User:Normand Cyr

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I am currently conducting a PhD in the laboratory of Armando Jardim at the Institute of Parasitology of McGill University. My project involves the biophysical characterization of Leishmania donovani peroxin 14 and its role in glycosomal protein import machinery.

Contact Info

Normand Cyr
Département de Biochimie, Université de Montréal
C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville
Montréal, QC H3C 3J7
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  • Present, Postdoctoral studies, Structural virology, Biochemistry, Université de Montréal

Research interests

  • Protein structure
  • Biophysical chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Viruses
  • Parasites
  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Bioprocesses

Postdoctoral work

Coming soon.

PhD work

Leishmania, and other kinetoplastids, compartmentalizes glycolysis and other vital metabolic pathways in the glycosome, a subcellular organelle that is evolutionary related to peroxisomes. Previous studies have indicated that the impairments in the targeting of proteins to the glycosome can result in a lethal phenotype for these parasites. Consequently the glycosome biogenesis machinery consists of an attractive therapeutic target. A key component of the glycosomal protein import machinery is the L. donovani PEX14, a membrane associated protein required for translocation of proteins across the glycosomal membrane (Jardim et al. 2002). Quaternary structure analysis of LdPEX14 revealed that this protein forms a large oligomeric complex. Domain mapping showed that elimination of a hydrophobic region and a coiled-coil motif were necessary to disrupt oligomer formation (Cyr et al. 2008). Moreover, calorimetry, intrinsic fluorescence, circular dichroism and analytical ultracentrifugation experiments showed that binding of LdPEX5 caused a dramatic conformational change in the LdPEX14 complex that was accompanied by a reorganization of a hydrophobic segment in common to PEX14 proteins (Cyr et al. 2008). These studies will allow a more fundamental understanding of the glycosome biogenesis machinery and its interaction with the glycosomal membrane.

Related publications

  • Dasanayake D, Richaud M, Cyr N, Caballero-Franco C, Pitroff S, Finn RM, Ausió J, Luo W, Donnenberg MS, Jardim A (2011). "The N-terminal amphipathic region of the Escherichia coli type III secretion system protein EspD is required for membrane insertion and effacement activity". Mol Microbiol 81:734-750. PMID 21651628
  • Ullman B, Cyr N, Choi K, Jardim A (2010). "Acidic residues in the purine binding site govern the 6-oxopurine specificity of the Leishmania donovani xanthine phosphoribosyltransferase". Int J Biochem Cell Biol 42:253-262. PMID 19861168
  • Cyr N, Madrid KP, Strasser R, Aurousseau M, Finn R, Ausio J, Jardim A (2008). "L. donovani PEX14 undergoes a marked conformational change following association with PEX5". J Biol Chem 283:31488-31499. PMID 18718908
  • Jardim A, Rager N, Liu W, Ullman B (2002). "Peroxisomal targeting protein 14 (PEX14) from Leishmania donovani. Molecular, biochemical, and immunocytochemical characterization." Mol Biochem Parasitol 124:51-62. PMID 12387850

Previous work

My M.Sc. work was done under the supervision of Prof. John Sheppard in the department of Bioresouce Engineering at McGill University. My project involved the investigation of various bioprocess parameters and their effect on the formation of metabolic by-products during fermentation. We looked at:

  1. Putative enzymes involved in the reduction of alpha,beta-dicarbonyl compounds by Saccharomyces cerevisiae (van Bergen et al. 2006)
  2. Usage of industrial drying processes in the manufacturing of ale and lager Brewer's dry yeast and their implication in amino acid metabolism and vicinal diketone formation profile in Saccharomyces during industrial beer fermentation (Cyr et al. 2007)
  3. Effect of various aeration strategies on metabolic by-products in very high gravity continuous fuel ethanol fermentation processes (Cyr 2006)

Related publications

  • Cyr N, Blanchette M, Price SP and Sheppard, JD (2007). "Vicinal diketone production and amino acid uptake by two active dry lager yeasts during beer fermentation". J Am Soc Brew Chem 65:138-144. doi:10.1094/ASBCJ-2007-0515-01
  • van Bergen B, Strasser R, Cyr N, Sheppard JD, Jardim A (2006). "alpha,beta-dicarbonyl reduction by Saccharomyces D-arabinose dehydrogenase". Biochim Biophys Acta 1760:1636-1645. PMID 17030441
  • Cyr N (2006). Effect of aeration strategy on the performance of a very high gravity continuous fuel ethanol fermentation process. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University. PDF

Useful links

Omichinski lab website Jardim lab website