Professor Rachel Austin


On February 28, 2022, Rachel Narehood Austin, Barnard’s Diana T. and P. Roy Vagelos Professor of Chemistry, co-authored new research with Barnard graduate Shoshana C. Williams ’20 in the academic journal Frontiers in Microbiology. In this work, titled “An Overview of the Electron-Transfer Proteins That Activate Alkane Monooxygenase (AlkB),” the researchers review what is known about the canonical arrangement of electron-transfer proteins that will activate Alkane monooxygenase (AlkB) and point to several other possible arrangements. 

The authors explain that other arrangements will include the presence of a simpler rubredoxin than the one found in canonical arrangements and two other classes of AlkBs with fused electron-transfer partners. The study reviews what is known about the biochemistry of electron-transfer proteins, speculates about biological significance of this diversity, and points to key questions for future research.