structure of the biomimetic molecule I synthesised.
[PDB co-ordinate file]

2. Modelling Protein Binding

During undergraduate studies I completed a research subject which involved using the Poisson-Boltzmann equation to model electrostatic interactions between two proteins involved in blood clotting. Two different configurations had been found to crystallise and my research aim was to determine the more electrostatically stable form of binding. More information can be found in:

Kobe, B., Guncar, G., Buchholz, R. et al., The Many Faces Of Platelet Glycoprotein Ibα - Thrombin Interaction, Current Protein & Peptide Science, 10 (551–558), 2009, doi: 10.2174/138920309789630570

Kobe, B., Guncar, G, Buchholz, R. R. et al., Crystallography and protein-protein interactions: biological interfaces and crystal contacts, Biochem Soc. Trans., 36 (1438–1441), 2008, doi: 10.1042/BST0361438

Figure 3: Two different interactions between Glycoprotein Ibα (blue)
and two Thrombin biomolecules (pink and green).