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Zechiedrich Laboratory

Houston, Texas

Supercoils in architecture echo the structure of DNA.
Zechiedrich Lab
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Daniel J. Catanese, Jr., Ph.D.

Photo of Daniel J. Catanese, Jr., Ph.D.

Senior Staff Scientist
Jan 2012 - present

Postdoctoral Fellow
May 2005 - Dec 2011

Department of Molecular Virology & Microbiology

Phone: 713-798-5127
Fax: 713-798-7375

Supercoiled DNA minivectors as a tool to study DNA structure, topoisomerases, and gene therapy

DNA inside all cells is slightly underwound or negatively supercoiled. In order to study DNA metabolism, we have generated small supercoiled DNA circles that we call minivectors. With these minivectors, as small as 250 bp, we are investigating the differences between overwound and underwound DNA, as well as the molecular mechanism and structure of human topoisomerase II-alpha, a major cancer drug target. In addition, we are exploring the utility of these minivectors as novel non-viral gene therapy vectors for the treatment of diseases, with particular interest in lung diseases. We have shown that these minivectors are remarkably resistant to serum nucleases and shear forces that are associated with gene therapy delivery.

Previous Funding
Infection and Immunity T32 Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine (T32 AI55413-05) (2007-2008)

Pharmacoinformatics Training Program of the W. M. Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology of the Gulf Coast Consortia (NIH Grant No. 1 T90 DK070109-01) (2005-2007)

Awards

Travel Award for 4th Annual NGEC Workshop on Genome Engineering, UW Medicine South Lake Union Campus, Seattle, WA (Nov 2011)

Travel Scholarship for "Topo2011" - Advances in DNA Topoisomerase and Chromosome Dynamics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan (Oct 2011)

2nd place Postdoctoral Oral Presentation Award, Baylor College of Medicine Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology Annual Retreat, Houston, TX (Nov 2010)

3rd place Postdoctoral Poster, Baylor College of Medicine Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology Annual Retreat, Houston, TX (Dec 2007)

Postdoctoral Poster Award, 12th Sealy Structural Biology Symposium, UTMB, Galveston, TX (May 2007)

2nd place Postdoctoral Oral Presentation Award, Baylor College of Medicine Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology Annual Retreat, Houston, TX (Nov 2006)

1st place Pharmacoinformatics Layperson Writing Contest, 16th Annual Keck Center Research Conference, Houston, TX (Oct 2006)

Training Slot with the Pharmacoinformatics Training Program of the W. M. Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology of the Gulf Coast Consortia (T32) (2005 - 2007)

Poster Award, 75th Gordon Research Conference, Nucleic Acids, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI (June 2006)

Postdoctoral Poster Award, 11th Sealy Structural Biology Symposium, UTMB, Galveston, TX (May 2006)

3rd place Poster, HI 5001 Class poster, U.T. School of Health Information Sciences (Dec 2005)

2nd place Postdoctoral Poster, Baylor College of Medicine Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology Annual Retreat, Houston, TX (Dec 2005)

2nd place Pharmacoinformatics Layperson Writing Contest, 15th Annual Keck Center Research Conference, Houston, TX (Oct 2005)

Professional Societies

Biophysics Society (2001-present)

American Chemical Society (2005-present)

Publications

Supercoiled Minivectors resist shear forces associated with gene therapy delivery . Catanese, D. J., Jr., Fogg, J. M., Schrock, D. E., II, Gilbert, B. E., and Zechiedrich, L. Gene Therapy, 19 (2012). 94-100.

Disconnected Interacting Protein 1 binds with high affinity to pre-tRNA and Adat. Catanese, D. J. Jr.* and Matthews, K. S. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 414 (2011) 506-511. (*Corresponding author).

High Affinity, dsRNA Binding by Disconnected Interacting Protein 1. Catanese, D. J. Jr.* and Matthews, K. S. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 399 (2010) 186-191 (*Corresponding author)

Differences between positively and negatively supercoiled DNA that topoisomerases may distinguish. Fogg, J. M., Catanese, D. J. Jr., Randall, G. L., Swick, M. C., and Zechiedrich L. Proceedings of the Institute for Math and its Applications 150 (2009) 73-122.

Hox Transcription Factor Ultrabithorax Ib Physically and Genetically Interacts with Disconnected Interacting Protein 1, a dsRNA Binding Protein. Bondos, S. E., Catanese, D. J. Jr., Tan, X.-X., Bicknell, A., Li, L., and Matthews, K. S. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279 (2004) 26433-26444. (The first three authors contributed equally to this work.)

Invited Presentations

Multidisciplinary approaches converge to reveal the active structures of DNA" (November 2013), Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery workshop 13w5133: Entanglement in Biology: How Nature Controls the Topology of Proteins and DNA, The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada.

"Supercoiled Minivector DNA Resists Shear Forces Associated with Gene Therapy Delivery" Dec 9, 2011 PVAMU/BCM-PDA Scholars Journal Club , Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX.

"How to make an award-winning poster" (May 4, 2010) Health Science Center and Graduate Student Association of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX