Alexandros A Pittis

Alexandros A Pittis
European Molecular Biology Laboratory | EMBL · Developmental Biology Unit (Heidelberg)

PhD

About

31
Publications
3,433
Reads
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523
Citations
Citations since 2016
29 Research Items
519 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
Comparative Genomics, Evolutionary Biology, Biostatistics, and Bioinformatics. Interested in major evolutionary transitions.
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - March 2021
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2020 - present
Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin
Position
  • Fellow
September 2017 - December 2019
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (31)
Article
The origin of eukaryotes stands as a major conundrum in biology. Current evidence indicates that the last eukaryotic common ancestor already possessed many eukaryotic hallmarks, including a complex subcellular organization. In addition, the lack of evolutionary intermediates challenges the elucidation of the relative order of emergence of eukaryoti...
Article
Full-text available
Gene exchange between viruses and their hosts acts as a key facilitator of horizontal gene transfer and is hypothesized to be a major driver of evolutionary change. Our understanding of this process comes primarily from bacteria and phage co-evolution, but the mode and functional importance of gene transfers between eukaryotes and their viruses rem...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gene exchange between viruses and their hosts acts as a key facilitator of horizontal gene transfer and is thought to be a major driver of evolutionary change 1–3. Our understanding of this process comes primarily from bacteria and phage co-evolution4, but the mode and functional significance of gene transfers between eukaryotes and their viruses r...
Article
DNA replication is a ubiquitous and conserved cellular process. However, regulation of DNA replication is only understood in a small fraction of organisms that poorly represent the diversity of genetic systems in nature. Here we used computational and experimental approaches to examine the function and evolution of one such system, the replication...
Article
Full-text available
Calcium (Ca2+) influx into mitochondria occurs through a Ca2+-selective uniporter channel, which regulates essential cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms. Previous evolutionary analyses of its pore-forming subunits MCU and EMRE, and gatekeeper MICU1, pinpointed an evolutionary paradox: the presence of MCU homologs in fungal species devoid of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mitochondrial calcium (mt-Ca2+) uptake is central for the regulation of numerous cellular processes in eukaryotes. This occurs through a highly selective Ca2+ uniporter located at the inner mitochondrial membrane and driven by the membrane potential. While the physiological role of the uniporter was extensively studied for decades, its genetic iden...
Article
Full-text available
Background The oral cavity comprises a rich and diverse microbiome, which plays important roles in health and disease. Previous studies have mostly focused on adult populations or in very young children, whereas the adolescent oral microbiome remains poorly studied. Here, we used a citizen science approach and 16S profiling to assess the oral micro...
Article
Full-text available
The mitochondrial calcium uniporter is a highly selective ion channel composed of species- and tissue-specific subunits. However, the functional role of each component still remains unclear. Here, we establish a synthetic biology approach to dissect the interdependence between the pore-forming subunit MCU and the calcium-sensing regulator MICU1. Co...
Preprint
The mitochondrial calcium uniporter is a highly selective ion channel composed of species- and tissue-specific structural and regulatory subunits. However, the contribution of each component to uniporter-mediated activity still remains unclear. Here, we employ an evolutionary and synthetic biology approach to investigate the functional inter-depend...
Article
Full-text available
With the current explosion of genomic data, there is a greater need to draw inference on phenotypic information based on DNA sequence alone. We considered complete genomes from 35 diverse eukaryotic lineages, and discovered sets of proteins predictive of trophic mode, including a set of 485 proteins that are enriched among phagocytotic eukaryotes (...
Article
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In the version of this Article originally published, question marks appeared in Table 1; they should have been tick marks. This has now been corrected in all versions of the Article.
Article
Full-text available
L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is an essential metabolite in animals and plants due to its role as an enzyme co-factor and antioxidant activity. In most eukaryotic organisms, L-ascorbate is biosynthesized enzymatically, but in several major groups, including the primate suborder Haplorhini, this ability is lost due to gene truncations in the gene codi...
Article
Full-text available
In a recent article, Martin et. al. [1] criticize several methodological aspects of our recent study on the timing of the acquisition of mitochondria [2]. Here we show that our results are independent of the model-based partitioning of the data. In addition, we assess the robustness of our inferences by analyzing data from Martin et. al. We first w...
Article
Full-text available
A high level of subcellular compartmentalization is a hallmark of eukaryotic cells. This intricate internal organization was present already in the common ancestor of all extant eukaryotes, and the determination of the origins and early evolution of the different organelles remains largely elusive. Organellar proteomes are determined through regula...
Article
NCS1 proteins are H(+) /Na(+) symporters specific for the uptake of purines, pyrimidines and related metabolites. In this article we study the origin, diversification and substrate specificity of fungal NCS1 transporters. We show that the two fungal NCS1 subfamilies, Fur and Fcy, and plant homologues, originate through independent horizontal transf...

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