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Elizabeth A. Karr, PhD

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Elizabeth A. Karr, Ph.D.

Graduate Program Director, Associate Professor of Microbiology


2021 Stephenson Research and Technology Center
101 David L. Boren Blvd.
Norman, OK 73019
GLCH 223
405-325-5133
lizkarr@ou.edu
Lab Website

Education:
B. Sc., Murray State University, 1999
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, 2003
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Ohio State University, 2003-2007
 

Research areas:
Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Environmental Science, Anaerobic Microbiology

Research interests:
My primary research interests include mechanisms regulating gene expression and energy conservation in microorganisms.   Utilizing a suite of molecular, biochemical, biophysical, genetic, structural biology and physiological tools my research group investigates these mechanisms in members of the bacterial and archaeal domains of life.  From an environmental perspective, I am interested in key organisms in biomethanation including methanoarchaea and syntrophic bacteria.  Additionally, I am also interested in how regulation of gene expression contributes to hypervirulence in select strains of the medically important pathogen Clostridium difficile.   Although these organisms have diverse metabolisms a unifying feature in my research group is a focus on anaerobic microorganisms.

Relevant publications:

James, K.L., J.W. Kung, B.R. Crable, H. Mouttaki, J.R. Sieber, H.N. Nguyen, Y. Yang, Y. Xie, J. Erde, N.Q. Wofford, E. A. Karr, J.A. Loo, R.R. Ogorzalek Loo, R.P. Gunsalus and M.J. McInerney. 2019.  Syntrophus aciditrophicus uses the same enzymes in a reversible manner to degrade and synthesize aromatic and alicyclic acids. Environ Microbiol, 21: 1833-1846. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.14601

Karr, E. A., C. E. Isom, V. Trinh, E. Peeters. 2017. Transcription factor-mediated gene regulation in Archaea In:  Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology, Vol. RNA metabolism and gene expression in Archaea, Béatrice Clouet-d’Orval (ed).  32, Spring, Cham, pp 27-69.

Isom, C.E., S. Menon, L.M. Thomas, A.H. West, G.B. Richter-Addo, E.A. Karr*.  2016.  Crystal structure of a PadR family transcription regulator from hypervirulent Clostridium difficile R20291.  BMC Microbiol.  16:231.

Jennings, M., F. Lessner, E.A. Karr, D. Lessner. 2017. The [4Fe-4S] clusters of Rpo3 are key determinants in the post Rpo3/Rpo11 heterodimer formation of RNA polymerase in Methanosarcina acetivorans.  MicrobiologyOpen.  

Sheehan, R., A. C. McCarver, C.E. Isom, E.A. Karr* and D.J. Lessner*.   2015.  The Methanosarcina acetivorans thioredoxin system activates DNA binding of the redox-sensitive transcriptional regulator MsvR.  Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. 42: 965-969.

Isom, C.E., S. Menon, L.M. Thomas, A.H. West, G.B. Richter-Addo, E.A. Karr.  2016.  Crystal structure of a PadR family transcription regulator from hypervirulent Clostridium difficile R20291.  BMC Microbiol.  16:231

James, K.L., L.A Ríos-Hernández, N.Q. Wofford, H. Mouttaki, J.R. Sieber, C.S. Sheik, H.N. Nguyen, Y. Yang, Y. Xie, J. Erde, L. Rohlin, E.A. Karr, J.A. Loo, R.R. Ogorzalek-Loo, G.B. Hurst, R.P. Gunsalus, L.I. Szweda, M.J. McInerney.  2016.  Pyrophosphate-Dependent ATP Formation from Acetyl Coenzyme A in Syntrophus aciditrophicus, a New Twist on ATP FormationmBio. 16:e01208-16.

Sheehan, R., A.C. McCarver, A.C., C.E. Isom, E.A. Karr and D.J. Lessner.   2015.  The Methanosarcina acetivorans thioredoxin system activates DNA binding of the redox-sensitive transcriptional regulator MsvR. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. 42: 965-969.

Isom, C.E., J. L. Turner, D. J. Lessner and E.A. Karr. 2013. Redox-sensitive DNA binding by homodimeric Methanosarcina acetivorans MsvR is modulated by cysteine residues. BMC Microbiology. 13, 163.

Karr, E.A. 2010. The methanogen-specific transcription factor MsvR regulates the adjacent fpaA-rlp-rub oxidative stress operon in Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus. J. Bacteriol. 192 5914-5922.

http://lizkarrou.oucreate.com/Liz_Karr/about/research/publications/