Meilleur Laboratory Neutrons and Structural Biology

Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry North Carolina State University

Neutron Sciences Directorate Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The Meilleur Lab


Meilleur Lab
Left to right:
Dr. Annette Bodenheimer, Dr. Flora Meilleur (PI), Gabriela Schroder and Brad O'Dell.
Contact: Flora Meilleur  fmeille(at)ncsu.edu (meilleurf(at)ornl.gov)

Research Interests

  • Cellulose degrading enzymes
  • Glycoside hydrolases
  • Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases
  • Cellobiose dehydrogenases
  • P450 containing systems
  • Metalloenzymes
  • Electron and proton transfers
  • Enzymatic mechanisms
  • Protein-protein interactions
  • Protein flexibility
  • Neutron scattering applications in structural biology

Research Summary

We are interested in the enzymatic cellulose degradation, a key challenge remaining to be overcome for efficient cellulosic biofuel production. Understanding how wood degrading organism enzymes function is required to guide enzyme engineering and design of more efficient enzymes. Two types of extracellular enzymatic systems have been identified in microorganisms capable of cellulose degradation: a hydrolytic system and an oxidative system. Effort in our lab is focused on gaining insight into the structures, dynamics and functions of enzymes from both systems.

Our lab is also interested in understanding cytochrome P450s, one of nature's most versatile biologic catalysts. Cytochromes P450 (P450s) are ubiquitous enzymes catalyzing monooxygenation reactions and playing diverse functional roles in a broad range of biological systems. In mammals they are involved in a variety of biochemical processes including carcinogenesis, drug metabolism, biosynthesis of lipids and steroids or degradation of xenobiotics.

We use primarily a combination of X-ray and neutron diffraction and scattering to probe enzyme structure, dynamics and function.