Biochemical characterisation of unusual glycolytic enzymes from the human intestinal parasite Blastocystis hominis
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I need to put an embargo on the data including the abstract, because I need to protect the data until being published.
Blastocystis is an important parasite that infects humans and a wide range of animals like rats, birds, reptiles, etc. infecting a sum of 60% of world population. It belongs to the Stramenopiles, a Heterologous group that includes for example the Phythophthora infestans the responsible for the Irish potato famine. Previous work had reported the presence of an unusual fusion protein that is composed of two of the main glycolytic enzymes; Triosephosphate isomerase-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (TPI-GAPDH). Little is known about this protein. Blastocystis TPI-GAPDH and Blastocystis enolase were both characterized biochemically and biophysically in this project. The phylogenetic relationships of those two proteins among other members of either Stramenopiles, or other members of the kingdom of life were examined and found to be grouping within the chromalveolates. Our studies revealed that those two proteins, Blastocystis enolase and Blastocystis TPI-GAPDH, had a peptide signal targeting them to the mitochondria. This was an unusual finding knowing that text books always referred to the glycolytic pathway as a canonical cytoplasmic pathway. Structural studies had also been conducted to unravel the unknown structure of the fusion protein Blastocystis TPI-GAPDH. X-ray crystallography had been conducted to solve the protein structure and the protein was found to be a tetrameric protein composed of a central tetrameric GAPDH protein flanked with two dimmers of TPI protein. Solving its structure would be the starting point towards reviling the role that TPI-GAPDH might play in Blastocystis and other organisms that it was found in as well. Although a fusion protein, the individual components of the fusion were found to contain all features deemed essential for function for TPI and GAPDH and contain all expected protein motifs for these enzymes.
van der Giezen, Mark
PhD in Biological Sciences