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Department of Biology

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Cindy Putnam-Evans


Professor; Associate Dean for Research

Area of Study: 









2303A Harold Bate Building; Lab N306 Howell Science Complex


Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences


East Carolina University


Greenville, NC 27858

Cindy Putnam Evans

Research Program                                   

Molecular Aspects of Photosynthesis:

Our work focuses on studies that probe the structure/function of the chlorophyll-binding protein CP43, a component of the Photosystem II (PSII) complex. PSII catalyzes the initial events of photosynthesis, i.e., splitting of water with concomitant release of molecular oxygen to the atmosphere. Water splitting by PSII is virtually the only source of molecular oxygen on the planet. CP43 is intimately associated with the catalytic site for water splitting, a tetramanganese-calcium cluster. This association is being studied in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803 using a combination of biochemical, molecular genetic (mutagenesis) and spectroscopic (UV/Vis and fluorescence) techniques. The ultimate goal is to understand the exact role of CP43 in the water splitting mechanism.

Courses Taught

BIOL 5800. Biochemistry I, Intermediary Metabolism.

BIOL 5810. Biochemistry II, Protein Structure and Function.

BIOL 6250/6251. Protein Purification Techniques/Lab.

Recent Publications

Burch, B., Bricker, T.M. and Putnam-Evans, C. (2012) Mutations in the CP43 Protein of Photosystem II Affect PS II Function and Cytochrome C550 Binding. In Artificial Photosynthesis (Najafpour, ed.), pp. 53-78, Intech.

Lim, Kwang Hun, Le, Yen T.H., Collver, Hilary H., Putnam-Evans, Cindy, Kenney, John M. (2010) Characterization of Amyloidogenic Intermediate States through a Combined Use of CD and NMR Spectroscopy, Biophysical Chemistry, 151(3):155-9.

Putnam-Evans, C. and Barry, B.A. (2007) Photosynthetic Water Oxidation. Preface for special issue of Photosythesis Research, 92:273-274.

Ahn, H.-C., Le, Y. T.-H., Nagchowdhuri, P.S., Derose, E.F., Putnam-Evans, C., London, R.E., Markley, J.L. and Lim, K.H. (2006). NMR Characterization of an Amyloidogenic Conformational Ensemble of the PI3K SH3 Domain. Protein Science, 15:1-6. Epub September 25, 2006.

Ananyev, G., Nguyen, T., Putnam-Evans, C. and Dismukes, C. (2005). Mutagenesis of CP43-Arginine-357 to Serine Reveals New Evidence for (Bi)Carbonate Functioning in the Water Oxidizing Complex of Photosystem II. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 4(12):991-8. Epub 2005 Nov 8.

Booth, D., Sirochman, R., Richardson, D.C., Richardson, J.S., Weiner, S.W., Farwell, M., Putnam-Evans, C. and Robert C. Bateman Jr. (2005) Assessment of Molecular Construction in Undergraduate Biochemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 82(12):1584-1588.

Eaton-Rye, J. and Putnam-Evans, C. (2005) "The CP47 and CP43 Core Antenna Components" in Photosystem II: The Light-Driven Water-Plastoquinone Oxidoreductase. Volume 22: Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration series, Springer, Chapter 3, pp 45-70.