Dr. Ruel E. McKnight

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Associate Professor
(Biochemistry)

Department of Chemistry
SUNY Geneseo
1 College Circle
Geneseo, NY 14454
Tel: (585)245-5451
Fax: (585)245-5288
mcknight@geneseo.edu


EDUCATION
Ph.D., Georgia State University
M.S., Georgia State University
B.S., University of the West Indies, Jamaica

RESEARCH INTERESTS
It is now well established that a wide range of important therapeutic drugs exert their effects by binding to DNA in a sequence-specific manner. These compounds generally interfere with the actions of many vital enzymes and protein factors involved DNA metabolism. However, a major limiting factor that exists with the use of these drugs is the occurrence of deleterious side effects.

The McKnight research group is currently involved in the study of novel drug molecules (mainly threading intercalators) binding to DNA using spectrophotometric, calorimetric and electrophoretic gel-based techniques. The long term goal is to develop a fundamental understanding of drug-DNA interactions and to use this knowledge as a guide to rationally design less toxic therapeutics.

Past Research Team


Left to right: Dave, Shiv, Dr. McKnight, James, Sadia

Photos from UMBC Symposium, 2005, Baltimore, MD: Group, Aaron1, Aaron2, James1, James2

Research Symposium, 2006, Geneseo, NY: James-Presentation, Aaron-Presentation

More Photos: Sadia at Fordham, "Let's work together"

UMBC Symposium, 2006, Baltimore, MD: James, Sadia, Congrats!, Geneseo's students

Regional ACS Meeting, 2006: Sadia, James

UMBC Symposium, 2008, Baltimore, MD: Group, Bil1, Shiv1, Bil2, Shiv2, Bil-Shiv

APPROACHES CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
DNA thermal denaturation
Spectrophotometric titration
Isothermal titration calorimetry
DNA unwinding assay

TEACHING/COURSES
Chem 304 (Biochemistry-II "Stars": 05-06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11)

Chem 302
Chem 301
Chem 216
Chem 116

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

1. McKnight, R.E., Reisenauer, E., Pintado, M.V., Polasani, S.R. and Dixon, D.W., Substituent effect on the preferred DNA binding mode and affinity of a homologous series of naphthalene diimides, Bioorg. Med. Chem., Lett., 2011, 21 (14), 4288-4291.

2. Yokoyama, K., Fisher, A.D.,  Amori, A. R., Welchons, D., and McKnight, R.E., Spectroscopic and Calorimetric Studies of Congo Red Dye-Amyloid b Peptide Complexes, J. Biophys. Chem., 2010, 1 (3), 153-163.

3. McKnight, R.E., Onogul, B., Polasani, S.R., Gannon, M.K. II, and Detty, M.R., Substituent Control of DNA Binding Modes in a Series of Chalcogenoxanthylium Photosensitizers as Determined by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and Topoisomerase I DNA Unwinding Assay, Bioorg. Med. Chem., 2008, 16 (24), 10221-10227.

4. McKnight, R.E., Ye, M., Ohulchanskyy, T., Sahabi, S., Wetzel, B.R., Wagner, S.J., Skripchenko, A. and Detty, M.R., Synthesis of Analogues of a Flexible Thiopyrylium Photosensitizer for Purging the Blood-Borne Pathogens and Binding Mode and Affinity Studies of their Complexes with DNA, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2007, 15 (13), 4406-4418.

5.  McKnight, R.E., Gleason, A.B., Keyes, J.A. and Sahabi, S., Binding Mode and Affinity Studies of DNA Binding Agents using Topoisomerase I DNA-Unwinding Assay, Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17 (4), 1013-1017.


CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

1. “Substituent Control of DNA Binding and Preferred Mode in Homologous Compounds with Therapeutic Implications;” Ruel McKnight, Sadia Sahabi, Shivani Polasani, Bilgehan Onogul, Manuel Pintado, Michael Detty, 24th Symposium in Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. January 3-6, 2012.

2.Affinity and Preferred Mode of a Series of Chalcogenoxanthylium Photosensitizers Binding to DNA,”Ruel McKnight, Bilgehan Onogul, Shivani Polasani, Michael Detty, 36th Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Hartford, CT, October 7-10, 2009.

3. “DNA Binding Mode and Affinity Studies of a Series of Thio-and Selenopyrylium Derivatives with Photodynamic Therapeutic Potential” Ruel McKnight, Sadia Sahabi, Michael Detty, 36th Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Hartford, CT, October 7-10, 2009.

4. “DNA Binding Mode and Affinity of a Series of Chalcogenoxanthylium Photosensitizers Using Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and Topoisomerase Assay,” Ruel McKnight, Bilgehan Onogul, Shivani Polasani, Michael Detty, 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Washington DC, August 16-20, 2009.

5.Binding Affinity and Mode Studies of Homologous Series of DNA-Binding Agents using Isothermal Titration Calorimetry and Topoisomerase DNA-Unwinding Assay,” Ruel McKnight , Sadia Sahabi, James Keyes, Aaron Gleason, Current Trends in Microcalorimetry, Boston, MA, July 18-21, 2007.

6.Effect of Chain Length on the Binding of a Homologous Series of Anthraquinones to DNA,”. Ruel McKnight , Jianguo Zhang, and Dabney Dixon; NERM (32 nd Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society), Rochester, NY, October 31 - November 1, 2004.

7. “Binding of a Homologous Series of Anthraquinones to DNA,” Ruel McKnight, Dabney Dixon; SERMACS (55 th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Region of the American Chemical Society), Atlanta , Georgia , November 16-19, 2003

8. “Insights into the Amine-Induced Cleavage of DNA Abasic Sites,” Ruel McKnight, Jianguo Zhang, and Dabney Dixon; Georgia Life Sciences Summit , Atlanta , Georgia , September 26, 2002.

9. “Metalloporphyrin Binding to Albumin,” Ruel McKnight, Wanda Santana, Atia Alam, David Shinn, and Dabney Dixon; SERMACS (53 rd Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Region of the American Chemical Society), Savannah , Georgia , September 23-26, 2001.

10. “Insights into the Amine-Induced Cleavage of DNA Abasic Sites,” Ruel McKnight, Jianguo Zhang, and Dabney Dixon; SERMACS (53 rd Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Region of the American Chemical Society), Savannah , Georgia , September 23-26, 2001.

11. “Cleavage of Plasmid DNA Abasic Sites by a Series of Triamines and Anthraquinone-Amines,” Ruel McKnight, and Dabney Dixon; Morehouse School of Medicine/Georgia State University Symposium, Atlanta , Georgia , August 17, 2001.

12. “Insights into the Amine-Induced Cleavage of DNA Abasic Sites,” Ruel McKnight, and Dabney Dixon; 9 th Annual F.L. (Bud) Suddath Memorial Symposium, Atlanta , Georgia ; March 30-31, 2001.

13. Binding Cooperativity of Anthraquinones binding to DNA,” Ruel McKnight, and Dabney Dixon; 8 th Annual F.L. (Bud) Suddath Memorial Symposium, Atlanta , Georgia ; April 7-8, 2000.