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Study reveals structure of DUOX1 complex

Memphis, Tennessee, September 15, 2020

Two researchers having a discussion in an office.

Ji Sun, PhD, of St. Jude Structural Biology, leads research to better understand how mutations in DUOX1–DUOXA1 contribute to disease.

Maintaining the balance of the body’s oxidative state is vital for the survival and growth of almost all life. The enzyme DUOX1 is found in tissues like the thyroid and respiratory tract.

This enzyme produces hydrogen peroxide and plays a crucial role in hormone production and immune response. But how the enzyme is activated and regulated has been unclear.

Ji Sun, PhD, of St. Jude Structural Biology studies DUOX1. He used cyro-electron microscopy to capture the first structures of DUOX1 bound to the DUOXA1. This revealed the working and activation mechanisms of this key enzyme complex. 

The results will help us understand how mutations in DUOX1–DUOXA1 contribute to disease. The work also aids efforts to develop drugs that treat chronic human diseases associated with oxidative stress.  

Nature Structural and Molecular Biology published a research article on this work.

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