Dr. Dunkle is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 2010 and performed postdoctoral research at Emory University School of Medicine from 2011 to 2015. Dr. Dunkle has extensively used structural biology methods, such as X-ray crystallography, to characterize the structure and function of protein complexes and protein-RNA complexes involved in gene expression, gene regulation, antibiotic resistance and essential metabolic functions. The Dunkle Research Group is currently supported by an NIH R35 award (https://dunklelab.ua.edu).
- Shared requirements for key residues in the antibiotic resistance enzymes ErmC and ErmE suggest a common mode of RNA recognition, S. J. Rowe, R. J. Mecaskey, M. Nasef, R. C. Talton, R. E. Sharkey, J. C. Halliday and J. A. Dunkle. J. Biol. Chem. 295: 17476-17485, 2020.
- Structural evidence for a latch mechanism regulating access to the active site of SufS-family cysteine desulfurases, J. A. Dunkle, M. R. Bruno and P. A. Frantom. Acta Crystallogr. D Struct. Biol. 76(Pt 3): 291-301, 2020.
- Regulation of cyclic oligoadenylate synthesis by the Staphylococcus epidermidis Cas10-Csm complex, M. Nasef, M. C. Muffly, A. B. Beckman, S. J. Rowe, F. C. Walker, A. Hatoum-Aslan and J. A. Dunkle. RNA 25: 948-962, 2019.
- Structural Evidence for Dimer-Interface-Driven Regulation of the Type II Cysteine Desulfurase, SufS, J. A. Dunkle, M. R. Bruno, F. W. Outten and P. A. Frantom. Biochemistry 58: 687-696, 2019.
- Mechanism of tRNA-mediated +1 ribosomal frameshifting, S. Hong, S. Sunita, T. Maehigashi, E. D. Hoffer, J. A. Dunkle and C. M. Dunham. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 115: 11226-11231, 2018.
Research in the Dunkle group emphasizes the use of structural biology techniques, such as, X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, computational modelling with Rosetta and site-directed mutagenesis, to build up mechanistic explanations of macromolecular function. We are currently applying these techniques to better understand antibiotic resistance mechanisms, biogenesis pathways for essential enzyme cofactors and CRISPR-Cas function. A long-term goal of the research group is the discovery of new antibiotics and new biotechnology based on CRISPR-Cas systems.