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Aaron Smith

Aaron T. Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is also Guest Researcher in the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Division in the NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Boston University, and he received his M.Sc. and Ph. D. both in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Prior to joining the faculty at UMBC, he was an NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellow Northwestern University. At UMBC, Dr. Smith’s laboratory studies bioinorganic chemistry with a central focus around prokaryotic and eukaryotic iron utilization. The Smith Lab utilizes structural, mechanistic, and spectroscopic tools to interrogate the mechanism of membrane protein-mediated pathogenic ferrous iron (Fe2+) acquisition, and to understand the role of iron in eukaryotic protein translation and post-translational modifications. Dr. Smith has been the recent recipient of an NSF CAREER award (2019), an American Heart Association Career Development award (2019), and an NIH R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (2019).

Selected Publications

Smith, A. T.; Linkous, R. O.; Max, N. J.; Sestok, A. E.; Szalai, V. A.; Chacón, K. N.; The FeoC [4Fe-4S] Cluster is Redox-Active and Rapidly Oxygen-Sensitive. Biochemistry. 2019. 58, 4935-4949.

Linkous, R.O.; Sestok, A. E.; and Smith, A. T. The Crystal Structure of Klebsiella pneumoniae FeoA Reveals a Site For Protein-Protein Interactions. Proteins. 2019. 87, 897-903.

Sestok, A. E.; Linkous, R. O.; Smith, A. T. Toward a Mechanistic Understanding of Feo-Mediated Ferrous Iron Uptake. Metallomics. 2018. 10, 887-898.

Smith, A. T. and Sestok, A. E. Expression and Purification of Functionally Active Ferrous Iron Transporter FeoB from Klebsiella pneumoniae. Protein Expr. Purif. 2018. 142, 1-7.

Smith, A. T.; Ross, M. O.; Hoffman, B. M.; Rosenzweig, A. C. Metal Selectivity of a Cd-, Co-, and Zn-transporting P1B-ATPase. Biochemistry. 2017. 56, 85-95.

Hines, J. P.; Smith, A. T.; Jacob, J. P.; Lukat-Rodgers, G. S.; Barr, I.; Rodgers, K. R.; Guo, F.; Burstyn, J. N. CO and NO bind to the Fe(II) DGCR8 Heme But Do Not Restore Primary microRNA Processing Activity. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2016. 21, 1021-1035.

Kathman, S.; Span, I.; Smith, A. T.; Xu, Z.; Zhan, J.; Rosenzweig, A. C.; Statsyuk, A. Discovery and Structural Characterization of Covalent Inhibitors of Nedd4-1 Ubiquitin Ligase Processivity J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015. 137, 12442-12445

Smith, A. T., Barupala, D., Stemmler, T. L., and Rosenzweig, A. C. A New Metal Binding Domain Involved in Cadmium, Cobalt, and Zinc Transport. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2015. 11, 678-684.

Smith, A. T.; Pazicni, S.; Marvin, K. A.; Stevens, D. J.; Freeman, K. M.; Burstyn, J. N. Functional Divergence of Heme-Thiolate Proteins: A Classification Based on Spectroscopic Attributes. Chem. Rev. 2015. 115, 2532-2558.

Smith, A. T., Smith, K.P., and Rosenzweig, A. C. Diversity of the Metal-Transporting P1B-type ATPases. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2014 19, 947-960.

Smith, A.T.; Marvin, K.A.; Freeman, K.M.; Kerby, R.L.; Roberts, G.P.; Burstyn, J.N. Identification of Cys94 as the Distal Ligand to the Fe(III) Heme in the Transcriptional Regulator RcoM-2 From Burkholderia xenovorans. J. Biol. Inorg. Chem. 2012, 17, 1071-1082.

Smith, A.T.; Su, Y.; Stevens, D. J.; Majtan, T.; Kraus, J.P.; Burstyn, J.N. Effect of the Disease-Causing R266K Mutation on the Heme and PLP Environments of the Human Enzyme Cystathionine β-Synthase. Biochemistry 2012, 51, 6360-6370.

Barr, I.; Smith, A.T.; Chen, Y.; Senturia, R.; Burstyn, J.N.; Guo, F. Ferric, Not Ferrous, Heme Activates RNA-binding Protein DGCR8 for Primary microRNA Processing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012. 109, 1919-1924.  

Barr, I.; Smith, A.T.; Senturia, R.; Chen, Y.; Burstyn, J.N.; Guo, F. DiGeorge Critical Region 8 (DGCR8) Is a Double-Cysteine-Ligated Heme Protein. J. Biol. Chem. 2011, 286, 16716-16725.

Smith, A.T.; Majtan, T.;  Freeman, K.M.; Su, Y.; Kraus, J.P.; Burstyn, J.N. Cobalt Cystathionine β-Synthase: A Cobalt-Substituted Heme Protein with a Unique Thiolate Ligation Motif. Inorg. Chem. 2011, 50, 4417-4427.

Matjan, T.; Freeman, K.M.; Smith, A.T.; Burstyn, J.N.; Kraus, J.P. Purification and Characterization of Cystathionine Beta-Synthase Bearing Cobalt Protoporphyrin. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 2011, 508, 25-30.

Created June 4, 2019, Updated March 6, 2020