Dorothy Erie

Dorothy Erie, PhD, Professor, Chemistry, UNC-CH Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Area of interest

My lab has been using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and single-molecule fluorescence coupled with bulk biophysical and biochemical methods to characterize the structure function properties of the protein-DNA complexes involved in DNA repair for over fifteen years. In particular relevance to this proposal, we have been using and developing single-molecule fluorescence methods to characterize the conformations of protein-DNA complexes involved in mismatch repair. We have a longterm collaboration with Keith Weninger (co-sponsor) at North Carolina State University, who is an expert in single-molecule fluorescence. This collaboration coupled with my background in physical chemistry and kinetics has enabled my lab to rapidly come to the forefront of single-molecule fluorescence. We have developed methods for the analysis of DNA bending using single molecule FRET (smFRET) and methods to simultaneously monitor protein (MutSĪ±) binding and DNA bending using non-covalent fluorescent tags and three-color wide-field imaging. In addition, we developed a method to extract kinetic mechanisms out of very complex smFRET data. My lab has also developed methods to overlay AFM and fluorescence images with high-accuracy, which will make it possible to identify different proteins in multiprotein complexes. Our AFM and smFRET studies of DNA mismatch repair have made significant impact on the field, suggesting a novel mechanism of mismatch recognition by MutS and elucidating the role of nucleotides in controlling the conformational states of MutS and MutLĪ±, which are essential for signaling repair.

Awards and Honors

Co-organizer of the 2010 Post-Initiation Transcription Meeting, Mountain Lake, VA
Plenary session speaker at 23rd Annual Symposium of the Protein Society, Boston MA
Co-organizer of the 2008 Post-Initiation Transcription Meeting, Mountain Lake, VA
Co-organizer 2006 Post-Initiation Transcription Meeting, Mountain Lake, VA (11/2-5/06)
Co-chair of the 2002 Biopolymers Gordon Conference
Chair of the Transcription Elongation session at the 2000 Post-Initiation Transcription Meeting, Mountain
Lake, VA (10/27-29/00)
Chair of a Symposium at the 1998 Biophysical Society Meeting titled “The Devil is in the Details: Structural
and Mechanistic Aspects of Transcription,” Kansas City, MO (2/98)
Junior Faculty Development Award, University of North Carolina (1995)
NIH Post-doctoral Fellowship (11/88-11/91).
Stanley Mandeles Graduate Research Award at Rutgers University (1988).

Reach NC Profile

Link to Publications on PubMed Central