Prof.Dr. Carmen Faso

Mechanisms of unconventional protein secretion

In our group, we study mechanisms of unconventional protein secretion and develop translational approaches in the context of parasite-host interactions. Our model organisms are two intestinal parasitic protists called Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica.

Please scroll through current projects on the research tab for more information.

Please visit my website for further information about my scientific profile and interests

For information on my engagement with the Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases of the University of Bern, please follow this link

Group Faso

Technicians

PhD students

Number of items: 21.

Journal Article

Santos, Rui; Ástvaldsson, Ásgeir; Pipaliya, Shweta V; Zumthor, Jon Paulin; Dacks, Joel B; Svärd, Staffan; Hehl, Adrian B; Faso, Carmen (2022). Combined nanometric and phylogenetic analysis of unique endocytic compartments in Giardia lamblia sheds light on the evolution of endocytosis in Metamonada. BMC biology, 20(1), p. 206. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12915-022-01402-3

Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B (2022). Editorial: The Cell Biology of Protist Parasite-Host Interfaces. Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 10, p. 866421. Frontiers 10.3389/fcell.2022.866421

Pipaliya, Shweta V.; Santos, Rui; Salas-Leiva, Dayana; Balmer, Erina A.; Wirdnam, Corina D.; Roger, Andrew J.; Hehl, Adrian B.; Faso, Carmen; Dacks, Joel B. (2021). Unexpected organellar locations of ESCRT machinery in Giardia intestinalis and complex evolutionary dynamics spanning the transition to parasitism in the lineage Fornicata. BMC biology, 19(1), p. 167. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12915-021-01077-2

Balmer, Erina A.; Faso, Carmen (2021). The Road Less Traveled? Unconventional Protein Secretion at Parasite–Host Interfaces. Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, 9, p. 662711. Frontiers 10.3389/fcell.2021.662711

Cernikova, Lenka; Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B. (2020). Phosphoinositide-binding proteins mark, shape and functionally modulate highly-diverged endocytic compartments in the parasitic protist Giardia lamblia. PLoS pathogens, 16(2), e1008317. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008317

Cernikova, Lenka; Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B. (2019). Roles of Phosphoinositides and Their binding Proteins in Parasitic Protozoa. Trends in parasitology, 35(12), pp. 996-1008. Elsevier Current Trends 10.1016/j.pt.2019.08.008

Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B. (2019). A cytonaut's guide to protein trafficking in Giardia lamblia. Advances in Parasitology, 106, pp. 105-127. Elsevier 10.1016/bs.apar.2019.08.001

Cernikova, Lenka; Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B. (2018). Five facts about Giardia lamblia. PLoS pathogens, 14(9), e1007250. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007250

Hehl, Adrian B.; Faso, Carmen (2017). Response to Zamponi et al. Trends in parasitology, 32(2), p. 76. Elsevier Current Trends 10.1016/j.pt.2016.12.006

Rout, Samuel; Zumthor, Jon Paulin; Schraner, Elisabeth M; Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B (2016). An Interactome-Centered Protein Discovery Approach Reveals Novel Components Involved in Mitosome Function and Homeostasis in Giardia lamblia. PLoS pathogens, 12(12), e1006036. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006036

Zumthor, Jon Paulin; Cernikova, Lenka; Rout, Samuel; Kaech, Andres; Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B (2016). Static Clathrin Assemblies at the Peripheral Vacuole-Plasma Membrane Interface of the Parasitic Protozoan Giardia lamblia. PLoS pathogens, 12(7), e1005756. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005756

Grabliauskaite, Kamile; Saponara, Enrica; Reding, Theresia; Bombardo, Marta; Seleznik, Gitta M.; Malagola, Ermanno; Zabel, Anja; Faso, Carmen; Sonda, Sabrina; Graf, Rolf (2016). Inactivation of TGFβ receptor II signalling in pancreatic epithelial cells promotes acinar cell proliferation, acinar-to-ductal metaplasia and fibrosis during pancreatitis. Journal of pathology, 238(3), pp. 434-445. Wiley 10.1002/path.4666

Ebneter, Jacqueline A.; Heusser, Sally D.; Schraner, Elisabeth M.; Hehl, Adrian B.; Faso, Carmen (2016). Cyst-Wall-Protein-1 is fundamental for Golgi-like organelle neogenesis and cyst-wall biosynthesis in Giardia lamblia. Nature communications, 7(13859), p. 13859. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/ncomms13859

Wampfler, Petra B.; Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B. (2014). The Cre/loxP system in Giardia lamblia: genetic manipulations in a binucleate tetraploid protozoan. International journal for parasitology, 44(8), pp. 497-506. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijpara.2014.03.008

Faso, Carmen; Konrad, Christian; Schraner, Elisabeth M.; Hehl, Adrian B. (2013). Export of cyst wall material and Golgi organelle neogenesis in Giardia lamblia depend on endoplasmic reticulum exit sites. Cellular microbiology, 15(4), pp. 537-553. Blackwell 10.1111/cmi.12054

Faso, Carmen; Bischof, Sylvain; Hehl, Adrian B (2013). The proteome landscape of Giardia lamblia encystation. PLoS ONE, 8(12), e83207. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0083207

Conger, Renata; Chen, Yani; Fornaciari, Silvia; Faso, Carmen; Held, Michael A.; Renna, Luciana; Brandizzi, Federica (2011). Evidence for the involvement of the Arabidopsis SEC24A in male transmission. Journal of Experimental Botany, 62(14), pp. 4917-4926. Oxford University Press 10.1093/jxb/err174

Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B (2011). Membrane trafficking and organelle biogenesis in Giardia lamblia: use it or lose it. International journal for parasitology, 41(5), pp. 471-480. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijpara.2010.12.014

Vanderschuren, Hervé; Heinzmann, Dominik; Faso, Carmen; Stupak, Martin; Arga, Kazim Yalçin; Hoerzer, Helen; Laizet, Yech’an; Leduchowska, Paulina; Silva, Nádia; Šimková, Klára (2010). A cross-sectional study of biotechnology awareness and teaching in European high schools. New biotechnology, 27(6), pp. 822-828. Elsevier 10.1016/j.nbt.2010.01.338

Faso, Carmen; Boulaflous, Aurelia; Brandizzi, Federica (2009). The plant Golgi apparatus: last 10 years of answered and open questions. FEBS letters, 583(23), pp. 3752-3757. Elsevier 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.09.046

Faso, Carmen; Chen, Ya-Ni; Tamura, Kentaro; Held, Michael; Zemelis, Starla; Marti, Lucia; Saravanan, RamuSubramanian; Hummel, Eric; Kung, Leslie; Miller, Elizabeth; Hawes, Chris; Brandizzi, Federica (2009). A missense mutation in the Arabidopsis COPII coat protein Sec24A induces the formation of clusters of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. The Plant Cell, 21(11), pp. 3655-3671. American Society of Plant Biologists 10.1105/tpc.109.068262

This list was generated on Tue Nov 29 21:47:24 2022 CET.

Dr. Shweta V. Pipaliya

Dr. Zahra Rezaei

Tim Schärer

Research

UPS in parasitic protists

Balmer and Faso, 2021

Unconventional protein secretion (UPS), proteins crossing the plasma membrane outside the canonical secretion pathway, is a topic that has been of growing interest of cell biologists in various study systems. UPS was shown to be at the core of health and disease related processes and a better understanding of the involved molecular mechanisms holds great promises for translational applications. We are studying UPS in the protist parasite Giardia lamblia, with a streamlined endomembrane system, to advance the understanding of UPS mechanisms in eukaryotes.

see here for a recent review
Funding sources: SNSF

Nanobodies as novel tools to investigate and detect Giardia cysts

@Tim Schärer, 2021

Giardia lamblia (syn. intestinalis, duodenalis) is a ubiquitous intestinal protist parasite, responsible for over 300 Mio diagnosed cases of waterborne diarrheal disease called Giardiasis. Similar to other parasitic species, G. lamblia differentiates to cysts to progress in its life cycle. The cyst is the transmission agent of Giardiasis and consists of the parasite surrounded by a self-secreted impermeable fibrillar mesh. Routine detection and diagnostic tools for Giardia cysts in patient samples and drinking water are limited to time-consuming microscopic analyses or protein detection using a single proprietary monoclonal antibody in an ELISA set-up.

To address the paucity of detection tools for Giardia cysts which limits our knowledge of Giardia cyst wall components, we generated unique alpaca-derived nanobody (Nb) sequences which bind Giardia cyst walls exclusively. Nbs are versatile, cheaply produced and highly-avid molecules presenting several advantages over standard monoclonal antibodies. With this set of unique Giardia cyst wall Nbs, we aim to advance the development of an innovative nanobody-based anti-Giardia cyst wall antigen toolkit.

Funding sources: Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research

Advancing platforms for in vitro investigations of parasite/host interfaces

@Erina Balmer, 2022

The study of host-parasite interactions relies on the experimental reproduction of a physiologically relevant context for interspecies exchange. Hence the robustness of the generated data is only as good as the degree to which the context for interaction faithfully mimics the natural setting. This is a daunting task that has seen the development of numerous in vitro co-cultivation techniques, mostly relying on amenable cell lines in scarcely physiological 2D settings. The introduction of organoids as 3D co-culturing platforms marked a major improvement. This project proposes to develop a microfluidics-based and biopsy-derived human “mini-gut” system in a complementary and multi-disciplinary effort involving researchers with expertise in molecular parasitology, mucosal immunology and biomedical engineering. The long-term goal of the proposed project is to implement this tool for the study of environmental and genetic exacerbation factors to intestinal pathogen infections.

 

Funding sources: Ruth and Artur Scherbarth Foundation