This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia) is a unicellular, flagellated protist with a two-stage lifecycle. Giardiasis is caused by ingestion of the cyst form of the parasite which then excysts in the duodenum into the trophozoite form. The trophozoite form has a highly specialized microtubule cytoskeleton (eight flagella, the """"""""median body"""""""" and the """"""""ventral disc""""""""), which permits the parasite to evade peristaltic movement in the host's intestine. Infection with Giardia is the results of parasite attachment directly to the intestinal epithelium;deriving nutrients from the mucosal secretions of the epithelial layer. The mechanism of attachment is not fully understood, but recent evidence suggests the parasite uses suction created by conformational changes of the ventral disc. The ventral disc consists of a counterclockwise array of microtubules that originate from electron dense bands directly anterior to the caudal and posterior-lateral flagellar basal bodies. The ventral surface of the microtubules is attached to the plasma membrane. On the dorsal side of each microtubule is a microribbon that is connected to neighbor microribbons by cross-linkers. Previous studies of the Giardia cytoskeleton have focused on understanding the basic disc structure using low-resolution techniques such as light microscopy, chemically fixed plastic embedded samples, and negative stain. In our study, we are using cryo-electron tomography of isolated detergent-extracted cytoskeletons to determine the structural-functional relationships between the various components of the ventral disc. We have used our program PEET to average the microtubules of the ventral disc.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-J (40))
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Colorado at Boulder
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Giddings Jr, Thomas H; Morphew, Mary K; McIntosh, J Richard (2017) Preparing Fission Yeast for Electron Microscopy. Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2017:pdb.prot091314
Zhao, Xiaowei; Schwartz, Cindi L; Pierson, Jason et al. (2017) Three-Dimensional Structure of the Ultraoligotrophic Marine Bacterium ""Candidatus Pelagibacter ubique"". Appl Environ Microbiol 83:
Brown, Joanna R; Schwartz, Cindi L; Heumann, John M et al. (2016) A detailed look at the cytoskeletal architecture of the Giardia lamblia ventral disc. J Struct Biol 194:38-48
Saheki, Yasunori; Bian, Xin; Schauder, Curtis M et al. (2016) Control of plasma membrane lipid homeostasis by the extended synaptotagmins. Nat Cell Biol 18:504-15
Höög, Johanna L; Lacomble, Sylvain; Bouchet-Marquis, Cedric et al. (2016) 3D Architecture of the Trypanosoma brucei Flagella Connector, a Mobile Transmembrane Junction. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10:e0004312
Park, J Genevieve; Palmer, Amy E (2015) Properties and use of genetically encoded FRET sensors for cytosolic and organellar Ca2+ measurements. Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2015:pdb.top066043
McCoy, Kelsey M; Tubman, Emily S; Claas, Allison et al. (2015) Physical limits on kinesin-5-mediated chromosome congression in the smallest mitotic spindles. Mol Biol Cell 26:3999-4014
Höög, Johanna L; Lötvall, Jan (2015) Diversity of extracellular vesicles in human ejaculates revealed by cryo-electron microscopy. J Extracell Vesicles 4:28680
Marc, Robert E; Anderson, James R; Jones, Bryan W et al. (2014) The AII amacrine cell connectome: a dense network hub. Front Neural Circuits 8:104
Weber, Britta; Tranfield, Erin M; Höög, Johanna L et al. (2014) Automated stitching of microtubule centerlines across serial electron tomograms. PLoS One 9:e113222

Showing the most recent 10 out of 84 publications