Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC
START-UP grant

Heme: a putative master regulator in trypanosomatids
Project Id16-18699S
Main solverprof. MSc. Vjačeslav Jurčenko, Ph.D.
Period1/2016 - 12/2018
ProviderKatedra biologie a ekologie, Standardní projekt GA ČR
AnotationHeme is one of the most important cofactor in extant organisms, constituting a reactive core of many diverse hemoproteins. Unlike most eukaryotes, trypanosomes and leishmanias are not able to synthesize heme and thus belong to heme auxothrophs. In order to shed light on how they utilize heme acquired from their hosts, we aim to dissect the function of heme transporters in model human parasites Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania mexicana. Moreover, we hypothesize that heme may be the key factor driving metabolic changes throughout the life cycle of both pathogens, with important difference between the stages from insect vector and mammalian blood. One of the most common heme-containing enzymes is catalase detoxifying cell from H2O2. Surprisingly, catalase is present only in the monoxenous (=insect-only) flagellates but absent from all their dixenous (insect+mammalian hosts) relatives. Our preliminary data show that when overexpressed in dixenous T. brucei and L. mexicana, catalase is active only in the insect stages and loses its activity in the vertebrate-parasitizing stages.