William Welch


Photo of William Welch

Emeritus Professor

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Nevada/Mail Stop 330
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno,  Nevada   89557

Office: (775) 784-4196
Lab: 784-4102

Fax: 784-1419

Email: welch@unr.edu
Building: Howard Medical Science,  Office 203

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EDUCATION
B.A. Biochemistry, 1963 University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. Biochemistry, 1968 Kansas University

ACADEMIC & RESEARCH INTEREST

Our laboratory has a long-standing interest in the relationship between macromolecular structure and function, in particular the role of cat ions and anions in modulating protein conformation and enzyme activity. Currently most of our effort is focused in two areas: (1) the factors modulating the ryanodine receptor and (2) the interaction between capsular polysaccharide and two proteins, immunoglobin and complement factor C3.

The ryanodine receptor is an intracellular calcium channel best characterized in muscle cells where it forms a critical element of the excitation-contraction coupling process. Recent studies suggest that the ryanodine receptor may also be responsible for modulating calcium ion levels in other cell types.

Virulence of many pathogens is associated with the production of a polysaccharide capsule surrounding the organism. We are investigating the nature of the protein-polysaccharide interaction to understand the disease process itself as well as to gain new insights into carbohydrate-mediated events in intra- and intercellular communication.

We use a variety of physical techniques in our research including analytical ultra centrifugation, computational biochemistry, molecular visualization, spectrofluorimetry and other forms of optical spectroscopy, kinetic and thermodynamic analysis.

REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS

Journals
Bourbigot, S., Dodd, E., Horwood, C., Cumby, N., Fardy, L., Welch, W. H., Ramjan, Z., Sharma, S., Waring, J., Yeaman, M. R., Booth, V. 2009, Antimicrobial peptide RP-1 structure and interactions with anionic versus zwitterionic micelles., Biopolymers, 91, 1-13.  
F. C. Mead-Savery, R. Wang, B. Tanna-Topan, S. R. Chen, W. Welch, A. J. Williams 2009, Changes in negative charge at the luminal mouth of the pore alter ion handling and gating in the cardiac ryanodine-receptor., Biophys. J. 96:1374-1387  
A. Huma Taban, Claus Tittiger, Gary J. Blomquist, and William H. Welch 2009, Isolation and characterization of farnesyl diphosphate synthase from the cotton boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis., Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology 71: 88-104  
P. Sandstrom, M. D. Ginzel, J. C. Bearfield, W. H. Welch, G. J. Blomquist, C. Tittiger 2008, Myrcene Hydroxylases do not Determine Enantiomeric Composition of Pheromonal Ipsdienol in Ips spp., J. Chem. Ecol. 34:1584-1592  
Q. T. Phan, C. L. Myers, Y. Fu, D. C. Sheppard, M. R. Yeaman, W. H. Welch, A. S. Ibrahim, J. E. Edwards, S. G. Filler 2007, Als3 Is a Candida albicans Invasin That Binds to Cadherins and Induces Endocytosis by Host Cells., PLoS Biol. 2007 Feb 20;5(3):e64 [Epub ahead of print] Mar;5(30)e64 PMID:17311474  
M. R. Yeaman, N. Y. Yount, A. J. Waring, K. D. Gank, D. Kupferwasser, R. Wiese, A. S. Bayer, W. H. Welch. 2007, Modular determinants of antimicrobial activity in platelet factor-4 family kinocidins, Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1768:609-619  
T. R. Kozel, P. Thorkildson, S. Brandt, W. H. Welch, J. A. Lovchik, D. P. Aucoin, J. Vilai, C. R. Lyons 2007, Protective and immunochemical activities of monoclonal antibodies reactive with the Bacillus anthracis polypeptide capsule, Infect. Immun. 75:152-163  
K. M. Ranatunga, S. R. Chen, L. Ruest, W. Welch, A. J. Williams. 2007, Quantification of the effects of a ryanodine receptor channel mutation on interaction with a ryanoid, Mol. Membr. Biol. 24:185-193  
N. Y. Yount, A. J. Waring, K. D. Gank, W. H. Welch, D. Kupferwasser, M. R. Yeaman. 2007, Structural correlates of antimicrobial efficacy in IL-8 and related human kinocidins, Biochim Biophys Acta.1768:598-608  
P. Sandstrom, W. H. Welch, G. J. Blomquist, C. Tittiger 2006, Functional expression of a bark beetle cytochrome P450 that hydroxylates myrcene to ipsdienol, Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 36:835-845  
T. W. Bell, S. Anugu, P. Bailey, V. J. Catalano, K. Dey, M. G. Drew, N. H. Duffy, Q. Jin, M. F. Samala, A. Sodoma, W. H. Welch, D. Schols, K. Vermeire 2006, Synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies of CD4 down-modulating cyclotriazadisulfonamide (CADA) analogues, J Med Chem. 49:1291-312  
B. Tanna, W. Welch, L. Ruest, J. L. Sutko, A. J. Williams 2006, The interaction of an impermeant cation with the sheep cardiac RyR channel alters ryanoid association, Mol Pharmacol. 69:1990-1997  
W.H. Welch, Jr. and G.D. Fasman 1974, Hydrogen-Tritium Exchange of Polypeptides: Models of Alpha-Helical and Beta-Conformation, Biochemistry 13: 2455-2466