Patricia Moussatche has both industry and academic experience, and has been working as a Project/Program Manager for the past 5 years. In her previous position, she took on the faculty administrative burden for reporting on funded projects and the mechanics of applying for funding to allow the organizations' other 20 Ph.D. scientists to focus solely on research and development. She has a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology and has worked with a variety of organisms, including bacteria, yeast, and plants, as well as mammalian adipocytes in cell cultures. Her broad range of research experience includes hormone signal transduction, structure-function analysis of metal-containing proteins, the biochemistry of nucleoside phosphorylation, and diagnostics kit development. Now at Stanford, she is the CTSA Hub QA/QC Program Manager.
Current Role at Stanford
CTSA Hub QA/QC Program Manager
Education & Certifications
PhD, University of Florida, Plant Molecular & Cellular Biology (2004)
BA, Bard College, Biology (1998)
- Improving quality and efficiency of translational research: Environmental scan of adaptive capacity and preparedness of Clinical and Translational Science Award Program hubs JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE 2022; 7 (1)
Optimization of cationic (Q)-paper for detection of arboviruses in infected mosquitoes
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGICAL METHODS
2018; 261: 71-79
Previously (Glushakova et al. 2017), a cellulose-based cationic (Q) paper derivatized with quaternary ammonium groups was shown to be a convenient platform to collect, preserve, and store nucleic acids (NAs) derived from mosquito vectors infected with pathogens for surveillance. NAs bind electrostatically to Q-paper, but the quantity of NA bound depends on the paper's binding capacity. To optimize the original technology for mosquito surveillance, factors that affected NA absorbance on Q-paper were evaluated. Sixteen variations of Q-paper were prepared with modifications of the derivatizing reagents and derivatization temperature. The binding capacities of these variations were determined first with 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic (BTCA), then viral RNA (purified or in infected mosquito samples) was used for validation. For this, samples with Zika (ZIKV) and chikungunya (CHIKV) RNA or virus-infected Aedes aegypti mosquito bodies were applied to sixteen Q-paper variants. Washing the paper samples with water versus elution with aqueous salt (1 M) gave samples that were analyzed for viral RNA by a PCR-based direct Luminex hybridization assay. The comparison ranked the Q-paper binding capacities from the lowest to the highest. The Q-paper with the highest RNA binding capability was further validated with ZIKV- and CHIKV-infected mosquito saliva.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jviromet.2018.08.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000447819200014
View details for PubMedID 30099053
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6168196
Multiplexed Isothermal Amplification Based Diagnostic Platform to Detect Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue 1
JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS
Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes, causing diseases with similar patient symptoms. However, they have different downstream patient-to-patient transmission potentials, and require very different patient treatments. Thus, recent Zika outbreaks make it urgent to develop tools that rapidly discriminate these viruses in patients and trapped mosquitoes, to select the correct patient treatment, and to understand and manage their epidemiology in real time. Unfortunately, current diagnostic tests, including those receiving 2016 emergency use authorizations and fast-track status, detect viral RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which requires instrumentation, trained users, and considerable sample preparation. Thus, they must be sent to "approved" reference laboratories, requiring time. Indeed, in August 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was asking pregnant women who had been bitten by a mosquito and developed a Zika-indicating rash to wait an unacceptable 2 to 4 weeks before learning whether they were infected. We very much need tests that can be done on site, with few resources, and by trained but not necessarily licensed personnel. This video demonstrates an assay that meets these specifications, working with urine or serum (for patients) or crushed mosquito carcasses (for environmental surveillance), all without much sample preparation. Mosquito carcasses are captured on paper carrying quaternary ammonium groups (Q-paper) followed by ammonia treatment to manage biohazards. These are then directly, without RNA isolation, put into assay tubes containing freeze-dried reagents that need no chain of refrigeration. A modified form of reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification with target-specific fluorescently tagged displaceable probes produces readout, in 30 min, as a three-color fluorescence signal. This is visualized with a handheld, battery-powered device with an orange filter. Forward contamination is prevented with sealed tubes, and the use of thermolabile uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) in the presence of dUTP in the amplification mixture.
View details for DOI 10.3791/57051
View details for Web of Science ID 000443329500015
View details for PubMedID 29608170
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5931748
A Single Deoxynucleoside Kinase Variant from Drosophila melanogaster Synthesizes Monophosphates of Nucleosides That Are Components of an Expanded Genetic System
ACS SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
2017; 6 (3): 388-394
Deoxynucleoside kinase from D. melanogaster (DmdNK) has broad specificity; although it catalyzes the phosphorylation of natural pyrimidine more efficiently than natural purine nucleosides, it accepts all four 2'-deoxynucleosides and many analogues, using ATP as a phosphate donor to give the corresponding deoxynucleoside monophosphates. Here, we show that replacing a single amino acid (glutamine 81 by glutamate) in DmdNK creates a variant that also catalyzes the phosphorylation of nucleosides that form part of an artificially expanded genetic information system (AEGIS). By shuffling hydrogen bonding groups on the nucleobases, AEGIS adds potentially as many as four additional nucleobase pairs to the genetic "alphabet". Specifically, we show that DmdNK Q81E creates the monophosphates from the AEGIS nucleosides dP, dZ, dX, and dK (respectively 2-amino-8-(1'-β-d-2'-deoxyribofuranosyl)-imidazo[1,2-a]-1,3,5-triazin-4(8H)-one, dP; 6-amino-3-(1'-β-d-2'-deoxyribofuranosyl)-5-nitro-1H-pyridin-2-one, dZ; 8-(1'β-d-2'-deoxy-ribofuranosyl)imidazo[1,2-a]-1,3,5-triazine-2(8H)-4(3H)-dione, dX; and 2,4-diamino-5-(1'-β-d-2'-deoxyribofuranosyl)-pyrimidine, dK). Using a coupled enzyme assay, in vitro kinetic parameters were obtained for three of these nucleosides (dP, dX, and dK; the UV absorbance of dZ made it impossible to get its precise kinetic parameters). Thus, DmdNK Q81E appears to be a suitable enzyme to catalyze the first step in the biosynthesis of AEGIS 2'-deoxynucleoside triphosphates in vitro and, perhaps, in vivo, in a cell able to manage plasmids containing AEGIS DNA.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00228
View details for Web of Science ID 000397080300001
View details for PubMedID 27935283
Alternative Watson-Crick Synthetic Genetic Systems
COLD SPRING HARBOR PERSPECTIVES IN BIOLOGY
2016; 8 (11)
In its "grand challenge" format in chemistry, "synthesis" as an activity sets out a goal that is substantially beyond current theoretical and technological capabilities. In pursuit of this goal, scientists are forced across uncharted territory, where they must answer unscripted questions and solve unscripted problems, creating new theories and new technologies in ways that would not be created by hypothesis-directed research. Thus, synthesis drives discovery and paradigm changes in ways that analysis cannot. Described here are the products that have arisen so far through the pursuit of one grand challenge in synthetic biology: Recreate the genetics, catalysis, evolution, and adaptation that we value in life, but using genetic and catalytic biopolymers different from those that have been delivered to us by natural history on Earth. The outcomes in technology include new diagnostic tools that have helped personalize the care of hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide. In science, the effort has generated a fundamentally different view of DNA, RNA, and how they work.
View details for DOI 10.1101/cshperspect.a023770
View details for Web of Science ID 000389841300005
View details for PubMedID 27663774
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5088529
A norovirus detection architecture based on isothermal amplification and expanded genetic systems
JOURNAL OF VIROLOGICAL METHODS
2016; 237: 64-71
Noroviruses are the major cause of global viral gastroenteritis with short incubation times and small inoculums required for infection. This creates a need for a rapid molecular test for norovirus for early diagnosis, in the hope of preventing the spread of the disease. Non-chemists generally use off-the shelf reagents and natural DNA to create such tests, suffering from background noise that comes from adventitious DNA and RNA (collectively xNA) that is abundant in real biological samples, especially feces, a common location for norovirus. Here, we create an assay that combines artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS, which adds nucleotides to the four in standard xNA, pairing orthogonally to A:T and G:C) with loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) to amplify norovirus RNA at constant temperatures, without the power or instrument requirements of PCR cycling. This assay was then validated using feces contaminated with murine norovirus (MNV). Treating stool samples with ammonia extracts the MNV RNA, which is then amplified in an AEGIS-RT-LAMP where AEGIS segments are incorporated both into an internal LAMP primer and into a molecular beacon stem, the second lowering background signaling noise. This is coupled with RNase H nicking during sample amplification, allowing detection of as few as 10 copies of noroviral RNA in a stool sample, generating a fluorescent signal visible to human eye, all in a closed reaction vessel.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jviromet.2016.08.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000386190700011
View details for PubMedID 27546345
Isothermal titration calorimetry uncovers substrate promiscuity of bicupin oxalate oxidase from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora.
Biochemistry and biophysics reports
2016; 5: 396-400
Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) may be used to determine the kinetic parameters of enzyme-catalyzed reactions when neither products nor reactants are spectrophotometrically visible and when the reaction products are unknown. We report here the use of the multiple injection method of ITC to characterize the catalytic properties of oxalate oxidase (OxOx) from Ceriporiopsis subvermispora (CsOxOx), a manganese dependent enzyme that catalyzes the oxygen-dependent oxidation of oxalate to carbon dioxide in a reaction coupled with the formation of hydrogen peroxide. CsOxOx is the first bicupin enzyme identified that catalyzes this reaction. The multiple injection ITC method of measuring OxOx activity involves continuous, real-time detection of the amount of heat generated (dQ) during catalysis, which is equal to the number of moles of product produced times the enthalpy of the reaction (DeltaHapp). Steady-state kinetic constants using oxalate as the substrate determined by multiple injection ITC are comparable to those obtained by a continuous spectrophotometric assay in which H2O2 production is coupled to the horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed oxidation of 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) and by membrane inlet mass spectrometry. Additionally, we used multiple injection ITC to identify mesoxalate as a substrate for the CsOxOx-catalyzed reaction, with a kinetic parameters comparable to that of oxalate, and to identify a number of small molecule carboxylic acid compounds that also serve as substrates for the enzyme.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrep.2016.01.016
View details for PubMedID 28955847
Kinetic and Spectroscopic Studies of Bicupin Oxalate Oxidase and Putative Active Site Mutants
FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL. 2013
View details for Web of Science ID 000319883503439
Kinetic and Spectroscopic Studies of Bicupin Oxalate Oxidase and Putative Active Site Mutants
2013; 8 (3): e57933
Ceriporiopsis subvermispora oxalate oxidase (CsOxOx) is the first bicupin enzyme identified that catalyzes manganese-dependent oxidation of oxalate. In previous work, we have shown that the dominant contribution to catalysis comes from the monoprotonated form of oxalate binding to a form of the enzyme in which an active site carboxylic acid residue must be unprotonated. CsOxOx shares greatest sequence homology with bicupin microbial oxalate decarboxylases (OxDC) and the 241-244DASN region of the N-terminal Mn binding domain of CsOxOx is analogous to the lid region of OxDC that has been shown to determine reaction specificity. We have prepared a series of CsOxOx mutants to probe this region and to identify the carboxylate residue implicated in catalysis. The pH profile of the D241A CsOxOx mutant suggests that the protonation state of aspartic acid 241 is mechanistically significant and that catalysis takes place at the N-terminal Mn binding site. The observation that the D241S CsOxOx mutation eliminates Mn binding to both the N- and C- terminal Mn binding sites suggests that both sites must be intact for Mn incorporation into either site. The introduction of a proton donor into the N-terminal Mn binding site (CsOxOx A242E mutant) does not affect reaction specificity. Mutation of conserved arginine residues further support that catalysis takes place at the N-terminal Mn binding site and that both sites must be intact for Mn incorporation into either site.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0057933
View details for Web of Science ID 000315897100051
View details for PubMedID 23469254
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3585803
Non-genomic progesterone signalling and its non-canonical receptor
BIOCHEMICAL SOCIETY TRANSACTIONS
2012; 40: 200-204
The steroid hormone progesterone regulates many critical aspects of vertebrate physiology. The nuclear receptor for progesterone functions as a ligand-activated transcription factor, directly regulating gene expression. This type of signalling is referred to as the 'genomic' pathway. Nevertheless, progesterone also stimulates rapid physiological effects that are independent of transcription. This pathway, termed 'non-genomic', is mediated by the mPRs (membrane progesterone receptors). These mPRs belong to a larger class of membrane receptors called PAQRs (progestin and adipoQ receptors), which include receptors for adiponectin in vertebrates and osmotin in fungi. mPRs have been shown to activate inhibitory G-proteins, suggesting that they act as GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors). However, PAQRs do not resemble GPCRs with respect to topology or conserved sequence motifs. Instead, they more closely resemble proteins in the alkaline ceramidase family and they may possess enzymatic activity. In the present paper, we highlight the evidence in support of each model and what is currently known for PAQR signal transduction of this non-canonical receptor.
View details for DOI 10.1042/BST20110638
View details for Web of Science ID 000300136600035
View details for PubMedID 22260690
Phylogenetic and Preliminary Phenotypic Analysis of Yeast PAQR Receptors: Potential Antifungal Targets
JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION
2011; 73 (3-4): 134-152
Proteins belonging to the Progestin and AdipoQ Receptor (PAQR) superfamily of membrane bound receptors are ubiquitously found in fungi. Nearly, all fungi possess two evolutionarily distinct paralogs of PAQR protein, which we have called the PQRA and PQRB subtypes. In the model fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae, these subtypes are represented by the Izh2p and Izh3p proteins, respectively. S. cerevisiae also possesses two additional PQRA-type receptors called Izh1p and Izh4p that are restricted to other species within the "Saccharomyces complex". Izh2p has been the subject of several recent investigations and is of particular interest because it regulates fungal growth in response to proteins produced by plants and, as such, represents a new paradigm for interspecies communication. We demonstrate that IZH2 and IZH3 gene dosage affects resistance to polyene antifungal drugs. Moreover, we provide additional evidence that Izh2p and Izh3p negatively regulate fungal filamentation. These data suggest that agonists of these receptors might make antifungal therapeutics, either by inhibiting fungal development or by sensitizing fungi to the toxic effects of current antifungal therapies. This is particularly relevant for pathogenic fungi such as Candida glabrata that are closely related to S. cerevisiae and contain the same complement of PAQR receptors.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00239-011-9462-3
View details for Web of Science ID 000298056400008
View details for PubMedID 22009226
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3236824
- Characterization of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora bicupin oxalate oxidase expressed in Pichia pastoris ARCHIVES OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS 2011; 509 (1): 100-107
Metal Dependence of Oxalate Decarboxylase Activity
2009; 48 (26): 6116-6125
Bacillus subtilis oxalate decarboxylase (OxDC) catalyzes the conversion of oxalate into CO(2) and formate. The enzyme is composed of two cupin domains, each of which contains a Mn(II) ion. Although there is general agreement that Mn(II) in the N-terminal domain mediates OxDC-catalyzed decarboxylation, legitimate questions have been raised concerning the function (if any) of the Mn(II) bound in the C-terminal cupin domain. We have investigated this problem using a series of OxDC mutants in which Mn(II) binding is perturbed by mutagenesis of Glu-101 and Glu-280, which coordinate the metal in the N-terminal and C-terminal domains, respectively. We now demonstrate that decarboxylase activity and total manganese content are sensitive to modifications in either metal-binding glutamate residue. These findings, in combination with EPR measurements, raise the possibility that the C-terminal Mn(II) center can catalyze the decarboxylation reaction. Further support for this conclusion has been provided from a combination of in vivo and in vitro strategies for preparing wild-type OxDC in which Mn(II) is incorporated to a variety of extents. Kinetic characterization of these variants shows that OxDC activity is linearly correlated with manganese content, as might be expected if both sites can catalyze the breakdown of oxalate into formate and CO(2). These studies also represent the first unequivocal demonstration that OxDC activity is uniquely mediated by manganese.
View details for DOI 10.1021/bi801856k
View details for Web of Science ID 000267609100010
View details for PubMedID 19473032
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2801813
Crystallographic snapshots of oxalyl-CoA decarboxylase give insights into catalysis by nonoxidative ThDP-dependent decarboxylases
2007; 15 (7): 853-861
Despite more than five decades of extensive studies of thiamin diphosphate (ThDP) enzymes, there remain many uncertainties as to how these enzymes achieve their rate enhancements. Here, we present a clear picture of catalysis for the simple nonoxidative decarboxylase, oxalyl-coenzyme A (CoA) decarboxylase, based on crystallographic snapshots along the catalytic cycle and kinetic data on active site mutants. First, we provide crystallographic evidence that, upon binding of oxalyl-CoA, the C-terminal 13 residues fold over the substrate, aligning the substrate alpha-carbon for attack by the ThDP-C2 atom. The second structure presented shows a covalent reaction intermediate after decarboxylation, interpreted as being nonplanar. Finally, the structure of a product complex is presented. In accordance with mutagenesis data, no side chains of the enzyme are implied to directly participate in proton transfer except the glutamic acid (Glu-56), which promotes formation of the 1',4'-iminopyrimidine tautomer of ThDP needed for activation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.str.2007.06.001
View details for Web of Science ID 000248202300012
View details for PubMedID 17637344
Manganese-binding mutants of oxalate decarboxylase indicate that the active sites are not independent
AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2006
View details for Web of Science ID 000238125906087
Structural basis for activation of the thiamin diphosphate-dependent enzyme oxalyl-CoA decarboxylase by adenosine diphosphate
JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
2005; 280 (50): 41645-41654
Oxalyl-coenzyme A decarboxylase is a thiamin diphosphate-dependent enzyme that plays an important role in the catabolism of the highly toxic compound oxalate. We have determined the crystal structure of the enzyme from Oxalobacter formigenes from a hemihedrally twinned crystal to 1.73 A resolution and characterized the steady-state kinetic behavior of the decarboxylase. The monomer of the tetrameric enzyme consists of three alpha/beta-type domains, commonly seen in this class of enzymes, and the thiamin diphosphate-binding site is located at the expected subunit-subunit interface between two of the domains with the cofactor bound in the conserved V-conformation. Although oxalyl-CoA decarboxylase is structurally homologous to acetohydroxyacid synthase, a molecule of ADP is bound in a region that is cognate to the FAD-binding site observed in acetohydroxyacid synthase and presumably fulfils a similar role in stabilizing the protein structure. This difference between the two enzymes may have physiological importance since oxalyl-CoA decarboxylation is an essential step in ATP generation in O. formigenes, and the decarboxylase activity is stimulated by exogenous ADP. Despite the significant degree of structural conservation between the two homologous enzymes and the similarity in catalytic mechanism to other thiamin diphosphate-dependent enzymes, the active site residues of oxalyl-CoA decarboxylase are unique. A suggestion for the reaction mechanism of the enzyme is presented.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M509921200
View details for Web of Science ID 000233866900065
View details for PubMedID 16216870
Autophosphorylation activity of the Arabidopsis ethylene receptor multigene family
JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
2004; 279 (47): 48734-48741
Receptors for the gaseous phytohormone ethylene show sequence similarity to bacterial two-component histidine kinases. These receptors are encoded by a multigene family that can be divided into subfamilies 1 and 2. It has been previously shown that a subfamily 1 Arabidopsis thaliana ethylene receptor, ETR1, autophosphorylates in vitro on a conserved histidine residue (1). However, sequence comparisons between the five ethylene receptor family members suggest that subfamily 2 members do not have all the motifs necessary for histidine kinase activity. Further, a tobacco subfamily 2 receptor, NTHK1, autophosphorylates on serines and threonines in vitro (2). Here we show that all five Arabidopsis ethylene receptor proteins autophosphorylate in vitro. We analyzed the nature of the phosphorylated amino acids by acid/base stability and bi-dimensional thin layer electrophoresis and demonstrated that unlike ETR1 all other ethylene receptors autophosphorylate predominantly on serine residues. ERS1, the only other subfamily 1 receptor, is able to phosphorylate on both histidine and serine residues in the presence of Mn2+. However, histidine autophosphorylation is lost when ERS1 is assayed in the presence of both Mg2+ and Mn2+, suggesting that this activity may not occur in vivo. Furthermore, mutation of the histidine residue conserved in two-component systems does not abolish serine autophosphorylation, eliminating the possibility of a histidine to serine phosphotransfer. Our biochemical observations complement the recently published genetic data that histidine kinase activity is not necessary for ethylene receptor function in plants and suggest that ethylene signal transduction does not occur through a phosphorelay mechanism.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M403100200
View details for Web of Science ID 000225098100031
View details for PubMedID 15358768
Susceptible to intolerance - a range of hormonal actions in a susceptible Arabidopsis pathogen response
2003; 33 (2): 245-257
Ethylene and salicylic acid (SA) are key intermediates in a host's response to pathogens. Previously, we have shown using a tomato compatible interaction that ethylene and SA act sequentially and are essential for disease symptom production. Here, we have examined the relationship between the two signals in the Arabidopsis-Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) compatible interaction. Preventing SA accumulation by expression of the nahG gene reduced subsequent ethylene production and altered the development of disease symptoms, with plants showing no visible chlorosis. The ethylene insensitive lines, etr1-1 and etr2-1, on the other hand, accumulated SA and exhibited normal but precocious symptom development. Therefore, Arabidopsis, like tomato, was found to exhibit co-operative ethylene and SA action for the production of disease symptoms. However, in Arabidopsis, SA was found to act upstream of ethylene. Jasmonic acid and indole-3-acetic acid levels were also found to increase in response to Xcc. In contrast to ethylene, accumulation of these hormones was not found to be dependent on SA action. These results indicate that the plants response to a virulent pathogen is a composite of multiple signaling pathways.
View details for DOI 10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01619.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000180475400004
View details for PubMedID 12535339