Cobalt-albumin manuscript accepted for publication in Chemical Science.

PhD student, Dongmei Wu (from the Stewart group) has had a joint first author paper focussed on serum albumin interaction with Co2+ , accepted for publication in the RSC journal, Chemical Science. The work was a collaboration between several groups, including that of Prof. Wladek Minor from the Univeristy of Virginia (who is joint lead author with Dr Stewart) and Prof. Claudia Blindauer from the University of Warwick.

Serum albumin-Co2+ interactions are of clinical importance. They play a role in mediating the physiological effects associated with cobalt toxicity and are central to the albumin cobalt binding (ACB) assay for diagnosis of myocardial ischemia. To further understand these processes, a deeper understanding of albumin-Co2+ interactions was required. In the paper, the first crystallographic structures of human serum albumin (HSA; three structures) and equine serum albumin (ESA; one structure) in complex with Co2+ are presented. Amongst a total of sixteen sites bearing a cobalt ion across the structures, two locations were prominent, and they relate to metal-binding sites A and B. Site-directed mutagenesis and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) were employed to characterise sites on HSA. The presence of bound myristate (C14:0) in the HSA crystal structures provided insight into the fatty acid-mediated structural changes that diminish the affinity of the protein toward Co2+.

Together, these data provide further support for the idea that ischemia-modified albumin corresponds to albumin with excessive fatty-acid loading.  Collectively, our findings provide a comprehensive understanding of the molecular underpinnings governing Co2+ binding to serum albumin.


Scottish Cardiovascular Forum Annual Meeting – Aberdeen Feb 2023

Congratulations to Katie Abraham on winning a poster prize at SCF 2023. Katie presented a poster titled “Does Mitsugumin 23 play a role in doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity”. Katie was a recipient of a Physiological Springboard summer studentship to carry out a summer project in the Pitt lab in 2022. This was Katie’s first conference and she certainly did it in style.

The Pitt lab would like to thank Dr Fiona Murray University of Aberdeen for organising such an exciting meeting focused on early career researchers.

International Conference of Trace Elements and Minerals, Aachen, Germany.

Between the  5th-10th June seven members of the Metal Ions in Medicine Group were in Aachen, Germany to present their work at the International Conference of Trace Elements and Minerals. Dr Alan Stewart organised and chaired a session on Zinc in Cardiovascular Disease and gave a talk on aberrant plasma zinc handling in type 2 diabetes. Dr Samantha Pitt and Dr Amy Dorward gave Invited Talks each focussed on the role of zinc in heart failure. Jordan March gave an Oral Presentation on the role of zinc in platelets, while Stephen Hierons, Dongmei Wu and Spencer Regan-Smith gave poster presentations based on their research. The group would like to thank the organisers of the conference, particularly Prof. Lothar Rink for what was an exciting meeting held in a beautiful and historically-important city.