Investigations into proteomics have grown tremendously in the past few decades and have expanded to include metalloproteins. Exploring the set of metalloproteome expressed by an organism can provide valuable information regarding the relationship between pathogen and host as well as an overall greater understanding of the pathogen itself. Utilizing purification and identification tools to study metal assimilation and the metalloproteome of a pathogenic organism is being applied to study the dimorphic fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum (Hc). When inhaled, Hc may cause a respiratory infection known as Histoplasmosis. Hc is found throughout the world in humid and agricultural and is especially concentrated in the Ohio River Valley. Greater understanding about metals within the fungus as well as identification of the metalloproteins within Hc would allow for better understanding of the microbial growth and toxicity mechanisms that may partially function through metal up or down regulation. This information could potentially lead to treatments that would reduce and possibly eliminate symptoms for individuals infected with the disease.
This research is supported through a collaboration between Dr. Joseph Caruso's Lab on the main campus of the University of Cincinnati and Dr. George Deepe's lab on the medical campus at the University of Cincinnati.