Cheryl Ingram-Smith

Cheryl Ingram-Smith at Clemson University Clemson SCAssociate Professor


Ph.D., Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania SOM, 2003
B.S., Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986

The overall goal of my research is to provide a better understanding of energy metabolism in the pathogenic protist Entamoeba histolytica. This microbe is a scavenger that lacks ATP-generating mitochondria and hydrogenosomes as well as many common metabolic pathways. Thus, glycolysis is thought to be a primary pathway for ATP production. Glycolysis and the downstream conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA and subsequently to acetate are atypical in several ways in E. histolytica. The glycolytic enzymes phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase are replaced by PPi-dependent phosphofructokinase and PPi-dependent pyruvate phosphate dikinase, and pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase replaces pyruvate dehydrogenase for conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA. As acetyl-CoA cannot enter the citric acid cycle, ADP-forming acetyl-CoA synthetase (Ads) is present in E. histolytica to break down acetyl-CoA to generate additional ATP and recycle CoA. In addition, a PPi-forming acetate kinase (Ack) is present that may serve to supply PPi for glycolysis. My research focuses on the enzymology and physiological role of Ads and Ack.


T Taylor, C Ingram-Smith, and KS Smith. 2015. Biochemical and kinetic characterization of the eukaryotic phosphotransacetylase class IIa enzyme from Phytophthora ramorum. Eukaryotic Cell 14:652-660. 

C Ingram-Smith*, J Wharton, C Reinholz, T Doucet, R Hesler, and KS Smith*. 2015. The role of active site residues in ATP binding and catalysis in the Methanosarcina thermophila acetate kinase. Life (Basel.) 5:861-871. (* co-corresponding authors) 

C Jones and C Ingram-Smith. 2014. Biochemical and kinetic characterization of the recombinant ADP-forming acetyl-CoA synthetase from the amitochondriate protozoan Entamoeba histolytica. Eukaryotic Cell 13:1530-1537. 

W Yang, C Catalanotti, S D’Adamo, TM Wittkopp, C Ingram-Smith, L Mackinder, TE Miller, AL Heuberger, G Peers, KS Smith, MC Jonikas, AR Grossman, and MC Posewitz. 2014. Alternative acetate production pathways in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii during dark anoxia and the dominant role of chloroplasts in fermentative acetate production. Plant Cell 26:4499-4518. 

K Glenn, C Ingram-Smith, and KS Smith. 2014. Biochemical and kinetic characterization of xylulose 5-phosphate/fructose 6-phosphate phosphoketolase 2 (Xfp2) from Cryptococcus neoformans. Eukaryotic Cell 13:657-663. 

TM Thaker, M Tanabe, M Fowler, AM Preininger, C Ingram-Smith, KS Smith, and TM Iverson. 2013. Crystal structures of acetate kinases from the eukaryotic pathogens Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptococcus neoformans. Journal of Structural Biology 181:185-189.