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Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology

Karin Blomqvist, Christen DiPetrillo, Vincent A Streva, Stewart Pine, Jeffrey D Dvorin
Emerging resistance to current anti-malarials necessitates a more detailed understanding of the biological processes of Plasmodium falciparum proliferation, thus allowing identification of new drug targets. The well-conserved protein Receptor for Activated C-Kinase 1 (RACK1) was originally identified in mammalian cells as an anchoring protein for protein kinase C (PKC) and has since been shown to be important for cell migration, cytokinesis, transcription, epigenetics, and protein translation. The P. falciparum ortholog, PfRACK1, is expressed in blood stages of the parasite and is diffusely localized in the parasite cytoplasm...
October 11, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Sachin V Surve, Brian C Jensen, Meredith Heestand, Muriel Mazet, Terry K Smith, Frédéric Bringaud, Marilyn Parsons, Achim Schnaufer
In the slender bloodstream form, Trypanosoma brucei mitochondria are repressed for many functions. Multiple components of mitochondrial complex I, NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, are expressed in this stage, but electron transfer through complex I is not essential. Here we investigate the role of the parasite's second NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, NDH2, which is composed of a single subunit that also localizes to the mitochondrion. While inducible knockdown of NDH2 had a modest growth effect in bloodstream forms, NDH2 null mutants, as well as inducible knockdowns in a complex I deficient background, showed a greater reduction in growth...
October 4, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Fatimah S Al-Khattaf, Annie Z Tremp, Amira El-Houderi, Johannes T Dessens
Apicomplexan parasites possess a unique cortical cytoskeleton structure composed of intermediate filaments. Its building blocks are provided by a conserved family of proteins named alveolins. The core alveolin structure is made up of tandem repeat sequences, thought to be responsible for the filamentous properties of these proteins. A subset of alveolins also possess conserved motifs composed of three closely spaced cysteine residues situated near the ends of the polypeptides. The roles of these cysteine motifs and their contribution to alveolin function remains poorly understood...
September 28, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Andrew A Kelso, Steven D Goodson, Suchitra Chavan, Amanda F Say, Audrey Turchick, Deepti Sharma, LeAnna L Ledford, Erin Ratterman, Kristin Leskoske, Ada V King, Christopher C Attaway, Yura Bandera, Stephen H Foulger, Alexander V Mazin, Lesly A Temesvari, Michael G Sehorn
The protozoan parasite responsible for human amoebiasis is Entamoeba histolytica. An important facet of the life cycle of E. histolytica involves the conversion of the mature trophozoite to a cyst. This transition is thought to involve homologous recombination (HR), which is dependent upon the Rad51 recombinase. Here, a biochemical characterization of highly purified ehRad51 protein is presented. The ehRad51 protein preferentially binds ssDNA, forms a presynaptic filament and possesses ATP hydrolysis activity that is stimulated by the presence of DNA...
September 24, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Magdalena Uzlíková, Jana Fulnečková, Filip Weisz, Eva Sýkorová, Eva Nohýnková, Pavla Tůmová
The ends of linear chromosomes, telomeres, are most commonly maintained by the enzyme telomerase. Our study presents the characteristics of telomeres and telomerase from the single-celled parasitic eukaryote Giardia intestinalis. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we localized telomeres during all stages of the trophozoite cell cycle and demonstrated differences in the observed number of telomeric foci, indicating telomere clustering. The length of Giardia telomeres was determined in different cell lines derived from WB clinical isolate using terminal restriction fragment analysis and ranged from 0...
September 13, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Rita Leal Sperotto, Frederico Schmitt Kremer, Maria Elisabeth Aires Berne, Luciana F Costa de Avila, Luciano da Silva Pinto, Karina Mariante Monteiro, Karin Silva Caumo, Henrique Bunselmeyer Ferreira, Natália Berne, Sibele Borsuk
Toxocariasis is a neglected disease, and its main etiological agent is the nematode Toxocara canis. Serological diagnosis is performed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using T. canis excretory and secretory (TES) antigens produced by in vitro cultivation of larvae. Identification of TES proteins can be useful for the development of new diagnostic strategies since few TES components have been described so far. Herein, we report the results obtained by proteomic analysis of TES proteins using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) approach...
September 13, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Prasad H Babar, Vishakha Dey, Praveen Jaiswar, Swati Patankar
Many Plasmodium falciparum proteins do not share homology with, and are generally longer than their respective orthologs. This, to some extent, can be attributed to insertions. Here, we studied a P. falciparum RNA hypermethylase, trimethylguanosine synthase (PfTGS1) that harbors a 76 amino acid insertion in its methyltransferase domain. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that this insertion was present in TGS1 orthologs from other Plasmodium species as well. Interestingly, a classical nuclear localization signal (NLS) was predicted in the insertions of primate parasite TGS1 proteins...
September 9, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Matthieu Régnacq, Pierre Voisin, Yann Héchard, Thierry Bergès, Christine Braquart-Varnier, Ascel Samba-Louaka
Autophagy is a eukaryotic process responsible for the degradation of intracellular content such as damaged organelles. Several putative autophagy-related genes have been identified within the annotated genome of the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. However, the involvement of the corresponding proteins in the autophagy pathway had not been formerly established. Here, we report that AcAtg8 cDNA can complement ATG8-deficient Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
August 29, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Diego H Macedo, Armando Menezes-Neto, Jeronimo M Rugani, Ana C Rocha, Soraia O Silva, Maria N Melo, Lon-Fye Lye, Stephen M Beverley, Célia M Gontijo, Rodrigo P Soares
The double stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus Leishmaniavirus (Totiviridae) was first described in Leishmania guyanensis and L. braziliensis (LRV1), and more recently from L. major and L. aethiopica (LRV2). Parasites bearing LRV1 elicit a higher pro-inflammatory profile, arising through activation of Toll like receptor 3(TLR3) interacting with the viral dsRNA. LRV1 is most common in Leishmania from the Amazon region; however data for other regions of Brazil are more limited. Here we applied PCR tests with validated 'universal' LRV1 primers to search for LRV1 in 40 strains of cultured L...
August 18, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Tatiana Basika, Natalia Macchiaroli, Marcela Cucher, Sergio Espínola, Laura Kamenetzky, Arnaldo Zaha, Mara Rosenzvit, Henrique B Ferreira
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs, are key regulators of gene expression at post-transcriptional level and play essential roles in fundamental biological processes such as metabolism and development. The particular developmental characteristics of cestode parasites highlight the importance of studying miRNA gene regulation in these organisms. Here, we performed a comprehensive analysis of miRNAs in two developmental stages of the model cestode Mesocestoides corti. Using a high-throughput sequencing approach, we found transcriptional evidence of 42 miRNA loci in tetrathyridia larvae and strobilated worms...
August 17, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Navaporn Posayapisit, Warangkhana Songsungthong, Pongpisid Koonyosying, Mofolusho Falade, Chairat Uthaipibull, Yongyuth Yuthavong, Philip J Shaw, Sumalee Kamchonwongpaisana
Malaria parasites possess a de novo heme synthetic pathway. Interestingly, this pathway is dispensable during the blood stages of development in mammalian hosts. The assembly of the two most important hemeproteins, cytochromes c and c1, is mediated by cytochrome heme lyase enzymes. Plasmodium spp. possess two cytochrome heme lyases encoded by separate genes. Given the redundancy of heme synthesis, we sought to determine if heme lyase function also exhibits redundancy. To answer this question, we performed gene knockout experiments...
August 9, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Ronald W Smith, Andrew Brittingham, Wayne A Wilson
The parasitic protist Trichomonas vaginalis is the causative agent of the sexually transmitted infection trichomoniasis. In the laboratory, T. vaginalis is typically cultured in a serum-containing medium with maltose or glucose as the carbon source. The nature of the carbohydrates used by the organism in the environment of its host is unclear. However, the vagina contains substantial amounts of glycogen, which is believed to provide a growth substrate for the vaginal microbiota. We have shown previously that T...
August 6, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
C F Williams, A R Vacca, L Dunham, D Lloyd, M P Coogan, G Evans, M Graz, J Cable
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 6, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Michael R McAllaster, Amy N Sinclair-Davis, Nicholas A Hilton, Christopher L de Graffenried
Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis and nagana in cattle. Recent advances in high throughput phenotypic and interaction screens have identified a wealth of novel candidate proteins for diverse functions such as drug resistance, life cycle progression, and cytoskeletal biogenesis. Characterization of these proteins will allow a more mechanistic understanding of the biology of this important pathogen and could identify novel drug targets. However, methods for rapidly validating and prioritizing these potential targets are still being developed...
August 2, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Eduardo de la Torre-Escudero, Ricardo Pérez-Sánchez, Raúl Manzano-Román, Ana Oleaga
Schistosoma bovis is a parasite of ruminants that causes significant economic losses to farmers throughout Africa, Southwestern Asia and the Mediterranean. Additionally, recent studies have reported its zoonotic potential through the formation of S. bovis x Schistosoma haematobium hybrids. As observed in the Schistosoma species infecting humans, it is assumed that S. bovis has also evolved host regulatory molecules that ensure its long-term survival in the bloodstream of its host. Since these molecules could be potential targets for the development of new drugs and anti-schistosome vaccines, their identification and functional characterization was undertaken...
July 30, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
R E R Nisbet, J L McKenzie
Many members of the Apicomplexa contain a remnant chloroplast, known as an apicoplast. The apicoplast encodes numerous genes, and loss of the organelle is lethal. Here, we present a summary of what is known about apicoplast transcription. Unlike plant chloroplasts, there is a single RNA polymerase, and initial transcription is polycistronic. RNA is then cleaved into tRNA, mRNA and rRNA molecules. Significant levels of antisense transcription have been reported, together with a single case of RNA editing. Polycistronic transcription is also observed in the related algae Chromera and Vitrella, which retain a photosynthetic chloroplast...
July 30, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Samson O Obado, Lucy Glover, Kirk W Deitsch
The parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma brucei and Plasmodium falciparum are lethal human parasites that have developed elegant strategies of immune evasion by antigenic variation. Despite the vast evolutionary distance between the two taxa, both parasites employ strict monoallelic expression of their membrane proteins, variant surface glycoproteins in Trypanosomes and the var, rif and stevor genes in Plasmodium, in order to evade their host's immune system. Additionally, both telomeric location and epigenetic controls are prominent features of these membrane proteins...
July 27, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Andy Alhassan, Mike Y Osei-Atweneboana, Kwadwo F Kyeremeh, Catherine B Poole, Zhiru Li, Edward Tettevi, Nathan A Tanner, Clotilde K S Carlow
Accurate, simple and affordable diagnostics are needed to detect Onchocerca volvulus infection in humans. A newly developed colorimetric loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was compared to PCR and skin snip analysis for diagnosis of onchocerciasis. The robustness and simplicity of the assay indicates that it may be a useful field tool for surveillance in endemic countries.
July 26, 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Mintu Chandra, Sunando Datta
The enteric protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, an etiological agent of amebiasis, is involved in the adhesion and destruction of human tissues. Worldwide, the parasite causes about 50 million cases of amebiasis and 100,000 deaths annually. EhRabX3, a unique amoebic Rab GTPase with tandem G-domains, possesses an unusually large number of cysteine residues in its N-terminal domain. Crystal structure of EhRabX3 revealed an intra-molecular disulfide bond between C39 and C163 which is critical for maintaining the 3-dimensional architecture and biochemical function of this protein...
August 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Samantha J Emery, Ernest Lacey, Paul A Haynes
Giardia duodenalis (syn. G. lamblia and G. intestinalis) is a protozoan parasite of vertebrates and a major contributor to the global burden of diarrheal diseases and gastroenteritis. The publication of multiple genome sequences in the G. duodenalis species complex has provided important insights into parasite biology, and made post-genomic technologies, including proteomics, significantly more accessible. The aims of proteomics are to identify and quantify proteins present in a cell, and assign functions to them within the context of dynamic biological systems...
August 2016: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
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