Shedding Light on Heme Signaling Networks with Heme Sensors and Quantitative Mass Spectrometry

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Tuesday January 30, 2018
      11:30 am - 12:15 pm
  • Location: Room 1128, Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, 315 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
  • Phone: (404) 894-6228
  • URL: Petit Institute website
  • Email:
  • Fee(s):
  • Extras:

Colly Mitchell
Events Manager


Summary Sentence: A presentation by David Hanna, recipient of the 2018 Suddath Award

Full Summary: The Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience presents the Suddath Symposium graduate student awards to three students for their grand achievements in biological or biochemical research at the molecular or cellular level. The first place winner awardee presents a talk to the Petit Institute community during the annual Suddath Symposium. The 2018 winner is David Hanna, a Ph.D. student of Amit Reddi in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

  • 2018 Suddath Award Winner David Hanna (right) with his Ph.D. supervisor, Amit Reddi 2018 Suddath Award Winner David Hanna (right) with his Ph.D. supervisor, Amit Reddi


Heme is an essential yet cytotoxic iron containing metallonutrient. Well recognized for its role as a protein prosthetic group, more recent genetic and biochemical evidence indicate heme can act as a dynamic signaling molecule.

Due to the cytoxicity associated with free or misregulated heme, the bioavailable heme pool utilized for signaling is tightly regulated and buffered to low levels, making heme acquisition and heme-dependent signaling reliant on the ability to safely mobilize heme. However, the factors involved in mobilizing heme have remained poorly understood.

Recently, utilizing our novel heme sensor technology, we revealed that heme is a highly dynamic molecule that is regulated by cell cycle and that nitric oxide (NO), a well-established and ubiquitous signaling molecule, mobilizes cytosolic and nuclear heme pools. Additionally, we discovered that under Pb stress the regulatory heme pool increases while total heme is diminished.

Having identified several physiological and pathophysiogical conditions that mobilize labile heme, in collaboration with Matt Torres in the School of Biological Sciences, we are now developing mass spectrometry-based techniques to identify proteins that bind and release heme in these contexts to define new heme-signaling networks.


  1. Hanna DA, Harvey RM, Martinez-Guzman O, Yuan X, Chandrasekharan B, Raju G, Outten FW, Hamza I, and Reddi AR. Heme Dynamics and Speciation Revealed by Genetically Encoded Fluorescent Heme Sensors. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2016;113:7539-7544.
  2. Hanna DA, Martinez-Guzman O, and Reddi AR. Heme Gazing: Illuminating Eukaryotic Heme Trafficking, Dynamics, and Signaling with Fluorescent Heme Sensors. Biochemistry Article ASAP, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00007
  3. Yuan X, Rietzschel N, Kwon H, Nuno Da Silva ABW, Hanna DA, Phillips J, Raven E, Reddi AR and Hamza I. Regulation of intracellular heme trafficking revealed by subcellular reporters. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2016; 113(35): E5144-E5152.
  4. Mense, S. M. and L. Zhang. Heme: a versatile signaling molecule controlling the activities of diverse regulators ranging from transcription factors to MAP kinases. Cell Res, 2006; 16(8): 681-692. 

The Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, an internationally recognized hub of multidisciplinary research at the Georgia Institute of Technology, brings engineers, scientists, and clinicians together to solve some of the world’s most complex health challenges. With 19 research centers, more than 200 faculty members, and $24 million in state-of-the-art facilities, the Petit Institute is translating scientific discoveries into game-changing solutions to solve real-world problems.

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Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

College of Sciences, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
David Hanna, School of Chemistry and Biochemisry, Amit Reddit, heme signalling
  • Created By: A. Maureen Rouhi
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jan 24, 2018 - 9:19am
  • Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018 - 9:27am