Abstract by Matthew Hyer
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Designing genetically-encoded, fluorescent biosensors to investigate dynamic intraglycosomal pH change in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei
Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a fatal disease caused by Trypanosoma brucei that affects many in sub-Saharan Africa. Bloodstream form (BF) T. brucei only metabolize glucose, and most glycolytic enzymes are compartmentalized within an organelle called the glycosome. Additionally, it has been reported that procyclic form (PF) T. brucei tightly regulate the pH within their glycosomes as their metabolic environment changes. This makes the study of glycosomal pH a promising strategy for identifying possible targets for future therapeutic development. We have targeted genetically encoded fluorescent protein pH sensors to the glycosome. We can now measure pH in the BF glycosome and assess whether similar mechanisms are operating in BF T. brucei to regulate glycolysis, since BF parasites are more physiologically relevant. We report our current progress for deploying a new pH sensor to BF T. brucei, as well as how BF T. brucei cytosolic pH responds to low glucose conditions.