Abstract by Daniel Call
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Understanding the connection between AMPK and glucose perception in Trypanosoma brucei
Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African Sleeping Sickness, uses glucose as a key energy source and a differentiation signal. However, glucose perception and response pathways are unknown in this parasite. Understanding glucose signaling pathways may open novel therapeutic targets to treat this and similar diseases. We observed that, using western blot, TbAMPKα1 became increasingly active under glucose starvation, indicating it may play a role in glucose perception. TbAMPKα1 was endogenously tagged with mNeonGreen to elucidate intracellular localization & interactors under high and low glucose. In addition, a FRET AMPK protein sensor for measuring AMPK activity in vivo was validated in HEK293T cells and is being developed for expression in trypanosomes. We anticipate these tools will illuminate AMPK’s role in glucose signaling in T. brucei and the pathway(s) involved.