Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New subtopic in peroxisome research “Glycosome Research”

Brief intro
Trypanosomes harbor the unique microbody family organelle “Glycosome”, which compartmentalize glycolytic cycle that takes place in cytosol in all other eukaryotes. Glycosomes are essential for trypanosome pathogenicity and hence subjected to research for novel drug targets. Glycosomes being relative of peroxisomes, it will be interesting to keep track of glycosome research.

Pathogens have remarkably different metabolism pathways than higher eukaryotes. For e.g. Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent for Malaria, does not follow the text-book version of TCA cycle. In fact in recent Nature paper by Olszewski KL et al. “Branched tricarboxylic acid metabolism in Plasmodium falciparum”, authors shown that the TCA cycle of pathogen starts in between at Oxoglutarate and proceeds in two different direction landing on Malate. This means half of the TCA cycle reactions in P.falciparum occur in reverse direction than the known TCA cycle.

Trypansome metabolism holds many more mysteries which are still being uncovered. For e.g the mitochondria of trypanosomes was thought to be metabolically inactive but the proteomics and metabolomics studies are hinting towards active mitochondrial role.

Interestingly some of the pivotal insights in peroxisome linked signalling pathways arose from Glycosomes. For e.g this recent paper in Genes and Development (Impact Factor - 14)
A novel phosphatase cascade regulates differentiation in Trypanosoma brucei via a glycosomal signaling pathway
Balázs Szöőr et al.
From the group of Prof. Keith R. Matthews , University of Edinburg.
“The paper reports the first characterized environmental signaling pathway targeted directly to a peroxisome-like organelle in any eukaryotic cell”

This paper also featured in Editor’s Choice in "Science Signalling" published by AAAS.
Bistable Trypanosome Switch
June 2010

New Glycosome Metabolism paper in JBC
Ablation of succinate production from glucose metabolism in the procyclic trypanosomes induces metabolic switches to the Gly3p/DHAP shuttle and to proline metabolism
Ebikeme C. et al
From the group of Prof. Fréderic Bringaud
CNRS, France

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