Biochemistry and Structural Biology  Back to Main

Faculty Detail    
Assistant Professor
Campus Address KAUL 452A Zip 0024
Phone  (205) 975-3398
Other websites Twitter Account

Undergraduate  Louisiana State University    2001  B.S. in Chemistry 
Undergraduate  Louisiana State University    2001  B.S. in Biochemistry 
Undergraduate  Louisiana State University    2001  B.S. in Microbiology 
Graduate  Louisiana State University    2005  Ph.D. in Molecular Virology 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics  Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics Associate Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Biochemistry and Structural Biology 

Biographical Sketch 
My research goals are grounded in the use of NMR spectroscopy to define the structural mechanisms that underlie interactions between host and viral proteins. My graduate training in molecular virology (SARS-CoV) combined with my postdoctoral training in NMR spectroscopy makes me suited to integrate structural biology and molecular virology into a cohesive research program. As a graduate student in the laboratory of K. G. Kousoulas (Louisiana State University), I studied how the Spike protein of the SARS-CoV facilitates cell-to-cell fusion and implications for viral propagation. To answer these questions, I employed a variety of techniques including mammalian cell culture and confocal microscopy. For my postdoctoral work, I sought to further pursue my interests in intramolecular communication by becoming an NMR spectroscopist in the laboratory of Andrew Lee (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). My research involved using biomolecular NMR to study how the side-chain motions are able to affect protein function. My lab currently uses NMR and other structural techniques combined with molecular virology to mechanistically understand host-pathogen interactions that can be exploited in the development of antivirals. We currently focus on two pathogens that are of high priority to public health, influenza viruses and coronaviruses.

Research/Clinical Interest
Strain Dependent Structure and Function of the Influenza NS1 Protein
My current research interests include understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the multiple functions attributed to the non-structural protein 1 (NS1) of influenza.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Petit CM, Melancon JM, Chouljenko VN, Colgrove R, Farzan M, Knipe DM, Kousoulas, KG. Genetic Analysis of the SARS-Coronavirus Spike Glycoprotein Functional Domains Involved in Cell-Surface Expression and Cell-to-Cell Fusion. Virology (2005) Oct 25; 341(2):215-30.  16099010 
Petit CM, Chouljenko VN, Iyer AV, Colgrove RC, Farzan M, Knipe DM, Kousoulas KG. Palmitoylation of the Cysteine-rich Endodomain of the SARS–coronavirus Spike Glycoprotein is Important for Spike Mediated Cell Fusion, Virology (2007) Apr 10; 360(2):364-74.  17134730 
Petit CM, Zhang J, Sapienza PJ, Fuentes E, Lee AL. Hidden Dynamic Allostery in a PDZ Domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci. (2009); 106:18249-18254.  19828436 
Zhang J, Petit CM, King DS, Lee AL. Phosphorylation of a PDZ Domain Extension Modulates Binding Affinity and Interdomain Interactions in the PSD-95 MAGUK. J Biol Chem (2011) Dec 2; 286(48):41776-41785.  21965656 
Mauldin R, Sapienza P, Petit CM, Lee AL. Structure and Dynamics of the G121V DHFR Mutant: Lessons from a Transition-State Analog Complex. PLoS ONE (2012); 7(3).  22428003 
Petit CM. Fast Side-Chain Dynamics: Measurement, Analysis, and Their Role in Protein Function. Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access. (2013)   
Petit CM and Lee AL. Probing the Side-Chain Dynamics of Proteins Using 2H Relaxation. Methods in Molecular Biology (2014)  24061913 
Jureka AS, Kleinpeter AB, Cornilescu G, Cornilescu CC, Petit CM. Structural Basis for a Novel Interaction between the NS1 Protein Derived from the 1918 Influenza Virus and RIG-I. Structure. (2015); 23(11):2001-2010.   26365801  
Lee W, Petit CM, Cornilescu G, Stark JL, Markley JL. The AUDANA algorithm for automated protein 3D structure determination from NMR NOE data. J Biomol NMR. (2016); 65:51-57.   27169728 
Law AB, Sapienza PJ, Zhang J, Xiaobind Z, Petit CM. Native State Volume Fluctuations as a Mechanism for Dynamic Allostery. JACS. (2017)  28094513 

influenza, nmr, ns1, structural biology, virology