Donald D. Muccio

muccio2Professor, Biophysical Chemistry

UAB Department of Chemistry
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham AL, 35294-1240



Professor (b. 1950.) obtained his B.S. degree in biophysics at the Ohio State University (1973). Under the direction of Joseph Y. Cassim, he received his Ph.D. degree in molecular biophysics at the Ohio State University (1979) where he used CD spectroscopy to study the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin. Dr. Muccio was a NIH postdoctoral student in the Department of Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University where he used NMR spectroscopy to study the interactions of retinal with the visual protein rhodopsin. This work was under the direction of Edwin W. Abrahamsom and Gheorghe Matessecu. He joined the Department of Chemistry at UAB in 1982.

Research Interests:

My research interests focus on the use and interpretation of spectroscopy, primarily nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and circular dichroism (CD). Recently, we have extended these spectroscopic approaches to include Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (LC-MS). These spectroscopic approaches are used to solve problems of biological interest, especially as they apply to drug-protein interactions and drug design. Below is a summary of three main areas of research that are ongoing in my laboratory and personnel involved in each.

Conformationally Constrained Retinoids
Peptides that damage the cornea in the alkaine-injured eye
Synthetase: A New Target for Antibacterial Agents

Recent Publications:

Kolesar, J.M.; Hoel, R.; Pomplun, M.; Harris, L.; Havighurst, T.; Krontiras, H.; Brouillette, W.; Muccio, D.; Grubbs,  C.J.; Bailey, H.E.A Pilot, First in Human, Pharmacokinetic Study of 9cUAB30 in Normal Volunteers, Cancer Prevention Research. 2010, 3 (12), 1-6.

Xia G; Boerma LJ; Cox BD; Qiu C; Kang S; Smith CD; Renfrow MB; Muccio DD. Structure, Energetics, and Dynamics of Binding of Coactivator Peptide to the Human Retinoid X Receptor α Ligand Binding Domain Complex with 9-cis-Retinoic Acid. Biochemistry 2011, 50:93-105.

JM Whitworth, AI Londono-Joshi, JC Sellers, PJ Oliver, DD Muccio, VR Atigadda, JM Straughn, DJ Buchsbaum. The Impact of Novel Retinoids in Combination with Platinum chemotherapy on Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells, Gynecol. Oncol., 2012, Gynecol Oncol 125:226-230.

Vedell, PT; Lu, Y; Grubbs, CJ; Yin, Y; Jiang, H; Bland, KI; Muccio, DD; Cvetkovic, D; You, M; Lubet, R. Effects of Gene Expression in Rat Liver after Administration of RXR Agonists: UAB30, 4-Methyl-UAB30, and Targretin (Bexarotene). Molecular Pharmacol. 2013, 83:698-708.

Cox, BD; Muccio, DD; Hamilton, TP; Conformational Analysis of Retinoic Acids: Effects of Steric Interactions on Nonplanar Conjugated Polyenes. Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, 2013, 1011:11-20.

Boerma, LA, Xia, G; Qui, C, Cox, BD, Chamlmers, MJ, Smith CD, Lobo-Ruppert, S, Griffin, P, Muccio, DD, Renfrow, MB. Defining the Communication between Agonist and Coactivator Binding in the Retinoid X Receptor Ligand-binding Domain, J Biol Chem, 2014, 289:814-826.

Desphande, A.; Xia, G.; Boerma, LA.; Vines KK.; Atigadda, VR.; Ruppert, S; Grubbs, CJ.; Moeinpour, FL.; Smith, CD.; Christov, K; Brouillette, WJ.; Muccio, DD Methyl-Substituted Conformationally Constrained Rexinoid Agonists for the Retinoid X Receptors Demonstrate Improved Efficacy for Cancer Therapy and Prevention, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2014. 22:178-185.

Atigadda, VR; Xia, G.; Deshpande, A.; Boerma, LA.; Lobo-Ruppert, S; Grubbs, CJ.; Smith, CD.; Brouillette, WJ.; Muccio, DD. Methyl Substitution of a Rexinoid Agonist Improves Potency and Reveals Site of Lipid Toxicity. J. Med. Chem. 2014; 57:5370-5380.