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Dr Catalin Chimerel

Research Fellow (LSI)

7481

Currently I am a Principal Investigator – Research Fellow in the Living Systems Institute at the University of Exeter. I have been formally trained as a Physicist but my research has developed at the interface between Physics and Biology.  I am fascinated by the complexity of Biology and the symmetry and simplicity of the laws of Physics.

Career

My research career embraced a transdisciplinary path and progressed from understanding fundamental cellular processes to organism function.

I have started  my research career by investigating fundamentals of membrane biophysics during my PhD when I have discovered that the bacterial signal indole is a natural ionophore regulating a key biological process in bacteria (C. Chimerel et al., 2012, Biochemica and Biophysica Acta‑Membranes). Subsequently I pursued the effect of indole on mitochondria and I have shown that indole is capable to uncouple oxidative phosphorylation from ATP production revealing a potential link between the prokaryotes and eukaryotes (C. Chimerel et al., 2013, ChemPhysChem). I then recognised that indole is produced by bacteria in the human gut in miliMolar concentrations and I speculated it could affect the functioning of the cells in the gut epithelium via it ionophoric properties. Starting from this hypothesis I proved that indole modulates the secretion of gut hormones from the enteroendocrine cells in the gut epithelium in vitro and I have revealed the molecular details behind this modulation (C. Chimerel et al., 2014, Cell Reports).

I have been involved with other research projects in the past with a special focus on the passive diffusion through biological membranes. I started working on this topic while studying for my BSc Degree when I demonstrated that a membrane porin, Outer Membrane Protein F (OmpF), embedded in a lipid membrane is conformationally stable on a broad temperature range: 0⁰ to 90⁰C (C. Chimerel et al., 2008, European Biophys. J.). Analysing the temperature dependence of the ionic current flowing through OmpF I developed a better understanding of the physics of ionic transport in confinement (C. Chimerel et al., 2008, European Biophys. J.) and investigated the kinetics of antibiotics passing through membrane porins (K. R. Mahendran, C. Chimerel et al., 2009, European Biophys. J.). During my PhD I have complemented this expertise by developing protocols to reconstitute membrane porins in nanolipidbilayers supported on glass capillaries and I investigated the passive diffusion of molecules with intrinsic fluorescence (e.g. indole, norfloxacin). These experiments clarified an overlooked transport pathway for the bacterial signalling molecule indole passing through lipid membranes (S. Pinero-Fernandez, C. Chimerel al., 2011, J. of Bacteriology). Furthermore I have developed a novel, label-free optofluidic assay, which quantifies the permeability coefficient of auto fluorescent antibiotic molecules permeating through cellular membranes (J. Cama et al. 2014 Lab Chip).

 

 

Research

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Haynes CJE, Zhu J, Chimerel C, Hernández-Ainsa S, Riddell IA, Ronson TK, Keyser UF, Nitschke JR (2017). Blockable Zn10 L15 Ion Channels through Subcomponent Self-Assembly. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl Abstract.  Author URL.
Chimerel C, Riccio C, Murison K, Gribble FM, Reimann F (2017). Optogenetic Analysis of Depolarization-Dependent Glucagonlike Peptide-1 Release. Endocrinology, 158(10), 3426-3434. Abstract.  Author URL.
Cama J, Chimerel C, Pagliara S, Javer A, Keyser UF (2014). A label-free microfluidic assay to quantitatively study antibiotic diffusion through lipid membranes. Lab Chip, 14(13), 2303-2308. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Chimerel C, Emery E, Summers DK, Keyser U, Gribble FM, Reimann F (2014). Bacterial metabolite indole modulates incretin secretion from intestinal enteroendocrine L cells. Cell Rep, 9(4), 1202-1208. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chimerel C, Murray AJ, Oldewurtel ER, Summers DK, Keyser UF (2013). The effect of bacterial signal indole on the electrical properties of lipid membranes. Chemphyschem, 14(2), 417-423. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chimerel C, Field CM, Piñero-Fernandez S, Keyser UF, Summers DK (2012). Indole prevents Escherichia coli cell division by modulating membrane potential. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1818(7), 1590-1594. Abstract.  Author URL.
Piñero-Fernandez S, Chimerel C, Keyser UF, Summers DK (2011). Indole transport across Escherichia coli membranes. J Bacteriol, 193(8), 1793-1798. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pagliara S, Chimerel C, Langford R, Aarts DGAL, Keyser UF (2011). Parallel sub-micrometre channels with different dimensions for laser scattering detection. Lab Chip, 11(19), 3365-3368. Abstract.  Author URL.
Gornall JL, Mahendran KR, Pambos OJ, Steinbock LJ, Otto O, Chimerel C, Winterhalter M, Keyser UF (2011). Simple reconstitution of protein pores in nano lipid bilayers. Nano Lett, 11(8), 3334-3340. Abstract.  Author URL.
Steinbock LJ, Otto O, Chimerel C, Gornall J, Keyser UF (2010). Detecting DNA folding with nanocapillaries. Nano Lett, 10(7), 2493-2497. Abstract.  Author URL.
Steinbock LJ, Otto O, Skarstam DR, Jahn S, Chimerel C, Gornall JL, Keyser UF (2010). Probing DNA with micro- and nanocapillaries and optical tweezers. J Phys Condens Matter, 22(45). Abstract.  Author URL.
Mahendran KR, Chimerel C, Mach T, Winterhalter M (2009). Antibiotic translocation through membrane channels: temperature-dependent ion current fluctuation for catching the fast events. Eur Biophys J, 38(8), 1141-1145. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pezeshki S, Chimerel C, Bessonov AN, Winterhalter M, Kleinekathöfer U (2009). Understanding ion conductance on a molecular level: an all-atom modeling of the bacterial porin OmpF. Biophys J, 97(7), 1898-1906. Abstract.  Author URL.
Mach T, Chimerel C, Fritz J, Fertig N, Winterhalter M, Fütterer C (2008). Miniaturized planar lipid bilayer: increased stability, low electric noise and fast fluid perfusion. Anal Bioanal Chem, 390(3), 841-846. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chimerel C, Movileanu L, Pezeshki S, Winterhalter M, Kleinekathöfer U (2008). Transport at the nanoscale: temperature dependence of ion conductance. Eur Biophys J, 38(1), 121-125. Abstract.  Author URL.

Publications by year


2017

Haynes CJE, Zhu J, Chimerel C, Hernández-Ainsa S, Riddell IA, Ronson TK, Keyser UF, Nitschke JR (2017). Blockable Zn10 L15 Ion Channels through Subcomponent Self-Assembly. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl Abstract.  Author URL.
Chimerel C, Riccio C, Murison K, Gribble FM, Reimann F (2017). Optogenetic Analysis of Depolarization-Dependent Glucagonlike Peptide-1 Release. Endocrinology, 158(10), 3426-3434. Abstract.  Author URL.

2014

Cama J, Chimerel C, Pagliara S, Javer A, Keyser UF (2014). A label-free microfluidic assay to quantitatively study antibiotic diffusion through lipid membranes. Lab Chip, 14(13), 2303-2308. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Chimerel C, Emery E, Summers DK, Keyser U, Gribble FM, Reimann F (2014). Bacterial metabolite indole modulates incretin secretion from intestinal enteroendocrine L cells. Cell Rep, 9(4), 1202-1208. Abstract.  Author URL.

2013

Chimerel C, Murray AJ, Oldewurtel ER, Summers DK, Keyser UF (2013). The effect of bacterial signal indole on the electrical properties of lipid membranes. Chemphyschem, 14(2), 417-423. Abstract.  Author URL.

2012

Chimerel C, Field CM, Piñero-Fernandez S, Keyser UF, Summers DK (2012). Indole prevents Escherichia coli cell division by modulating membrane potential. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1818(7), 1590-1594. Abstract.  Author URL.

2011

Piñero-Fernandez S, Chimerel C, Keyser UF, Summers DK (2011). Indole transport across Escherichia coli membranes. J Bacteriol, 193(8), 1793-1798. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pagliara S, Chimerel C, Langford R, Aarts DGAL, Keyser UF (2011). Parallel sub-micrometre channels with different dimensions for laser scattering detection. Lab Chip, 11(19), 3365-3368. Abstract.  Author URL.
Gornall JL, Mahendran KR, Pambos OJ, Steinbock LJ, Otto O, Chimerel C, Winterhalter M, Keyser UF (2011). Simple reconstitution of protein pores in nano lipid bilayers. Nano Lett, 11(8), 3334-3340. Abstract.  Author URL.

2010

Steinbock LJ, Otto O, Chimerel C, Gornall J, Keyser UF (2010). Detecting DNA folding with nanocapillaries. Nano Lett, 10(7), 2493-2497. Abstract.  Author URL.
Steinbock LJ, Otto O, Skarstam DR, Jahn S, Chimerel C, Gornall JL, Keyser UF (2010). Probing DNA with micro- and nanocapillaries and optical tweezers. J Phys Condens Matter, 22(45). Abstract.  Author URL.

2009

Mahendran KR, Chimerel C, Mach T, Winterhalter M (2009). Antibiotic translocation through membrane channels: temperature-dependent ion current fluctuation for catching the fast events. Eur Biophys J, 38(8), 1141-1145. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pezeshki S, Chimerel C, Bessonov AN, Winterhalter M, Kleinekathöfer U (2009). Understanding ion conductance on a molecular level: an all-atom modeling of the bacterial porin OmpF. Biophys J, 97(7), 1898-1906. Abstract.  Author URL.

2008

Mach T, Chimerel C, Fritz J, Fertig N, Winterhalter M, Fütterer C (2008). Miniaturized planar lipid bilayer: increased stability, low electric noise and fast fluid perfusion. Anal Bioanal Chem, 390(3), 841-846. Abstract.  Author URL.
Chimerel C, Movileanu L, Pezeshki S, Winterhalter M, Kleinekathöfer U (2008). Transport at the nanoscale: temperature dependence of ion conductance. Eur Biophys J, 38(1), 121-125. Abstract.  Author URL.

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