Rene Fuanta

Rene was the third student to join the Goodwin laboratory from the Republic of Cameroon. He began his studies at Auburn University in the Fall of 2013, and joined the lab in January 2014.  Rene worked on a new research project for our group. In collaboration with Dr. Angela Calderon in the Harrison School of Pharmacy, we are evaluating shikimate kinase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtSK) as a target for the development of new leads for antitubercular agents. Rene was instrumental in deciphering the mechanisms of inhibition of MtSK by marine natural products ranging from ilimaquinone to 6-cyclohexamido-manzamine A using LC-MS-based kinetic methods. Rene also used site-directed mutagenesis for mechanistically targeted intrinsic protein fluorescence. He generated several tryptophan substitution variants of MtSK to investigate mechanisms of catalysis and as well as mechanisms of inhibition by candidate inhibitors identified from marine natural products. The long-term goal of this work is to produce a panel of MtSK variants which will facilitate high throughput screening of candidate inhibitors by fluorescence techniques.  On June 4, 2018, Rene successfully defended his dissertation entitled Transition from classical methods to new strategies: Mechanistic evaluation of inhibitors against Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase. Starting Fall 2018, Rene joined the tenure-track faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA.

Publications and Abstracts

Simithy, J., Fuanta, N. R., Alturki, M., Hobrath, J. V., Wahba, A. E., Pina, I., Rath, J., Hamann, M. T., DeRuiter, J., Goodwin, D. C., and Calderon, A. I. 2018. "Slow-binding inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase by manzamine alkaloids" Biochemistry 52, 4923 - 4933.

Simithy, J., Fuanta, N. R., Kochanowska-Karamayan, A., Hobrath, J. V., Hamann, M. T., Goodwin, D. C., and Calderon, A. I. 2018. "Mechanism of irreversible inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase by ilimaquinone" Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1866, 731 - 739.

Alturki, M. S., Fuanta, N. R., Jarrard, M. A., Hobrath, J. V., Goodwin, D. C., Rants'o, T. A., and Calderon, A. I. 2018. A multifaceted approach to identify non-specific enzyme inhibition: Application to Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase. Bioorg. Medicin. Chem. Lett. 28, 802 - 808.

Fuanta, N. R., Simithy, J., Gill, G., Kollhoff, A., Childers, T., Calderon, A. I., and Goodwin D. 2016. Towards high-throughput drug screening and mechanistic evaluation of tuberculosis shikimate kinase; Intrinsic protein fluorescence. National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE),  Raleigh, NC (11/16
).

Fuanta, N. R., Simithy, J., Gill, G., Kollhoff, A., Childers, T., Calderon, A. I., and Goodwin D. 2016. Targeted intrinsic protein fluorescence, an approach towards high-throughput drug screening and mechanistic evaluation of tuberculosis shikimate kinase. Southeast Meeting of American Chemical Society (SERMACS), Columbia, SC (10/16).

Alturki, M. S., Jarrad, M. A., Fuanta, N. R., Goodwin, D. C., and Calderon, A. I. 2016. LC-MS based approach to characterize non-specific binding inhibitors to Mycobacterium tuberculosis shikimate kinase (MtSK). 64th American Society for Mass Spectrometry National Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, San Antonio, TX. (6/5/16  

McCarty, S.E.; Schellenberger, A.; Goodwin, D.C.; Fuanta, N.R.; Tekwani, B.L.; Calderon, A.I. 2015.  Plasmodium falciparum thioredoxin reductase (PfTrxR) and its role as a target for new antimalarial discovery. Molecules 20, 11459 - 11473.

Kudalkar, S. N., Njuma, O. J., Li, Y., Muldowney, M., Fuanta, N. R., and Goodwin, D. C. 2015.  A role for catalase-peroxidase large loop 2 revealed by deletion mutagenesis: Control of active site water and ferric enzyme reactivity. Biochemistry 54, 1648 - 1662.

Fuanta, N. R., Simithy, J., Gill, G., Kollhoff, A., Childers, T., Calderon, A. I., and Goodwin D. 2015. Site-directed incorporation of intrinsic fluorescence in shikimate kinase to evaluate catalysis and inhibition. 6th Annual Southeast Enzymes Conference, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA (4/11/15).