[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The expression and biological role of actin during the Trypanosoma cruzi life cycle remains largely unknown. Polyclonal antibodies against a recombinant T. cruzi actin protein were used to confirm its expression in epimastigotes, trypomastigotes, and amastigotes. Although the overall levels of expression were similar, clear differences in the subcellular distribution of actin among the developmental stages were identified. The existence of five actin variants in each developmental stage with distinct patterns of expression were uncovered by immunoblotting of protein extracts separated 2D-SDS gels. The isoelectric points of the actin variants in epimastigotes ranged from 4.45 to 4.9, whereas they ranged from 4.9 to 5.24 in trypomastigotes and amastigotes. To determine if the actin variants found could represent previously unidentified actins, we performed a genomic survey of the T.cruzi GeneDB database and found 12 independent loci encoding for a diverse group of actins and actin-like proteins that are conserved among trypanosomatids.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi is an obligate intracellular parasite that infects phagocytic and non-phagocytic mammalian cells by a complex process that appears to involve several discrete steps. Even though the infection process was described many years ago, the molecular mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. As fluorescent proteins have proven to be excellent tools for live-cell imaging, we used EGFP- and DsRed1-1-transfected trypomastigotes, amastigotes and epimastigotes to study the infection process in living cells. Contrary to what has been reported, our results showed that epimastigotes are as infective as trypomastigotes and amastigotes. Besides, differences in replication, differentiation and parasite release times were observed among the stages. Our results suggest that the different developmental stages use distinct attachment and invasion mechanisms. We propose that fluorescent-based plasmid expression systems are good models for studying the infection process of intracellular microorganisms and could offers insights about the molecular mechanisms involved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi undergoes a biphasic life cycle that consists of four alternate developmental stages. In vitro conditions to obtain a synchronic transformation and efficient rates of pure intermediate forms (IFs), which are indispensable for further biochemical, biological, and molecular studies, have not been reported. In the present study, we established an improved method to obtain IFs from secondary amastigogenesis. During the transformation kinetics, we observed progressive decreases in the size of the parasite body, undulating membrane and flagellum that were concomitant with nucleus remodeling and kinetoplast displacement. In addition, a gradual reduction in parasite movement and acquisition of the amastigote-specific Ssp4 antigen were observed. Therefore, our results showed that the in vitro conditions used obtained large quantities of highly synchronous and pure IFs that were clearly distinguished by morphometrical and molecular analyses. Obtaining these IFs represents the first step towards an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in amastigogenesis.
BioMed Research International 01/2010; 2010:283842. · 2.88 Impact Factor