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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

A Novel Trypanosome Cytoplasmic Protein Interacts With the Enzyme TbPRMT1

Human African Trypanosomiasis, also known as African sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne devastating disease caused by the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei. This parasite is transmitted between mammalian hosts by the tsetse flies of the genus Glossina. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sleeping sickness threatens over 60 million people in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. During recent epidemics in several villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Southern Sudan, the prevalence of the disease has reached 50%, and sleeping sickness was considered the first or second greatest cause of mortality, ahead of HIV/AIDS. Besides its great health and economic importance, T. brucei represents an exceptional tool for the study of cell physiology/biology. We recently identified a trypanosome homologue of yeast and mammalian lipin protein (Tblpn) as a protein interacting with TbPRMT1, a protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT). Lipin plays important roles in lipid synthesis and signaling in yeast. Due to the importance of lipid biosynthesis in trypanosome, it is very likely that Tblpn performs a major and essential role in T. brucei biology, and could be used as a drug target. The in vivo interaction between TbPRMT1 and TbLpn was confirmed by immunoprecipitation, and the presence of methylated arginine residues on TbLpn was also demonstrated, indicating that TbLpn is methylated in vivo by TbPRMT1 and/or other PRMTs.

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Alyssa Frainier (Graduate Student)
Topic: Biology
Location: 217 Hartwell
Time: 2:45 pm Session IV