[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In vertebrates, connexins (Cxs) and pannexins (Panxs) are proteins that form gap junction channels and/or hemichannels located at cell-cell interfaces and cell surface, respectively. Similar channel types are formed by innexins in invertebrate cells. These channels serve as pathways for cellular communication that coordinate diverse physiologic processes. However, it is known that many acquired and inherited diseases deregulate Cx and/or Panx channels, condition that frequently worsens the pathological state of vertebrates. Recent evidences suggest that Cx and/or Panx hemichannels play a relevant role in bacterial and viral infections. Nonetheless, little is known about the role of Cx- and Panx-based channels in parasitic infections of vertebrates. In this review, available data on changes in Cx and gap junction channel changes induced by parasitic infections are summarized. Additionally, we describe recent findings that suggest possible roles of hemichannels in parasitic infections. Finally, the possibility of new therapeutic designs based on hemichannel blokers is presented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aromatic oligovalent glycosyl disulfides and some diglycosyl disulfides were tested against three different Trypanosoma cruzi strains. Di-(β-d-galactopyranosyl-dithiomethylene) benzenes 2b and 4b proved to be the most active derivatives against all three strains of cell culture-derived trypomastigotes with IC50 values ranging from 4 to 11μM at 37°C. The inhibitory activities were maintained, although somewhat lowered, at a temperature of 4°C as well. Three further derivatives displayed similar activities against at least one of the three strains. Low cytotoxicities of the active compounds, tested on confluent HeLa, Vero and peritoneal macrophage cell cultures, resulted in significantly higher selectivity indices (SI) than that of the reference drug benznidazole. Remarkably, several molecules of the tested panel strongly inhibited the parasite release from T. cruzi infected HeLa cell cultures suggesting an effect against the intracellular development of T. cruzi amastigotes as well.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this review is to gather the current knowledge of Trypanosoma cruzi's virulence factors described to date in an integrative way, relating these with the parasite's life cycle and trying to elucidate their importance in each process. Several aspects relevant for the parasite's survival, such as invasion, resistance to oxidative damage, escape from the phagolysosomal vacuole and differentiation, among others, will be discussed. However, there is still a lot to learn about what virulence really means in T. cruzi and which parasite molecules are absolutely required to make T. cruzi one of the most successful pathogens to invade, survive and persist in a mammalian host.
Microbes and Infection 12/2012; 14(15):1390-1402. DOI:10.1016/j.micinf.2012.09.003 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this work, evidence for a critical role of Trichomonas vaginalis protein phosphatase 1 gamma (TvPP1γ) in proliferation and attachment of the parasite to the mammalian cell is provided. Firstly, proliferation and attachment of T. vaginalis parasites to HeLa cells was blocked by calyculin A (CA), a potent PP1 inhibitor. Secondly, it was demonstrated that the enzyme activity of native and recombinant TvPP1γ proteins was inhibited by CA. Thirdly, reverse genetic studies confirmed that antisense oligonucleotides targeted to PP1γ but not PP1α or β inhibited proliferation and attachment of trichomonads CA-treated parasites underwent cytoskeletal modifications, including a lack of axostyle typical labelling, suggesting that cytoskeletal phosphorylation could be regulated by a CA-sensitive phosphatase where the role of PP1γ could not be ruled out. Analysis of subcellular distribution of TvPP1γ by cell fractionation and electron microscopy demonstrated the association between TvPP1γ and the cytoskeleton. The expression of adhesins, AP120 and AP65, at the cell surface was also inhibited by CA. The concomitant inhibition of expression of adhesins and changes in the cytoskeleton in CA-treated parasites suggest a specific role for PP1γ -dependent dephosphorylation in the early stages of the host-parasite interaction. Molecular modelling of TvPP1γ showed the conservation of residues critical for maintaining proper folding into the gross structure common to PP1 proteins. Taken together, these results suggest that TvPP1γ could be considered a potential novel drug target for treatment of trichomoniasis.
International journal for parasitology 06/2012; 42(8):715-27. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpara.2012.03.012 · 3.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three different monoclonal antibodies were produced against Trypanosona cruzi proteasomes. These antibodies were shown to react with a single 27-kDa band on immunoblots of purified proteasomes. Using a 7E5 monoclonal antibody (IgG1) that recognized the alpha5 subunit of protozoan protease we have studied the intracellular distribution of the T. cruzi 20S proteasome. Contrary to all cell types described to date, T. cruzi 20S proteasome was found not only in the cytoplasm and nucleus but also in the kinetoplast. As revealed by confocal microscopy, the reactivity of monoclonal antibody 7E5 was highly specific for protozoan proteasome because the antibody recognized only the proteasomes from parasites and not those from the mammalian host in T. cruzi infected cells. These findings were confirmed by immunoblots or immunoprecipitations, followed by chymotrypsin-like activity detection in kinetoplasts isolated by differential centrifugation and sucrose density gradients. Proteasome 20S was present in all T. cruzi stages and only slight differences in terms of relative abundance were found. The potential role of the proteasome in kinetoplast remodeling remains to be determined.
Parasitology International 09/2009; 58(4):367-74. DOI:10.1016/j.parint.2009.07.012 · 1.86 Impact Factor