Danielle Rodrigues Cortez

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (5)15.08 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Chagas disease is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi which affects 10 million people worldwide. Very few kinases have been characterized in this parasite, including the phosphatidylinositol kinases (PIKs) that are at the heart of one of the major pathways of intracellular signal transduction. Recently, we have classified the PIK family in T. cruzi using five different models based on the presence of PIK conserved domains. In this study, we have mapped PIK genes to the chromosomes of two different T. cruzi lineages (G and CL Brener) and determined the cellular localization of two PIK members. The kinases have crucial roles in metabolism and are assumed to be conserved throughout evolution. For this reason, they should display a conserved localization within the same eukaryotic species. In spite of this, there is an extensive polymorphism regarding PIK localization at both genomic and cellular levels, among different T. cruzi isolates and between T. cruzi and T. brucei, respectively. We showed in this study that the cellular localization of two PIK-related proteins (TOR1 and 2) in the T. cruzi lineage is distinct from that previously observed in T. brucei. In addition, we identified a new PIK gene with peculiar feature, that is, it codes for a FYVE domain at N-terminal position. FYVE-PIK genes are phylogenetically distant from the groups containing exclusively the FYVE or PIK domain. The FYVE-PIK architecture is only present in trypanosomatids and in virus such as Acanthamoeba mimivirus, suggesting a horizontal acquisition. Our Bayesian phylogenetic inference supports this hypothesis. The exact functions of this FYVE-PIK gene are unknown, but the presence of FYVE domain suggests a role in membranous compartments, such as endosome. Taken together, the data presented here strengthen the possibility that trypanosomatids are characterized by extensive genomic plasticity that may be considered in designing drugs and vaccines for prevention of Chagas disease.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 04/2014; · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chagas disease is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi which affects 10 million people worldwide. Very few kinases have been characterized in this parasite, including the phosphatidylinositol kinases (PIKs) that are at the heart of one of the major pathways of intracellular signal transduction. Recently, we have classified the PIK family in T. cruzi using five different models based on the presence of PIK conserved domains. In this study, we have mapped PIK genes to the chromosomes of two different T. cruzi lineages (G and CL Brener) and determined the cellular localization of two PIK members. The kinases have crucial roles in metabolism and are assumed to be conserved throughout evolution. For this reason, they should display a conserved localization within the same eukaryotic species. In spite of this, there is an extensive polymorphism regarding PIK localization at both genomic and cellular levels, among different T. cruzi isolates and between T. cruzi and T. brucei, respectively. We showed in this study that the cellular localization of two PIK-related proteins (TOR1 and 2) in the T. cruzi lineage is distinct from that previously observed in T. brucei. In addition, we identified a new PIK gene with peculiar feature, that is, it codes for a FYVE domain at N-terminal position. FYVE-PIK genes are phylogenetically distant from the groups containing exclusively the FYVE or PIK domain. The FYVE-PIK architecture is only present in trypanosomatids and in virus such as Acanthamoeba mimivirus, suggesting a horizontal acquisition. Our Bayesian phylogenetic inference supports this hypothesis. The exact functions of this FYVE-PIK gene are unknown, but the presence of FYVE domain suggests a role in membranous compartments, such as endosome. Taken together, the data presented here strengthen the possibility that trypanosomatids are characterized by extensive genomic plasticity that may be considered in designing drugs and vaccines for prevention of Chagas disease.
    Infection, Genetics and Evolution. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi comprises a pool of populations which are genetically diverse in terms of DNA content, growth and infectivity. Inter- and intra-strain karyotype heterogeneities have been reported, suggesting that chromosomal rearrangements occurred during the evolution of this parasite. Clone D11 is a single-cell-derived clone of the T. cruzi G strain selected by the minimal dilution method and by infecting Vero cells with metacyclic trypomastigotes. Here we report that the karyotype of clone D11 differs from that of the G strain in both number and size of chromosomal bands. Large chromosomal rearrangement was observed in the chromosomes carrying the tubulin loci. However, most of the chromosome length polymorphisms were of small amplitude, and the absence of one band in clone D11 in relation to its reference position in the G strain could be correlated to the presence of a novel band migrating above or below this position. Despite the presence of chromosomal polymorphism, large syntenic groups were conserved between the isolates. The appearance of new chromosomal bands in clone D11 could be explained by chromosome fusion followed by a chromosome break or interchromosomal exchange of large DNA segments. Our results also suggest that telomeric regions are involved in this process. The variant represented by clone D11 could have been induced by the stress of the cloning procedure or could, as has been suggested for Leishmania infantum, have emerged from a multiclonal, mosaic parasite population submitted to frequent DNA amplification/deletion events, leading to a 'mosaic' structure with different individuals having differently sized versions of the same chromosomes. If this is the case, the variant represented by clone D11 would be better adapted to survive the stress induced by cloning, which includes intracellular development in the mammalian cell. Karyotype polymorphism could be part of the T. cruzi arsenal for responding to environmental pressure.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e63738. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The subtelomeres of many protozoa are highly enriched in genes with roles in niche adaptation. T. cruzi trypomastigotes express surface proteins from Trans-Sialidase (TS) and Dispersed Gene Family-1 (DGF-1) superfamilies which are implicated in host cell invasion. Single populations of T. cruzi may express different antigenic forms of TSs. Analysis of TS genes located at the telomeres suggests that chromosome ends could have been the sites where new TS variants were generated. The aim of this study is to characterize telomeric and subtelomeric regions of T. cruzi available in TriTrypDB and connect the sequences of telomeres to T. cruzi working draft sequence. We first identified contigs carrying the telomeric repeat (TTAGGG). Of 49 contigs identified, 45 have telomeric repeats at one end, whereas in four contigs the repeats are located internally. All contigs display a conserved telomeric junction sequence adjacent to the hexamer repeats which represents a signature of T. cruzi chromosome ends. We found that 40 telomeric contigs are located on T. cruzi chromosome-sized scaffolds. In addition, we were able to map several telomeric ends to the chromosomal bands separated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.The subtelomeric sequence structure varies widely, mainly as a result of large differences in the relative abundance and organization of genes encoding surface proteins (TS and DGF-1), retrotransposon hot spot genes (RHS), retrotransposon elements, RNA-helicase and N-acetyltransferase genes. While the subtelomeric regions are enriched in pseudogenes, they also contain complete gene sequences matching both known and unknown expressed genes, indicating that these regions do not consist of nonfunctional DNA but are instead functional parts of the expressed genome. The size of the subtelomeric regions varies from 5 to 182 kb; the smaller of these regions could have been generated by a recent chromosome breakage and telomere healing event. The lack of synteny in the subtelomeric regions suggests that genes located in these regions are subject to recombination, which increases their variability, even among homologous chromosomes. The presence of typical subtelomeric genes can increase the chance of homologous recombination mechanisms or microhomology-mediated end joining, which may use these regions for the pairing and recombination of free ends.
    BMC Genomics 06/2012; 13:229. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Trypanosoma cruzi genome was sequenced from a hybrid strain (CL Brener). However, high allelic variation and the repetitive nature of the genome have prevented the complete linear sequence of chromosomes being determined. Determining the full complement of chromosomes and establishing syntenic groups will be important in defining the structure of T. cruzi chromosomes. A large amount of information is now available for T. cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei, providing the opportunity to compare and describe the overall patterns of chromosomal evolution in these parasites. The genome sizes, repetitive DNA contents, and the numbers and sizes of chromosomes of nine strains of T. cruzi from four lineages (TcI, TcII, TcV and TcVI) were determined. The genome of the TcI group was statistically smaller than other lineages, with the exception of the TcI isolate Tc1161 (José-IMT). Satellite DNA content was correlated with genome size for all isolates, but this was not accompanied by simultaneous amplification of retrotransposons. Regardless of chromosomal polymorphism, large syntenic groups are conserved among T. cruzi lineages. Duplicated chromosome-sized regions were identified and could be retained as paralogous loci, increasing the dosage of several genes. By comparing T. cruzi and T. brucei chromosomes, homologous chromosomal regions in T. brucei were identified. Chromosomes Tb9 and Tb11 of T. brucei share regions of syntenic homology with three and six T. cruzi chromosomal bands, respectively. Despite genome size variation and karyotype polymorphism, T. cruzi lineages exhibit conservation of chromosome structure. Several syntenic groups are conserved among all isolates analyzed in this study. The syntenic regions are larger than expected if rearrangements occur randomly, suggesting that they are conserved owing to positive selection. Mapping of the syntenic regions on T. cruzi chromosomal bands provides evidence for the occurrence of fusion and split events involving T. brucei and T. cruzi chromosomes.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23042. · 3.73 Impact Factor