Aline H Fukuzawa

University of São Paulo, San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (3)9.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The cellular and molecular characteristics of a cell line (BME26) derived from embryos of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus were studied. The cells contained glycogen inclusions, numerous mitochondria, and vesicles with heterogeneous electron densities dispersed throughout the cytoplasm. Vesicles contained lipids and sequestered palladium meso-porphyrin (Pd-mP) and rhodamine-hemoglobin, suggesting their involvement in the autophagic and endocytic pathways. The cells phagocytosed yeast and expressed genes encoding the antimicrobial peptides (microplusin and defensin). A cDNA library was made and 898 unique mRNA sequences were obtained. Among them, 556 sequences were not significantly similar to any sequence found in public databases. Annotation using Gene Ontology revealed transcripts related to several different functional classes. We identified transcripts involved in immune response such as ferritin, serine proteases, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, heat shock protein, glutathione S-transferase, peroxidase, and NADPH oxidase. BME26 cells transfected with a plasmid carrying a red fluorescent protein reporter gene (DsRed2) transiently expressed DsRed2 for up to 5 weeks. We conclude that BME26 can be used to experimentally analyze diverse biological processes that occur in R. (B.) microplus such as the innate immune response to tick-borne pathogens.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Invertebrates protect themselves against microbial infection through cellular and humoral immune defenses. Since the available information on the immune system of spiders is scarce, the main goal of the present study was to investigate the role of hemocytes and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in defense against microbes of spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana. We previously described the purification and characterization of two AMPs from the hemocytes of naïve spider A. gomesiana, gomesin and acanthoscurrin. Here we show that 57% of the hemocytes store both gomesin and acanthoscurrin, either in the same or in different granules. Progomesin labeling in hemocyte granules indicates that gomesin is addressed to those organelles as a propeptide. In vivo and in vitro experiments showed that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and yeast caused the hemocytes to migrate. Once they have reached the infection site, hemocytes may secrete coagulation cascade components and AMPs to cell-free hemolymph. Furthermore, our results suggest that phagocytosis is not the major defense mechanism activated after microbial challenge. Therefore, the main reactions involved in the spider immune defense might be coagulation and AMP secretion.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Developmental & Comparative Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Gomesin is a cationic anti-microbial peptide of 18 amino acid residues isolated from the hemocytes of unchallenged tarantula spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana. This paper reports the first study of the processing and cellular location of an anti-microbial peptide (AMP) in spiders. Gomesin cDNA sequence analysis indicated that it is processed from a precursor containing a signal peptide (23 amino acid residues) and a negative C-terminal region (43 amino acid residues). The gomesin gene was constitutively transcribed in hemocytes and the gene product localized in hemocyte granules. The constitutive production of gomesin by a spider is discussed in the context of an ancient mechanism of AMP regulation and storage.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2003 · Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology