Headshot of Dr.Eugene  Wu

Dr. Eugene Wu

Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry
Interdisciplinary Program Coordinator, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Profile

    I study life at its borders. At the edge of our definition of life lies viruses, obligate parasites that invade cellular organisms to replicate. When a virus encounters a cell, it must recognize that cell through biomolecular interactions and then commandeer the cell to create copiesof the virus?s proteins. Research in my laboratory focuses on those biomolecular interactions between the virus and the cell to gain insight into viral mechanisms of invasion. I employ techniques in structural biology to peer at these interactions at the atomic scale and methods in cellular biochemistry to take these interactions apart and put them back together. Beyond viruses, I am also interested in the origins of life on Earth. How did cellular life arise from atoms and molecules on the surface of a young Earth over 3.5 billion years ago? All macromolecules are assembled from building blocks by existing macromolecules (enzymes). Could chains of macromolecules that carry genetic! informat ion be formed without an existing enzyme? If so, what chemical conditions and surfaces are necessary to bring together life?s building blocks and catalyze their linkage? Could the first cells resemble viruses? Answering these questions might help reveal how the last universal common ancestor of all living organisms arose.

  • Publications
    Journal Articles

    Hamm, M. L., Garcia, A. A., Gilbert, R., John, M., Ricart, M., Sholes, S. L., Murray-Nerger, L. A., Wu, E. Y. 2020. The importance of Ile716 toward the mutagenicity of 8-Oxo-2?-deoxyguanosine with Bacillus fragment DNA polymerase. DNA Repair (Amst.) 89:102826. DOI: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2020.102826.

    Modest, E., L. Mawby, B. Miller, III, E. Wu, and C.A. Parish. 2019. A Molecular Dynamics Investigation of the Thermostability of Cold-Sensitive I707L KlenTaq1 DNA Polymerase and Its Wild-Type Counterpart. J. Chem. Inf. Model. 59(4):2423-2431.DOI: 10.1021/acs.jcim.9b00022.

    Wu, E.Y. and A.H. Hilliker. 2017. Identification of Rifampicin Resistance Mutations in Escherichia coli, Including an Unusual Deletion Mutation. Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. 71(4):665-669.

    Miller, B.R. III, Beese, L.S., Parish, C.A., Wu, E.Y. 2015. The closing mechanism of DNA polymerase I at atomic resolution. Structure 23:1609-1620.

    Miller, B.R. III, Parish, C.A., Wu, E.Y. 2014. Molecular dynamics study of the opening mechanism for DNA polymerase I. PLoS Computational Biology 10:e1003961

    Wu, E.Y., Walsh, A.R., Materne, E.C., Hiltner, E.P., Zielinski, B., Miller, B.R. III, Mawby, L., Modeste, E., Parish, C.A., Barnes, W.M., Kermekchiev, M.B. 2015. A conservative isoleucine to leucine mutation causes major rearrangements and cold sensitivity in KlenTaq1 DNA polymerase. Biochemistry 54:881-9.

    Wang, W., E.Y. Wu, H. Hellinga, and L.S. Beese. 2012. Structural factors that determine selectivity of a high-fidelity DNA polymerase for deoxy-, dideoxy-, and ribo-nucleotides. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287:28215-26.

    Wu, E.Y. and L.S. Beese. 2011. The structure of a high fidelity DNA polymerase bound to a mismatched nucleotide reveals an “ajar” intermediate conformation in the nucleotide selection mechanism. Journal of Biological Chemistry 286:19758-67.

    Denby, L., L. M. Work, D. Von Seggern, E. Wu, J. H. McVey, S. A. Nicklin, A. H. Baker. 2007. Development of renal-targeted vectors through combined in vivo phage display and capsid engineering of adenoviral fibers from serotype 19p. Molecular Therapy. 15:1647-54.

    Nicklin, S. A., E. Wu, G. R. Nemerow, and A. H. Baker. 2005. The influence of adenovirus fiber structure and function on vector development. Molecular Therapy. 12:384-93.

    Trauger, S. A., E. Wu, S. B. Bark, G. R. Nemerow, and G. Siuzdak. 2004. Identifying viral receptors using mass spectrometry and affinity capture. ChemBioChem. 5:1095-9.

    Wu, E. and G. R. Nemerow. 2004. Virus yoga: the importance of flexibility in virus host cell recognition. Trends in Microbiology. 12:162-9.

    Wu, E., S. A. Trauger, L. Pache, T. Mullen, D. J. Von Seggern, G. Siuzdak, G. R. Nemerow. 2004. Membrane cofactor protein (MCP; CD46) is a receptor for adenoviruses associated with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Journal of Virology. 78:3897-905.

    Wu, E., L. Pache, D. Von Seggern, T. Mullen, Y. Mikyas, P. L. Stewart, and G. R. Nemerow. 2003. Flexibility of the adenovirus fiber is required for efficient receptor (CAR) interaction. Journal of Virology 77:7225-7235.

    Chiu, C. Y., E. Wu, S. L. Brown, D. J. Von Seggern, G. R. Nemerow, and P. L. Stewart. 2001. Structural analysis of a fiber-pseudotyped adenovirus with ocular tropism suggests differential modes of cell receptor interactions. Journal of Virology. 75:5375-80.

    Wu, E., J. Fernandez, S. K. Fleck, D. J. Von Seggern, S. Huang, and G. R. Nemerow. 2001. A 50-kDa membrane protein mediates sialic acid-independent binding and infection of conjunctival cells by adenovirus type 37. Virology. 279:78-89.