Faculty Profiles

Gary Jacobson

Gary Jacobson

Professor of Biology

PhD, Stanford University, 1974
Areas of interest: microbial physiology and biochemistry
(617) 353-4332

Current Research

My current focus is on teaching. Previously, my laboratory studied the mechanisms and regulation of transmembrane sugar transport in bacteria. In our major project, we studied the structure and mechanism of the protein responsible for the concomitant transport and phosphorylation of D-mannitol in E. coli. This protein is the mannitol-specific Enzyme II (mannitol permease) of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system (PTS). It has been purified and characterized, its gene (mtlA) has been cloned and sequenced, and its mechanism and topography in the membrane have been investigated. Using biochemical, biophysical and recombinant DNA techniques, we investigated the structure and function of this protein.

Courses Taught

  • BI 118 Biology II (Honors)
  • BI 557 Biological Transport Mechanisms
  • MB 721 Graduate Biochemistry
  • WR 150 Writing Seminar: Critical Thinking and the Scientific Method

Selected Publications

  • Saraceni-Richards CA, Jacobson GR (1997). Subunit and Amino Acid Interactions in the Escherichia coli Mannitol Permease: a Functional Complementation Study of Coexpressed Mutant Permease Proteins, Journal of Bacteriology 179, 5171-5177.
  • Saraceni-Richards CA, Jacobson GR (1997). A Conserved Glutamate Residue, Glu-257, Is Important for Substrate Binding and Transport by the Escherichia coli Mannitol Permease, Journal of Bacteriology 179, 1135-1142.
  • Postma PW, Lengeler JW, Jacobson GR (1996). Phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase systems, in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, 2nd ed, ASM Press, Washington, DC, pp. 1149-1174.
  • Begley GS, Warner KA, Arents JC, Postma PW, Jacobson GR (1996). Isolation and Characterization of a Mutation that Alters the Substrate Specificity of the Escherichia coli Glucose Permease, Journal of Bacteriology 178, 940-942.
  • Jacobson GR (1994). Modular Structure of the Enzymes II of Bacterial Phosphotransferase Systems, in Proceedings of the International Symposium on Cellular and Molecular Biology of Phosphate and Phosphorylated Compounds in Microorganisms (Woods Hole, MA, 12-17 September, 1993), American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC, pp. 175-181.
  • Weng Q-P, Jacobson GR (1993). Role of a Conserved Histidine Residue, His-195, in the Activities of the Escherichia coli Mannitol Permease, Biochemistry 32, 11211-11216.
  • Weng Q-P, Elder J, Jacobson GR (1992). Site-Specific Mutagenesis of Residues in the Escherichia coli Mannitol Permease That Have Been Suggested to be Important For Its Transport, Phosphorylation, and Chemo-reception Functions, Journal of Biological Chemistry 267, 19529-19535.
  • Reizer J, Reizer A, Saier Jr MH, Jacobson GR (1992). A Proposed Link Between Nitrogen and Carbon Metabolism Involving Protein Phosphorylation in Bacteria, Protein Science 1, 722-726.