BYU

Abstract by Scott Herrod

Personal Infomation


Presenter's Name

Scott Herrod

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Abstract Infomation


Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Kenneth Christensen

Title

Monitoring AMPK Levels in Response to Low Glucose Conditions in Trypanosoma Brucei

Abstract

Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness, differentiates in order to survive in
different biological environments by significantly changing its metabolism. A recent report indicates that
low glucose triggers differentiation when the parasite moves between the mammalian host and its insect
vector. In other eukaryotic organisms AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a master metabolic
regulator, becomes active in low glucose conditions. To monitor whether this also occurs in T. brucei, we
are adapting a previously reported AMPK activation fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)
biosensor to monitor AMPK in T. brucei. In HEK293T cells, the biosensor AMPKAR-EV responds to
glucose starvation or 10 mM 2-deoxyglucose (2-DOG). We are working toward expressing the sensor in
parasites. In parallel, we have found that AMPK is activated under low glucose conditions by western
blot, suggesting it may act as a cellular glucose sensor and may be a therapeutic target.