Dr Che Pillay


Dr Che Pillay is a lecturer in the School of Life Sciences. Redoxin (thioredoxin, glutaredoxin, peroxiredoxin) networks play critical roles in DNA synthesis, antioxidant defence and redox regulation and dysregulation of these networks are associated with several diseases. My early work was focused on resolving the contradictory descriptions of thioredoxin and glutaredoxin activity so that the emergent properties of these networks could be analysed using systems biology tools (e.g.) our analysis of the E. coli thioredoxin network revealed a novel form of ultrasensitivity, a characteristic signature of signalling systems. 

We have since elucidated this mechanism in greater detail and also described ultrasensitive redox transcription factor activation in vivo, and, showed how redox signals could be quantified. Our work has also had practical applications as my student developed a surrogate measure for the thioredoxin system flux which can be used as an end-point in clinical inhibitor studies while another student identified a unique redoxin network motif in M. tuberculosis which could be drug target. Thus, our work has changed the way that redoxins and their cognate networks are characterized and how they should be modelled in systems biology applications.


"Finding, uncovering & challenging knowledge is never giving up on science, life and society."

Position:   Senior lecturer
Qualifications:   PhD
Discipline:   Genetics
Campus:   Pietermaritzburg
Telephone:   033 260 6231
Email:   PillayC3@ukzn.ac.za
Research Areas:   Redox biology, systems biology, computational modeling, molecular cell biology, enzyme kinetics
Recent Publications:


Risi, Michelle1. Veal E.A, Underwood Z.E., Tomalin L.E., Morgan B., Pillay C.S. (2017) Hyperoxidation of peroxiredoxins: Gain or loss of function? Antioxidants & Redox Signaling doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7214. [Epub ahead of print]

Rohwer, J.M., Viljoen, C, Christensen, C.D., Mashamaite L.N., Pillay, C.S. (2016) Identifying the conditions necessary for the thioredoxin ultrasensitive response. Perspectives in Science 9:53-59.

Pillay C.S., Eagling B.D., Driscoll S.R., Rohwer J.M. (2016) Quantitative measures for redox signaling. Free Radic Biol Med. 96:290-303

Padayachee L, Pillay C.S. (2016) The thioredoxin system and not the Michaelis-Menten equation should be fitted to substrate saturation datasets from the thioredoxin insulin assay. Redox Rep. 2016 Jul;21(4):170-9.

Mashamaite, L.N., Rohwer, J.M., Pillay, C.S. (2015) The mono- and dithiol mechanisms for glutaredoxin-dependent deglutathionylation are functionally equivalent: implications for redox systems biology. Bioscience Reports 35(1). pii:e00173 

Research Profile:   View Google Scholar profile
Postgraduate Candidates:

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