The People of OyaGen
Dr. Jason Salter, Senior Scientist
As a senior scientist at OyaGen, Inc. Jason’s is a key contributor to multiple aspects of screening and mechanistic projects at OyaGen. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Rochester, he focused on the biophysical and structural characterization of human antiretroviral cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G (A3G) and the HIV-1 auxiliary protein, Viral infectivity factor (Vif) which targets A3G for proteasomal degradation. While full-length A3G has been recalcitrant to crystallization, he utilized a variety of structural and biophysical analyses to glean insight into domain architecture and oligomeric properties of this potent antiretroviral protein, including small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), size-exclusion chromatography, dynamic light scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation; these studies led to two publications that detailed the size, shape, and self-associative properties of A3G. In a second research project spanning his graduate and postdoctoral positions he investigated the thermodynamics of the interaction between HIV-1 Vif and human E3 ubiquitin ligase binding partner, Cullin5 . Vif is a substrate receptor for an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that targets A3G for proteasomal degradation. He developed novel recombinant expression and purification methods to produce milligram quantities of Vif-E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes comprising Elongin B, Elongin C, Cullin5, and CBFβ for isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments important of assessing protein-protein interaction. His primary focus as a Senior Scientist at OyaGen has been the development and implementation of small molecule screens using both cell-based and purified protein-based assays to identify probes that disrupt protein-protein interactions critical to HIV or Ebola lifecycle. He has also developed fluorescence anisotropy methodology in-house to validate small molecule hits that disrupt Vif multimerization as on-target that were discovered in primary screens; he has continued to use ITC and surface plasmon resonance techniques to evaluate hit compound binding to target proteins. He is driven by continued interest in exploring the structure-function relationship of proteins involved in human health and the development of molecular probes that alter protein function.