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Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology

Ahmad F Eweas, Gamal Allam
Schistosomiasis represents a world health major problem affecting more than 206 million people worldwide. Up to date, praziquantel (PZQ) is the sole chemotherapeutic agent used in clinics for the treatment of schistosomiasis. The resistance to PZQ chemotherapy that has been emerged against some schistosome phenotypes represents the most serious PZQ-related problem so far. Therefore, it is clear that there is a substantial need to develop novel and effective antischistosomal agents in order to ensure the effective drug control of schistosomiasis in the future...
October 4, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Drahomíra Faktorová, Anita Bär, Hassan Hashimi, Katherine McKenney, Aleš Horák, Achim Schnaufer, Mary Anne T Rubio, Juan D Alfonzo, Julius Lukeš
Ribosome biosynthesis, best studied in opisthokonts, is a highly complex process involving numerous protein and RNA factors. Yet, very little is known about the early stages of pre-18S rRNA processing even in these model organisms, let alone the conservation of this mechanism in other eukaryotes. Here we extend our knowledge of this process by identifying and characterizing the essential protein TbUTP10, a homolog of yeast U3 small nucleolar RNA-associated protein 10 - UTP10 (HEATR1 in human), in the excavate parasitic protist Trypanosoma brucei...
September 21, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Karla L R Batista, Carolina R Silva, Valdenice F Santos, Rafael C Silva, Renato R Roma, Ana L E Santos, Raquel O Pereira, Plínio Delatorre, Bruno A M Rocha, Alexandra M S Soares, Livio M Costa-Júnior, Claudener S Teixeira
Haemonchus contortus is one of the most economically important parasites infecting small ruminants worldwide. This nematode has shown a great ability to develop resistance to anthelmintic drugs, calling for the development of alternative control approaches. Because lectins recognize and bind to specific carbohydrates and glycan structures present in parasites, they can be considered as an alternative to develop new antiparasitic drugs. Accordingly, this work aimed to investigate the anthelmintic effect of Canavalia brasiliensis (ConBr) lectin against H...
September 11, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Vinicius José Maschio, Veridiana Gomes Virginio, Henrique Bunselmeyer Ferreira, Marilise Brittes Rott
Acanthamoeba castellanii is a free-living organism widely distributed in the environment that may cause disease. This protozoan exists in two forms, an infective trophozoite and a dormant cyst. The trophozoites are able to cause keratitis and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis in humans. Keratitis is an acute, sight threatening infection of cornea with potential to cause permanent blindness without prompt treatment. However, the lack of suspicion and the low awareness about these amoebae besides of the absence of commercially available immunodiagnostic tests may delay an accurate diagnosis...
September 8, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
D Ditgen, E M Anandarajah, A Reinhardt, A E Younis, S Witt, J Hansmann, E Lorenz, M García-Hernández, D Paclik, H Soblik, A Jolodar, P H Seeberger, E Liebau, N W Brattig
Helminths are complex pathogens that ensure their long-term survival by influencing the immune responses of their host. Excretory/secretory products (ESP) can exert immunoregulatory effects which foster parasite survival. Galectins represent a widespread group of β-galactoside-binding proteins which are involved in a multitude of biological processes operative in parasite-host interaction. We had earlier identified seven galectins in Strongyloides ratti, four of them detected in the ESP of distinct developmental stages of the parasite...
September 1, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Yunchao Cao, Shuaiqin Huang, Wuxian Peng, Mingke Lu, Wenfeng Peng, Jiaojiao Lin, Chongti Tang, Liang Tang
Oncomelania hupensis is the unique intermediate host of the blood fluke Schistosoma japonicum, which causes schistosomiasis. In snails, highly toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) can be continually generated by hemocytes in response to foreign particles or pathogens, and may be involved in damaging and eliminating digenean larvae. Thioredoxin-related protein of 14 kDa (TRP14) is a member of the Trx superfamily, and plays an important role in the scavenging of ROS. This study was designed to identify and characterize TRP14 from O...
August 31, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Gulshana A Mazumder, Arif Uddin, Supriyo Chakraborty
Unequal usage of synonymous codons in the gene transcript for an amino acid is known as codon usage bias (CUB). It is a unique property of gene as well as genome. Mutation and natural selection are known to be the major factors that influence CUB. Other factors encompass gene expression level, GC content, codon position, recombination rate, RNA stability and gene length. CUB analysis helps in in-depth understanding of the molecular biology, genetics and genome evolution in a species. We used bioinformatic methods to explore the pattern of CUB in MT-ATP6 gene in different classes of platyhelminthes...
August 24, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Aakash Gautam Mukhopadhyay, Chinmoy Sankar Dey
Trypanosomes of the genus Leishmania swim by undulating motions of a single flagellum driven by axonemal dynein ATPases, essential for parasite survival and infectivity. The flagellum possesses two waveforms; flagellar (tip-to-base) responsible for forward movements and ciliary (base-to-tip) possibly responsible for reorientation in response to changes in surroundings. However, the role of dyneins in regulating the two waveforms remains unknown. Moreover, the unpredictable nature of the parasite ciliary waveform makes it difficult to study...
August 23, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Natalia Fokina, Tatiana Ruokolainen, Igor Bakhmet
In this research, the lipid profiles in rediae and free-living larvae (cercariae) of the trematodes Himasthla elongata were studied. It was shown that the lipid profiles of cercariae and rediae reflect the selective accumulation of membrane phospholipids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In addition, infected tissues' lipid compositions in the intermediate hosts Littorina littorea (whole organism) and Mytilus edulis (foot) were studied. Modifications in the molluscs' lipid compositions were mainly caused by the parasites' metabolic requirements, as the parasites are unable to engage in de novo lipid biosynthesis, and thus, they utilise the host tissues' metabolites...
August 22, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Yuzhe Li, Wenjia Gan, Wei Zhan, Pinning Feng, Hongping Chen, Youwei Zheng, Xuchu Hu
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is a key enzyme in glycolysis process. It catalyzes the interconversion between pyruvic acid and lactic acid. Schistosoma japonicum adult worms largely rely on glycolysis for energy production when they parasitize in human. S. japonicum may be killed if energy production is suppressed. So, we wonder whether antibody against S. japonicum LDH is a harmful factor for S. japonicum surviving. In this study, we cloned and characterized S. japonicum lactate dehydrogenase B (SjLDHB) to evaluate its role in parasite survival...
August 21, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Takuya Kashiide, Shingo Kikuta, Misaki Yamaguchi, Takao Irie, Hirokazu Kouguchi, Kinpei Yagi, Jun Matsumoto
Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a zoonotic parasitosis caused by larvae of the fox tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis. E. multilocularis is distributed widely in the Northern hemisphere, causing serious health problems in various animals and humans. E. multilocularis, like other cestodes, lacks a digestive tract and absorbs essential nutrients, including glucose, across the syncytial tegument on its external surface. Therefore, it is hypothesized that E. multilocularis uses glucose transporters on its surface similar to a closely-related species, Taenia solium...
August 18, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Eva Bazsalovicsová, Alžbeta Koleničová, Ivica Králová-Hromadová, Gabriel Minárik, Katarína Šoltys, Roman Kuchta, Jan Štefka
The broad fish tapeworm Dibothriocephalus latus is a causative agent of human food-borne disease called diphyllobothriosis. Medical importance, scattered geographical distribution and unknown origin of D. latus in Europe and North America make this species to be an interesting model for population genetics. Microsatellite markers were originally designed by library screening using NGS approach and validated as tools for future studies on population genetics of D. latus. Out of 122 candidates selected after NGS analysis, 110 yielded PCR products of the expected size, and in 78 of them, a declared repetitive motif was confirmed by Sanger sequencing...
August 18, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Lucas L Maldonado, Georgina Stegmayer, Diego H Milone, Guilherme Oliveira, Mara Rosenzvit, Laura Kamenetzky
The species of the genus Echinococcus are parasitic platyhelminths that cause echinococcosis and exert a global burden on public and animal health. Here we performed codon usage bias and comparative genomic analyses using whole genome and expression data of three Echinococcus species. The study of 4,710,883 codons, two orders of magnitude more than in previous research works, showed that the codon usage in Echinococcus genes is biased towards the pyrimidines T and C ending codons, with an average effective number of codons equal to 57 revealing a low codon usage bias...
August 3, 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
María Victoria Solana, María Fernanda Domínguez, Silvana Scarcella, Santiago Radio, Pablo Smircich, Silvina Fernández, Hugo Solana, José F Tort
The use of Triclabendazole for controlling fasciolosis is compromised by increased drug resistance affecting livestock and humans. Although the mode of action of TCBZ is still unknown, putative candidates and markers of resistance have been advanced. A single nucleotide polymorphism (T687 G) in F. hepatica PGP was proposed as marker of resistance in a small scale study of European susceptible and resistant flukes, but the association was not found in Australian samples. The T687 G SNP was absent in more than 40 samples from 2 TCBZ-resistant and 3 susceptible isolates across Latin America here analyzed...
September 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Huafang Shi, Kiantra Butler, Christian Tschudi
We previously established an in vitro differentiation system based on the inducible expression of the RNA binding protein 6 (RBP6), which initiated differentiation of Trypanosoma brucei non-infectious procyclics to infectious metacyclics (MFs). However, further differentiation to bloodstream forms (BFs) required infection of mice. Here we report the serendipitous isolation of a single point mutation in RBP6 (Q109K), whose expression not only generated MFs, but purified MFs continued the developmental cycle in vitro to BFs expressing variant surface glycoprotein-2 (VSG-2), formerly known as VSG 221...
September 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Ahmad Syibli Othman, Jing-Wen Lin, Blandine M Franke-Fayard, Hans Kroeze, Fiona J A van Pul, Séverine Chevalley-Maurel, Jai Ramesar, Catherin Marin-Mogollon, Matthijs M Jore, Merribeth J Morin, Carole A Long, Robert Sauerwein, Ashley Birkett, Kazutoyo Miura, Chris J Janse, Shahid M Khan
The transmission-blocking vaccine candidate Pfs48/45 from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is known to be difficult to express in heterologous systems, either as full-length protein or as correctly folded protein fragments that retain conformational epitopes. In this study we express full-length Pfs48/45 in the rodent parasite P. berghei. Pfs48/45 is expressed as a transgene under control of the strong P. berghei schizont-specific msp1 gene promoter (Pfs48/45@PbMSP1). Pfs48/45@PbMSP1 schizont-infected red blood cells produced full-length Pfs48/45 and the structural integrity of Pfs48/45 was confirmed using a panel of conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies that bind to different Pfs48/45 epitopes...
September 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Luciana Baroni, Luiz M Pereira, Sutherland K Maciver, Ana P Yatsuda
Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite that causes infectious abortion in cows. As an obligate intracellular parasite, N. caninum requires a host cell environment to survive and replicate. The locomotion and invasion mechanisms of apicomplexan parasites are centred on the actin-myosin system to propel the parasite forwards and into the host cell. The functions of actin, an intrinsically dynamic protein, are modulated by actin-binding proteins (ABPs). Actin-depolymerising factor (ADF) is a ubiquitous ABP responsible for accelerating actin turnover in eukaryotic cells and is one of the few known conserved ABPs from apicomplexan parasites...
September 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Cong Liu, Zhenkui Li, Yuanyuan Jiang, Huiting Cui, Jing Yuan
Male and female gametocytes are the infectious forms critical for malaria transmission and targets of intervention. Gametocytes are generally produced in relatively small numbers, and it has been difficult to obtain pure male and female gametocytes for various studies. Male and female gametocytes expressing unique fluorescence reporters have been generated for both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei parasites, which allows isolation of large numbers of pure male and female gametocytes and has greatly contributed to our understanding of gametocyte biology...
September 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Flávia S Damasceno, María Julia Barisón, Marcell Crispim, Rodolpho O O Souza, Letícia Marchese, Ariel M Silber
Trypanosoma cruzi, the aetiological agent of Chagas disease, can obtain L-glutamine (Gln) through the enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS) using glutamate (Glu) and ammonia as substrates. In this work, we show additional non-canonical roles for this amino acid: its involvement in ATP maintenance and parasite survival under severe metabolic stress conditions and its participation in the differentiation process occurring in the insect vector (metacyclogenesis). These roles are dependent on the supply of Gln from an extracellular source...
September 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Julia A Loos, María Celeste Nicolao, Andrea C Cumino
Cystic echinococcosis is a neglected parasitic disease caused by the larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus for which an effective treatment is not yet available. Since autophagy constitutes a homeostatic mechanism during stress, either inhibition or activation of its activity might be detrimental for survival of the parasite. Amongst the critical molecules that regulate autophagy, TOR, AMPK and sirtuins are the best characterized ones. Previously, we have identified the autophagic machinery, the occurrence of TORC1-controlled events, and the correlation between autophagy and the activation of the unfolded protein response in E...
September 2018: Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
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