Biography

Tharin obtained a BSc in Molecular Sciences and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of São Paulo (Brazil). Her interests in Structural Biology then took her to Canada, where she used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study protein structure and dynamics in the regulation of muscle contraction as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Brian Sykes’s laboratory, in the University of Alberta, before moving to the UK to work with Prof. Steve Matthews at Imperial College London, where she studied proteins involved in cell invasion by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

Research interests in the Blumenschein group involve using NMR spectroscopy to investigate structural and dynamic properties of proteins, and their role in protein interactions and function. Current projects include the study of potential antibiotic targets, Chlamydia effectors, plant pathogen effectors, muscle regulatory proteins, and cell signalling in cancer. The study of intrinsically disordered proteins by NMR spectroscopy is another area of interest.

Selected publications

L. S. Boutemy, S. R. King, J. Win, R. K. Hughes, T. A. Clarke, T. M. A. Blumenschein, S. Kamoun and M. J. Banfield.
Structures of Phytophthora RXLR effector proteins: a conserved but adaptable fold underpins functional diversity.
Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011, 286, 35834-35842.
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.262303

O. Julien, P. Mercier, C. N. Allen, O. Fisette, C. H. Ramos, P. Lagüe, T. M. A. Blumenschein and B. D. Sykes.
Is there nascent structure in the intrinsically disordered region of troponin I?
Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 2011, 79, 1240-1250.
DOI: 10.1002/prot.22959

J. F. de Oliveira, M. L. Sforça, T. M. A. Blumenschein, B. G. Guimarães, C. C. de Oliveira, N. I. T. Zanchin and A.-C. Zeri.
Structure, dynamics and RNA interaction analysis of the human SBDS protein
Journal of Molecular Biology, 2010, 396, 1053-1069.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.12.039

T. M. A. Blumenschein, N. Friedrich, R. A. Childs, S. Saouros, E. P. Carpenter, M. A. Campanero-Rhodes, P. Simpson, W. Chai, T. Koutroukides, M. J. Blackman, T. Feizi, D. Soldati-Favre and S. Matthews.
Atomic resolution insight into host cell recognition by Toxoplasma gondii.
EMBO Journal, 2007, 26, 2808-2820.
DOI: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601704

Career History

  • 1990-1994 – BSc in Molecular Sciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 1995-2000 – PhD in Biochemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo, Brazil 
  • 2000-2005 – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2005-2007 – Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of Molecular Biosciences, Imperial College London
  • 2007-current – Lecturer in Biomolecular NMR, School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia

All Publications

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Boutemy, L., King, S., Win, J., Hughes, R., Clarke, T., Blumenschein, T., Kamoun, S., Banfield, M.

(2011)

Structures of Phytophthora RXLR Effector Proteins: a CONSERVED BUT ADAPTABLE FOLD UNDERPINS FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY

in Journal of Biological Chemistry

286.

pp. 35834-35842

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Julien, O., Mercier, P., Allen, C. N., Fisette, O., Ramos, C. H. I., Lagüe, P., Blumenschein, T. M. A., Sykes, B. D.

(2011)

Is there nascent structure in the intrinsically disordered region of troponin I?

in "Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics"

79.

pp. 1240-1250

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


de Oliveira, J. F., Sforça, M. L., Blumenschein, T., Goldfeder, M. B., Guimarães, B. G., Oliveira, C. C., Zanchin, N. I., Zeri, A.

(2010)

Structure, Dynamics, and RNA Interaction Analysis of the Human SBDS Protein

in Journal of molecular biology

396.

pp. 1053-1069

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T.

(2009)

Biomolecular structures by solution magnetic nuclear resonance

In: Encyclopedia of Applied Spectroscopy.

Wiley-VHC Verlag GmbH & Co KGaA, Weinheim

pp. 963-987

ISBN 978-3-527-40773-6

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Blumenschein, T., Friedrich, N., Childs, R. A., Saouros, S., Carpenter, E. P., Campanero-Rhodes, M. A., Simpson, P., Chai, W., Koutroukides, T., Blackman, M. J., Feizi, T., Soldati-Favre, D., Matthews, S.

(2007)

Atomic resolution insight into host cell recognition by Toxoplasma gondii

in The EMBO journal

26.

pp. 2808-2820

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Saouros, S., Blumenschein, T., Sawmynaden, K., Marchant, J., Koutroukides, T., Liu, B., Simpson, P., Carpenter, E. P., Matthews, S. J.

(2007)

High-Level Bacterial Expression and Purification of Apicomplexan Micronemal Proteins for Structural Studies

in Protein and Peptide Letters

14.

pp. 411-415

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T. M. A., Carpenter, E. P., Saouros, S., Friedrich, N., Koutroukides, T., Soldati, D., Matthews, S.

(2007)

The cell-binding region of Toxoplasma gondii micronemal protein 1 presents a novel fold

in Biophysical Journal

pp. 43A

UEA Repository

(Article)


Hoffman, R. M. B., Gagne, S. M., Blumenschein, T. M. A., Sykes, B. D.

(2007)

A functional role for the intrinsically disordered regions of troponin I

in Biophysical Journal

pp. 396A

UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T., Stone, D., Fletterick, R., Mendelson, R., Sykes, B.

(2006)

Dynamics of the C-Terminal Region of TnI in the Troponin Complex in Solution

in Biophysical Journal

90.

pp. 2436-2444

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Hoffman, R. M., Blumenschein, T., Sykes, B. D.

(2006)

An Interplay between Protein Disorder and Structure Confers the Ca2+ Regulation of Striated Muscle

in Journal of molecular biology

361.

pp. 625-633

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T., Stone, D., Fletterick, R., Mendelson, A., Sykes, B.

(2005)

Calcium-dependent Changes in the Flexibility of the Regulatory Domain of Troponin C in the Troponin Complex

in The Journal of Biological Chemistry

280.

pp. 21924-21932

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T. M. A., Stone, D. B., Sykes, B. D.

(2005)

Dynamics of TnC in the skeletal troponin complex

in Biophysical Journal

88.

pp. 359A

UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T., Gillis, T. E., Tibbits, G. F., Sykes, B. D.

(2004)

Effect of Temperature on the Structure of Trout Troponin C

in Biochemistry

43.

pp. 4955-4963

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T. M. A., Stone, D. B., Sykes, B. D.

(2004)

Troponin C in the skeletal ternary complex

in Biophysical Journal

86.

pp. 215A

UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T. M. A., Gillis, T. E., Tibbits, G. F., Sykes, B. D.

(2003)

Effects of temperature on protein structure: Trout troponin C

in Biophysical Journal

84.

pp. 567A

UEA Repository

(Article)


Gillis, T. E., Blumenschein, T., Sykes, B. D., Tibbits, G. F.

(2003)

Effect of Temperature and the F27W Mutation on the Ca2+Activated Structural Transition of Trout Cardiac Troponin C

in Biochemistry

42.

pp. 6418-6426

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T. M. A., Gillis, T. E., Tibbits, G. F., Sykes, B. D.

(2002)

Effect of temperature on trout cardiac troponin C structure

in Biophysical Journal

82.

pp. 1887

UEA Repository

(Article)


Gillis, T. E., Blumenschein, T. M. A., Sykes, B. D., Tibbits, G. F.

(2002)

Site I binds Ca2+ in trout cardiac troponin C

in Biophysical Journal

82.

pp. 1886

UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T., Tripet, B., Hodges, R., Sykes, B.

(2001)

Mapping the Interacting Regions between Troponins T and C. BINDING OF TnT AND TnI PEPTIDES TO TnC AND NMR MAPPING OF THE TnT-BINDING SITE ON TnC

in The Journal of Biological Chemistry

276.

pp. 36606-36612

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Blumenschein, T. M. A., Tripet, B. P., Hodges, R. S., Sykes, B. D.

(2001)

Binding of troponin T and I peptides to troponin C

in Biophysical Journal

80.

pp. 384

UEA Repository

(Article)


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Key Research Interests

Research interests in the Blumenschein group revolve around understanding protein structures and dynamics, and their role in protein interactions and function. We perform protein expression and purification to obtain isotopically labelled samples for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy studies, complemented by other biophysical techniques as necessary.

Current research projects include the study of a peptide with antibiotic properties, pathogen effectors, cell signalling in cancer, and the regulation of muscle contraction. In collaboration with Prof Tony Maxwell, from the John Innes Centre, we are looking at a bacterial peptide that inhibits the activity of DNA gyrase by a mechanism different from current antibiotics. Given the urgent need to develop new antibiotics, we are hope that new understanding of how this inhibitor works will lead to new therapeutic agents.

Effectors are proteins produced by pathogens that contribute to the process of infection, both of animal and plant hosts. We are currently studying the structure and dynamics of Tarp, an effector from Chlamydia trachomatis involved in the cell invasion in human infection (in collaboration with Dr Ted Hackstadt, NIH, USA), and AVR3a11, an effector from the plant pathogen Phytophthora capsici which prevents the plant defence mechanisms from recognising the infection (in collaboration with Dr Mark Banfield, John Innes Centre).

Cell signalling is intrinsic to the process of cancer. The process of cell division and growth is usually tightly regulated in each cell, involving a number of proteins that interact with each other to maintain this balanced network of signals. We are looking at three different signalling processes that are involved in cancer: ADAM-15 interactions with different intracellular kinases, the E3 ligase WWP2 interactions with its targets, and the coiled-coil interactions between Fos and Jun proteins.

We are also looking at the interactions within the troponin complex, which is responsible for the regulation of muscle contraction.
 

Research Group Membership

The group at the CCPN meeting, summer 2012. From the left: James Tolchard, Vicki Chambers, Krissy Kay, Liz Shedden and Tharin Blumenschein.

PhD Students
James Tolchard
Liz Shedden

Undergraduate project Students
Danielle De Bourcier
Monica Sharman

Former group members
Priscilla Sieira Chaves (undergraduate summer student 2012)
Michael Wood (undergraduate summer student 2012)
Krissy Kay (visiting researcher 2010/11 and MSc project student 2011/12)
Vicki Chambers (undergraduate project student 2011/12)
Alex Carey-Hulyer (undergraduate summer student 2010 and project student 2011/12)
Rachael Gathercole (undergraduate summer student 2011)
Francesca Kinsey (undergraduate summer student 2011)
Claire Allen (undergraduate summer student 2009 and project student 2010/11)
Aaron Eveleigh (undergraduate project student 2009/10)
Lawrence Eaglen (undergraduate project student 2008/09)
Leah Morris (undergraduate summer student 2008)

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • Secretary of the British Biophysical Society Committee since 2013
  • Member of CPOW in the Biophysical Society (USA) since 2011
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry East Anglia Section Committee since 2007
  • Member of the Biochemical Society since 2005
  • Member of the Biophysical Society since 1998

Key Responsibilities

  • Senior Adviser for Natural Sciences 
  • Careers Liaison Coordinator in the School of Chemistry
  • Science without Borders Coordinator for Chemistry
  • Employability Champion in Chemistry
  • Member of the Natural Sciences Teaching & Admissions Executive Team
  • Member of the School of Chemistry Promotions Committee
  • Member of the School of Chemistry Teaching Committee
  • Member of the School of Chemistry Web Committee

Administrative Posts

  • Senior Adviser for Natural Sciences
  • Careers Liaison Coordinator in the School of Chemistry
  • Science without Borders Coordinator for Chemistry
  • Member of the Natural Sciences Teaching & Admissions Executive Team
  • Member of the School of Chemistry Promotions Committee
  • Member of the School of Chemistry Teaching Committee
  • Member of the School of Chemistry Web Committee