Desamero, Ruel

Associate Professor and Chair

Phone: 718-262-2657
Office Location: AC-3F01F

Office Hours  
Tuesday and Thursday  2-3:30 


Degree Institution Field Dates
PhD  University of Connecticut  Chemistry  1998 

My research is centered on investigating the structural and dynamical aspects of protein-small molecule interactions using techniques such as vibrational spectroscopy and T-jump relaxation. One aspect of the work is to understand enzyme-substrate interactions which have long been recognized as representing an extreme expression of structural complementarities in biological chemistry. Basic research geared towards understanding the inner workings of an enzyme system is important if cures for the diseases caused by a malfunctioning or deficient enzyme are to be found. Our group is investigating the hydride transfer mechanism involved in the enzyme dihydropteridine reductase. DHPR is important in the normal cycling of tetrahydrobiopterin, an essential cofactor in the synthesis of serotonin and cathecholamine precursors. Regulation of DHPR became of interest with the discovery of atypical phenylketonuria, a neurological disorder associated with a defect in tetrahydrobiopterin recycling.

Areas of Expertise

Protein Biochemistry
Vibrational Spectroscopy
Time-resolved Studies
Temperature-jump Relaxation Techniques

Articles in Field Of Expertise

Nie, B., H. Deng, R.Z.B. Desamero and R. Callender. "Large scale dynamics of the Michaelis Complex in B. stearothermophilus lactate dehydrogenase revealed by single tryptophan mutants study." Biochemistry. 52 2013: 1886-1892.

Profit, A.A., V. Felsen, J. Chinwong, E.-R. Mojica, and R.Z.B. Desamero. "Evidence of π-stacking interactions in the self-assembly of hIAPP22-29." PROTEINS: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics. 81 2013: 690-703.

Deng, H., D.V. Vu, K. Clinch, R. Desamero, R.B. Dryer and R. Callender. "Conformational Heterogeneity Within the Michaelis Complex of Lactate Dehydrogenase." J. Phys. Chem. B. 115 2011: 7670-7678.

Desamero, R.Z.B., J. Kang, C. Dol, J. Chinwong, K. Walters, T. Sivirajah, and A.A. Profit. "Spectroscopic Characterization of the SH2- and Active Site-Directed Peptide Sequences of a Bivalent Src Kinase Inhibitor." Applied Spectroscopy. 63 2009: 767-774.

Juszczak, L.J. and R.Z.B. Desamero. "Extension of tryptophan dihedral angle-W3 band frequency relationship to a full rotation: correlations and caveats." Biochemistry. 48 2009: 2777-2787.

Kang, J. and R.Z.B. Desamero. "Synthesis of 6-amino-2,3-dimethylpyrimido[4,5-e][1,2,4] triazine-8-one as an inhibitor of dihydropteridine reductase (DHPR)." Letters in Organic Chemistry. 5 2008: 87-91.

Gulotta, M., L. Qui, R. Desamero, J. Rosgen, D.W. Bolen, and R. Callender. "Effects of Cell Volume Regulating Osmolytes on Glycerol 3-Phosphate Binding to Triosephosphate Isomerase." Biochemistry. 46 2007: 10055-10062.

Desamero, R.Z.B., S. Rozovsky, N. Zhadin, A. McDermott and R. Callender. "Active Site Loop Motion in Triosephosphate Isomerase: T-jump relaxation spectroscopy of thermal activation." Biochemistry. 40 2003: 3767-3773.

Desamero, R.Z.B., H. Cheng, S. Cahill, M. Girvin, H. Deng, R. Callender, P. Rath, B. Variano and J. Smart. "The Physical Properties of Compounds that Promote the Oral Delivery of Macromolecular Drugs." Biopolymers. 67 2002: 26-40.

Desamero, R.Z.B., H. Cheng, S. Cahill, M. Girvin, H. Deng, R. Callender, P. Rath, B. Variano and J. Smart. "Interaction of Amidated Acids with Heparin." Biopolymers. 67 2002: 41-48.

Kong, J., W. Sun, X. Wu, J. Deng, Z. Lu, Y. Lvov, R.Z.B. Desamero, H.A. Frank and J. F. Rusling. "Fast Reversible Electron Transfer for Photosynthetic Reaction Center from Wild Type Rhodobacter sphaeroides re-constituted in polycation sandwiched monolayer film." Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics. 48 1999: 101-107.

Kong, J., Z. Lu, R.Z.B. Desamero, H.A. Frank and J.F. Rusling. "Direct Electrochemistry of Cofactor Redox Sites in a Bacterial Photosynthetic Reaction Center Protein." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 120 1998: 7371-7372.

Desamero, R.Z.B., V. Chynwat, R. Gebhard, I. van der Hoef, F.J. Jansen, J. Lugtenburg, D. Gosztola, M.R. Wasielewski, Agnes Cua, David F. Bocian and H.A. Frank. "The Mechanism of Energy Transfer from Carotenoids to Bacteriochlorophyll: Light-Harvesting by Carotenoids having Different Extents of -Electron Conjugation Incorporated into the B850 Antenna Complex from carotenoidless bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides R-26.1." J. Phys. Chem. B. 102 1998: 8151-8162.

Frank, H.A., R.Z.B. Desamero, V. Chynwat, R. Gebhard, I. van der Hoef, F.J. Jansen, J. Lugtenburg, D. Gosztola and M.R. Wasielewski. "The Spectroscopic Properties of Spheroidene Analogs having Different Extents of -Electron Conjugation." J. Phys. Chem. 101 1997: 149-157.

Frank, H.A., V. Chynwat, R.Z.B. Desamero, R. Farhoosh, J.P. Erickson and J. Bautista. "On the Photochemical Properties of Carotenoids and their Role as Light-Harvesting Pigments in Photosynthesis." Pure Appl. Chem. 69 1997: 2117-2124.


National Institute of Health-MBRS SCORE SC3, Dihydropteridine reductase: Mechanism of enzyme action. 1/10 – 12/13: $468,224.

National Science Foundation-ATE Grant (co-PI), Pathways to chemical technology education and careers. 9/07 – 8/10: $896,350.

National Institute of Health-MARC T34, York College MARC U-STAR program. 6/08 – 5/10: $115,000.

National Institute of Health-MBRS SCORE S06, Dihydropteridine reductase: Mechanism of enzyme action. 6/06 – 12/09: $328,088.

CUNY Research Equipment Grant, Probing the dynamics of binding and catalysis in dihydropteridine reductase (DHPR) using a mT-Jump stopped-flow device. 4/07 – 4/08: $40,000.

UNCF•Merck Science Initiative-Department Grant, Computer facility for performing molecular mechanics and ab initio calculations. 8/06: $10,000.

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Desamero, Ruel

Desamero, Ruel
Associate Professor