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Dr Katerina Artavanis-Tsakonas

Dr Katerina Artavanis-Tsakonas

University Lecturer

Head of Division of Microbiology and Parasitology


Ubiquitin biology

Office Phone: 01223 (7)64505

Research themes


Research Interests

As a class of pathogens parasites tend to establish chronic infections.  This means that they have adapted intricate mechanisms of avoiding host immune responses, limiting tissue damage, and modulating their immediate surrounding to support their presence. By understanding how they adapt themselves to their environment, we stand to learn important information about host tissues they colonize. We have a particular interest in how parasites interfere with and manipulate the host ubiquitin-proteasome system.

We currently focus on two organisms: the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and  the nematode Trichinella spiralis.

Key Publications

Morrow ME, Kim M, Ronau JA, Sheedlo MJ, White RR, Chaney J, Paul LN, Lill M, Artavanis-Tsakonas K, Das C. Structural analysis of ubiquitin recognition by the proteasome-associated deubiquitinase UCH37 from Trichinella spiralis. Biochemistry. 2013, 52 (20): 3564-3578. 

White RR, Miyata S, Papa E, Spooner E, Selkirk ME, Gounaris K, Artavanis-Tsakonas K. Characterisation of the Trichinella spiralis Deubiquitinating Enzyme,TsUCH37, an Evolutionarily Conserved Proteasome Interaction Partner. PLoS NTD. 2011, Oct 4(10):e1340. 

Artavanis-Tsakonas K, Kasperkovitz PV, Papa E, Cardenas ML, Khan NS,Van der Veen AG,  Ploegh HL,Vyas JM. The tetraspanin CD82 is specifically recruited to fungal and bacterial phagosomes prior to acidification. Infec Immun. 2011, Mar;79(3):1098-106.

Artavanis-Tsakonas K,Weihofen WA,Antos JM, Coleman BI, Comeaux CA, Duraisingh MT, Gaudet R, Ploegh HL. Structural studies and characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum ubiquitin and Nedd8 hydrolase UCHL3. J Biol Chem. 2010, Feb 26;285(9):6857-66.

Frickel EM, QuesadaV, Muething L, Gubbels MJ, Spooner E, Ploegh H, Artavanis-Tsakonas K. Apicomplexan UCH- L3 retains dual specificity for ubiquitin and Nedd8 throughout evolution. Cell Microbiol. 2007, 9(6):1601-10.

Artavanis-Tsakonas K, Love JC, Ploegh HL and Vyas JM. Recruitment of CD63 to Cryptococcus neoformans phagosomes requires acidification. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2006, 103(43):15945-50.