Christopher A. Makaroff


Professor and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Ph.D., Purdue University (1986)

Contact Information
(513) 529-1659
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Makaroff Group Website

The goal of our research is to utilize modern biochemical, cellular and molecular techniques to investigate structure function relationships in proteins essential for cellular metabolism and chromosome function. We are especially interested in understanding processes involved in cellular division and chemical detoxification. One focus of our work involves the isolation and characterization of genes required for meiosis and the analysis of meiotic mutants of Arabidopsis to better understand proteins that control chromosome structure during meiosis.  One family of genes currently under study is required for chromosome condensation and sister chromatid cohesion during meiosis and mitosis. A second set of genes under study is responsible for controlling meiotic gene expression. This project utilizes studies at the cellular, molecular and biochemical levels.

A second focus of our laboratory involves studies on the glyoxalase pathway, which is involved in cellular detoxification and the regulation of cellular proliferation.  Molecular, biochemical and structural studies are underway to more accurately determine the exact role(s) of glyoxalase II-like proteins in the cell.  Structure/function studies on glyoxalase II-like proteins are also underway to identify and characterize the active site of the enzymes and understand their kinetic mechanisms.  Goals of this work include the rational design and synthesis of glyoxalase II inhibitors that could be used as anti-cancer and anti-malarial agents and determination of the biochemical role of ETHE1, which is responsible for Ethylmalonic Encephalopathy, a complex metabolic disorder in humans.


  • Limphong, P., Crowder, M. W., Bennett, B., Makaroff, C.A. 2009 Arabidopsis thaliana GLX2-1 contains a dinuclear metal binding site but is not a glyoxalase 2, Biochem. J., 417:323-330.
  • Limphong, P., McKinney, R.M., Adams, N.E., Bennett, B., Makaroff, C.A., Crowder, M.W. 2009 Human Glx2 contains an Fe(II)Zn(II) center but is active as a mononuclear Zn(II) enzyme. Biochemistry, 48:5426-5434.
  • Yang, X., *Boateng, K.A., Strittmatter, L., Burgess, R., Makaroff, C.A.  2009 Arabidopsis separase functions beyond the removal of sister chromatid cohesion during meiosis.  Plant Physiology, 151:323-333.
  • Boateng, K.A., Yang, X., Dong, F., Owen, H.A., Makaroff, C.A. 2008 SWI1 is required for early meiotic chromosome remodeling events. Mol. Plant, 1:620-633.
  • Holdorf, M.M., Bennett, B., Crowder, M.W., Makaroff, C.A. 2008  Spectroscopic studies on Arabidopsis ETHE1, a glyoxalase II-like protein.  J. Bio. Inorg. Chem., 102:1825-30.
  • Jiang, L., Xia, X, Strittmatter, LI, Makaroff, CA 2007 The Arabidopsis cohesin protein SYN3 localizes to the nucleolus and is essential for gametogenesis. Plant J., 50: 1020-1034.
  • Holdorf, M. M., Makaroff, C. A. 2007 ETHE1, a GLX2-like protein, is essential for embryo/endosperm growth and development in A. thaliana.  In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology 43: 51-S52.
  • Zou, D., Yang, X., Timofejeva, L. Ma, H., Makaroff, C.A.,  2006 The Arabidopsis SKP1 homologue ASK1 controls meiotic chromosome remodeling and release of chromatin from the nuclear membrane and nucleolus, J. Cell Sci,  19: 4025-4032.