Melisa Cherney

Assistant Professor
Areas of Interest: 
Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Spectroscopy
Contact Information
Office: 
McCollum Science Hall 262
Phone Number: 
319-273-2557

Dr. Melisa Cherney has summer research projects mutating, expressing, and purifying the heme protein cytochrome c, as well as performing spectroscopic experiments with the purified protein.  The goal of these projects is to generate model systems to mimic "Type II heme-thiolate proteins" (a new class of proteins that are poorly understood and not as easy to work with as cytochrome c).  Aspects of the project include using PCR to make mutations to the cytochrome c DNA, using live E. coli cultures to produce variant protein from the DNA, purifying the protein from the E. coli cell extracts, and using spectroscopy to test the properties of the new protein.  Cytochrome c is a colored protein and the shade can vary depending on the mutations in the protein, the redox state of the metal ion in the heme, and even the pH of the solution.  We have isolated and tested several different variant models and are now in the process of designing a second generation with mutations that should confer increased protein stability.


Cherney Pix 1
Cherney Pix 2

Purification of wild-type cytochrome c
Ligation:  His18 − Fe2+ − Met80

Purification of Cys80 cytochrome c
Ligation:  His18 – Fe3+ − Cys80