Understanding the functional role of formaldehyde in health and disease
My research is focused on understanding how reactions between biomolecules and reactive small molecules, most notably formaldehyde, affect biological systems in health and disease. Formaldehyde, the simplest aldehyde, is a highly-reactive and often toxic electrophile that is a by-product of enzymatic demethylation reactions in human cells. The mechanisms underpinning formaldehyde toxicity are poorly understood, which is likely a consequence of its complex and uncharacterised reactivity with biomolecules, often involving unstable intermediates. My research uses chemical/synthetic, biochemical and cellular methods to identify and characterise the complex biologically relevant chemistry of formaldehyde with biomolecules. Ultimately, we hope to define the mechanisms underpinning formaldehyde homeostasis and biology in health and disease.
- Chen X, Chothia SY, Basran J , Hopkinson RJ Formaldehyde regulates tetrahydrofolate stability and thymidylate synthase catalysis ChemComm 57, 5778-5781
- Reinbold R, John T, Spingardi P, Kawamura A, Schofield CJ, Hopkinson RJ (2020) Metampicillin is a cyclic aminal produced by reaction of ampicillin with formaldehyde Sci Rep 10, 17955
- Reinbold R, John T, Spingardi P, Kawamura A, Thompson AL, Schofield CJ , Hopkinson RJ (2019) Formaldehyde quantification using ampicillin is not selective Sci Rep 9, 18289 doi:10.1038/s41598-019-54610-3
- Shishodia S, Zhang D, El-Sagheer A, Brown T, Claridge TDW, Schofiel CJ, Hopkinson RJ. NMR Analyses on N-Hydroxymethylated Nucleobases – Implications for Formaldehyde Toxicity and Nucleic Acid Demethylases. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 16, 4021-4032
Lauren Abbott, Natasha Bulman, Sara Chothia, Vicki Emms and Liam Lewis.