Associate Professor Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Associate Professor

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Malaria, a disease caused by protozoan parasites, is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases, claiming millions of lives and infecting hundreds of millions of people annually. Malaria parasites contain an essential organelle called the apicoplast that is thought to have arisen through endosymbiosis of an algal cell which had previously incorporated a cyanobacterium. Due to its prokaryotic origin, the apicoplast contains a range of metabolic pathways that differ significantly from those of the human host. We are investigating biochemical pathways found in the apicoplast, particularly those required for the biosynthesis and modification of fatty acids. This metabolism should require several enzyme cofactors such as pantothenate, lipoic acid, biotin and iron-sulfur clusters. We are interested in these cofactors, how they are acquired, how they are used, and whether they are essential for the growth of blood stage or liver stage malaria parasites. We approach these questions with a combination of cell biology, genetic, biophysical and biochemical techniques.

Biophysics and Structural Biology | Cell Biology | Cellular Stress and Cell Signaling

Selected Publications:

Afanador GA, Matthews KA, Bartee D, Gisselberg JE, Walters MS, Freel Meyers CL, Prigge ST. Redox-dependent lipoylation of mitochondrial proteins in Plasmodium falciparum. Mol Microbiol. 2014 PubMed PMID: 25116855.

Afanador GA, Muench SP, McPhillie M, Fomovska A, Schön A, Zhou Y, Cheng G, Stec J, Freundlich JS, Shieh HM, Anderson JW, Jacobus DP, Fidock DA, Kozikowski AP, Fishwick CW, Rice DW, Freire E, McLeod R, Prigge ST. Discrimination of potent inhibitors of Toxoplasma gondii enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase by a thermal shift assay. Biochemistry. 2013 PubMed PMID: 24295325.

Gisselberg JE, Dellibovi-Ragheb TA, Matthews KA, Bosch G, Prigge ST. The suf iron-sulfur cluster synthesis pathway is required for apicoplast maintenance in malaria parasites. PLoS Pathog. 2013 PubMed PMID: 24086138.

Gallagher JR, Matthews KA, Prigge ST. Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast transit peptides are unstructured in vitro and during apicoplast import. Traffic. 2011 PubMed PMID: 21668595.

Gallagher JR, Prigge ST. Plasmodium falciparum acyl carrier protein crystal structures in disulfide-linked and reduced states and their prevalence during blood stage growth. Proteins. 2010 PubMed PMID: 19768685.

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