Eastern Michigan University
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Hedeel Guy-Evans, Ph.D.

Professor and Co-Director Neuroscience Program

Dr. Hedeel Evans 501E Mark Jefferson Science Complex




A-levels, Worthing College, England, 1980
B.S., Eastern Mich Univ, 1984
M.S., Wayne State Univ. Medical Sch. 1986
Ph.D., Wayne State Univ. Medical Sch. 1992
Postdoctoral Fellow, Biochemistry (1992-1994), Université Pierre et Marie CURIE (University of Paris VI), Paris, France
Fulbright Research Scholar (2008-2009), Département de Biologie Cellulaire, Institut Curie (Paris, France)


Interests and Expertise

1)    Regulation of Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and β-Amyloid by Humanin (HN)

IGFBP-3, β-Amyloid, and HN have been implicated to play a role in both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and cancer

Role in Cancer Extracellularly, IGFBP-3 has been reported to play a role in cancer senescence by blocking proliferation of certain cancer cells.  Moreover, IGFBP3 protein levels have been shown to decrease during the progression from benign to metastatic cancer. IGFBP3 is synthesized at a lower level by some cancer cells and secreted into the extracellular environment.  More recently, β-Amyloid has been shown to inhibit tumor cell proliferation. While HN has been implicated in cancer, its role is not clear.

Role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and accounts for 60-80% of all cases of dementia, an estimated number of 5.4 million Americans in 2012.  Both IGFBP-3 and β-Amyloid can induce neuronal cell death seen in AD.  HN is a peptide that exhibits neuroprotective and cytoprotective effects in AD, Huntington’s disease, stroke, prion diseases, and diabetes.  HN is known to protect against neuronal cell death induced by IGFBP-3 and β-Amyloid. 

We are investigating how HN binds to both IGFBP-3 and β-amyloid in vitro and how it guards against cell death induced by IGFBP3 and β-amyloid. Techniques that include kinetics, competitive binding assays, immunoprecipitation, SDS-PAGE, western blotting, tissue culture, bioinformatics and computational modeling are used to understand the mechanism by which HN binding to IGFPB-3 and β-amyloid 1) protects against neuronal cell death and 2) affect cancer cell survival.  This research will likely provide an insight in the development of new cancer, and Alzheimer’s therapeutics via a mechanism likely to differ from that of currently available pharmaceuticals. 

2) Pyrimidine Biosynthesis

Nucleotides play a critical role in cellular activities by serving as activated precursors of RNA and DNA, for example.

In prokaryotes, the first three enzymes in pyrimidine biosynthesis, CPS, ATC, and DHO, are commonly expressed separately and can function independently or associate into multifunctional complexes as in Aquifex aeolicus. In mammals, the enzymes are expressed as a multifunctional protein, CAD, whose activation is a prerequisite for the growth of tumors and neoplastic tissues.  We are investigating the structure/function of certain intrinsically disordered regions on the DHO and their subsequent order upon noncovalent association with ATC.  Six DHO and six ATC chains form a hollow dodecamer, in which the 12 active sites face an internal reaction chamber that is approximately 60 Å in diameter and connected to the cytosol by narrow tunnels.  Enzyme kinetics and protein interaction methods are used to investigate the functional and physical linkages of this remarkable dodecameric protein architecture.


The Complete List of Published Work Can be Found in My Bibliography:  


Most recent publications:

  1. Interaction of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-Binding protein 3 With Hyaluronan and Its Regulation by Humanin and CD44. Robert  Muterspaugh, Deanna Price, Daniel Esckilsen, Sydney McEachern, Jeffrey Guthrie, Deborah Heyl, Hedeel Guy Evans, Biochemistry 2018 57  (39), pp 5726–5737 
  2. A Combined Molecular Modeling and Experimental Approach Toward Understanding the Humanin-β-Amyloid Interaction. Daniel Esckilsen, Prathyusha Guttikonda, Brandon Iwaniec, Chloe Bilderback, Nicole Eadeh, Jennifer Cooper, Julia Lombardi, Deborah Heyl, Maria Milletti, Hedeel Evans (2018) Journal of Molecular Modeling. In revision.
  3. D-Amino Acid Analogues of the Antimicrobial Peptide CDT Exhibit Anti-Cancer Properties in A549, a Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell Line. Hedeel Guy Evans, Jeffrey W. Guthrie, Murali Jujjavarapu, Nathan Hendrickson, Anna Eitel, Yeji Park, Jennifer Garvey, Rebecca Newman, Daniel Esckilsen, and Deborah L. Heyl (2017) Protein Peptide Letters 24 (7), 590-598.
  4. Activation of latent dihydroorotase from Aquifex aeolicus by pressure.  Kinetic studies under pressure. Guy Hervé, Hedeel Guy Evans, Roshini Fernando, Chandni Patel, Fatme Hachem and David R. Evans (2017) JBC 292, 629-637. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.739862
  5. Team-Based Learning, Faculty Research, and Grant Writing Brings Significant Learning Experiences to an Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory Course: Hedeel Guy Evans, Deborah L. Heyl, and Peggy Liggit (2016), Journal of Chemical Education, 93 (6), 1027–1033.
  6. Humanin Peptide Binds to Insulin-Like Growth Factor-Binding Protein 3 (IGFBP3) and regulates its interaction with importin-β (2015) Evert Njomen, Hedeel Guy- Evans, Samanthi Herath Gedara, Deborah L. Heyl, Protein Pept Lett. 2015;22(10):869-876.
  7. Intersubunit Communication in the Dihydroorotase-Aspartate Transcarbamoylase Complex of Aquifex aeolicus Hedeel Guy Evans, Roshini Fernando, Asmita Vaishnav, Mahalakshmi Kotichukkala, Deborah L. Heyl, Joseph S. Brunzelle, Brian F.P. Edwards, and David R. Evans (2014) Peptide Science, 23(1), 100-109.
  8. The Mononuclear Metal Center of Type I Dihydroorotase from Aquifex aeolicus (2013) Brian F. P. Edwards, Roshini Fernando, Philip D. Martin, Edward Grimley, Melissa Cordes, Asmita Vaishnav, Joseph S. Brunzelle, Hedeel Guy Evans and David R. Evans, Manuscript accepted in BMC Biochemistry.
  9. The Smallest Active Carbamoyl Phosphate Synthetase Was Identified in the Human Gut Archaeon Methanobrevibacter smithii (2012) Popa E, Perera N, Kibédi-Szabó CZ, Guy-Evans H, Evans DR, Purcarea C, J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol Oct 27;22(5):287-299.
  10. FLASH knockdown sensitizes cells to Fas-mediated apoptosis via down-regulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins, MCL-1 and Cflip short. Chen S, Evans HG, Evans DR. PLoS One. 2012; 7(3):e32971. Epub 2012 Mar 9.
  11. Synthesis of small peptides to probe oligomeric enzyme structure in pyrimidine biosynthesis.  Betsy Huang, Allesha Cutlip, Raneem AlKhatib, Mahalakshmi Kotichukkala, Hedeel Evans and Deborah L. Heyl; Proceedings of the 22nd American Peptide Symposium Michal Lebl (Editor) American Peptide Society, 2011.
  12. FAM129B/minerva, a novel adherens junction associated protein suppresses apoptosis in hela cells. Chen S, Guy Evans H, Evans DR., J Biol Chem. 2011 Mar 25;286(12):10201-9. Epub 2010 Dec 9.
  13. Dihydroorotase from the hyperthermophile, Aquifex aeolicus is activated by stoichiometric association with aspartate transcarbamoylase and forms a one-pot reactor for pyrimidine biosynthesis. Pengfei Zhang, Philip D. Martin, Cristina Purcarea, Asmita Vaishnav, Joseph S. Brunzelle, Roshini Fernando, Hedeel I. Guy-Evans, David R. Evans and Brian F.P. Edwards.  (2009)  Biochemistry, 48, 766-78.
  14. The sole Serine/Threonine Protein Kinase and its cognate phosphatase from Aquifex Aeolicus Targets Pyrimidine Biosynthesis.  Cristina Purcarea, Roshini Fernando, Hedeel Guy-Evans and David R. Evans (2008) Molecular Cellular Biochem, Apr;311(1-2):199-213.
  15. Protein Kinase A Phosphorylation of the Multifunctional Protein CAD Antagonizes Activation by the MAP Kinase Cascade.  Damian H. Kotsis, Elizabeth M. Masko, Frederic D. Sigoillot, Roberto Di Gregorio, Hedeel I. Guy-Evans and David R. Evans (2007) Molecular Cellular Biochem. Jul; 301(1-2):69-81.
  16. Protein Kinase C modulates the upregulation of the pyrimidine biosynthetic complex, CAD, by MAP kinase.  Frederic D. Sigoillot, Damian H. Kotsis, Elizabeth M. Masko, Monica Bame, David R. Evans, Hedeel Guy Evans (2007) Front. Biosci. 12: 3892-3898.
  17. The Crystal Structure of a Novel, Latent Dihydroorotase from Aquifex aeolicus at 1.7 A Resolution.  Philip I. Martin, Cristina Purcarea, Pengfei Zhang, Asmita Vaishnav, Sharon Sadecki, Hedeel I. Guy-Evans, David R. Evans and Brian F. P. Edwards (2005) J. Mol. Biol.  348:535-47.

Professional Affiliations

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), 2002–present
The American Chemical Society (ACS), 2006-present

Courses Taught

Foundations of Biochemistry (Chem 351)
Biochemistry (Chem 451-453)
Neurochemistry (Chem 555)
Cell Signaling in Disease (Chem 556)
Chemistry Seminar (Chem 693)
Neuroscience NSCI 301

The Department of Chemistry is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold