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Biotin metabolic network

Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is biosynthesized by plants, and some bacteria and fungi.  One of its biochemical functions is as a covalently-bound cofactor on a family of enzymes that catalyze reactions in a variety of crucial metabolic processes. Examples of such enzymes are acetyl-CoA carboxylase, methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase, propionyl-CoA carboxylase and geranoyl-CoA carboxylase, which are required for lipogenesis, amino acid metabolism and isoprenoid metabolism. The biotin metabolic network is defined as encompassing those genes involved in the biosynthesis, utilization, recovery and transport of biotin, genes that are involved in a biotin-requiring process (i.e., genes coding for biotinylated proteins) and genes whose expression is regulated by the biotin status of the organism.  Research in the Nikolau lab is focused on understanding the structure and regulation of the biotin metabolic network in the model genetic plant, Arabidopsis thaliana.  A combination of reverse genetics, biochemical and molecular approaches to identify and characterize genes that are components of this network.


Current researchers:

Libuse Brachova, associate scientist and lab manager

Kiran-Kumar Shivaiah, PhD student, Biochemistry

Troy Bunch, MS student, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology

Geng Ding, assistant scientist


Past researchers:

Jennifer Gray, MS student, Biochemistry

Lucas Showman, postdoctoral research associate

Bryon Upton, postdoctoral research associate


Funding Organization: National Science Foundation