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Hassan Hashimi´s GAČR grant evaluated as excellent

In the recent completed GAČR grant evaluations, Hassan Hashimi´s grant (Faculty of Science USB, Biology Centre ASCR) was evaluated as ‘excellent’.

The top 20% of evaluated GAČR grants (completed within the normal 3 years) can be awarded the evaluation category of ‘excellent’ rather than the normal ‘fulfilled’. Therefore, it reflects a great achievement that the grant was successfully completed on time and to a standard considered greater than 80% of other completed grants (as judged against the outputs and impact etc). 


Figure clockwise from top left:

  • The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology cover (Bílý T., Sheikh S., Mallet A., Bastin P., Pérez-Morga D., Lukeš J., Hashimi H. (2021) Ultrastructural Changes of the Mitochondrion During the Life Cycle of Trypanosoma brucei. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 68 : e12846. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeu.12846)

  • Mitochondrial cristae are small sub-compartments where cellular respiration takes place, making the organelle the powerhouse of the cell
  • Infectious forms of Trypanosoma brucei that have suppressed cellular respiration still maintain small, stub-like cristae
  • Mitochondrial cristae take on different shapes throughout eukaryotes for still unknown reasons (Pánek T., Eliáš M., Vancová M., Lukeš J., Hashimi H. (2020) Returning to the Fold for Lessons in Mitochondrial Crista Diversity and Evolution Current Biology 30 : R575–R588. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.02.053)

  • A bonus project – the team found kinesin motor proteins that are found only in trypanosomes associate with a cytoskeletal element called the microtubule quartet, which is also restricted to these protists. (Benz C., Muller N., Kaltenbrunner S., Váchová H. , Vancová M., Lukeš J., Varga V., Hashimi H. (2022) Kinetoplastid-specific X2-family kinesins interact with a kinesin-like pleckstrin homology domain protein that localizes to the trypanosomal microtubule quartet. Molecular Microbiology 118 : 155–174. https://doi.org/10.1111/mmi.14958)

  • They discovered another mitochondrial dynamin-related protein encoded in assorted eukaryotic and giant virus genomes; expression of this protein in T. brucei causes massive remodeling of mitochondria from within the mitochondrial matrix, demonstrating its unorthodox membrane remodeling activity (Sheikh, S., Pánek, T., Gahura, O., Týč, J., Záhonová, K., Lukeš, J., Eliáš, M., Hashimi, H., A Novel Group of Dynamin-Related Proteins Shared by Eukaryotes and Giant Viruses Is Able to Remodel Mitochondria From Within the Matrix, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Volume 40, Issue 6, June 2023, msad134, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msad134)

  • The crista-shaping Mic60 protein surprisingly plays the same role in another domain of life: modern alphaproteobacteria, the closest but still distant relatives of mitochondria. (Muñoz-Gómez S.A., Cadena L., Gardiner A.T., Leger M.M., Sheikh S., Connell L.B., Bílý T., Kopejtka K., Beatty T., Koblížek M., Roger A., Slamovits C.H., Lukeš J., Hashimi H. (2023) Intracytoplasmic-membrane development in alphaproteobacteria involves the homolog of the mitochondrial crista-developing protein Mic60. Current Biology 33 : 1099 - 1111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2023.02.059).

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