John E. WamplerProfessor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Professor Wampler received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1966 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1969, both from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He was a postdoctoral fellow studying the physical biochemistry of bioluminescence with Dr. Milton J. Cormier here at Georgia and joined the faculty in 1972.
The on-going interest of our group is in highly energetic chemical and physical transitions such as redox biochemistry and luminescence (both photo- and chemically excited) with a focus on chemical mechanisms, physical, and analytical questions. Our current effort has been to use the combination of computational predictions and experimental spectroscopic and structural investigations to try to understand details of protein structure/function relationships for a group of small electron transport proteins. These proteins, mostly metalloproteins, are found in many bacteria and are involved in various aspects of their energy metabolism. Together they represent the single largest group of known structures (X-ray crystal and NMR) of biochemically interacting proteins. Thus, they are ideal candidates for molecular modeling and computational chemistry. However, the proteins of this group also have a significant problem which challenges these approaches in that they all contain organic and inorganic cofactors in addition to the amino-acids of the proteins themselves. Most of the programs utilized in advanced calculations have limitations when dealing with these extra components. For example, molecular mechanics parameters are not generally available for such components and, in the case of transition metal-containing proteins, the ab initio calculations that might be used to develop such parameters are limited. Thus, the work has evolved into two parts: (1) Parameter and model development efforts; and (2) applications of these parameters and models to understand protein structure/function questions.
P. N. Palma, I. Moura, J. LeGall, J. van Beeumem, J. E. Wampler & J. J. G. Moura, "Evidence for a Ternary Complex formed between Flavodoxin and Cytochrome c3" Biochemistry 1994, 33, 6394-6407.
J. E. Wampler, "Computational Chemistry and Molecular Modeling ofElectron-Transfer Proteins," Methods in Enzymology Vol. 243 (H. D. Peck, Jr., and J. LeGall, Eds) Academic Press, NY (1994) pp 559-607.