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Dmitri Y. Boudko, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Dmitri Y. Boudko received his PhD in physiology and neuroscience from the Belarusian Academy of Sciences Institute of Physiology in Minsk, Belarus. Prior to that, he received a master’s degree in neurobiology and neuroscience from Belarusian State University.

Dr. Boudko’s research interests include molecular physiology and evolution of membrane transport systems, essential amino acid transporters, and molecular modeling.

Recent Publications

  • Boudko D.Y. Molecular basis of essential amino acid transport from studies of insect nutrient amino acid transporters of the SLC6 family (NAT-SLC6). J. Insect Physiol. (Available online, 2012).
  • Hansen I.A., Boudko D.Y., Shiao S.H., Voronov D.A., Meleshkevitch E.A., Drake L.L., Aguirre S.E., Fox J., Attardo G.M., Raikhel A.S. AaCAT1 of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti: A novel histidine-specific Amino Acid Transporter from the SLC7 family. (2011) J. Biol. Chem. 286(12):10803-13.
  • Drake L.L., Boudko D.Y., Marinotti O., Carpenter V.K., Dawe A.L., Hansen I.A. The Aquaporin gene family of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. PLoS One. 5(12) :e15578. (2010).
  • Meleshkevitch EA, Robinson M, Popova LB, Miller MM, Popova LB, Harvey WR, & Boudko DY. Cloning and functional expression of the eukaryotic sodium-tryptophan symporter. (2009) J. Exp. Biol. 212, 1559-67.
  • Harvey WR, Boudko DY, Rheault MR, Okech BA. NHE(VNAT): an H+ V-ATPase electrically coupled to a Na+:nutrient amino acid transporter (NAT) forms an Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE). (2009) J. Exp. Biol. Feb;212(Pt 3):347-57.
  • Miller MM, Popova LB, Meleshkevitch EA & Boudko DY. First invertebrate B0 system transporter, D. melanogaster NAT1, has unique D-amino acid affinity and mediates gut and brain functions. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2008), 8(10): 923-31.
  • Okech BA, Meleshkevitch EA, Miller MM, Popova LB, Harvey WR, & Boudko DY. Synergy and specificity of two Na+- aromatic amino acid symporters in the model alimentary canal of mosquito larvae. (2008) J. Exp. Biol. 211, 1594-1602.
  • Rheault MR, Okech BA, Keen SBW, Miller MM, Meleshkevitch EA, Linser PJ, Boudko DY and Harvey WR. Molecular cloning, phylogeny and localization of AgNHA1: the first Na+/H+ antiporter (NHA) from a metazoan, Anopheles gambiae. (2007) J. Exp. Biol.. 3848-61.
  • Boudko DY, Kohn AB, Meleshkevitch EA, Dasher MK, Stevens BR. and Harvey WR. Ancestry and progeny of nutrient amino acid transporters. (2005) PNAS USA 102(5):1360-5.
  • Boudko DY. High resolution capillary electrophoresis of nitrite and nitrate in biological samples. In: Methods in Molecular Biology; Nitric Oxide Protocols, Second Edition,. Editors: Aviv Hassid, Humana Press Totowa, NJ, USA. (2004) V.100: 9-19.
  • Boudko DY, Moroz LL, Harvey WR, & Linser PJ. Alkalinization by chloride/bicarbonate pathway in larval mosquito midgut. (2001) PNAS USA 98:15354-15359.
  • Hadfield MG, Meleshkevitch EA & Boudko DY. The apical sensory organ of a gastropod veliger is a receptor for settlement cues. (2000) Biol. Bulletin. 198(1): 67-76.Hou S, Larsen RW, Boudko D, Riley CW, Karatan E, Zimmer M, Ordal GW & Alam M. Myoglobin-like aerotaxis transducers in Archaea and Bacteria. (2000) Nature 304:540-544.

Invited Book Chapters & Reviews

  • Boudko DY. Donly BC, Stevens BR, and Harvey WR. Insect amino acid and neurotransmitter transporters, Addendum. In Insect Pharmaciology. Editors: Lawrence I. Gilbert, Kostas Iatrou and Sarjeet S. Gill. Elsevier, Amsterdam. (2010), 171-223.
  • Boudko DY. Addendum: Amino acid and Neurotransmitter Transporter. In Insect Pharmaciology. Editors: Lawrence I. Gilbert, Kostas Iatrou and Sarjeet S. Gill. Elsevier, Amsterdam. (2010), 224-28.
  • Boudko DY. Molecular ontology of amino acid transport. In Epithelial Transport Physiology, Editor G. Gerencser, Humana-Springer Verlag, (2010), 379-473.
  • Boudko DY. Bioanalytical profile of the L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway and its evaluation by capillary electrophoresis. (2007) J.C.B. 851 186-210
  • Boudko DY. High resolution capillary electrophoresis of nitrite and nitrate in biological samples. In: Methods in Molecular Biology; Nitric Oxide Protocols, Second Edition, Editors: Aviv Hassid, Humana Press Totowa, NJ, USA. (2004) V.100:9-19.
  • Boudko DY. Book Review, Functional Metabolism: Regulation And Adaptation Edited By Kenneth B. Storey. (2005) J. Exp. Biol. 208: 797-798.
  • Boudko DY, Stevens BR, Donly BC & Harvey WR. Nutrient Amino acid and Neurotransmitter transporters, In: Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science. First edition. Editors: Lawrence I. Gilbert, Kostas Iatrou and Sarjeet S. Gill. Elsevier, Amsterdam. (2005) V. 4: 255-309.

Research Projects

Molecular Physiology and Evolution of Essential Amino Acid Transport
Up to 90% of the total energy budget in autotrophs is devoted to the synthesis of 20 proteinogenic amino acids. In contrast, animals and other heterotrophs waive synthesis of approximately 10 of the most energetically expensive amino acids, and instead acquire these essential substrates from food or symbiotic resources, subsequently distributing them through a system of electrochemically coupled membrane transporters. We seek to identify such transporters and understand the basic principles behind the evolution, adaptation, and integration of the alimentary absorption and systemic distribution of the essential amino acids. We employ a comprehensive comparative framework of metazoan model organisms with completely sequenced genomes, including those of humans, fruit flies, mosquitoes, and nematodes. Practically, our studies aim to identify organism-specific components of the essential amino acid transport network that can be used as pharmacogenetic targets for correction of metabolic and neuronal disorders in humans, or to selectively suppress pest and pathogen invertebrates. Our experimental approaches include bioinformatics, molecular cloning, heterologous functional expression, electrophysiological and electrochemical assays, structural homology modeling, and reverse genetics.

Ongoing Projects

  • Molecular physiology of essential amino acid absorption in vector mosquitoes (NIH-NIAID)
    This study focuses on the members of the Nutrient Amino acid Transporter subfamily of the SLC 6 family (NATs-SLC6, PNAS, 2005). We cloned and characterized a set of NATs that aid in alimentary absorption and systemic distribution of the most underrepresented essential amino acids in mosquitoes. Our present efforts aim to reveal the roles and significances of individual NATs in mosquito biology.
  • Structural basis of selectivity and druggability of essential amino acid transporters
    In this study we employ a unique combination of in silico, in situ, and in vivo assays. AgNAT 3-D model-guided in silico docking is used to sort out the putative blockers of Anopheles NATs from existing libraries of natural and synthetic ligands of SLC6 members. The effects of these inhibitors are tested in situ using heterologous expression of AgNATs, and in vivo using video-monitoring and image analysis of larval development and behavior.
  • Cationic amino acid transport in mosquitoes (in collaboration with Immo Hansen, PI)
    This study aims to reveal the transport functions and biological roles of Cationic Amino acid Transporters belonging to SoLute Carrier family 7 (CAT-SLC7).
  • RNA interference in Anopheles mosquito larvae
    This study aims to develop and optimize a unique technique for systemic, environmental, and tissue specific induction of RNAi in model dipteran insects using fluorescent cell penetrating peptides (CPPs).
  • Molecular cloning and characterization of amino acid transporters in model nematode, C. elegans. (Graduate student project)
    The goal of this project is to explore the molecular basis and biological roles of the indispensible Amino acid Transport System (iATS) in the model nematode C. elegans.
  • Comparative pharmacology of human SLC6 transporters
    The goal of this project is to understand differences between, and pharmacophore selectivity of, transporters for canonical neurotransmitters and neuronal transporters of essential amino acids.