The Blaustein Institute for Desert Research -- Department of Dryland Biotechnologies -- Microalgae Laboratory
my picture CLAUDE AFLALO
Born: 1949, Fes, Morocco
Ph.D.: 1986, Ben-Gurion University
Senior Lecturer: 1999

Research Interests:

See also the underlying ideas, a glossary of terms, as well as some highlights.
Localized hexokinases and luciferases
  • Cellular bioenergetics and regulation of metabolism through micro-compartmentation.
  • Functional consequences of cellular organization; assessment of the role of physical phenomena such as
    • diffusion,
    • partition,
    • macromolecular association
    in cellular energetics.
  • Signal transduction through extracellular adenine nucleotides.
  • Bioenergetics in extremophile microalgae.


Digitized trypsin-trypsin inhibitor complexes
  • Enzymes kinetics in situ (measurements and mathematical modeling of heterogenous catalytic processes).
  • Protein traffic and assembly (firefly luciferase as a probe).
  • Molecular biology including the study of structure, function and regulation of metabolic units.
  • In silico assessment and modeling of macromolecular recognition.

Research Projects:

Mitochondrial compartments
  • Development of experimental approaches using genetically engineered, cloned firefly luciferase as a tool to measure local ATP concentrations in intact cells and isolated organelles (yeast).
  • Firefly luciferase mechanism: kinetics of light production.
  • Cellular protein traffic using luciferase as a reporter for intracellular localization and assembly.
  • Interaction of rat brain hexokinase with mitochondrial porin from various sources.
  • Involvement of geometric and hydrophobic surface complementarity in macromolecular association.
  • Characterization of an extracellular ATP receptor from frog respiratory epithelium.
  • Molecular biology, towards transformation and genetic engineering of H. pluvialis, with emphasis on cloning, transformation and over-expression of heterologous genes, and use of firefly luciferase as a reporter gene;
  • Cells fractionation and organelles (chloroplast and mitochondria) isolation, towards algal cellular biochemistry, including analysis of protein and enzymes levels and their coordination in anabolic pathways pertinent to the Unitís interests (carotenoids, photosynthesis, and lipid synthesis);
  • Experimental framework for the action and regulation of carotenoids biosynthetic pathway, and its relation with lipid synthesis, including quantitation of metabolic intermediates and fluxes under various physiological conditions

Recent Publications:

Key words: Firefly luciferase, organization of metabolism, protein traffic and assembly, cellular enzymology, porin, VDAC, ion transport and bioenergetics in microalgea, astaxanthin production, Haematococcus.
Phone: 08-6596817 / 23
Fax: 08-6596742
Last update: Jan 2000- Claude Aflalo
Suggestions are welcome...