FAU > Science > Biology > CMBB

Herbert Weissbach, Ph.D.
Director and Distinguished Research Professor,
Center for Molecular Biology & Biotechnology,
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, Florida Atlantic Univeristy

Center for Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
Florida Atlantic University
5353 Parkside Drive
RF Building, Room 225
Jupiter, FL 33458
(561) 799-8345 (office)
(561) 799-8368 (laboratory)
Email: hweissba@fau.edu

Research Description

My laboratory has been working on the role of the methionine sulfoxide reductase system (Msr) in protecting cells against oxidative damage. The two major Msr proteins are MsrA and MsrB which reduce the S and R epimers of methionine sulfoxide in proteins, respectively, which are formed when proteins are oxidized by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In addition to being a protein repair system the Msr enzymes play an important role in scavenging ROS. The Msr system, especially MsrA, has been shown to play an important role in protecting many cells against oxidative damage and over-expression of MsrA in neuronal cells of flies can significantly extend their life span. Our current studies are focused on attempting to elevate the level of MsrA in cells that are highly sensitive to oxidative damage, such as cardiac, retinal and neuronal cell. Other recent studies have concerned the role of oxidative stress and mitochondria, both in aging and in the selective killing of cancer cells. The cancer studies have resulted in the development of anti-cancer drug combinations based on a basic metabolic difference in mitochondrial respiration between normal and transformed cells.

Research Description

  • How cells protect against oxidative damage
  • Role of oxidative damage in age related diseases and aging
  • Role of ischemic preconditioning in normal and transformed cells
  • Cancer drug therapy based on mitochondrial respiration


  • Ph.D., George Washington University, Biochemistry

Recent Publications (list from 450-460)

  • Resnick, L., Rabinovitz, H., Binninger, D., Marchetti, M., Weissbach, H. Topical Sulindac Combined with Hydrogen Peroxide in the Treatment of Actinic Keratoses: Rationale and Clinical Trial. JDD (2009) 8 (1), 29-32
  • Weissbach, H. & Brot, N. Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases as Protective System Against Oxidative Damage. In: Glutathione and Sulfur Amino Acids in Human Health and Disease. (Eds. Masella, R. and Mazza, G.), (2009) pp. 157-187, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  • Marchetti, M., Resnick, L., Gamliel, E., Weissbach, H., Binninger, D. (2009) Sulindac Enhances the Killing of Cancer Cells Exposed to Oxidative Stress. PLoS ONE 4(6): e5804.
  • Moench, I., Prentice, H., Rickaway, Z., Weissbach, H. Sulindac confers high level ischemic protection to the heart through late preconditioning mechanisms. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. (2009) 106 (46), 19611-19616.
  • Brunell, D., Weissbach, H., Hodder P., Brot, N. A High Throughput Screening Compatible Assay for Activators and Inhibitors of Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase A. Assay Drug Dev Technol. (2010) 8 (5), 615-620.
  • Zhang, C., Jia, P., Jia, Y., Weissbach, H., Webster, K., Huang X., Lemanski, S. L., Achary, M., Lemanski, L. F. Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase A (MsrA) Protects Cultured Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells from H2O2-mediated Oxidative Stress. J. Cell. Biochem. (2010) 111, 94-103.
  • Nan, C., Li, Y., Jean-Charles, P-Y., Chen, G., Kreymerman, A., Prentice, H., Weissbach, H., Huang, X. Deficiency of methionine sulfoxide reductase A causes cellular dysfunction and mitochondrial damage in cardiac myocytes under physical and oxidative stresses. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. (2010) 402 (4), 608-613.
  • Brunell, D., Sagher, D., Kesaraju, S., Brot, N., Weissbach, H. Studies on the metabolism and biological activity of the epimers of sulindac. Drug Metab Dispos. (2011) 39(6), 1014-1021.
  • Zhang, X-H., Baronas-Lowell, D. & Weissbach H. (2011). Unique Metabolic Roles of Methionine Both Free and in Proteins. Research Trends. Vol 12, 1-15..
  • Prentice, H. M. & Weissbach, H. Two novel approaches providing cardiac protection against oxidative stress. In: Ischemic Heart Disease. (Ed. Lakshmanadoss, U.), (2012) Pp, 229-246, InTech.
  • Lemanski, L. F., Zhang, C., Kochegarov, A., Moses, A., Lian, W., Meyer, J., Jia, P., Jia, Y., Li, Y., Webster, K. A., Huang, X., Hanna, M., Achary, M. P., Lemanski, S. L., Weissbach, H. Protection of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells from Oxidative Stress by Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases. In: Oxidative Stress - Molecular Mechanisms and Biological Effects. (Eds. Lushchak, V. and Semchyshyn, H. M.), (2012) pp. 197-230, InTech. ISBN 978-953-51-0554-1.



Updated May 2012 by Kelsey Binninger