Maureen Gorman, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor
Areas of specialty
- Insect biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics
- Mechanisms of iron metabolism in insects
- Function of insect multicopper oxidases
- Insect innate immunity
Iron metabolism is a vital biological process in all eukaryotic organisms, but the mechanisms of iron metabolism in insects are poorly understood. Our research is focused on iron transport and the relationship between iron metabolism and innate immunity in insects. We use a combination of genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry methods to study iron metabolism in four species of insects: Drosophila melanogaster (fruitfly), Anopheles gambiae (mosquito), Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm), and Tribolium castaneum (flour beetle). Our current research is focused on multicopper oxidase-1, a newly discovered insect multicopper ferroxidase, and transferrin, an iron binding protein in insect blood. An eventual goal of this research is to develop new methods of controlling insects and the diseases they transmit.
Peng, Z., Dittmer N.T., Lang, M., Brummett, L.M., Braun, C.L., Davis, L.C., Kanost, M.R., and Gorman, M.J. (2015) Multicopper oxidase-1 orthologs from diverse insect species have ascorbate oxidase activity. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 59: 58-71.
Peng, Z., Green, P.G., Arakane, Y., Kanost, M.R., and Gorman, M.J. (2014) A multicopper oxidase-related protein is essential for insect viability, longevity and ovary development. PloS ONE 9: e111344.
Lang, M., Braun, C.L., Kanost, M.R., and Gorman, M.J. (2012) Multicopper oxidase-1 is a ferroxidase essential for iron homeostasis in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA doi: 10.1073/pnas.1208703109.
Lang, M., Kanost, M.R., and Gorman, M.J. (2012) Multicopper oxidase-3 is a laccase associated with the peritrophic matrix of Anopheles gambiae. PLoS One 7: e33985.
Gorman, M.J., Sullivan, L.I., Nguyen, T.D.T., Dai, H., Arakane, Y., Dittmer, N.T., Syed, L.U., Li, J., Hua, D.H., and Kanost, M.R. (2012) Kinetic properties of alternatively spliced isoforms of laccase-2 from Tribolium castaneum and Anopheles gambiae. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 42: 193-202.
Gorman, M.J., and Arakane, Y. (2010) Tyrosine hydroxylase is required for cuticle sclerotization and pigmentation in Tribolium castaneum. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 40: 267-273.
Gorman MJ, Dittmer NT, Marshall JL, and Kanost MR (2008) Characterization of the multicopper oxidase gene family in Anopheles gambiae. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 38, 817-824.
Gorman, M.J., An, C., and Kanost, M.R. (2007) Characterization of tyrosine hydroxylase from Manduca sexta. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 37: 1327-1337.
Gorman, M.J., Wang, Y., Jiang, H., and Kanost, M.R. (2007) Manduca sexta hemolymph proteinase 21 activates prophenoloxidase activating proteinase 3 in an insect innate immune response proteinase cascade. Journal of Biological Chemistry 282: 11742-11749.
Gorman, M.J., P. Kankanala, and Kanost, M.R. (2004) Bacterial challenge stimulates innate immune responses in extra-embryonic tissues of tobacco hornworm eggs. Insect Molecular Biology 13:19-24.