Purine metabolism is functionally the same across many eukaryotes (fungi, animals). Inability to synthesize purine de novo (purine auxotrophy) is typical trait of many single cell parasites (malaria plasmodium, toxoplasma, leishmania, etc.). Already now nucleotide metabolism is target immunosuppressant therapies, and it is foreseen to become promising target for eukaryotic parasite control. Budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is excellent model for eukaryotic cells and metabolism.

 Our group focuses on the fundamental and applied aspects of purine auxotrophic yeast metabolism. yeast physiology. Currently we are working on to clarify mechanisms involved in formation of purine auxotrophic starvation specific phenotype in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Understanding mechanism of yeast cell reaction to depletion of specific nucleotide base would facilitate yeast application in specific drug screens, developing strategies for control of biotechnological relevant auxotrophic strains, parasitic organisms, etc.

We have HANDS ON EXPERTISE with the following methods:

  • microbial cultivation (from micro cultivation in 96 well plates to laboratory scale fermenters of several liters)
  • yeast protein tagging and immunofluorescence
  • yeast stress tolerance assays (heat shock, oxidative tolerance, desiccation, weak acid)
  • enzymatic assays (photometric, fluorometric or luminescent detection)
  • qPCR
  • transcriptome analyses

Team

From left to right, researchers: Agnese Kokina, Zane Ozolina, Janis Liepins.

 

Our current students:

Stivens Zolins

Janis Suholets

Ernests Tomass Auzins

Anitra Zile

Our alumni students:

Signe Kibilda

Juris Kibilds

Katrina Daila Neiburga

Reinis Vangravs

Joanna Jarzyna

 

Projects

  • “Purine auxotrophy – is this Your next superpower?” (Latvian Science Council, 2018-2020)
  • “Fast and non-contact optical estimation of micro-organisms activity” (Latvian Science Council 2018-2020)
  • Postdoctoral grant “Molecular mechanisms of purine and pyrimidine auxotrophic starvation in budding yeast“ YEAUX (EU Structural Fund, 2017 - 2020)
  • “Bacterial intracellular microcompartments as synthetic nanoreactors”  (funded by Mikrotik Ltd, administered by Charity Fund of University of Latvia, 2018 - 2019)
  • Nacionāla un starptautiska mēroga pasākumu īstenošana izglītojamo talantu attīstībai. SAM 8.3.2. "Palielināt atbalstu vispārējās izglītības iestādēm izglītojamo individuālo kompetenču attīstībai". Projekta numurs: 8.3.2.1/16/I/002.
  • COST Action CA18229 “Nonconventional Yeasts for the production of bioproducts, (YEAST4BIO)
  • COST Action CA16120 (European Epitranscriptomics Network, 2017 - 2021)

 

Publications

2019

Kokina, A., Ozolina, Z. and Liepins, J., 2019. Purine auxotrophy: Possible applications beyond genetic marker. Yeast. [in press]

Stivrins  N,   Aakala T,  Ilvonen L,  Pasanen L,  Kuuluvainen, J. Liepins,  et al., and H. Seppa 2019. Integrating fire-scar, charcoal and fungal spore data to study fire-events in the boreal forest of northern Europe., Holocene [in press]

 Rucins, M., Dimitrijevs, P., Pajuste, K., Petrichenko, O., Jackevica, L., Gulbe, A., Kibilda, S., Smits, K., Plotniece, M., Liepins J., Tirzite, D. and Pajuste, K., 2019. Contribution of Molecular Structure to Self-Assembling and Biological Properties of Bifunctional Lipid-Like 4-(N-Alkylpyridinium)-1, 4-Dihydropyridines. Pharmaceutics, 11(3), p.115.

2018

Jantsch, M.F., Quattrone, A., O'Connell, M., Helm, M., Frye, Liepins J., M., Macias-Gonzales, M., Ohman, M., Ameres, S., Willems, L., Fuks, F. and Oulas, A., 2018. Positioning Europe for the EPITRANSCRIPTOMICS challenge. RNA biology, pp.1-3

2017

Ozolina Z, Kokina A,  Liepins J, 2017. Adenine starvation is signalled through environmental stress response system in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Environm Experim Biol 15, 283 - 286

Rungis, D.E., Voronova, A., Kokina, A., Veinberga, I., Skrabule, I. and Rostoks, N., 2017. Assessment of genetic diversity and relatedness in the Latvian potato genetic resources collection by DArT genotyping. Plant Genetic Resources, 15(1), pp.72-78.

Pentjuss, A., Stalidzans, E., Liepins, J., Kokina, A., Martynova, J., Zikmanis, P., Mozga, I., Scherbaka, R., Hartman, H., Poolman, M.G., Fell, D.A., Vigants, A., (2017). Model-based biotechnological potential analysis of Kluyveromyces marxianus central metabolism. J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol. Vol. 44, p. 1177–1190.

2016

Martynova J., Kokina A, Liepins J, Scerbaka R, Vigants A, 2016. Effects of acetate on Kluyveromyces marxianus DSM 5422 growth and metabolism. Appl. Microb. and Biotechn., 100 (10), 4585-94 [0]

2015

Liepins J, Kovačova E, Shvirksts K, Grube M, Rapoport A, Kogan G. 2015. Drying enhances immunoactivity of spent brewer's yeast cell wall β-D-glucans. J. Biotechnol. 206: 12-6.  [2]

Rungis, D.E., Voronova, A., Kokina, A., Veinberga, I., Skrabule, I. and Rostoks, N. 2015. Assessment of genetic diversity and relatedness in the Latvian potato genetic resources collection by DArT genotyping. Plant Genetic Resources, pp.1-7.

2014

Kuka J, Liepinsh E, Makrecka-Kuka M, Liepins J, Cirule H, Gustina D, Loza E, Zharkova-Malkova O, Grinberga S, Pugovics O, Dambrova M, 2014. Suppression of intestinal microbiota-dependent production of pro-atherogenic trimethylamine N-oxide by shifting L-carnitine microbial degradation. Life. Sci. 117(2): 84-92 [12]

Kokina A, Kibilds J, Liepins J, 2014. Adenine auxotrophy – be aware. Some effects of adenine auxotrophy in Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain W303-1A, FEMS Yeast Res.,  14(5): 697-707 [3]

Makrecka M, Svalbe B, Volska K, Sevostjanovs E, Liepins J, Grinberga S, Pugovics O, Liepinsh E, Dambrova M, 2014. Mildronate, the inhibitor of L-carnitine transport, induces brain mitochondrial uncoupling and protects against anoxia-reoxygenation, Eur. J. Pharmacol., 723: 55-61 [6]

2013

Grube M, Dimanta I, Gavare M, Strazdina I, Liepins J, Juhna T, Kalnenieks U, 2013. Hydrogen-producing Escherichia coli strains, overexpressing lactose permease: FT-IR analysis of the lactose-induced stress, Biotechnol. Appl. Biochem., 61(2): 111-7 [1]

2012

Smits K, Liepins J, Gavare M, Patmalnieks A, Gruduls A, Jankovica Dz, 2012. Zirconia nanocrystals as submicron level biological label, IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 38, 012050 [2]

2011

Rapoport, A., Borovikova, D., Kokina, A., Patmalnieks, A., Polyak, N., Pavlovska, I., Mezinskis, G. and Dekhtyar, Y., 2011. Immobilisation of yeast cells on the surface of hydroxyapatite ceramics. Process Biochemistry, 46(3), pp.665-670.

2010

Brusbardis V, Liepins J, 2010. Mathematical modeling of glycerol cycle in baker’s yeast, Research for Rural Development, Annual 16th, International Scientific Conference Proceedings, Jelgava, LLU, 214 – 220, ISSN 1691-4031 [0]

2008

Kokina, A. and Rostoks, N., 2008, January. Genome-Wide and Mla Locus-Specific Characterisation of Latvian Barley Varieties. In Proceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Section B. Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences. (Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 103-109).

Kokina, A., Legzdina, L., Berzina, I., Bleidere, M., Rashal, I., Rostoks, N. and Šterne, D., 2008. Molecular marker-based characterization of barley powdery mildew Mlo resistance locus in European varieties and breeding lines. Agronomijas Vēstis, (11), pp.77-83.

2006

Liepins J, Kuorelahti S, Penttilä M, Richard P, 2006. Enzymes for the NADPH-dependent reduction of dihydroxyacetone and D-glyceraldehyde and L-glyceraldehyde in the mould Hypocrea jecorina. FEBS J. 2006, 273(18): 4229-35. [23]

 

Conference thesis

Kokina A, Pleiko K, Ozolina Z, Liepins J, 2019. Role of mutations in purine de novo synthesis pathway in cell cycle arrest and stress resistance phenotype during purine starvation. 29th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology (ICYGMB 2019), Gothenburg, Sweden 18th - 22th August.

Ozolina Z, Zolins S, Kokina A, Liepins J , 2019. The Role of Cross feeding in the Emergence of Purine Auxotrophs. 29th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology (ICYGMB 2019), Gothenburg, Sweden 18th - 22th August.

Ozoliņa Z., Kokina A., Martynova J., Liepins J. 2017. How purine starvation is communicated inside the baker’s yeast cell. 28th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology (ICYGMB 2017), Prague, Czech Republic, 27th August – 1st September.

Kokina A., Ozoliņa Z., Vamža I., Liepiņš J. 2017. Guanine plays critical role in the development of stress resistance phenotype in adenine auxotrophic strains during purine starvation in budding yeast. 28th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology (ICYGMB 2017), Prague, Czech Republic, 27th August – 1st September.

Liepins J, Kokina A, 2014. Nutritional effects on baker’s yeast desiccation tolerance. CBM2014, Tartu, Estonia, 16- 19.10

Kokina A, Kibilds J, Liepins J,  2013. Some adenine auxotrophy effects in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, 26th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology, Frankfurt, Germany, 29. August- 04. September

 

Cooperation

International

University of Tartu (Estonia)

National

Institute of Solid State Physics

Institute of Organic Synthesis of Latvia

TEVA Latvia

Valmiermuiža

BIOR

 

Contacts

Head of the group

Dr.biol. Janis Liepins

janis.liepins@lu.lv