My main interests lie in the research of pathogen-host cell interactions using molecular cellular biology and modern light microscopy imaging techniques.
Research in the “Intracellular parasitism group”, which I lead, focuses on aspects of the Molecular Cellular Biology of the flagellated protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani (L. donovani), and its interaction with the macrophages of the mammalian host. Aim of this research work is to contribute to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the initial stages of this parasitic infection as well as to identify and characterize new potential molecular targets for the development of new anti-leismanial drugs
Study of molecular mechanisms of Leishmania donovani (L. donovani) establishment of infection in professional phagocytes with focus on the role of parasite surface (i.e ecto-enzymes) or secreted molecules in the establishment of parasite life in the modified Leishmaniophorous phagolysosome.
Development of advanced microscopy protocols for imaging (in vitro or in vivo) intracellular pathogens with the use of digital image/video processing/analysis software. In our studies we use genetically modified Leishmania strains expressing GFP or RFP fluorescent proteins and mammalian macrophage cell lines (mouse Raw264.7) expressing GFP or YFP hybrid polypeptides with PI binding domains (PX or PH domains) or hybrid fluorescent GTPases (i.e. Rab5, Rab7) molecular markers of phagolysosome biogenesis (Papadaki A. PhD thesis 2015).
Structural and functional characterization of specific L. donovani phosphatases as candidate anti-Leishmanial drug targets. Main focus of our work is the study of the LdMacP (LdAcP3.1_AF149839.1) Histidine Acid ecto-phosphatase from L. donovani (Shakarian, A.M., et al.2002, Papadaki et al. 2015), and of two members from a family of phosphoinositide phosphatases expressed only in microorganisms, homologs of the MptpB virulence factor from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Beresford, N.J. et al. 2010). The two L. donovani phosphatases under study are encoded by the Open Reading Frames (ORF) LDBPK_220120 and LDBPK_332990.
Validation of the Leishmania tarentolae (L. tarentolae) organism (non pathogenic to humans) as an alternative expression system for recombinant eukaryotic membrane proteins (Biotechnological applications) and as an in vitro system for the screening of anti-leismanial compounds.
CURRENT GROUP MEMBERS
Biologist/Cell Biologist (ΒSc, MSc, PhD)
Post-doctoral fellow Sep. 2018
MSc Student (Applications of Biology to Medicine)
Sep. 2015- May 2017
PhD Student 2018-
Pharmasist (BSc, MSc)
Pharmacy School, Univesrity of Athens
MSc student, Sep. 2018-
Βiology Department “Microbial Biotechnology”, University of Athens
Bioinformatician (BSc), MSc student Dep. of Informatics with applications in Biomedicine, University of Thessaly, Greece,
July-Jan 2020 undergraduate diploma thesis, MSc thesis Feb. 2021-
Molecular Biologist (BSc, MSc)
PhD student (Calmette Yersin PhD fellow) , Oct.1, 2020 –
University of Alcala, Madrid
OLDER GROUP MEMBERS / COLLABORATORS
Biologist, University of Patras,
Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management
PhD Fellow (Collaborator from Dr Bourtzis’ lab) 2007-2008
Maria Parakevi Kotini
Biologist Diploma thesis, Μarch 2008-Νοv. 2009
Chemist ΜSc Student (Biochemistry), Sep. 2012 – Jan. 2014
Dr Rositsa Tropcheva
Food Biotechnologist (PhD)
Assistant Professor, “St Kliment Ohridski” University of Sofia, Bulgaria, Research Fellow, June 2014- July 2014 (Institut Pasteur International Network Chalmette Yersin fellowship)
Technical Assistant & ΜSc Student (Microbial Biotechnology), June 2012- Jan. 2015
Faculté de Sciences, U. of Montpellier,
MSc Student – BioPMBB-IMH, Feb. 2015- Jul. 2015
PhD Fellow, Jun 2009- May 2015
Post doctoral Fellow, Jun 2015-Jan. 2016
MSc Student (Applications of Biology to Medicine),
Sep. 2015-Mar. 2017
ΜSc Internship, Biotechnologist (BSc)
April 2017- June 2017
4rth year undergraduate student,
Biotechnology Dep., Agricultural U. of Athens
Summer student training, Jul. – Sep. 2019
5th year undergraduate student, Biotechnology Department, Agricultural University of Athens
Practical training, Oct 2020.-January 2021
Papadaki A., Tziouvara O., Kotopouli A., Koumarianou P., Doukas A., Rios P., Tardieux I., Köhn M., Boleti H. (2021). The Leishmania donovani LDBPK_220120.1 gene encodes for an atypical Dual Specificity Lipid-like phosphatase expressed in promastigotes and amastigotes; Substrate specificity, intracellular localizations and putative role(s). Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, section Parasite and Host. 11:591868.doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2021.591868. (IF 4.123)
Papadaki A. and Boleti H. (2019). Measurement of Acid Ecto-phosphatase Activity in Live Leishmania donovani Parasites. BioProtocols (A peer-reviewed protocol journal. No publication fee; no access fee) following journals’ invitation. Vol 9 (19). DOI:10.21769/BioProtoc.3384
Doukas A, Karena E, Botou M, Papakostas K, Papadaki A, Tziouvara O, Xingi E, Frillingos S, Boleti H. (2019). Heterologous expression of the mammalian sodium-nucleobase transporter rSNBT1 in Leishmania tarentolae. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 1861(9):1546-1557.
Braliou GG, Kontou PI, Boleti H, Bagos PG. (2019). Susceptibility to leishmaniasis is affected by host SLC11A1 gene polymorphisms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Parasitol Res. 118(8):2329-2342. Review.
Frakolaki E, Kalliampakou KI, Kaimou P, Moraiti M, Kolaitis N, Boleti H, Koskinas J, Vassilacopoulou D, Vassilaki N. (2019). Emerging Role of l-Dopa Decarboxylase in Flaviviridae Virus Infections. Cells 8(8). ( PDF )
Papadaki A, Politou AS, Smirlis D, Kotini MP, Kourou K, Papamarcaki T, Boleti H. (2015). The Leishmania donovani histidine acid ecto-phosphatase LdMAcP: insight into its structure and function. Biochem J. 467(3):473-86. ( PDF )2015
Athanasopoulos A, Boleti H, Scazzocchio C, Sophianopoulou V. (2013). Eisosome distribution and localization in the meiotic progeny of Aspergillus nidulans. Fungal Genet Biol. 53:84-96. ( PDF )2013
Boleti H., Smirlis D., Dalagiorgou G., Meurs E., Christoforidis S., & Mavromara.P. (2010). ER targeting and retention of the HCV NS4B protein relies on the concerted action of multiple structural features including its transmembrane domains. Mol. Memb. Biol. 27(1):50-74. ( PDF )2010
Smirlis D, Boleti H, Gaitanou M, Soto M, Soteriadou K. (2009). Leishmania donovani RAN-GTPase interacts at the nuclear rim with linker histone H1. Biochem J. 10;424(3):367-74. ( PDF )2009
Vassilaki N, Boleti H, Mavromara P.(2008).Expression studies of the HCV-1a core+1 open reading frame in mammalian cells. Virus Res. 133(2):123-35. ( PDF )2008
Vassilakι Ν, Boleti Η. and Mavromara P. (2007). Expression studies of the core+1 protein of the hepatitis C virus 1a in mammalian cells: the influence of the core protein and proteasomes on the intracellular levels of core+1. FEBS J. 274(16):4057-74. ( PDF )2007
Boleti H. & Robotis, J.F (2004). Viral Hepatitis. xPharm 1.0, edited by S.J. Enna dn David, B. Bylund, Published by, Inc. Elsevier. Reviews-Electronic publications ( PDF )
Boleti H. (2004). Chlamydia Infections. xPharm 1.0, edited by S.J. Enna dn David, B. Bylund, Published by, Inc. Elsevier. ( Link )
Ibrahim-Granet, O., Philippe,B., Boleti, H., Boisvieux-Ulrich, E., Prévost, MC., Grenet, D., Stern, M., and JP Latgé. (2003). Phagocytosis and intracellular fate of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia in alveolar macrophages. Infection and Immunity, 71(2):891-903. ( PDF )2003
Boleti, H., Ojcius, D. and Dautry-Varsat, A. (2000). Fluorescent labelling of intra-cellular bacteria in living host cells. J. Microbiological Methods, 1;40 (3): 265-274. ( PDF )
Poupel, O., Boleti H., Axisa, S., and Tardieux, I. (2000). Toxfilin, a novel actin binding protein from Toxoplasma gondii, sequesters actin monomers and caps actin filaments. J. Mol. Biol. of the Cell, 11(1): 355-68. ( PDF )
Boleti, H., Benmerah, A., Ojcius, D., Cerf-Bensussan,N., Dautry-Varsat, A. (1999). Chlamydia infection of epithelial cells expressing dynamin and Eps15 mutants:clathrin-independent entry into cells and dynamin-dependent productive growth. J. of Cell Science, 112:1487-1496. ( PDF )1999
- “Development of new Analytical techniques for the Bioactive phenols of Olives and study of their activity in humans”. Ιnitiation 2018
Katherina Papakonstantinou (Pharmasist BSc, ΜSc), Pharmacy School, University of Athens.
- “PI phosphatases and PI binding proteins of the Leishmania protozoan parasite: Characterization of two representative molecules and study of their role in the parasite life cycle and in the infection of the mammalian host”. Initiation: Jan 2019
Olympia Tziouvara (Biologist, BSc ΜSc). Medical School, Univ. of Athens
- ‘’Identification of molecular partners and functional characterization of a secreted Sorting Nexin (SNX) Protein from the protozoan parasite L. donovani; the first SNX to be studied from Leishmania spp”. Initiation: Οκτ. 2020
Daniel Carrasco Navarro (Molecular Biologist, BSc, MSc). Πανεπιστήμιο Alcalá, SPAIN.
Amalia Papadaki, Medical School, U. of Ioannina, defended in April 2015
Title: Study of the molecular mechanisms underlying Leishmania spp. survival within the phagocytes of the mammalian host (PDF)
Organization of International and courses (2006-2016)
Cutting edge technologies and their contribution to the Biomedical Sciences
3-day practical courses for Biology Teachers of Secondary School education. An activity for diffusion of Advanced Scientific Knowledge to selected groups of society. ( Poster )
CALMETTE YERSIN PhD fellowship Institut Pasteur International Network (IPIN)
PhD fellowship to Daniel Carrasco Navarro
Project title: “ Identification of molecular partners and functional characterization of a secreted Sorting Nexin (SNX) Protein from the protozoan parasite L. donovani; the first SNX to be studied from Leishmania spp.”
Grant initiation date: October 2020; Grant duration: 36 months
Ministry of Development and Investment/grant Code ΕΒΒΜ103.
“Supporting researchers with emphasis on young researchers – B cycle”-“Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” on Priority Axis 6, co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).
Project title: In vitro study of the anticancer properties of polyphenols from greek olive oil.
Grant initiation date: End of 2019 Grant duration: 15 months
H.F.R.I (Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation)
PhD grant (Olympia Tziouvara)
Project title: “PI phosphatases and PI binding proteins of the Leishmania protozoan parasite: Characterization of two representative molecules and study of their role in the parasite life cycle and in the infection of the mammalian host”
Grant initiation date: October 2019; Grant duration: 30 months
ΒΙΟΙΜAGING GR: “Hellenic Research Infrastructure for the Imaging and Observation of Fundamental Processes in Biology and Medicine” (MIS 5002755) which is implemented under the Action “Reinforcement of the Research and Innovation Infrastructure”, funded by the Operational Programme “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (NSRF 2014-2020) and co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Regional Development Fund). Responsible for 2WPs of the HPIs participation in the Infrastructure Network.
«INSPIRED: The National Research Infrastructure on Integrated Structural Biology, Drug Screening Efforts and Drug target functional characterization» MIS code 5002550 WP.2.1, WP 2.2
KRIPIS II (2017-2019): DEVELOPMENT GRANTS FOR RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS/Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology
Project title: “Infectious, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases: study of the pathogenetic mechanisms and development of diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic approaches” Subproject ΠΕ 3.3: Structural and functional characterization of the Tyrosine and Phosphoinositide phosphatase LdTyrPIP_22 of the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani (Μ4-Μ24) with aim to point out new chemotherapeutical targets from antileismanial drugs (Coordinator Hellenic Pasteur Institute).
Budget for ‘Intracellular parasitism team: 22,900 €
IKYDA (2014-2015) – PROGRAM of PROMOTION OF EXCHANGE AND SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION GREECE – GERMANY. Project title: LeishPhospho: Molecular characterization of specific phosphatases from the intracellular protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani and exploration of their potential as drug targets. Scientific Responsible of Greek team: Dr Haralabia Boleti, Scientific Responsible of the German team: Dr Μaja Köhn
Sponsorship by Abbvie Pharmaceutical to the research team of Intracellular parasitism for research on Leishmaniasis. Scientific Responsible: Dr Haralabia Boleti. Budget: 5,000 €
Poster award at the 67ο Panhellenic conference of the Hellenic Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ioannina, (25-27 Nov. 2017). Title: LdPIΒPnex, a secreted nexin-like protein from the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani. Authors: Drosos Kourounis, Amalia Papadaki, Olympia Tziouvara, Haralabia Boleti, Intracellular parasitism group, Hellenic Pasteur Institute