Dr. Ruletha Baker

Rue holds a special place among the graduate students of the Goodwin lab.  She was the first to declare her intention to join the group, making her the first of the Original Three.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama.  Prior to her joining the Goodwin laboratory, Rue served as a Research Assistant in the Cancer Research and Organ Transplantation Research Centers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.  Rue's project centered on evaluating the role of the apparently "inactive" C-terminal domain in the function of catalase-peroxidases.  Her work demonstrated that though this domain carries no active site or apparent activity, its presence is absolutely essential for catalase-peroxidase function.  In particular, without its C-terminal domain, the N-terminal domain active site allows the distal histidine (His106) to coordinate directly to the heme iron.  This interupts the ability of His106 to act as a general base in catalysis and blocks access of hydrogen peroxide and other ligands to the heme iron.  In her time here, Rue was given an Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics Travel Award, an Auburn University Graduate Student Travel Award, and an American Chemical Society, Auburn Section Travel Award.  She also served as the President of the Chemistry Student Association at Auburn.  The title of her doctoral dissertation was "Roles of an 'inactive' domain in catalase-peroxidase catalysis: Modulation of active site architecture and function by gene duplication". 

Abstracts and Publications

Baker, R. D., Cook, C. O., and Goodwin D. C. 2006.  Catalase-peroxidase active site restructuring by a distant and 'inactive' domain. Biochemistry 45, 7113-7121.

Goodwin, D. C., Cook, C. O., Baker, R. D.  2006.  Modulation of catalase-peroxidase active site structure and catalysis by distant protein structures.  American Chemical Society, 231st National Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.

Cook, C. O., Baker, R., and Goodwin, D. C.  2006.  Function of a gene-duplicated domain in catalase-peroxidase structure and activity.  American Chemical Society, 231st National Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.

Baker, R. D., Cook, C. O., and Goodwin D. C.  2004.  Essential contribution of the C-terminal domain to the structure of the catalase-peroxidase active site.  Amer. Chem. Soc. Southeast Regional Meeting, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Cook, C. O., Baker, R. D., and Goodwin, D. C.  2004.  Catalase-peroxidase active site restructuring by a distant and "inactive" domain.  Amer. Chem. Soc. Southeast Regional Meeting, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Laband, K. A., Baker, R. D., and Goodwin, D. C.  2004.  Contributions of an interdomain ion pair to the bifunctional properties of catalase-peroxidases.  Amer. Chem. Soc. Southeast Regional Meeting, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Goodwin, D. C., Baker, R. D., Cook, C. O., and Laband, K. A. 2004.  Integral Involvement of an “Inactive” Domain in Catalase-Peroxidase Structure and Catalysis.  Enzymes, Coenzymes, and Metabolic Pathways Gordon Conference, Meriden, NH.

Baker, R. D., Cook, C. O., and Goodwin D. C. 2004.  Properties of catalase-peroxidase lacking its C-terminal domain. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 320, 833-839.

Baker, R. D., and Goodwin D. C.  2003.  Insight into the role of the C-terminal domain in catalase-peroxidase function.  Amer. Chem. Soc. Southeast Regional Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Goodwin, D. C., Baker, R. D., Varnado, C. L., and Li, Y.  2003.  Structural requirements for the hemoprotein-dependent decomposition of hydroperoxides:  lessons from the catalase-peroxidases.   Amer. Chem. Soc. Southeast Regional Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

Baker, R. D., and Goodwin, D. C.  2003.  Essential role of the C-terminal domain in catalase-peroxidase function.  Amer. Chem. Soc. 226th National Meeting, New York, NY.

Goodwin, D. C., Baker, R. D., and Li, Y.  2003.  Protein structural contributions to the unique catalytic properties of catalase-peroxidases.  Amer. Chem. Soc. 226th National Meeting, New York, NY.

Goodwin, D. C., Baker, R. D., and Li, Y.  2003.  Protein structural contributions to the unique catalytic properties of catalase-peroxidases.  Enzymes, Coenzymes, and Metabolic Pathways Gordon Conference, Meriden, NH.

Baker, R., Li, Y., and Goodwin D.  2002.  Selective elimination of catalase activity from catalase-peroxidase by deletion mutagenesis.   Am. Chem. Soc. Southeast Regional Meeting, Charleston, SC.

Goodwin, D. C., Li, Y., Baker, R. D.  2002.  Selective elimination of catalase activity from catalase-peroxidases by deletion mutagenesis.  Enzymes, Coenzymes, and Metabolic Pathways Gordon Conference, Meriden, NH.