Thomas D. Niehaus

Learn More
BACKGROUND In spite of its great promise, metabolomics has proven difficult to execute in an untargeted and generalizable manner. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) has made it possible to gather data on thousands of cellular metabolites. However, matching metabolites to their spectral features continues to be a bottleneck, meaning that much of(More)
Many common metabolites are intrinsically unstable and reactive, and hence prone to chemical (i.e. non-enzymatic) damage in vivo Although this fact is widely recognized, the purely chemical side-reactions of metabolic intermediates can be surprisingly hard to track down in the literature and are often treated in an unprioritized case-by-case way. Moreover,(More)
To synthesize the cofactor thiamin diphosphate (ThDP), plants must first hydrolyze thiamin monophosphate (ThMP) to thiamin, but dedicated enzymes for this hydrolysis step were unknown and widely doubted to exist. The classical thiamin-requiring th2-1 mutation in Arabidopsis thaliana was shown to reduce ThDP levels by half and to increase ThMP levels 5-fold,(More)
The increasing number of sequenced plant genomes is placing new demands on the methods applied to analyze, annotate, and model these genomes. Today's annotation pipelines result in inconsistent gene assignments that complicate comparative analyses and prevent efficient construction of metabolic models. To overcome these problems, we have developed the(More)
It is now recognized that enzymatic or chemical side-reactions can convert normal metabolites to useless or toxic ones and that a suite of enzymes exists to mitigate such metabolite damage. Examples are the reactive imine/enamine intermediates produced by threonine dehydratase, which damage the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate cofactor of various enzymes causing(More)
RidA (for Reactive Intermediate Deaminase A) proteins are ubiquitous, yet their function in eukaryotes is unclear. It is known that deleting Salmonella enterica ridA causes Ser sensitivity and that S. enterica RidA and its homologs from other organisms hydrolyze the enamine/imine intermediates that Thr dehydratase forms from Ser or Thr. In S. enterica, the(More)
The number of sequenced genomes is rapidly increasing, but functional annotation of the genes in these genomes lags far behind. Even in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), only approximately 40% of enzyme- and transporter-encoding genes have credible functional annotations, and this number is even lower in nonmodel plants. Functional characterization of(More)
Gene fusions are the most powerful type of in silico-derived functional associations. However, many fusion compilations were made when <100 genomes were available, and algorithms for identifying fusions need updating to handle the current avalanche of sequenced genomes. The availability of a large fusion dataset would help probe functional associations and(More)
5-Oxoproline (OP) is well-known as an enzymatic intermediate in the eukaryotic γ-glutamyl cycle, but it is also an unavoidable damage product formed spontaneously from glutamine and other sources. Eukaryotes metabolize OP via an ATP-dependent 5-oxoprolinase; most prokaryotes lack homologs of this enzyme (and the γ-glutamyl cycle) but are predicted to have(More)
  • 1