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Sample records for cruzi targets akt

  1. Recent Development of Anticancer Therapeutics Targeting Akt

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    Morrow, John K.; Du-Cuny, Lei; Chen, Lu; Meuillet, Emmanuelle J.; Eugene A Mash; Powis, Garth; Zhang, Shuxing

    2011-01-01

    The serine/threonine kinase Akt has proven to be a significant signaling target, involved in various biological functions. Because of its cardinal role in numerous cellular responses, Akt has been implicated in many human diseases, particularly cancer. It has been established that Akt is a viable and feasible target for anticancer therapeutics. Analysis of all Akt kinases reveals conserved homology for an N-terminal regulatory domain, which contains a pleckstrin-homology (PH) domain for cellu...

  2. Improving pharmacological targeting of AKT in melanoma.

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    Kuzu, Omer F; Gowda, Raghavendra; Sharma, Arati; Noory, Mohammad A; Dinavahi, Saketh S; Kardos, Gregory; Drabick, Joseph J; Robertson, Gavin P

    2017-09-28

    Targeting AKT with pharmacological agents inhibiting this protein in the melanoma clinic is ineffective. This is a major contradiction considering the substantial preclinical data suggesting AKT as an effective target. Various approaches have been undertaken to unravel this contradiction and drug combinations sought that could resolve this concern. We have shown that genetic targeting AKT3 or WEE1 can be effective for inhibiting tumor growth in preclinical animal models. However, no one has examined whether combining pharmacological agents targeting each of these enzymes could be more effective than inhibiting each alone and enhance the efficacy of targeting AKT in melanoma. This report shows that combining the AKT inhibitors (AZD5363 or MK1775) with the WEE1 inhibitor, AZD5363, can synergistically kill cultured melanoma cells and decrease melanoma tumor growth by greater than 90%. Co-targeting AKT and WEE1 led to enhanced deregulation of the cell cycle and DNA damage repair pathways by modulating the transcription factors p53 and FOXM1, as well as the proteins whose expression is regulated by these two proteins. Thus, this study identifies a unique combination of pharmacological agents and the ratio needed for efficacy that could be used to potentially improve the therapeutic effectiveness of targeting AKT in the clinic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Recent development of anticancer therapeutics targeting Akt.

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    Morrow, John K; Du-Cuny, Lei; Chen, Lu; Meuillet, Emmanuelle J; Mash, Eugene A; Powis, Garth; Zhang, Shuxing

    2011-01-01

    The serine/threonine kinase Akt has proven to be a significant signaling target, involved in various biological functions. Because of its cardinal role in numerous cellular responses, Akt has been implicated in many human diseases, particularly cancer. It has been established that Akt is a viable and feasible target for anticancer therapeutics. Analysis of all Akt kinases reveals conserved homology for an N-terminal regulatory domain, which contains a pleckstrin-homology (PH) domain for cellular translocation, a kinase domain with serine/threonine specificity, and a C-terminal extension domain. These well defined regions have been targeted, and various approaches, including in silico methods, have been implemented to develop Akt inhibitors. In spite of unique techniques and a prolific body of knowledge surrounding Akt, no targeted Akt therapeutics have reached the market yet. Here we will highlight successes and challenges to date on the development of anticancer agents modulating the Akt pathway in recent patents as well as discuss the methods employed for this task. Special attention will be given to patents with focus on those discoveries using computer-aided drug design approaches.

  4. Diverse inhibitor chemotypes targeting Trypanosoma cruzi CYP51.

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    Shamila S Gunatilleke

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chagas Disease, a WHO- and NIH-designated neglected tropical disease, is endemic in Latin America and an emerging infection in North America and Europe as a result of population moves. Although a major cause of morbidity and mortality due to heart failure, as well as inflicting a heavy economic burden in affected regions, Chagas Disease elicits scant notice from the pharmaceutical industry because of adverse economic incentives. The discovery and development of new routes to chemotherapy for Chagas Disease is a clear priority. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The similarity between the membrane sterol requirements of pathogenic fungi and those of the parasitic protozoon Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas human cardiopathy, has led to repurposing anti-fungal azole inhibitors of sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51 for the treatment of Chagas Disease. To diversify the therapeutic pipeline of anti-Chagasic drug candidates we exploited an approach that included directly probing the T. cruzi CYP51 active site with a library of synthetic small molecules. Target-based high-throughput screening reduced the library of ∼104,000 small molecules to 185 hits with estimated nanomolar K(D values, while cross-validation against T. cruzi-infected skeletal myoblast cells yielded 57 active hits with EC(50 <10 µM. Two pools of hits partially overlapped. The top hit inhibited T. cruzi with EC(50 of 17 nM and was trypanocidal at 40 nM. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The hits are structurally diverse, demonstrating that CYP51 is a rather permissive enzyme target for small molecules. Cheminformatic analysis of the hits suggests that CYP51 pharmacology is similar to that of other cytochromes P450 therapeutic targets, including thromboxane synthase (CYP5, fatty acid ω-hydroxylases (CYP4, 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (CYP17 and aromatase (CYP19. Surprisingly, strong similarity is suggested to glutaminyl-peptide cyclotransferase, which is unrelated to CYP

  5. CC-chemokine receptors: a potential therapeutic target for Trypanosoma cruzi-elicited myocarditis.

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    Marino, A P M P; Silva, A A; Santos, P V A; Pinto, L M O; Gazinelli, R T; Teixeira, M M; Lannes-Vieira, J

    2005-03-01

    The comprehension of the pathogenesis of Trypanosoma cruzi-elicited myocarditis is crucial to delineate new therapeutic strategies aiming to ameliorate the inflammation that leads to heart dysfunction, without hampering parasite control. The augmented expression of CCL5/RANTES and CCL3/MIP-1alpha, and their receptor CCR5, in the heart of T. cruzi-infected mice suggests a role for CC-chemokines and their receptors in the pathogenesis of T. cruzi-elicited myocarditis. Herein, we discuss our recent results using a CC-chemokine receptor inhibitor (Met-RANTES), showing the participation of CC-chemokines in T. cruzi infection and unraveling CC-chemokine receptors as an attractive therapeutic target for further evaluation in Chagas disease.

  6. CC-chemokine receptors: a potential therapeutic target for Trypanosoma cruzi-elicited myocarditis

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    APMP Marino

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The comprehension of the pathogenesis of Trypanosoma cruzi-elicited myocarditis is crucial to delineate new therapeutic strategies aiming to ameliorate the inflammation that leads to heart dysfunction, without hampering parasite control. The augmented expression of CCL5/RANTES and CCL3/MIP-1alpha, and their receptor CCR5, in the heart of T. cruzi-infected mice suggests a role for CC-chemokines and their receptors in the pathogenesis of T. cruzi-elicited myocarditis. Herein, we discuss our recent results using a CC-chemokine receptor inhibitor (Met-RANTES, showing the participation of CC-chemokines in T. cruzi infection and unraveling CC-chemokine receptors as an attractive therapeutic target for further evaluation in Chagas disease.

  7. Targeting the AKT pathway: Repositioning HIV protease inhibitors as radiosensitizers

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    Jayant S Goda

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cellular resistance in tumour cells to different therapeutic approaches has been a limiting factor in the curative treatment of cancer. Resistance to therapeutic radiation is a common phenomenon which significantly reduces treatment options and impacts survival. One of the mechanisms of acquiring resistance to ionizing radiation is the overexpression or activation of various oncogenes like the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor, RAS (rat sarcoma oncogene or loss of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue which in turn activates the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3-K/AKT pathway responsible for radiation resistance in various tumours. Blocking the pathway enhances the radiation response both in vitro and in vivo. Due to the differential activation of this pathway (constitutively activated in tumour cells and not in the normal host cells, it is an excellent candidate target for molecular targeted therapy to enhance radiation sensitivity. In this regard, HIV protease inhibitors (HPIs known to interfere with PI3-K/AKT signaling in tumour cells, have been shown to sensitize various tumour cells to radiation both in vitro and in vivo. As a result, HPIs are now being investigated as possible radiosensitizers along with various chemotherapeutic drugs. This review describes the mechanisms by which PI3-K/AKT pathway causes radioresistance and the role of HIV protease inhibitors especially nelfinavir as a potential candidate drug to target the AKT pathway for overcoming radioresistance and its use in various clinical trials for different malignancies.

  8. Targeting the AKT pathway: Repositioning HIV protease inhibitors as radiosensitizers.

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    Goda, Jayant S; Pachpor, Tejaswini; Basu, Trinanjan; Chopra, Supriya; Gota, Vikram

    2016-02-01

    Cellular resistance in tumour cells to different therapeutic approaches has been a limiting factor in the curative treatment of cancer. Resistance to therapeutic radiation is a common phenomenon which significantly reduces treatment options and impacts survival. One of the mechanisms of acquiring resistance to ionizing radiation is the overexpression or activation of various oncogenes like the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor), RAS (rat sarcoma) oncogene or loss of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue) which in turn activates the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3-K)/AKT pathway responsible for radiation resistance in various tumours. Blocking the pathway enhances the radiation response both in vitro and in vivo. Due to the differential activation of this pathway (constitutively activated in tumour cells and not in the normal host cells), it is an excellent candidate target for molecular targeted therapy to enhance radiation sensitivity. In this regard, HIV protease inhibitors (HPIs) known to interfere with PI3-K/AKT signaling in tumour cells, have been shown to sensitize various tumour cells to radiation both in vitro and in vivo. As a result, HPIs are now being investigated as possible radiosensitizers along with various chemotherapeutic drugs. This review describes the mechanisms by which PI3-K/AKT pathway causes radioresistance and the role of HIV protease inhibitors especially nelfinavir as a potential candidate drug to target the AKT pathway for overcoming radioresistance and its use in various clinical trials for different malignancies.

  9. Novel drug design for Chagas disease via targeting Trypanosoma cruzi tubulin: Homology modeling and binding pocket prediction on Trypanosoma cruzi tubulin polymerization inhibition by naphthoquinone derivatives.

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    Ogindo, Charles O; Khraiwesh, Mozna H; George, Matthew; Brandy, Yakini; Brandy, Nailah; Gugssa, Ayele; Ashraf, Mohammad; Abbas, Muneer; Southerland, William M; Lee, Clarence M; Bakare, Oladapo; Fang, Yayin

    2016-08-15

    Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). Recent findings have underscored the abundance of the causative organism, (T. cruzi), especially in the southern tier states of the US and the risk burden for the rural farming communities there. Due to a lack of safe and effective drugs, there is an urgent need for novel therapeutic options for treating Chagas disease. We report here our first scientific effort to pursue a novel drug design for treating Chagas disease via the targeting of T. cruzi tubulin. First, the anti T. cruzi tubulin activities of five naphthoquinone derivatives were determined and correlated to their anti-trypanosomal activities. The correlation between the ligand activities against the T. cruzi organism and their tubulin inhibitory activities was very strong with a Pearson's r value of 0.88 (P value homology model of T. cruzi tubulin dimer was generated and the putative binding site of naphthoquinone derivatives was predicted. The correlation coefficient for ligand anti-tubulin activities and their binding energies at the putative pocket was found to be r=0.79, a high correlation efficiency that was not replicated in contiguous candidate pockets. The homology model of T. cruzi tubulin and the identification of its putative binding site lay a solid ground for further structure based drug design, including molecular docking and pharmacophore analysis. This study presents a new opportunity for designing potent and selective drugs for Chagas disease. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Trypanosoma cruzi P21: a potential novel target for chagasic cardiomyopathy therapy

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    Teixeira, Thaise Lara; Machado, Fabrício Castro; Alves da Silva, Aline; Teixeira, Samuel Cota; Borges, Bruna Cristina; dos Santos, Marlus Alves; Martins, Flávia Alves; Brígido, Paula Cristina; Rodrigues, Adele Aud; Notário, Ana Flávia Oliveira; Ferreira, Bruno Antônio; Servato, João Paulo Silva; Deconte, Simone Ramos; Lopes, Daiana Silva; Ávila, Veridiana Melo Rodrigues; Araújo, Fernanda de Assis; Tomiosso, Tatiana Carla; Silva, Marcelo José Barbosa; da Silva, Claudio Vieira

    2015-01-01

    Chagas disease, which is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is an important cause of cardiomyopathy in Latin America. It is estimated that 10%–30% of all infected individuals will acquire chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCC). The etiology of CCC is multifactorial and involves parasite genotype, host genetic polymorphisms, immune response, signaling pathways and autoimmune progression. Herein we verified the impact of the recombinant form of P21 (rP21), a secreted T. cruzi protein involved in host cell invasion, on progression of inflammatory process in a polyester sponge-induced inflammation model. Results indicated that rP21 can recruit immune cells induce myeloperoxidase and IL-4 production and decrease blood vessels formation compared to controls in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, T. cruzi P21 may be a potential target for the development of P21 antagonist compounds to treat chagasic cardiomyopathy. PMID:26574156

  11. Unraveling Chagas disease transmission through the oral route: Gateways to Trypanosoma cruzi infection and target tissues

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    Silva-dos-Santos, Danielle; Barreto-de-Albuquerque, Juliana; Guerra, Bárbara; Moreira, Otacilio C.; Berbert, Luiz Ricardo; Ramos, Mariana Tavares; Mascarenhas, Barbara Angelica S.; Britto, Constança; Morrot, Alexandre; Serra Villa-Verde, Déa M.; Garzoni, Luciana Ribeiro; Savino, Wilson; Cotta-de-Almeida, Vinícius; de Meis, Juliana

    2017-01-01

    Oral transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is the most important route of infection in Brazilian Amazon and Venezuela. Other South American countries have also reported outbreaks associated with food consumption. A recent study showed the importance of parasite contact with oral cavity to induce a highly severe acute disease in mice. However, it remains uncertain the primary site of parasite entry and multiplication due to an oral infection. Here, we evaluated the presence of T. cruzi Dm28c luciferase (Dm28c-luc) parasites in orally infected mice, by bioluminescence and quantitative real-time PCR. In vivo bioluminescent images indicated the nasomaxillary region as the site of parasite invasion in the host, becoming consistently infected throughout the acute phase. At later moments, 7 and 21 days post-infection (dpi), luminescent signal is denser in the thorax, abdomen and genital region, because of parasite dissemination in different tissues. Ex vivo analysis demonstrated that the nasomaxillary region, heart, mandibular lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain, epididymal fat associated to male sex organs, salivary glands, cheek muscle, mesenteric fat and lymph nodes, stomach, esophagus, small and large intestine are target tissues at latter moments of infection. In the same line, amastigote nests of Dm28c GFP T. cruzi were detected in the nasal cavity of 6 dpi mice. Parasite quantification by real-time qPCR at 7 and 21 dpi showed predominant T. cruzi detection and expansion in mouse nasal cavity. Moreover, T. cruzi DNA was also observed in the mandibular lymph nodes, pituitary gland, heart, liver, small intestine and spleen at 7 dpi, and further, disseminated to other tissues, such as the brain, stomach, esophagus and large intestine at 21 dpi. Our results clearly demonstrated that oral cavity and adjacent compartments is the main target region in oral T. cruzi infection leading to parasite multiplication at the nasal cavity. PMID

  12. Therapeutic Implications of Targeting AKT Signaling in Melanoma

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    SubbaRao V. Madhunapantula

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Identification of key enzymes regulating melanoma progression and drug resistance has the potential to lead to the development of novel, more effective targeted agents for inhibiting this deadly form of skin cancer. The Akt3, also known as protein kinase B gamma, pathway enzymes regulate diverse cellular processes including proliferation, survival, and invasion thereby promoting the development of melanoma. Accumulating preclinical evidence demonstrates that therapeutic agents targeting these kinases alone or in combination with other pathway members could be effective for the long-term treatment of advanced-stage disease. However, currently, no selective and effective therapeutic agent targeting these kinases has been identified for clinical use. This paper provides an overview of the key enzymes of the PI3K pathway with emphasis placed on Akt3 and the negative regulator of this kinase called PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10. Mechanisms regulating these enzymes, their substrates and therapeutic implications of targeting these proteins to treat melanoma are also discussed. Finally, key issues that remain to be answered and future directions for interested researchers pertaining to this signaling cascade are highlighted.

  13. In silico structural characterization of protein targets for drug development against Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Lima, Carlyle Ribeiro; Carels, Nicolas; Guimaraes, Ana Carolina Ramos; Tufféry, Pierre; Derreumaux, Philippe

    2016-10-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the protozoan pathogen responsible for Chagas disease, which is a major public health problem in tropical and subtropical regions of developing countries and particularly in Brazil. Despite many studies, there is no efficient treatment against Chagas disease, and the search for new therapeutic targets specific to T. cruzi is critical for drug development. Here, we have revisited 41 protein sequences proposed by the analogous enzyme pipeline, and found that it is possible to provide structures for T. cruzi sequences with clear homologs or analogs in H. sapiens and likely associated with trypanothione reductase, cysteine synthase, and ATPase functions, and structures for sequences specific to T. cruzi and absent in H. sapiens associated with 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase, and leishmanolysin activities. The implications of our structures refined by atomistic molecular dynamics (monomer or dimer states) in their in vitro environments (aqueous solution or membrane bilayers) are discussed for drug development and suggest that all protein targets, except cysteine synthase, merit further investigation.

  14. Targeting protein kinase-b3 (akt3) signaling in melanoma.

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    Madhunapantula, SubbaRao V; Robertson, Gavin P

    2017-03-01

    Deregulated Akt activity leading to apoptosis inhibition, enhanced proliferation and drug resistance has been shown to be responsible for 35-70% of advanced metastatic melanomas. Of the three isoforms, the majority of melanomas have elevated Akt3 expression and activity. Hence, potent inhibitors targeting Akt are urgently required, which is possible only if (a) the factors responsible for the failure of Akt inhibitors in clinical trials is known; and (b) the information pertaining to synergistically acting targeted therapeutics is available. Areas covered: This review provides a brief introduction of the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and its role in melanoma development. In addition, the functional role of key Akt pathway members such as PRAS40, GSK3 kinases, WEE1 kinase in melanoma development are discussed together with strategies to modulate these targets. Efficacy and safety of Akt inhibitors is also discussed. Finally, the mechanism(s) through which Akt leads to drug resistance is discussed in this expert opinion review. Expert opinion: Even though Akt play key roles in melanoma tumor progression, cell survival and drug resistance, many gaps still exist that require further understanding of Akt functions, especially in the (a) metastatic spread; (b) circulating melanoma cells survival; and (c) melanoma stem cells growth.

  15. Benznidazole biotransformation and multiple targets in Trypanosoma cruzi revealed by metabolomics.

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    Andrea Trochine

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The first line treatment for Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, involves administration of benznidazole (Bzn. Bzn is a 2-nitroimidazole pro-drug which requires nitroreduction to become active, although its mode of action is not fully understood. In the present work we used a non-targeted MS-based metabolomics approach to study the metabolic response of T. cruzi to Bzn.Parasites treated with Bzn were minimally altered compared to untreated trypanosomes, although the redox active thiols trypanothione, homotrypanothione and cysteine were significantly diminished in abundance post-treatment. In addition, multiple Bzn-derived metabolites were detected after treatment. These metabolites included reduction products, fragments and covalent adducts of reduced Bzn linked to each of the major low molecular weight thiols: trypanothione, glutathione, γ-glutamylcysteine, glutathionylspermidine, cysteine and ovothiol A. Bzn products known to be generated in vitro by the unusual trypanosomal nitroreductase, TcNTRI, were found within the parasites, but low molecular weight adducts of glyoxal, a proposed toxic end-product of NTRI Bzn metabolism, were not detected.Our data is indicative of a major role of the thiol binding capacity of Bzn reduction products in the mechanism of Bzn toxicity against T. cruzi.

  16. Validation of N-myristoyltransferase as Potential Chemotherapeutic Target in Mammal-Dwelling Stages of Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Linda J Herrera

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease, an endemic and debilitating illness in Latin America. Lately, owing to extensive population movements, this neglected tropical disease has become a global health concern. The two clinically available drugs for the chemotherapy of Chagas disease have rather high toxicity and limited efficacy in the chronic phase of the disease, and may induce parasite resistance. The development of new anti-T. cruzi agents is therefore imperative. The enzyme N-myristoyltransferase (NMT has recently been biochemically characterized, shown to be essential in Leishmania major, Trypanosoma brucei, and T. cruzi¸ and proposed as promising chemotherapeutic target in these trypanosomatids.Here, using high-content imaging we assayed eight known trypanosomatid NMT inhibitors, against mammal-dwelling intracellular amastigote and trypomastigote stages and demonstrated that three of them (compounds 1, 5, and 8 have potent anti-proliferative effect at submicromolar concentrations against T. cruzi, with very low toxicity against human epithelial cells. Moreover, metabolic labeling using myristic acid, azide showed a considerable decrease in the myristoylation of proteins in parasites treated with NMT inhibitors, providing evidence of the on-target activity of the inhibitors.Taken together, our data point out to the potential use of NMT inhibitors as anti-T. cruzi chemotherapy.

  17. AKT Hyperactivation and the Potential of AKT-Targeted Therapy in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

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    Wang, Jinfen; Xu-Monette, Zijun Y; Jabbar, Kausar J

    2017-01-01

    AKT signaling is important for proliferation and survival of tumor cells. The clinical significance of AKT activation in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is not well analyzed. Here, we assessed expression of phosphorylated AKT (p-AKT) in 522 DLBCL patients. We found high levels of p-AKT nucl...

  18. Targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway in prostate cancer: challenges and opportunities (review).

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    Toren, Paul; Zoubeidi, Amina

    2014-11-01

    The PI3K/Akt pathway is an actively pursued therapeutic target in oncology. In prostate cancer, the activation of this pathway appears to be characteristic of many aggressive prostate cancers. Further, activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway is more frequently observed as prostate cancer progresses toward a resistant, metastatic disease. Signalling from this pathway activates numerous survival, growth, metabolic and metastatic functions characteristic of aggressive cancer. Biomarkers of this pathway have correlated activation of this pathway to high grade disease and higher risk of disease progression. Therefore there is significant interest in developing effective strategies to target this pathway in prostate cancer. In this review, we discuss the pre-clinical and clinical data relevant to targeting of the PI3K/Akt pathway in prostate cancer. In particular, we review the rationale and relevance of co-targeting approaches against the PI3K/Akt pathway. It is anticipated that through an improved understanding of the biology of the PI3K/Akt pathway in prostate cancer, relevant biomarkers and rationale combination therapies will optimize targeting of this pathway to improve outcomes among patients with aggressive prostate cancer.

  19. PI3K and Akt as molecular targets for cancer therapy: current clinical outcomes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ipsita PAL; Mahitosh MANDAL

    2012-01-01

    The PI3K-Akt pathway is a vital regulator of cell proliferation and survival.Alterations in the PIK3CA gene that lead to enhanced PI3K kinase activity have been reported in many human cancer types,including cancers of the colon,breast,brain,liver,stomach and lung.Deregulation of PI3K causes aberrant Akt activity.Therefore targeting this pathway could have implications for cancer treatment.The first generation PI3K-Akt inhibitors were proven to be highly effective with a low IC50,but later,they were shown to have toxic side effects and poor pharmacological properties and selectivity.Thus,these inhibitors were only effective in preclinical models.However,derivatives of these first generation inhibitors are much more selective and are quite effective in targeting the PI3K-Akt pathway,either alone or in combination.These second-generation inhibitors are essentially a specific chemical moiety that helps to form a strong hydrogen bond interaction with the PI3K/Akt molecule.The goal of this review is to delineate the current efforts that have been undertaken to inhibit the various components of the PI3K and Akt pathway in different types of cancer both in vitro and in vivo.Our focus here is on these novel therapies and their inhibitory effects that depend upon their chemical nature,as well as their development towards clinical trials.

  20. Search for a platelet-activating factor receptor in the Trypanosoma cruzi proteome: a potential target for Chagas disease chemotherapy

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    Daniel Fábio Kawano

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease (CD causes the highest burden of parasitic diseases in the Western Hemisphere and is therefore a priority for drug research and development. Platelet-activating factor (PAF causes the CD parasite Trypanosoma cruzi to differentiate, which suggests that the parasite may express PAF receptors. Here, we explored the T. cruzi proteome for PAF receptor-like proteins. From a total of 23,000 protein sequences, we identified 29 hypothetical proteins that are predicted to have seven transmembrane domains (TMDs, which is the main characteristic of the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs, including the PAF receptor. The TMDs of these sequences were independently aligned with domains from 25 animal PAF receptors and the sequences were analysed for conserved residues. The conservation score mean values for the TMDs of the hypothetical proteins ranged from 31.7-44.1%, which suggests that if the putative T. cruzi PAF receptor is among the sequences identified, the TMDs are not highly conserved. These results suggest that T. cruzi contains several GPCR-like proteins and that one of these GPCRs may be a PAF receptor. Future studies may further validate the PAF receptor as a target for CD chemotherapy.

  1. Targeting the Akt1 allosteric site to identify novel scaffolds through virtual screening.

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    Yilmaz, Oya Gursoy; Olmez, Elif Ozkirimli; Ulgen, Kutlu O

    2014-02-01

    Preclinical data and tumor specimen studies report that AKT kinases are related to many human cancers. Therefore, identification and development of small molecule inhibitors targeting AKT and its signaling pathway can be therapeutic in treatment of cancer. Numerous studies report inhibitors that target the ATP-binding pocket in the kinase domains, but the similarity of this site, within the kinase family makes selectivity a major problem. The sequence identity amongst PH domains is significantly lower than that in kinase domains and developing more selective inhibitors is possible if PH domain is targeted. This in silico screening study is the first time report toward the identification of potential allosteric inhibitors expected to bind the cavity between kinase and PH domains of Akt1. Structural information of Akt1 was used to develop structure-based pharmacophore models comprising hydrophobic, acceptor, donor and ring features. The 3D structural information of previously identified allosteric Akt inhibitors obtained from literature was employed to develop a ligand-based pharmacophore model. Database was generated with drug like subset of ZINC and screening was performed based on 3D similarity to the selected pharmacophore hypotheses. Binding modes and affinities of the ligands were predicted by Glide software. Top scoring hits were further analyzed considering 2D similarity between the compounds, interactions with Akt1, fitness to pharmacophore models, ADME, druglikeness criteria and Induced-Fit docking. Using virtual screening methodologies, derivatives of 3-methyl-xanthine, quinoline-4-carboxamide and 2-[4-(cyclohexa-1,3-dien-1-yl)-1H-pyrazol-3-yl]phenol were proposed as potential leads for allosteric inhibition of Akt1.

  2. Paraflagellar rod protein-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes target Trypanosoma cruzi-infected host cells.

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    Wrightsman, Ruth A; Luhrs, Keith A; Fouts, David; Manning, Jerry E

    2002-08-01

    Our previous studies show that in mice immunized with the paraflagellar rod (PFR) proteins of Trypanosoma cruzi protective immunity against this protozoan parasite requires MHC class I-restricted T cell function. To determine whether PFR-specific CD8+ T cell subsets are generated during T. cruzi infection, potential CTL targets in the PFR proteins were identified by scanning the amino acid sequences of the four PFR proteins for regions of 8-10 amino acids that conform to predicted MHC class I H-2b binding motifs. A subset of the peptide sequences identified were synthesized and tested as target antigen in 51Cr-release assays with effector cells from chronically infected T. cruzi mice. Short-term cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) lines specific for two of the peptides, PFR-1(164-171) and PFR-3(123-130), showed high levels of lytic activity against peptide-pulsed target cells, secreted interferon (IFN)-gamma in response to parasite-infected target cells, and were found to be CD8+, CD4-, CD3+, TCRalphabeta+ cells of the Tc1 subset. Challenge of PFR immunized CD8-/- and perforin-deficient (PKO) mice confirmed that while CD8+ cells are required for survival of T. cruzi challenge infection, perforin activity is not required. Furthermore, while lytic activity of PFR-specific CD8+ T cell lines derived from PKO mice was severely impaired, the IFN-gamma levels secreted by CTLs from PKO mice were equivalent to that of normal mice, suggesting that the critical role played by CD8+ T cells in immunity to the parasite may be secretion of type 1 cytokines rather than lysis of parasite infected host cells.

  3. Molecular targets for cancer therapy in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.

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    Polivka, Jiri; Janku, Filip

    2014-05-01

    Aberrations in various cellular signaling pathways are instrumental in regulating cellular metabolism, tumor development, growth, proliferation, metastasis and cytoskeletal reorganization. The fundamental cellular signaling cascade involved in these processes, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase-B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR), closely related to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, is a crucial and intensively explored intracellular signaling pathway in tumorigenesis. Various activating mutations in oncogenes together with the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes are found in diverse malignancies across almost all members of the pathway. Substantial progress in uncovering PI3K/AKT/mTOR alterations and their roles in tumorigenesis has enabled the development of novel targeted molecules with potential for developing efficacious anticancer treatment. Two approved anticancer drugs, everolimus and temsirolimus, exemplify targeted inhibition of PI3K/AKT/mTOR in the clinic and many others are in preclinical development as well as being tested in early clinical trials for many different types of cancer. This review focuses on targeted PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling from the perspective of novel molecular targets for cancer therapy found in key pathway members and their corresponding experimental therapeutic agents. Various aberrant prognostic and predictive biomarkers are also discussed and examples are given. Novel approaches to PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibition together with a better understanding of prognostic and predictive markers have the potential to significantly improve the future care of cancer patients in the current era of personalized cancer medicine.

  4. Antisense Oligonucleotides Targeting Parasite Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptor Inhibits Mammalian Host Cell Invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi

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    Hashimoto, Muneaki; Nara, Takeshi; Hirawake, Hiroko; Morales, Jorge; Enomoto, Masahiro; Mikoshiba, Katsuhiko

    2014-02-01

    Chagas disease is caused by an intracellular parasitic protist, Trypanosoma cruzi. As there are no highly effective drugs against this agent that also demonstrate low toxicity, there is an urgent need for development of new drugs to treat Chagas disease. We have previously demonstrated that the parasite inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (TcIP3R) is crucial for invasion of the mammalian host cell by T. cruzi. Here, we report that TcIP3R is a short-lived protein and that its expression is significantly suppressed in trypomastigotes. Treatment of trypomastigotes, an infective stage of T. cruzi, with antisense oligonucleotides specific to TcIP3R deceased TcIP3R protein levels and impaired trypomastigote invasion of host cells. Due to the resulting instability and very low expression level of TcIP3R in trypomastigotes indicates that TcIP3R is a promising target for antisense therapy in Chagas disease.

  5. Role of Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin in functional outcome after concussive brain injury in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaoxia; Park, Juyeon; Golinski, Julianne; Qiu, Jianhua; Khuman, Jugta; Lee, Christopher C H; Lo, Eng H; Degterev, Alexei; Whalen, Michael J

    2014-09-01

    Akt (protein kinase B) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cell death and cognitive outcome after cerebral contusion in mice; however, a role for Akt/mTOR in concussive brain injury has not been well characterized. In a mouse closed head injury (CHI) concussion traumatic brain injury (TBI) model, phosphorylation of Akt (p-Akt), mTOR (p-mTOR), and S6RP (p-S6RP) was increased by 24 hours in cortical and hippocampal brain homogenates (Pconcussion TBI independent of cell death that may contribute to improved outcome by Nec-1.

  6. Targeting the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling network in cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Khurum H.Khan; Timothy A.Yap; Li Yan; David Cunningham

    2013-01-01

    The phosphoinositide 3-kinase-AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K-AKT-mTOR) pathway is a frequently hyperactivated pathway in cancer and is important for tumor cell growth and survival.The development of targeted therapies against mTOR,a vital substrate along this pathway,led to the approval of allosteric inhibitors,including everolimus and temsirolimus,for the treatment of breast,renal,and pancreatic cancers.However,the suboptimal duration of response in unselected patients remains an unresolved issue.Numerous novel therapies against critical nodes of this pathway are therefore being actively investigated in the clinic in multiple tumour types.In this review,we focus on the progress of these agents in clinical development along with their biological rationale,the need of predictive biomarkers and various combination strategies,which will be useful in counteracting the mechanisms of resistance to this class of drugs.

  7. Concurrent targeting Akt and sphingosine kinase 1 by A-674563 in acute myeloid leukemia cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Lin [Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha (China); Shaoyang Central Hospital, Hunan Province (China); Zhang, Yanan; Gao, Meng [The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410013 (China); Wang, Guangping, E-mail: wangguangping45@sina.com [Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha (China); Fu, Yunfeng, E-mail: fuyunfeng33163@163.com [The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410013 (China)

    2016-04-15

    Akt signaling plays a pivotal role in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) development and progression. In the present study, we evaluated the potential anti-AML activity by a novel Akt kinase inhibitor A-674563. Our results showed that A-674563 dose-dependently inhibited survival and proliferation of U937 AML cells and six lines of human AML progenitor cells, yet sparing human peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (PBMCs). A-674563 activated caspase-3/9 and apoptosis in the AML cells. Reversely, the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD-CHO dramatically alleviated A-674563-induced AML cell apoptosis and cytotoxicity. For the molecular study, we showed that A-674563 blocked Akt activation in U937 cells and human AML progenitor cells. Further, A-674563 decreased sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) activity in above AML cells to deplete pro-survival sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and boost pro-apoptotic ceramide production. Such an effect on SphK1 signaling by A-674563 appeared independent of Akt blockage. Significantly, K6PC-5, a novel SphK1 activator, or supplement with S1P attenuated A-674563-induced ceramide production, and subsequent U937 cell death and apoptosis. Importantly, intraperitoneal injection of A-674563 at well-tolerated doses suppressed U937 leukemic xenograft tumor growth in nude mice, whiling significantly improving the animal survival. The results of the current study demonstrate that A-674563 exerts potent anti-leukemic activity in vitro and in vivo, possibly via concurrent targeting Akt and SphK1 signalings. - Highlights: • A-674563 is cytotoxic and anti-proliferative in U937 and AML progenitor cells. • A-674563 activates caspase-3/9 and apoptosis in U937 and AML progenitor cells. • Whiling blocking Akt, A-674563 manipulates other signalings in AML cells. • A-674563 inhibits SphK1 activity in AML cells, independent of Akt blockage. • A-674563 injection inhibits U937 xenograft in vivo growth, and improves mice survival.

  8. A new approach for potential drug target discovery through in silico metabolic pathway analysis using Trypanosoma cruzi genome information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Alves-Ferreira

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The current drug options for the treatment of chronic Chagas disease have not been sufficient and high hopes have been placed on the use of genomic data from the human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi to identify new drug targets and develop appropriate treatments for both acute and chronic Chagas disease. However, the lack of a complete assembly of the genomic sequence and the presence of many predicted proteins with unknown or unsure functions has hampered our complete view of the parasite's metabolic pathways. Moreover, pinpointing new drug targets has proven to be more complex than anticipated and has revealed large holes in our understanding of metabolic pathways and their integrated regulation, not only for this parasite, but for many other similar pathogens. Using an in silicocomparative study on pathway annotation and searching for analogous and specific enzymes, we have been able to predict a considerable number of additional enzymatic functions in T. cruzi. Here we focus on the energetic pathways, such as glycolysis, the pentose phosphate shunt, the Krebs cycle and lipid metabolism. We point out many enzymes that are analogous to those of the human host, which could be potential new therapeutic targets.

  9. Potential Molecular Targeted Therapeutics: Role of PI3-K/Akt/mTOR Inhibition in Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolowski, Kevin M; Koprowski, Steven; Kunnimalaiyaan, Selvi; Balamurugan, Mariappan; Gamblin, T Clark; Kunnimalaiyaan, Muthusamy

    2016-01-01

    Primary liver cancer is one of the most commonly occurring cancers worldwide. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the majority of primary liver cancer and is the 3rd most common cause of cancer-related deaths globally. Survival rates of patients with HCC are dependent upon early detection as concomitant liver dysfunction and advanced disease limits traditional therapeutic options such as resection or ablation. Unfortunately, at the time of diagnosis, most patients are not eligible for curative surgery and have a five-year relative survival rate less than 20%, leading to systemic therapy as the only option. Currently, sorafenib is the only approved systemic therapy; however, it has a limited survival advantage and low efficacy prompting alternative strategies. The inception of sorafenib for HCC systemic therapy and the understanding involved of cancer therapy have led to an enhanced focus of the PI3-k/Akt/mTOR pathway as a potential area of targeting including pan and isoform-specific PI3-K inhibitors, Akt blockade, and mTOR suppression. The multitude, expanding roles, and varying clinical trials of these inhibitors have led to an increase in knowledge and availability for current and future studies. In this review, we provide a review of the literature with the aim to focus on potential targets for HCC therapies as well as an in depth focus on Akt inhibition.

  10. Chemical mechanism of UDP-galactopyranose mutase from Trypanosoma cruzi: a potential drug target against Chagas' disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Oppenheimer

    Full Text Available UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM is a flavoenzyme that catalyzes the conversion of UDP-galactopyranose to UDP-galactofuranose, the precursor of galactofuranose (Galf. Galf is found in several pathogenic organisms, including the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease. Galf is important for virulence and is not present in humans, making its biosynthetic pathway an attractive target for the development of new drugs against T. cruzi. Although UGMs catalyze a non-redox reaction, the flavin must be in the reduced state for activity and the exact role of the flavin in this reaction is controversial. The kinetic and chemical mechanism of TcUGM was probed using steady state kinetics, trapping of reaction intermediates, rapid reaction kinetics, and fluorescence anisotropy. It was shown for the first time that NADPH is an effective redox partner of TcUGM. The substrate, UDP-galactopyranose, protects the enzyme from reacting with molecular oxygen allowing TcUGM to turnover ∼1000 times for every NADPH oxidized. Spectral changes consistent with a flavin iminium ion, without the formation of a flavin semiquinone, were observed under rapid reaction conditions. These data support the proposal of the flavin acting as a nucleophile. In support of this role, a flavin-galactose adduct was isolated and characterized. A detailed kinetic and chemical mechanism for the unique non-redox reaction of UGM is presented.

  11. MicroRNA-145 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma by targeting IRS1 and its downstream Akt signaling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yelin [Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Key Laboratory of Combined Multi-organ Transplantation, Ministry of Public Health, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Hu, Chen; Cheng, Jun [Department of Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Key Laboratory of Combined Multi-organ Transplantation, Ministry of Public Health, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Chen, Binquan [Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Ke, Qinghong; Lv, Zhen; Wu, Jian [Department of Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Key Laboratory of Combined Multi-organ Transplantation, Ministry of Public Health, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Zhou, Yanfeng, E-mail: zyfhdj@yahoo.com [Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China)

    2014-04-18

    Highlights: • MiR-145 expression is down-regulated in HCC tissues and inversely related with IRS1 levels. • MiR-145 directly targets IRS1 in HCC cells. • Restored expression of miR-145 suppressed HCC cell proliferation and growth. • MiR-145 induced IRS1 under-expression potentially reduced downstream AKT signaling. - Abstract: Accumulating evidences have proved that dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is involved in cancer initiation and progression. In this study, we showed that miRNA-145 level was significantly decreased in hepatocellular cancer (HCC) tissues and cell lines, and its low expression was inversely associated with the abundance of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1), a key mediator in oncogenic insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling. We verified IRS1 as a direct target of miR-145 using Western blotting and luciferase reporter assay. Further, the restoration of miR-145 in HCC cell lines suppressed cancer cell growth, owing to down-regulated IRS1 expression and its downstream Akt/FOXO1 signaling. Our results demonstrated that miR-145 could inhibit HCC through targeting IRS1 and its downstream signaling, implicating the loss of miR-145 regulation may be a potential molecular mechanism causing aberrant oncogenic signaling in HCC.

  12. Targeting FAK Radiosensitizes 3-Dimensional Grown Human HNSCC Cells Through Reduced Akt1 and MEK1/2 Signaling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hehlgans, Stephanie [OncoRay-National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden (Germany); Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main (Germany); Institute of Radiopharmacy, Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden (Germany); Eke, Iris [OncoRay-National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden (Germany); Cordes, Nils, E-mail: Nils.Cordes@OncoRay.de [OncoRay-National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden (Germany); Institute of Radiopharmacy, Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden (Germany); Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital and Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden (Germany)

    2012-08-01

    Purpose: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a main regulator of integrin signaling and cell migration, is frequently overexpressed and hyperphosphorylated in human head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). We have previously shown that pharmacologic FAK inhibition leads to radiosensitization of 3-dimensionally grown HNSCC cell lines. To further evaluate the role of FAK in radioresistance and as a potential cancer target, we examined FAK and FAK downstream signaling in HNSCC cell lines grown in more physiologic extracellular matrix-based 3-dimensional cell cultures. Methods and Materials: Seven HNSCC cell lines were grown in 3-dimensional extracellular matrix and the clonogenic radiation survival, expression, and phosphorylation of FAK, paxillin, Akt1, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, and MEK1/2 were analyzed after siRNA-mediated knockdown of FAK, Akt1, MEK1, FAK+Akt1, or FAK+MEK1 compared with controls or stable overexpression of FAK. The role of MEK1/2 for clonogenic survival and signaling was investigated using the MEK inhibitor U0126 with or without irradiation. Results: FAK knockdown moderately or significantly enhanced the cellular radiosensitivity of 3-dimensionally grown HNSCC cells. The FAK downstream targets paxillin, Akt1, and ERK1/2 were substantially dephosphorylated under FAK depletion. FAK overexpression, in contrast, increased radiation survival and paxillin, Akt1, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. The degree of radiosensitization upon Akt1, ERK1/2, or MEK1 depletion or U0126 was superimposable to FAK knockdown. Combination knockdown conditions (ie, Akt1/FAK, MEK1/FAK, or U0126/FAK) failed to provide additional radiosensitization. Conclusions: Our data provide further evidence for FAK as important determinant of radiation survival, which acts in the same signaling axis as Akt1 and ERK1/2. These data strongly support our hypothesis that FAK is a relevant molecular target for HNSCC radiotherapy.

  13. miR-409-3p suppresses breast cancer cell growth and invasion by targeting Akt1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Guoqiang [Department of Breast Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan 250012 (China); Department of Thyroid and Breast Surgery, Hospital Affiliated to Binzhou Medical University, 661 Second Huanghe Street, Binzhou 256603 (China); Liu, Zengyan [Department of Hematology, Hospital Affiliated to Binzhou Medical University, 661 Second Huanghe Street, Binzhou 256603 (China); Xu, Hao [Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029 (China); Yang, Qifeng, E-mail: qifengy_sdu1@163.com [Department of Breast Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan 250012 (China)

    2016-01-08

    Altered levels and functions of microRNAs (miRNAs) are correlated with carcinogenesis. While miR-409-3p has been shown to play important roles in several cancer types, its function in the context of breast cancer (BC) remains unknown. In this study, miR-409-3p was significantly downregulated in BC tissues and cell lines, compared with the corresponding control counterparts. Overexpression of miR-409-3p inhibited BC cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro and suppressed tumor growth in vivo. Notably, miR-409-3p induced downregulation of Akt1 protein through binding to its 3′ untranslated region (UTR). Conversely, restoring Akt1 expression rescued the suppressive effects of miR-409-3p. Our data collectively indicate that miR-409-3p functions as a tumor suppressor in BC through downregulating Akt1, supporting the targeting of the novel miR-409-3p/Akt1 axis as a potentially effective therapeutic approach for BC. - Highlights: • miR-409-3p inhibits proliferation, migration and invasion of BC cells. • miR-409-3p suppresses tumor growth in nude mice. • Akt1 is a direct downstream target of miR-409-3p. • Ectopic expression of Akt1 reverses the effects of miR-409-3p on cell proliferation, migration and invasion.

  14. Target regulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway by cannabidiol in treatment of experimental multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacoppo, Sabrina; Pollastro, Federica; Grassi, Gianpaolo; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela

    2017-01-01

    This study was aimed to investigate whether treatment with purified cannabidiol (CBD) may counteract the development of experimental multiple sclerosis (MS), by targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Although the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway was found to be activated by cannabinoids in several immune and non-immune cells, currently, there is no data about the effects of CBD in the PI3K/Akt/mTOR activity in MS. Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), the most common model of MS, was induced in C57BL/6 mice by immunization with myelin oligodendroglial glycoprotein peptide (MOG)35-55. After EAE onset, which occurs approximately 14days after disease induction, mice were daily intraperitoneally treated with CBD (10mg/kg mouse) and observed for clinical signs of EAE. At 28days from EAE-induction, mice were euthanized and spinal cord tissues were sampled to perform immunohistochemical evaluations and western blot analysis. Our results showed a clear downregulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway following EAE induction. CBD treatment was able to restore it, increasing significantly the phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt and mTOR. Also, an increased level of BNDF in CBD-treated mice seems to be involved in the activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. In addition, our data demonstrated that therapeutic efficacy of CBD treatment is due to reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, like IFN-γ and IL-17 together with an up-regulation of PPARγ. Finally, CBD was found to promote neuronal survival by inhibiting JNK and p38 MAP kinases. These results provide an interesting discovery about the regulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway by cannabidiol administration, that could be a new potential therapeutic target for MS management.

  15. [Silica induced α-SMA expression in HBE cell line by targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ai-ping; Hou, Zhi-guo; Fan, Jing-jing; Ji, Xiao-ming; Wang, Ting; Ni, Chun-hui

    2012-12-01

    To explore the role of the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) pathway in silica-induced α-SMA (α smooth muscle actin) expression in HEB (human bronchial epithelial) cell. The cultured HBE cells were divided into 5 groups: control, silica, PI3K inhibitor (Ly294002), both PI3K inhibitor (Ly294002) and silica at the same time and the inhibitor 24 h ahead of silica. The final concentrations of PI3K inhibitor and silica were 10 µmol/L and 100 µg/ml, respectively. Western blots were used to detect protein expressions of Akt, p-Akt, TGF-β and α-SMA. The location and expression of α-SMA were measured by immunofluorescence assay. HBE cell line exposed to silica can induce Akt phosphorylation, in which expressions of p-Akt were up regulated 1 times at 48 and the highest at 72 h. The expressions of TGFβ increased remarkably at 12 h and the peak at 48 h after silica exposure, while the expressions of α-SMA increased at 24 h and the highest at 72 h. However, the PI3K inhibitor (Ly294002) significantly down regulated α-SMA expression. When the cell line exposed to the PI3K inhibitor ahead of silica 24 h, the expressions of p-Akt and α-SMA were more remarkably down regulated which were decreased 1.5 times and 7.6 times respectively compare to silica exposure group. But no significant changes were found for TGFβ expressions. The immunofluorescence assay showed that silica can induce α-SMA expression, which located in cytoplasma, and PI3K inhibitor can decrease the expression. Silica induced α-SMA expression in HBE cell line is by targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway and PI3K inhibitor can repress α-SMA expression.

  16. Clear Shot at Primary Aim: Susceptibility of Trypanosoma cruzi Organelles, Structures and Molecular Targets to Drug Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menna-Barreto, Rubem Figueiredo Sadok; de Castro, Solange Lisboa

    2017-01-01

    Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, stands out due to its socio-economic effects on low-income tropical populations. This disease affects millions of people worldwide. The current chemotherapy for it is based on benznidazole (Bz) and nifurtimox (Nif) and is unsatisfactory. In this review, we will focus on the search for potential target organelles and molecules for the chemotherapy of Chagas disease. We consider as potential target organelles those that are absent or significantly different in host cells and present in the clinically relevant forms of the parasite (trypomastigotes and amastigotes), which are the mitochondrion, cytoskeletal-related structures, the acidocalcisomes/ contractile vacuole complex and glycosomes. Most molecular targets are key enzymes involved in processes that are essential to parasite survival, such as sterol biosynthesis, antioxidant defences and bioenergetic pathways. Among the molecular targets, enzymes of the sterol pathway, particularly C14α-sterol demethylase, are still the most promising target, even if clinical trials with posaconazole and E1224 have failed to sustain efficacy. We believe that in the near future, the Chagas community will have a "clear shot" at new drug candidates for Chagas disease based on the accumulated knowledge about trypanosomatid biochemistry, preclinical studies, advances in screening technologies, the efforts of medicinal chemists in the synthesis of both azolic and non-azolic inhibitors, and the interest of pharmaceutical companies in the development of new antifungal agents, which form a critical mass of information. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  17. Grape polyphenols inhibit Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin signaling and potentiate the effects of gefitinib in breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Pichardo, Linette; Dharmawardhane, Suranganie F

    2012-01-01

    We recently reported that a combination of dietary grape polyphenols resveratrol, quercetin, and catechin (RQC), at low concentrations, was effective at inhibiting metastatic cancer progression. Herein, we investigate the molecular mechanisms of RQC in breast cancer and explore the potential of RQC as a potentiation agent for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapeutic gefitinib. Our in vitro experiments showed RQC induced apoptosis in gefitinib-resistant breast cancer cells via regulation of a myriad of proapoptotic proteins. Because the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is often elevated during development of anti-EGFR therapy resistance, the effect of RQC on the mTOR upstream effector Akt and the negative regulator AMP kinase (AMPK) was investigated. RQC was found to reduce Akt activity, induce the activation of AMPK, and inhibit mTOR signaling in breast cancer cells. Combined RQC and gefitinib decreased gefitinib resistant breast cancer cell viability to a greater extent than RQC or gefitinib alone. Moreover, RQC inhibited Akt and mTOR and activated AMPK even in the presence of gefitinib. Our in vivo experiments showed combined RQC and gefitinib was more effective than the individual treatments at inhibiting mammary tumor growth and metastasis in nude mice. Therefore, RQC treatment inhibits breast cancer progression and may potentiate anti-EGFR therapy by inhibition of Akt/mTOR signaling.

  18. Computer-Aided Targeting of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR Pathway: Toxicity Reduction and Therapeutic Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tan Li

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway plays an essential role in a wide range of biological functions, including metabolism, macromolecular synthesis, cell growth, proliferation and survival. Its versatility, however, makes it a conspicuous target of many pathogens; and the consequential deregulations of this pathway often lead to complications, such as tumorigenesis, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Molecular targeted therapy, aimed at modulating the deregulated pathway, holds great promise for controlling these diseases, though side effects may be inevitable, given the ubiquity of the pathway in cell functions. Here, we review a variety of factors found to modulate the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, including gene mutations, certain metabolites, inflammatory factors, chemical toxicants, drugs found to rectify the pathway, as well as viruses that hijack the pathway for their own synthetic purposes. Furthermore, this evidence of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway alteration and related pathogenesis has inspired the exploration of computer-aided targeting of this pathway to optimize therapeutic strategies. Herein, we discuss several possible options, using computer-aided targeting, to reduce the toxicity of molecularly-targeted therapy, including mathematical modeling, to reveal system-level control mechanisms and to confer a low-dosage combination therapy, the potential of PP2A as a therapeutic target, the formulation of parameters to identify patients who would most benefit from specific targeted therapies and molecular dynamics simulations and docking studies to discover drugs that are isoform specific or mutation selective so as to avoid undesired broad inhibitions. We hope this review will stimulate novel ideas for pharmaceutical discovery and deepen our understanding of curability and toxicity by targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

  19. The pentose phosphate pathway in Trypanosoma cruzi: a potential target for the chemotherapy of Chagas disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Igoillo-Esteve

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is highly sensitive to oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species. Trypanothione, the parasite's major protection against oxidative stress, is kept reduced by trypanothione reductase, using NADPH; the major source of the reduced coenzyme seems to be the pentose phosphate pathway. Its seven enzymes are present in the four major stages in the parasite's biological cycle; we have cloned and expressed them in Escherichia coli as active proteins. Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, which controls glucose flux through the pathway by its response to the NADP/NADPH ratio, is encoded by a number of genes per haploid genome, and is induced up to 46-fold by hydrogen peroxide in metacyclic trypomastigotes. The genes encoding 6-phosphogluconolactonase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, transaldolase and transketolase are present in the CL Brener clone as a single copy per haploid genome. 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase is very unstable, but was stabilized introducing two salt bridges by site-directed mutagenesis. Ribose-5-phosphate isomerase belongs to Type B; genes encoding Type A enzymes, present in mammals, are absent. Ribulose-5-phosphate epimerase is encoded by two genes. The enzymes of the pathway have a major cytosolic component, although several of them have a secondary glycosomal localization, and also minor localizations in other organelles.Trypanosoma cruzi é altamente sensível ao estresse oxidativo causado por espécies reativas do oxigênio. Tripanotiona, o principal protetor do parasita contra o estresse oxidativo, é mantido reduzido pela tripanotiona redutase, pela presença deNADPH; a principal fonte da coenzima reduzida parece ser a via da pentose fosfato. As sete enzimas dessa via estão presentes nos quatro principais estágios do ciclo biológico do parasita; nós clonamos e expressamos as enzimas em Escherichia coli como proteínas ativas. Glucose 6-fosfato desidrogenase, que controla o fluxo da glucose da

  20. MicroRNA-184 inhibits neuroblastoma cell survival through targeting the serine/threonine kinase AKT2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murphy Derek M

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuroblastoma is a paediatric cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. The single most important genetic indicator of poor clinical outcome is amplification of the MYCN transcription factor. One of many down-stream MYCN targets is miR-184, which is either directly or indirectly repressed by this transcription factor, possibly due to its pro-apoptotic effects when ectopically over-expressed in neuroblastoma cells. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which miR-184 conveys pro-apoptotic effects. Results We demonstrate that the knock-down of endogenous miR-184 has the opposite effect of ectopic up-regulation, leading to enhanced neuroblastoma cell numbers. As a mechanism of how miR-184 causes apoptosis when over-expressed, and increased cell numbers when inhibited, we demonstrate direct targeting and degradation of AKT2, a major downstream effector of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K pathway, one of the most potent pro-survival pathways in cancer. The pro-apoptotic effects of miR-184 ectopic over-expression in neuroblastoma cell lines is reproduced by siRNA inhibition of AKT2, while a positive effect on cell numbers similar to that obtained by the knock-down of endogenous miR-184 can be achieved by ectopic up-regulation of AKT2. Moreover, co-transfection of miR-184 with an AKT2 expression vector lacking the miR-184 target site in the 3'UTR rescues cells from the pro-apoptotic effects of miR-184. Conclusions MYCN contributes to tumorigenesis, in part, by repressing miR-184, leading to increased levels of AKT2, a direct target of miR-184. Thus, two important genes with positive effects on cell growth and survival, MYCN and AKT2, can be linked into a common genetic pathway through the actions of miR-184. As an inhibitor of AKT2, miR-184 could be of potential benefit in miRNA mediated therapeutics of MYCN amplified neuroblastoma and other forms of cancer.

  1. Targeting hyperactivation of the AKT survival pathway to overcome therapy resistance of melanoma brain metastases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niessner, Heike; Forschner, Andrea; Klumpp, Bernhard; Honegger, Jürgen B; Witte, Maria; Bornemann, Antje; Dummer, Reinhard; Adam, Annemarie; Bauer, Jürgen; Tabatabai, Ghazaleh; Flaherty, Keith; Sinnberg, Tobias; Beck, Daniela; Leiter, Ulrike; Mauch, Cornelia; Roesch, Alexander; Weide, Benjamin; Eigentler, Thomas; Schadendorf, Dirk; Garbe, Claus; Kulms, Dagmar; Quintanilla-Martinez, Leticia; Meier, Friedegund

    2013-02-01

    Brain metastases are the most common cause of death in patients with metastatic melanoma, and the RAF-MEK-ERK and PI3K-AKT signaling pathways are key players in melanoma progression and drug resistance. The BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib significantly improved overall survival. However, brain metastases still limit the effectiveness of this therapy. In a series of patients, we observed that treatment with vemurafenib resulted in substantial regression of extracerebral metastases, but brain metastases developed. This study aimed to identify factors that contribute to treatment resistance in brain metastases. Matched brain and extracerebral metastases from melanoma patients had identical ERK, p-ERK, and AKT immunohistochemistry staining patterns, but there was hyperactivation of AKT (p-AKT) and loss of PTEN expression in the brain metastases. Mutation analysis revealed no differences in BRAF, NRAS, or KIT mutation status in matched brain and extracerebral metastases. In contrast, AKT, p-AKT, and PTEN expression was identical in monolayer cultures derived from melanoma brain and extracerebral metastases. Furthermore, melanoma cells stimulated by astrocyte-conditioned medium showed higher AKT activation and invasiveness than melanoma cells stimulated by fibroblast-conditioned medium. Inhibition of PI3K-AKT signaling resensitized melanoma cells isolated from a vemurafenib-resistant brain metastasis to vemurafenib. Brain-derived factors appear to induce hyperactivation of the AKT survival pathway and to promote the survival and drug resistance of melanoma cells in the brain. Thus, inhibition of PI3K-AKT signaling shows potential for enhancing and/or prolonging the antitumor effect of BRAF inhibitors or other anticancer agents in melanoma brain metastases.

  2. In vitro and in vivo activity of novel small-molecule inhibitors targeting the pleckstrin homology domain of protein kinase B/AKT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moses, Sylvestor A; Ali, M Ahad; Zuohe, Song; Du-Cuny, Lei; Zhou, Li Li; Lemos, Robert; Ihle, Nathan; Skillman, A Geoffrey; Zhang, Shuxing; Mash, Eugene A; Powis, Garth; Meuillet, Emmanuelle J

    2009-06-15

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT signaling pathway plays a critical role in activating survival and antiapoptotic pathways within cancer cells. Several studies have shown that this pathway is constitutively activated in many different cancer types. The goal of this study was to discover novel compounds that bind to the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain of AKT, thereby inhibiting AKT activation. Using proprietary docking software, 22 potential PH domain inhibitors were identified. Surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy was used to measure the binding of the compounds to the expressed PH domain of AKT followed by an in vitro activity screen in Panc-1 and MiaPaCa-2 pancreatic cancer cell lines. We identified a novel chemical scaffold in several of the compounds that binds selectively to the PH domain of AKT, inducing a decrease in AKT activation and causing apoptosis at low micromolar concentrations. Structural modifications of the scaffold led to compounds with enhanced inhibitory activity in cells. One compound, 4-dodecyl-N-(1,3,4-thiadiazol-2-yl)benzenesulfonamide, inhibited AKT and its downstream targets in cells as well as in pancreatic cancer cell xenografts in immunocompromised mice; it also exhibited good antitumor activity. In summary, a pharmacophore for PH domain inhibitors targeting AKT function was developed. Computer-aided modeling, synthesis, and testing produced novel AKT PH domain inhibitors that exhibit promising preclinical properties.

  3. Trypanosoma cruzi-elicited CD8+ T cell-mediated myocarditis: chemokine receptors and adhesion molecules as potential therapeutic targets to control chronic inflammation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseli Lannes-Vieira

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available In Chagas disease, during the acute phase, the establishment of inflammatory processes is crucial for Trypanosoma cruzi control in target tissues and for the establishment of host/parasite equilibrium. However, in about 30% of the patients, inflammation becomes progressive, resulting in chronic disease, mainly characterized by myocarditis. Although several hypothesis have been raised to explain the pathogenesis of chagasic myocardiopathy, including the persistence of the parasite and/or participation of autoimmune processes, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of the inflammatory process leading to parasitism control but also contributing to the maintenance of T. cruzi-elicited chronic myocarditis remain unsolved. Trying to shed light on these questions, we have for several years been working with murine models for Chagas disease that reproduce the acute self-resolving meningoencephalitis, the encephalitis resulting of reactivation described in immunodeficient individuals, and several aspects of the acute and chronic myocarditis. In the present review, our results are summarized and discussed under the light of the current literature. Furthermore, rational therapeutic intervention strategies based on integrin-mediated adhesion and chemokine receptor-driven recruitment of leukocytes are proposed to control T. cruzi-elicited unbalanced inflammation.

  4. Targeting the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway: an emerging treatment strategy for squamous cell lung carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Joseph Thaddeus; Ismail, Amen; Tolomeo, Christina

    2014-09-01

    Squamous cell lung carcinoma accounts for approximately 30% of all non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Despite progress in the understanding of the biology of cancer, cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the standard of care for patients with squamous cell lung carcinoma, but the prognosis is generally poor. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is one of the most commonly activated signaling pathways in cancer, leading to cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation. It has therefore become a major focus of clinical research. Various alterations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway have been identified in squamous cell lung carcinoma and a number of agents targeting these alterations are in clinical development for use as single agents and in combination with other targeted and conventional treatments. These include pan-PI3K inhibitors, isoform-specific PI3K inhibitors, AKT inhibitors, mTOR inhibitors, and dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors. These agents have demonstrated antitumor activity in preclinical models of NSCLC and preliminary clinical evidence is also available for some agents. This review will discuss the role of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in cancer and how the discovery of genetic alterations in this pathway in patients with squamous cell lung carcinoma can inform the development of targeted therapies for this disease. An overview of ongoing clinical trials investigating PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors in squamous cell lung carcinoma will also be included.

  5. Co-operating STAT5 and AKT signaling pathways in chronic myeloid leukemia and mastocytosis: possible new targets of therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bibi, Siham; Arslanhan, Melis Dilara; Langenfeld, Florent; Jeanningros, Sylvie; Cerny-Reiterer, Sabine; Hadzijusufovic, Emir; Tchertanov, Luba; Moriggl, Richard; Valent, Peter; Arock, Michel

    2014-03-01

    Chronic myeloid leukemia and systemic mastocytosis are myeloid neoplasms sharing a number of pathogenetic and clinical features. In both conditions, an aberrantly activated oncoprotein with tyrosine kinase activity, namely BCR-ABL1 in chronic myeloid leukemia, and mutant KIT, mostly KIT D816V, in systemic mastocytosis, is key to disease evolution. The appreciation of the role of such tyrosine kinases in these diseases has led to the development of improved therapies with tyrosine kinase-targeted inhibitors. However, most drugs, including new KIT D816V-blocking agents, have failed to achieve long-lasting remissions in advanced systemic mastocytosis, and there is a similar problem in chronic myeloid leukemia, where imatinib-resistant patients sometimes fail to achieve remission, even with second- or third-line BCR-ABL1 specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors. During disease progression, additional signaling pathways become activated in neoplastic cells, but most converge into major downstream networks. Among these, the AKT and STAT5 pathways appear most critical and may result in drug-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia and systemic mastocytosis. Inhibition of phosphorylation of these targets has proven their crucial role in disease-evolution in both malignancies. Together, these observations suggest that STAT5 and AKT are key drivers of oncogenesis in drug-resistant forms of the diseases, and that targeting STAT5 and AKT might be an interesting approach in these malignancies. The present article provides an overview of our current knowledge about the critical role of AKT and STAT5 in the pathophysiology of chronic myeloid leukemia and systemic mastocytosis and on their potential value as therapeutic targets in these neoplasms.

  6. Bestatin Induces Specific Changes in Trypanosoma cruzi Dipeptide Pool

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Proteases and peptidases in Trypanosoma cruzi are considered potential targets for antichagasic chemotherapy. We monitored changes in low-mass metabolites in T. cruzi epimastigotes treated with bestatin, a dipeptide metalloaminopeptidase inhibitor. After treatment, multiple dipeptides were shown to be increased, confirming in situ inhibition of the leucine aminopeptidase of T. cruzi (LAPTc) and probably other peptidases.

  7. MicroRNA-21 accelerates hepatocyte proliferation in vitro via PI3K/Akt signaling by targeting PTEN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan-nan, Bai [Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province (China); Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Fujian Provincial Hospital, Provincial Clinical College of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, Fujian Province (China); Zhao-yan, Yu; Li-xi, Luo; Jiang, Yi [Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province (China); Qing-jie, Xia [Translational Neuroscience Center, West China Hospital/West China Medical School of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province (China); Yong, Zeng, E-mail: yongzengmd@gmail.com [Department of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province (China)

    2014-01-17

    Highlights: •miRNAs-expression patterns of primary hepatocytes under proliferative status. •miR-21 expression level peaked at 12 h after stimulated by EGF. •miR-21 drive rapid S phase entry of primary hepatocytes. •PI3K/Akt signaling was modulated via targeting PTEN by miR-21. -- Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in controlling hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration. In this study, we established the miRNAs-expression patterns of primary hepatocytes in vitro under stimulation of epidermal growth factor (EGF), and found that microRNA-21 (miR-21) was appreciably up-regulated and peaked at 12 h. In addition, we further presented evidences indicating that miR-21 promotes primary hepatocyte proliferation through in vitro transfecting with miR-21 mimics or inhibitor. We further demonstrated that phosphatidylinositol 3′-OH kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling was altered accordingly, it is, by targeting phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10, PI3K/Akt signaling is activated by miR-21 to accelerate hepatocyte rapid S-phase entry and proliferation in vitro.

  8. Targeted deletion of Kif18a protects from colitis-associated colorectal (CAC) tumors in mice through impairing Akt phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Houbao; Xu, Wangyang; Zhang, Hongxin; Liu, Jianbing; Xu, Haimin; Lu, Shunyuan; Dang, Suying; Kuang, Ying; Jin, Xiaolong; Wang, Zhugang

    2013-08-16

    Kinesins are a superfamily of molecular motors involved in cell division or intracellular transport. They are becoming important targets for chemotherapeutic intervention of cancer due to their crucial role in mitosis. Here, we demonstrate that the kinesin-8 Kif18a is overexpressed in murine CAC and is a crucial promoter during early CAC carcinogenesis. Kif18a-deficient mice are evidently protected from AOM-DSS-induced colon carcinogenesis. Kif18A is responsible for proliferation of colonic tumor cells, while Kif18a ablation in mice promotes cell apoptosis. Mechanistically, Kif18a is responsible for induction of Akt phosphorylation, which is known to be associated with cell survival regulation. In conclusion, Kif18a is critical for colorectal carcinogenesis in the setting of inflammation by mechanisms of increased PI3K-AKT signaling. Inhibition of Kif18A activity may be useful in the prevention or chemotherapeutic intervention of CAC.

  9. 4-Hydroxy-3-Methoxybenzoic Acid Methyl Ester: A Curcumin Derivative Targets Akt/NFκB Cell Survival Signaling Pathway: Potential for Prostate Cancer Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Addanki P. Kumar

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available Transcription factor NFKB and the serine/threonine kinase Akt play critical roles in mammalian cell survival signaling and have been shown to be activated in various malignancies including prostate cancer (PCA. We have developed an analogue of curcumin called 4hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoic acid methyl ester (HMBME that targets the Akt/NFκB signaling pathway. Here, we demonstrate the ability of this novel compound to inhibit the proliferation of human and mouse PCA cells. HMBME-induced apoptosis in these cells was tested by using multiple biochemical approaches, in addition to morphological analysis. Overexpression of constitutively active Akt reversed the HMBME-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis, illustrating the direct role of Akt signaling in HMBME-mediated growth inhibition and apoptosis. Further, investigation of the molecular events associated with its action in LNCaP cells shows that: 1 HMBME reduces the level of activated form of Akt (phosphorylated Akt; and 2 inhibits the Akt kinase activity. Further, the transcriptional activity of NFκB, the DNA-binding activity of NFκB, and levels of p65 were all significantly reduced following treatment with HMBME. Overexpression of constitutively active Akt, but not the kinase dead mutant of Akt, activated the basal NFκB transcriptional activity. HMBME treatment had no influence on this constitutively active Aktaugmented NFκB transcriptional activity. These data indicate that HMBME-mediated inhibition of Akt kinase activity may have a potential in suppressing/decreasing the activity of major survival/antiapoptotic pathways. The potential use of HMBME as an agent that targets survival mechanisms in PCA cells is discussed.

  10. Targeting MUC1-C inhibits the AKT-S6K1-elF4A pathway regulating TIGAR translation in colorectal cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Rehan; Alam, Maroof; Hasegawa, Masanori; Uchida, Yasumitsu; Al-Obaid, Omar; Kharbanda, Surender; Kufe, Donald

    2017-02-02

    Colorectal cancer is third most common malignancy and is the second most common cause of cancer-related death. The MUC1 heterodimeric protein is aberrantly overexpressed in colorectal cancer and has been linked to poor outcomes in this disease. Here, we investigate the effects of the MUC1-C subunit inhibitor (GO-203), which disrupts MUC1-C homo-oligomerization, on human colorectal cancer cells. TIGAR mRNA level was determined using qRT-PCR. Western blotting was used to measure TIGAR protein level and AKT-mTOR-S6K1 pathways. Reactive oxygen species and apoptosis were measured by flow cytometry. Effect of MUC1-C peptide, GO-203 was studied on colorectal xenograft tumors. Immunohistochemistry was utilized for TIGAR staining. Treatment of MUC1-overexpressing SKCO-1 and Colo-205 colon cancer cells with GO-203 was associated with downregulation of the TP53-inducible glycolysis and apoptosis regulator (TIGAR) protein. TIGAR promotes the shunting of glycolytic intermediates into the pentose phosphate pathway and thus is of importance for maintaining redox balance. We show that GO-203-induced suppression of TIGAR is mediated by inhibition of AKT and the downstream mTOR pathway. The results also demonstrate that targeting MUC1-C blocks eIF4A cap-dependent translation of TIGAR. In concert with these results, GO-203-induced suppression of TIGAR was associated with decreases in GSH levels. GO-203 treatment also resulted in increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential. Consistent with these results, GO-203 inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells in vitro and as xenografts in nude mice. Inhibition of MUC1-C also downregulated TIGAR expression in xenograft tissues. These findings indicate that MUC1-C is a potential target for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer patients who overexpress MUC1-C may be candidates for treatment with the MUC1-C inhibitor alone or in combination therapy with other agents.

  11. Enhanced Cardiac Akt/Protein Kinase B Signaling Contributes to Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy in Part by Impairing Mitochondrial Function via Transcriptional Repression of Mitochondrion-Targeted Nuclear Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wende, Adam R.; O'Neill, Brian T.; Bugger, Heiko; Riehle, Christian; Tuinei, Joseph; Buchanan, Jonathan; Tsushima, Kensuke; Wang, Li; Caro, Pilar; Guo, Aili; Sloan, Crystal; Kim, Bum Jun; Wang, Xiaohui; Pereira, Renata O.; McCrory, Mark A.; Nye, Brenna G.; Benavides, Gloria A.; Darley-Usmar, Victor M.; Shioi, Tetsuo; Weimer, Bart C.

    2014-01-01

    Sustained Akt activation induces cardiac hypertrophy (LVH), which may lead to heart failure. This study tested the hypothesis that Akt activation contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction in pathological LVH. Akt activation induced LVH and progressive repression of mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation (FAO) pathways. Preventing LVH by inhibiting mTOR failed to prevent the decline in mitochondrial function, but glucose utilization was maintained. Akt activation represses expression of mitochondrial regulatory, FAO, and oxidative phosphorylation genes in vivo that correlate with the duration of Akt activation in part by reducing FOXO-mediated transcriptional activation of mitochondrion-targeted nuclear genes in concert with reduced signaling via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα)/PGC-1α and other transcriptional regulators. In cultured myocytes, Akt activation disrupted mitochondrial bioenergetics, which could be partially reversed by maintaining nuclear FOXO but not by increasing PGC-1α. Thus, although short-term Akt activation may be cardioprotective during ischemia by reducing mitochondrial metabolism and increasing glycolysis, long-term Akt activation in the adult heart contributes to pathological LVH in part by reducing mitochondrial oxidative capacity. PMID:25535334

  12. Resveratrol inhibits Hexokinases II mediated glycolysis in non-small cell lung cancer via targeting Akt signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Ma, Xiaoqian; Li, Na; Liu, Huasheng; Dong, Qiong; Zhang, Juan; Yang, Cejun; Liu, Yin; Liang, Qi; Zhang, Shengwang; Xu, Chang; Song, Wei; Tan, Shiming; Rong, Pengfei; Wang, Wei

    2016-12-10

    Deregulation of glycolysis was often observed in human cancer cells. In the present study, we reported resveratrol, a small polyphenol, which has been intensively studied in various tumor models, has a profound anti-tumor effect on human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) via regulation of glycolysis. Resveratrol impaired hexokinase II (HK2)-mediated glycolysis, and markedly inhibited anchorage-dependent and -independent growth of NSCLC cells. Exposure to resveratrol decreased EGFR and downstream kinases Akt and ERK1/2 activation. Moreover, we revealed that resveratrol impaired glucose metabolism by mainly inhibiting expression of HK2 mediated by the Akt signaling pathway, and exogenous overexpression of constitutively activated Akt1 in NSCLC cells substantially rescued resveratrol-induced glycolysis suppression. The in vivo data indicated that resveratrol obviously suppressed tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model. Our results suggest targeting HK2 or metabolic enzymes appears to be a new approach for clinical NSCLC prevention or treatment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Sorafenib inhibits lymphoma xenografts by targeting MAPK/ERK and AKT pathways in tumor and vascular cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmelo Carlo-Stella

    Full Text Available The anti-lymphoma activity and mechanism(s of action of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib were investigated using a panel of lymphoma cell lines, including SU-DHL-4V, Granta-519, HD-MyZ, and KMS-11 cell lines. In vitro, sorafenib significantly decreased cell proliferation and phosphorylation levels of MAPK and PI3K/Akt pathways while increased apoptotic cell death. In vivo, sorafenib treatment resulted in a cytostatic rather than cytotoxic effect on tumor cell growth associated with a limited inhibition of tumor volumes. However, sorafenib induced an average 50% reduction of tumor vessel density and a 2-fold increase of necrotic areas. Upon sorafenib treatment, endothelial and tumor cells from SU-DHL-4V, Granta-519, and KMS-11 nodules showed a potent inhibition of either phospho-ERK or phospho-AKT, whereas a concomitant inhibition of phospho-ERK and phospho-AKT was only observed in HD-MyZ nodules. In conclusion, sorafenib affects the growth of lymphoid cell lines by triggering antiangiogenic mechanism(s and directly targeting tumor cells.

  14. MiR-221 Promotes Capan-2 Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cells Proliferation by Targeting PTEN-Akt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenzhuo Yang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: MicroRNAs (miRNAs, miRs have emerged as critical regulators of cancer cell proliferation. The effect of miR-221 on cancer cell growth could be significantly changeable in different cell lines. Although miR-221 was reported to promote the cell growth of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC cells, its role in Capan-2 cell line is largely unknown. Methods: Capan-2 cells were transfected with miR-221 mimics, inhibitors, or negative controls. Cell Counting Kit-8 was used to determine cell viability. EdU staining and cell cycle analysis were used to measure cell proliferation. Western blotting was used to detect the expression levels of PTEN and phospho-Akt. The PI3K-Akt pathway activator SC-79 and inhibitor LY294002 were used to perform the rescue experiment in determining cell proliferation. Results: Overexpressing miR-221 significantly increased cell vitality and promoted cell proliferation and G1-to-S phase transition of the cell cycle in Capan-2 cells, while inhibition of miR-221 decreased that. The protein level of PTEN in Capan-2 cells was downregulated by overexpressing miR-221, while upregulated by inhibiting miR-221. Consistently, enhanced phosphorylation of AktSer473 was observed in miR-221 overexpressed Capan-2 cells, and the opposite result was found in miR-221 inhibited cells. LY294002 restored the pro-proliferation effect of miR-221 on Capan-2 cells, while SC-79 had no additional effect on cell proliferation in Capan-2 cells transfected with miR-221 mimics. Conclusion: Our study indicates that miR-221 is an oncogenic miRNA which promotes Capan-2 cells proliferation by targeting PTEN-Akt pathway.

  15. Structure of the Trypanosoma cruzi protein tyrosine phosphatase TcPTP1, a potential therapeutic target for Chagas' disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lountos, George T.; Tropea, Joseph E.; Waugh, David S. [FNL

    2013-06-05

    Chagas’ disease, a neglected tropical affliction transmitted by the flagellated protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is prevalent in Latin America and affects nearly 18 million people worldwide, yet few approved drugs are available to treat the disease. Moreover, the currently available drugs exhibit severe toxicity or are poorly effective in the chronic phase of the disease. This limitation, along with the large population at risk, underscores the urgent need to discover new molecular targets and novel therapeutic agents. Recently, the T. cruzi protein tyrosine phosphatase TcPTP1 has been implicated in the cellular differentiation and infectivity of the parasite and is therefore a promising target for the design of novel anti-parasitic drugs. Here, we report the X-ray crystal structure of TcPTP1 refined to a resolution of 2.18 Å, which provides structural insights into the active site environment that can be used to initiate structure-based drug design efforts to develop specific TcPTP1 inhibitors. Potential strategies to develop such inhibitors are also discussed.

  16. Pentamidine antagonizes the benznidazole's effect in vitro, and lacks of synergy in vivo: Implications about the polyamine transport as an anti-Trypanosoma cruzi target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seguel, Verónica; Castro, Lorena; Reigada, Chantal; Cortes, Leonel; Díaz, María V; Miranda, Mariana R; Pereira, Claudio A; Lapier, Michel; Campos-Estrada, Carolina; Morello, Antonio; Kemmerling, Ulrike; Maya, Juan D; López-Muñoz, Rodrigo

    2016-12-01

    Benznidazole is the first-line drug used in treating Chagas disease, which is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). However, benznidazole has limited efficacy and several adverse reactions. Pentamidine is an antiprotozoal drug used in the treatment of leishmaniasis and African trypanosomiasis. In T. cruzi, pentamidine blocks the transport of putrescine, a precursor of trypanothione, which constitutes an essential molecule in the resistance of T. cruzi to benznidazole. In the present study, we describe the effect of the combination of benznidazole and pentamidine on isolated parasites, mammalian cells and in mice infected with T. cruzi. In isolated trypomastigotes, we performed a dose-matrix scheme of combinations, where pentamidine antagonized the effect of benznidazole, mainly at concentrations below the EC50 of pentamidine. In T. cruzi-infected mammalian cells, pentamidine reversed the effect of benznidazole (measured by qPCR). In comparison, in infected BALB/c mice, pentamidine failed to get synergy with benznidazole, measured on mice survival, parasitemia and amastigote nest quantification. To further explain the in vitro antagonism, we explored whether pentamidine affects intracellular trypanothione levels, however, pentamidine produced no change in trypanothione concentrations. Finally, the T. cruzi polyamine permease (TcPAT12) was overexpressed in epimastigotes, showing that pentamidine has the same trypanocidal effect, independently of transporter expression levels. These results suggest that, in spite of the high potency in the putrescine transport blockade, TcPAT12 permease is not the main target of pentamidine, and could explain the lack of synergism between pentamidine and benznidazole.

  17. miR-24 represses metastasis of human osteosarcoma cells by targeting Ack1 via AKT/MMPs pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhendong; Liu, Zhitao; Zhang, Yuanjun; Li, Yan; Liu, Bo; Zhang, Kexiang

    2017-04-29

    The expression levels of the protein tyrosine kinase Ack1 has been reported to be dysregulated in various cancers and involve in oncogenesis and progression. However, the expression and role of Ack1 in osteosarcoma remains unknown. In this study, we found that Ack1 were evidently upregulated in human osteosarcoma tissues and cell lines. In addition, the clinical data showed that high expression level of Ack1 is closely associated with clinical stage and positive distant metastasis, and negatively correlated with overall survival. Then, bioinformatics prediction and luciferase reporter assay indicated Ack1 as a direct target of miR-24, and Ack1 could be downregulated by miR-24 at both the mRNA and protein expression levels. Moreover, Ack1 expression levels were inversely correlated with that of miR-24 in osteosarcoma tissues. Furthermore, functional assay showed that miR-24 significantly suppressed osteosarcoma progression partially mediated by inhibiting Ack1 expression. Finally, western bolt assay revealed that miR-24 regulate AKT/MMPs pathway via Ack1 in osteosarcoma cells. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the suppression of miR-24 on osteosarcoma metastasis by targeting Ack1 via AKT/MMPs pathways, providing a novel strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of osteosarcoma patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1/Akt signaling represents a major cyclooxygenase-2-independent target for celecoxib in prostate cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulp, Samuel K; Yang, Ya-Ting; Hung, Chin-Chun; Chen, Kuen-Feng; Lai, Ju-Ping; Tseng, Ping-Hui; Fowble, Joseph W; Ward, Patrick J; Chen, Ching-Shih

    2004-02-15

    Regarding the involvement of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-independent pathways in celecoxib-mediated antineoplastic effects, the following two issues remain outstanding: identity of the non-COX-2 targets and relative contributions of COX-2-dependent versus -independent mechanisms. We use a close celecoxib analog deficient in COX-2-inhibitory activity, DMC (4-[5-(2,5-dimethylphenyl)-3(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]benzene-sulfonamide), to examine the premise that Akt signaling represents a major non-COX-2 target. Celecoxib and DMC block Akt activation in PC-3 cells through the inhibition of phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK-1) with IC(50) of 48 and 38 micro M, respectively. The consequent effect on Akt activation is more pronounced (IC(50) values of 28 and 20 micro M, respectively), which might be attributed to the concomitant dephosphorylation by protein phosphatase 2A. In serum-supplemented medium, celecoxib and DMC cause G(1) arrest, and at higher concentrations, they induce apoptosis with relative potency comparable with that in blocking Akt activation. Moreover, the effect of daily oral celecoxib and DMC at 100 and 200 mg/kg on established PC-3 xenograft tumors is assessed. Celecoxib at both doses and DMC at 100 mg/kg had marginal impacts. However, a correlation exists between the in vitro potency of DMC and its ability at 200 mg/kg to inhibit xenograft tumor growth through the inhibition of Akt activation. Analysis of the tumor samples indicates that a differential reduction in the phospho-Akt/Akt ratio was noted in celecoxib- and DMC-treated groups vis-à-vis the control group. Together, these data underscore the role of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1/Akt signaling in celecoxib-mediated in vitro antiproliferative effects in prostate cancer cells.

  19. Inhibition of HSP27 alone or in combination with pAKT inhibition as therapeutic approaches to target SPARC-induced glioma cell survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schultz Chad R

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The current treatment regimen for glioma patients is surgery, followed by radiation therapy plus temozolomide (TMZ, followed by 6 months of adjuvant TMZ. Despite this aggressive treatment regimen, the overall survival of all surgically treated GBM patients remains dismal, and additional or different therapies are required. Depending on the cancer type, SPARC has been proposed both as a therapeutic target and as a therapeutic agent. In glioma, SPARC promotes invasion via upregulation of the p38 MAPK/MAPKAPK2/HSP27 signaling pathway, and promotes tumor cell survival by upregulating pAKT. As HSP27 and AKT interact to regulate the activity of each other, we determined whether inhibition of HSP27 was better than targeting SPARC as a therapeutic approach to inhibit both SPARC-induced glioma cell invasion and survival. Results Our studies found the following. 1 SPARC increases the expression of tumor cell pro-survival and pro-death protein signaling in balance, and, as a net result, tumor cell survival remains unchanged. 2 Suppressing SPARC increases tumor cell survival, indicating it is not a good therapeutic target. 3 Suppressing HSP27 decreases tumor cell survival in all gliomas, but is more effective in SPARC-expressing tumor cells due to the removal of HSP27 inhibition of SPARC-induced pro-apoptotic signaling. 4 Suppressing total AKT1/2 paradoxically enhanced tumor cell survival, indicating that AKT1 or 2 are poor therapeutic targets. 5 However, inhibiting pAKT suppresses tumor cell survival. 6 Inhibiting both HSP27 and pAKT synergistically decreases tumor cell survival. 7 There appears to be a complex feedback system between SPARC, HSP27, and AKT. 8 This interaction is likely influenced by PTEN status. With respect to chemosensitization, we found the following. 1 SPARC enhances pro-apoptotic signaling in cells exposed to TMZ. 2 Despite this enhanced signaling, SPARC protects cells against TMZ. 3 This protection can be reduced

  20. Targeted deletion of Kif18a protects from colitis-associated colorectal (CAC) tumors in mice through impairing Akt phosphorylation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu, Houbao [State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Research Center for Experimental Medicine, Rui-Jin Hospital and Department of Medical Genetics, E-Institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM), Shanghai 200025 (China); Xu, Wangyang [Department of Clinical Laboratories, Ninth People’s Hospital, SJTUSM, Shanghai 200011 (China); Zhang, Hongxin [State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Research Center for Experimental Medicine, Rui-Jin Hospital and Department of Medical Genetics, E-Institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM), Shanghai 200025 (China); Liu, Jianbing [State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Research Center for Experimental Medicine, Rui-Jin Hospital and Department of Medical Genetics, E-Institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM), Shanghai 200025 (China); Shanghai Research Center for Model Organisms, Shanghai 201203 (China); Xu, Haimin [Department of Pathology, Rui-Jin Hospital, SJTUSM, Shanghai 200025 (China); Lu, Shunyuan; Dang, Suying [State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Research Center for Experimental Medicine, Rui-Jin Hospital and Department of Medical Genetics, E-Institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM), Shanghai 200025 (China); Kuang, Ying [Shanghai Research Center for Model Organisms, Shanghai 201203 (China); Jin, Xiaolong [Department of Pathology, Rui-Jin Hospital, SJTUSM, Shanghai 200025 (China); Wang, Zhugang, E-mail: zhugangw@shsmu.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Research Center for Experimental Medicine, Rui-Jin Hospital and Department of Medical Genetics, E-Institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM), Shanghai 200025 (China); Shanghai Research Center for Model Organisms, Shanghai 201203 (China)

    2013-08-16

    Highlights: •Kif18A is up-regulated in CAC of mouse model. •Kif18a{sup −/−} mice are protected from CAC. •Tumor cells from Kif18a{sup −/−} mice undergo more apoptosis. •Kif18A deficiency induces poor Atk phosphorylation. -- Abstract: Kinesins are a superfamily of molecular motors involved in cell division or intracellular transport. They are becoming important targets for chemotherapeutic intervention of cancer due to their crucial role in mitosis. Here, we demonstrate that the kinesin-8 Kif18a is overexpressed in murine CAC and is a crucial promoter during early CAC carcinogenesis. Kif18a-deficient mice are evidently protected from AOM–DSS-induced colon carcinogenesis. Kif18A is responsible for proliferation of colonic tumor cells, while Kif18a ablation in mice promotes cell apoptosis. Mechanistically, Kif18a is responsible for induction of Akt phosphorylation, which is known to be associated with cell survival regulation. In conclusion, Kif18a is critical for colorectal carcinogenesis in the setting of inflammation by mechanisms of increased PI3K-AKT signaling. Inhibition of Kif18A activity may be useful in the prevention or chemotherapeutic intervention of CAC.

  1. Reduced phosphorylation of brain insulin receptor substrate and Akt proteins in apolipoprotein-E4 targeted replacement mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Qi-Rui; Chan, Elizabeth S; Lim, Mei-Li; Cole, Gregory M; Wong, Boon-Seng

    2014-01-17

    Human ApoE4 accelerates memory decline in ageing and in Alzheimer's disease. Although intranasal insulin can improve cognition, this has little effect in ApoE4 subjects. To understand this ApoE genotype-dependent effect, we examined brain insulin signaling in huApoE3 and huApoE4 targeted replacement (TR) mice. At 32 weeks, lower insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) at S636/639 and Akt phosphorylation at T308 were detected in fasting huApoE4 TR mice as compared to fasting huApoE3 TR mice. These changes in fasting huApoE4 TR mice were linked to lower brain glucose content and have no effect on plasma glucose level. However, at 72 weeks of age, these early changes were accompanied by reduction in IRS2 expression, IRS1 phosphorylation at Y608, Akt phosphorylation at S473, and MAPK (p38 and p44/42) activation in the fasting huApoE4 TR mice. The lower brain glucose was significantly associated with higher brain insulin in the aged huApoE4 TR mice. These results show that ApoE4 reduces brain insulin signaling and glucose level leading to higher insulin content.

  2. Mefloquine effectively targets gastric cancer cells through phosphatase-dependent inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanwei; Chen, Sen; Xue, Rui; Zhao, Juan; Di, Maojun

    2016-02-05

    Deregulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway has been recently identified to play a crucial role in the progress of human gastric cancer. In this study, we show that mefloquine, a FDA-approved anti-malarial drug, effectively targets human gastric cancer cells. Mefloquine potently inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of a panel of human gastric cancer cell lines, with EC50 ∼ 0.5-0.7 μM. In two independent gastric cancer xenograft mouse models, mefloquine significantly inhibits growth of both tumors. The combination of mefloquine with paclitaxel enhances the activity of either drug alone in in vitro and in vivo. In addition, mefloquine potently decreased phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt, mTOR and rS6. Overexpression of constitutively active Akt significantly restored mefloquine-mediated inhibition of mTOR phosphorylation and growth, and induction of apoptosis, suggesting that mefloquine acts on gastric cancer cells via suppressing PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. We further show that mefloquine-mediated inhibition of Akt/mTOR singaling is phosphatase-dependent as pretreatment with calyculin A does-dependently reversed mefloquine-mediated inhibition of Akt/mTOR phosphorylation. Since mefloquine is already available for clinic use, these results suggest that it is a useful addition to the treatment armamentarium for gastric cancer.

  3. Mefloquine effectively targets gastric cancer cells through phosphatase-dependent inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Yanwei [Department of General Surgery, Shiyan Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei Province (China); Chen, Sen [Department of Academic Affairs, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei Province (China); Xue, Rui [Department of Anesthesiology, Renmin Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei Province (China); Zhao, Juan [Department of Oncology, Xiangyang Central Hospital, Shiyan, Hubei Province (China); Di, Maojun, E-mail: maoojun_di@163.com [Department of General Surgery, Shiyan Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei Province (China)

    2016-02-05

    Deregulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway has been recently identified to play a crucial role in the progress of human gastric cancer. In this study, we show that mefloquine, a FDA-approved anti-malarial drug, effectively targets human gastric cancer cells. Mefloquine potently inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of a panel of human gastric cancer cell lines, with EC{sub 50} ∼0.5–0.7 μM. In two independent gastric cancer xenograft mouse models, mefloquine significantly inhibits growth of both tumors. The combination of mefloquine with paclitaxel enhances the activity of either drug alone in in vitro and in vivo. In addition, mefloquine potently decreased phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt, mTOR and rS6. Overexpression of constitutively active Akt significantly restored mefloquine-mediated inhibition of mTOR phosphorylation and growth, and induction of apoptosis, suggesting that mefloquine acts on gastric cancer cells via suppressing PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. We further show that mefloquine-mediated inhibition of Akt/mTOR singaling is phosphatase-dependent as pretreatment with calyculin A does-dependently reversed mefloquine-mediated inhibition of Akt/mTOR phosphorylation. Since mefloquine is already available for clinic use, these results suggest that it is a useful addition to the treatment armamentarium for gastric cancer. - Highlights: • Mefloquine targets a panel of gastric cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo. • Combination of mefloquine and paclitaxel is synergistic. • Mefloquine acts on gastric cancer via inhibition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. • Mefloquine can be repurposed for gastric cancer treatment.

  4. miR-218 inhibits the invasion and migration of colon cancer cells by targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiangliang; Shi, Huijuan; Tang, Hongsheng; Fang, Zhiyuan; Wang, Jiping; Cui, Shuzhong

    2015-05-01

    Colon cancer is one of the most common and lethal malignancies worldwide. Despite major advances in the treatment of colon cancer, the prognosis remains very poor. Thus, novel and effective therapies for colon cancer are urgently needed. In the present study, the expression status of miR-218 and the role of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway were investigated in colon cancer samples. Firstly, we observed that miR-218 expression was significantly reduced, while PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway activity was enhanced. The overexpression of miR-218 suppressed the proliferation, migration and invasion of LoVo colon cancer cells, whereas the inhibition of miR-218 promoted these processes. Furthermore, the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway was identified as a direct target of miR-218. The upregulation of miR-218 inhibited the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway, as well as the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)9. The downregulation of miR-218 activated the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and promoted MMP9 expression. Taken together, our results demonstrate that miR-218 suppresses the proliferation, migration and invasion of LoVo colon cancer cells by targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and MMP9. Our data indicate that miR-218 is a potential target in the treatment of colon cancer.

  5. MicroRNA-124 suppresses proliferation and glycolysis in non-small cell lung cancer cells by targeting AKT-GLUT1/HKII.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xiaojian; Lu, Caiping; Chu, Weiwei; Zhang, Bing; Zhen, Qiang; Wang, Renfeng; Zhang, Yaxiao; Li, Zhe; Lv, Baolei; Li, Huixian; Liu, Jiabao

    2017-05-01

    targeting AKT1/2-glucose transporter 1/hexokinase II in non-small cell lung cancer cells.

  6. Structural Insights into Membrane Targeting by the Flagellar Calcium-binding Protein (FCaBP) a Myristoylated and Palmitoylated Calcium Sensor in Trypanosoma cruzi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J Wingard; J Ladner; M Vanarotti; A Fisher; H Robinson; K Buchanan; D Engman; J Ames

    2011-12-31

    The flagellar calcium-binding protein (FCaBP) of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi is targeted to the flagellar membrane where it regulates flagellar function and assembly. As a first step toward understanding the Ca{sup 2+}-induced conformational changes important for membrane-targeting, we report here the x-ray crystal structure of FCaBP in the Ca{sup 2+}-free state determined at 2.2{angstrom} resolution. The first 17 residues from the N terminus appear unstructured and solvent-exposed. Residues implicated in membrane targeting (Lys-19, Lys-22, and Lys-25) are flanked by an exposed N-terminal helix (residues 26-37), forming a patch of positive charge on the protein surface that may interact electrostatically with flagellar membrane targets. The four EF-hands in FCaBP each adopt a 'closed conformation' similar to that seen in Ca{sup 2+}-free calmodulin. The overall fold of FCaBP is closest to that of grancalcin and other members of the penta EF-hand superfamily. Unlike the dimeric penta EF-hand proteins, FCaBP lacks a fifth EF-hand and is monomeric. The unstructured N-terminal region of FCaBP suggests that its covalently attached myristoyl group at the N terminus may be solvent-exposed, in contrast to the highly sequestered myristoyl group seen in recoverin and GCAP1. NMR analysis demonstrates that the myristoyl group attached to FCaBP is indeed solvent-exposed in both the Ca{sup 2+}-free and Ca{sup 2+}-bound states, and myristoylation has no effect on protein structure and folding stability. We propose that exposed acyl groups at the N terminus may anchor FCaBP to the flagellar membrane and that Ca{sup 2+}-induced conformational changes may control its binding to membrane-bound protein targets..

  7. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in neotropical wild carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora: at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Lopes Rocha

    Full Text Available Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis' isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores' literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that

  8. Calcium-dependent modulation and plasma membrane targeting of the AKT2 potassium channel by the CBL4/ CIPK6 calcium sensor/protein kinase complex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Katrin Held; Jean-Baptiste Thibaud; J(o)rg Kudla; Francois Pascaud; Christian Eckert; Pawel Gajdanowicz; Kenji Hashimoto; Claire Corratgé-Faillie; Jan Niklas Offenborn; Beno(i)t Lacombe; Ingo Dreyer

    2011-01-01

    Potassium (K+) channel function is fundamental to many physiological processes. However, components and mechanisms regulating the activity of plant K+ channels remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the calcium (Ca2+)sensor CBL4 together with the interacting protein kinase CIPK6 modulates the activity and plasma membrane (PM)targeting of the K+ channel AKT2 from Arabidopsis thaliana by mediating translocation of AKT2 to the PM in plant cells and enhancing AKT2 activity in oocytes. Accordingly, akt2, cbl4 and cipk6 mutants share similar developmental and delayed flowering pheuotypes. Moreover, the isolated regulatory C-terminal domain of CIPK6 is sufficient for mediating CBL4- and Ca2+-dependent channel translocation from the endoplasmic reticulum membrane to the PM by a novel targeting pathway that is dependent on dual lipid modifications of CBL4 by myristoylation and palmitoylation. Thus, we describe a critical mechanism of ion-channel regulation where a Ca2+ sensor modulates K+ channel activity by promoting a kinase interaction-dependent but phosphorylation-independent translocation of the channel to the PM.

  9. The Emerging Role of the Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/ Akt/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Signaling Network in Cancer Stem Cell Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A. McCubrey

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The cancer stem cell theory entails the existence of a hierarchically organized, rare population of cells which are responsible for tumor initiation, self-renewal/maintenance, and mutation accumulation. The cancer stem cell proposition could explain the high frequency of cancer relapse and resistance to currently available therapies. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling pathway regulates a wide array of physiological cell functions which include differentiation, proliferation, survival, metabolism, autophagy, and motility. Dysregulated PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling has been documented in many types of neoplasias. It is now emerging that this signaling network plays a key role in cancer stem cell biology. Interestingly, cancer stem cells displayed preferential sensitivity to pathway inhibition when compared to healthy stem cells. This observation provides the proof-of-principle that functional differences in signaling pathways between neoplastic stem cells and healthy stem cells could be identified. In this review, we present the evidence which links the signals emanating from the PI3K/Akt/mTOR cascade with the functions of cancer stem cells, both in solid and hematological tumors. We then highlight how targeting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling with small molecules could improve cancer patient outcome.

  10. Inositol hexaphosphate suppresses growth and induces apoptosis in prostate carcinoma cells in culture and nude mouse xenograft: PI3K-Akt pathway as potential target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Mallikarjuna; Roy, Srirupa; Raina, Komal; Agarwal, Chapla; Agarwal, Rajesh

    2009-12-15

    Constitutive activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway transmits growth-regulatory signals that play a central role in promoting survival, proliferation, and angiogenesis in human prostate cancer cells. Here, we assessed the efficacy of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) against invasive human prostate cancer PC-3 and C4-2B cells and regulation of PI3K-Akt pathway. IP6 treatment of cells suppressed proliferation, induced apoptosis along with caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, and inhibited constitutive activation of Akt and its upstream regulators PI3K, phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 and integrin-linked kinase-1 (ILK1). Downstream of Akt, IP6 inhibited the phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3alpha/beta at Ser(21/9) and consequently reduced cyclin D1 expression. Efficacy studies employing PC-3 tumor xenograft growth in nude mice showed that 2% (w/v) IP6 feeding in drinking water inhibits tumor growth and weight by 52% to 59% (P IP6 significantly reduces the expression of molecules associated with cell survival/proliferation (ILK1, phosphorylated Akt, cyclin D1, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen) and angiogenesis (platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 or CD31, vascular endothelial growth factor, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha) together with an increase in apoptotic markers (cleaved caspase-3 and PARP). These findings suggest that, by targeting the PI3K-ILK1-Akt pathway, IP6 suppresses cell survival, proliferation, and angiogenesis but induces death in prostate cancer cells, which might have translational potential in preventing and controlling the growth of advanced and aggressive prostate cancer for which conventional chemotherapy is not effective.

  11. Targeting of cell metabolism in human acute myeloid leukemia--more than targeting of isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauge, Michelle; Bruserud, Øystein; Hatfield, Kimberley Joanne

    2016-03-01

    Targeting of cellular metabolism has emerged as a possible strategy in the treatment of human malignancies, and several experimental studies suggest that this therapeutic approach should also be considered in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Clinical studies of metabolic intervention in AML patients with isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations have shown promising results. Moreover, metabolic targeting of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway as an anticancer strategy has been extensively studied. In this review, we focus on other emerging therapeutic alternatives for metabolic inhibition in human AML, in particular targeting of glycolysis and the AMP kinase signaling pathway. Pharmacological drugs for these metabolic interventions are already available and they seem to have an acceptable toxicity, even when used in combination with conventional chemotherapy. Future clinical studies of these therapeutic strategies should focus on the following: (i) heterogeneity of patients and the possibility that this treatment is most effective only for certain subsets of patients, (ii) toxic effects in AML patients with an existing disease-induced bone marrow failure prior to treatment, and (iii) whether this strategy should be used as part of a potentially curative treatment and/or as disease-stabilizing treatment to prolong survival in elderly or unfit patients.

  12. Dual-Targeting of AR and Akt Pathways by Berberine in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    maintained by serial passaging in castrated SCID mice. The tumors were cut into 25 mm3 pieces and implanted subcutaneously into castrated SCID mice...transactivate target genes. Cancer Research 2015 Jun 9, Epub ahead of print . Abstracts: Xichun Liu, Elisa Ledet, Yanfeng Qi, Yan Don, Oliver Sartor...expressed at a much lower level than AR-FL (Fig. S5). Moreover, AR-V7 and ARv567es can 230 heterodimerize (Fig. 3D ). Mutating D-box, but not the FxxLF

  13. Programmed Death-1 Inhibition of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/AKT/Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Signaling Impairs Sarcoidosis CD4(+) T Cell Proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celada, Lindsay J; Rotsinger, Joseph E; Young, Anjuli; Shaginurova, Guzel; Shelton, Debresha; Hawkins, Charlene; Drake, Wonder P

    2017-01-01

    Patients with progressive sarcoidosis exhibit increased expression of programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor on their CD4(+) T cells. Up-regulation of this marker of T cell exhaustion is associated with a reduction in the proliferative response to T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation, a defect that is reversed by PD-1 pathway blockade. Genome-wide association studies and microarray analyses have correlated signaling downstream from the TCR with sarcoidosis disease severity, but the mechanism is not yet known. Reduced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT expression inhibits proliferation by inhibiting cell cycle progression. To test the hypothesis that PD-1 expression attenuates TCR-dependent activation of PI3K/AKT activity in progressive systemic sarcoidosis, we analyzed PI3K/AKT/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) expression at baseline and after PD-1 pathway blockade in CD4(+) T cells isolated from patients with sarcoidosis and healthy control subjects. We confirmed an increased percentage of PD-1(+) CD4(+) T cells and reduced proliferative capacity in patients with sarcoidosis compared with healthy control subjects (P sarcoidosis CD4(+) T cell proliferative capacity is secondary to altered expression of key mediators of cell cycle progression, including the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, via PD-1 up-regulation. This supports the concept that PD-1 up-regulation drives the immunologic deficits associated with sarcoidosis severity by inducing signaling aberrancies in key mediators of cell cycle progression.

  14. The Phosphoinositide 3-OH Kinase/AKT2 Pathway as a Critical Target for Farnesyltransferase Inhibitor-Induced Apoptosis

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Kun; Coppola, Domenico; Crespo, Nichole C.; Nicosia, Santo V.; Hamilton, Andrew D.; Sebti, Said M.; Cheng, Jin Q.

    2000-01-01

    Farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) represent a novel class of anticancer drugs that exhibit a remarkable ability to inhibit malignant transformation without toxicity to normal cells. However, the mechanism by which FTIs inhibit tumor growth is not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that FTI-277 inhibits phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase (PI 3-kinase)/AKT2-mediated growth factor- and adhesion-dependent survival pathways and induces apoptosis in human cancer cells that overexpress AKT2. Fu...

  15. Inositol hexaphosphate suppresses growth and induces apoptosis in HT-29 colorectal cancer cells in culture: PI3K/Akt pathway as a potential target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Guiyuan; Song, Yang; Cui, Lianhua; Wen, Zhaoxia; Lu, Xiaoqing

    2015-01-01

    Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is a polyphosphorylated carbohydrate that is present in high amounts in almost all plants and mammalian cells. IP6 induces apoptosis in multiple types of cancer cells, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, skin tumor, liver cancer and colorectal cancer. However, little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms of its anticancer effects. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the activity of IP6 against human colorectal cancer cells (HT-29) and to determine whether the IP6 regulates apoptosis in HT-29 cells by inhibiting the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. A human colorectal cancer cell line (HT-29) was used for the study. HT-29 cells were treated with 0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 μg/mL of IP6. The MTT colorimetric assay was used to observe the proliferation of HT-29 in vitro, and flow cytometry (FCM) was used to analyze the apoptosis of the HT-29 cells. The relative mRNA expression was determined by real-time PCR, and relative protein levels were analyzed by Western blot analysis. The results of MTT showed that HT-29 cells underwent inhibition of proliferation after exposure to IP6 (100-400 μg/mL) for 12 and 48 h, and this inhibition clearly relied on time and dosage. IP6 induced apoptosis in HT-29 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA and protein expression of PI3K and Akt decreased in the groups treated with IP6, and IP6 inhibited the phosphorylation of Akt (pAkt), whereas increased the expression of its downstream effector, caspase-9. Our results suggested that by targeting PI3K/Akt pathway, IP6 suppresses cell survival and proliferation, but induces death in HT-29 cells.

  16. Quercetin Inhibits Angiogenesis Mediated Human Prostate Tumor Growth by Targeting VEGFR- 2 Regulated AKT/mTOR/P70S6K Signaling Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratheeshkumar, Poyil; Budhraja, Amit; Son, Young-Ok; Wang, Xin; Zhang, Zhuo; Ding, Songze; Wang, Lei; Hitron, Andrew; Lee, Jeong-Chae; Xu, Mei; Chen, Gang; Luo, Jia; Shi, Xianglin

    2012-01-01

    Angiogenesis is a crucial step in the growth and metastasis of cancers, since it enables the growing tumor to receive oxygen and nutrients. Cancer prevention using natural products has become an integral part of cancer control. We studied the antiangiogenic activity of quercetin using ex vivo, in vivo and in vitro models. Rat aortic ring assay showed that quercetin at non-toxic concentrations significantly inhibited microvessel sprouting and exhibited a significant inhibition in the proliferation, migration, invasion and tube formation of endothelial cells, which are key events in the process of angiogenesis. Most importantly, quercetin treatment inhibited ex vivo angiogenesis as revealed by chicken egg chorioallantoic membrane assay (CAM) and matrigel plug assay. Western blot analysis showed that quercetin suppressed VEGF induced phosphorylation of VEGF receptor 2 and their downstream protein kinases AKT, mTOR, and ribosomal protein S6 kinase in HUVECs. Quercetin (20 mg/kg/d) significantly reduced the volume and the weight of solid tumors in prostate xenograft mouse model, indicating that quercetin inhibited tumorigenesis by targeting angiogenesis. Furthermore, quercetin reduced the cell viability and induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells, which were correlated with the downregulation of AKT, mTOR and P70S6K expressions. Collectively the findings in the present study suggest that quercetin inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis by targeting VEGF-R2 regulated AKT/mTOR/P70S6K signaling pathway, and could be used as a potential drug candidate for cancer therapy. PMID:23094058

  17. Quercetin inhibits angiogenesis mediated human prostate tumor growth by targeting VEGFR- 2 regulated AKT/mTOR/P70S6K signaling pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poyil Pratheeshkumar

    Full Text Available Angiogenesis is a crucial step in the growth and metastasis of cancers, since it enables the growing tumor to receive oxygen and nutrients. Cancer prevention using natural products has become an integral part of cancer control. We studied the antiangiogenic activity of quercetin using ex vivo, in vivo and in vitro models. Rat aortic ring assay showed that quercetin at non-toxic concentrations significantly inhibited microvessel sprouting and exhibited a significant inhibition in the proliferation, migration, invasion and tube formation of endothelial cells, which are key events in the process of angiogenesis. Most importantly, quercetin treatment inhibited ex vivo angiogenesis as revealed by chicken egg chorioallantoic membrane assay (CAM and matrigel plug assay. Western blot analysis showed that quercetin suppressed VEGF induced phosphorylation of VEGF receptor 2 and their downstream protein kinases AKT, mTOR, and ribosomal protein S6 kinase in HUVECs. Quercetin (20 mg/kg/d significantly reduced the volume and the weight of solid tumors in prostate xenograft mouse model, indicating that quercetin inhibited tumorigenesis by targeting angiogenesis. Furthermore, quercetin reduced the cell viability and induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells, which were correlated with the downregulation of AKT, mTOR and P70S6K expressions. Collectively the findings in the present study suggest that quercetin inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis by targeting VEGF-R2 regulated AKT/mTOR/P70S6K signaling pathway, and could be used as a potential drug candidate for cancer therapy.

  18. Reversing melanoma cross-resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibitors by co-targeting the AKT/mTOR pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Atefi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The sustained clinical activity of the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib (PLX4032/RG7204 in patients with BRAF(V600 mutant melanoma is limited primarily by the development of acquired resistance leading to tumor progression. Clinical trials are in progress using MEK inhibitors following disease progression in patients receiving BRAF inhibitors. However, the PI3K/AKT pathway can also induce resistance to the inhibitors of MAPK pathway. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The sensitivity to vemurafenib or the MEK inhibitor AZD6244 was tested in sensitive and resistant human melanoma cell lines exploring differences in activation-associated phosphorylation levels of major signaling molecules, leading to the testing of co-inhibition of the AKT/mTOR pathway genetically and pharmacologically. There was a high degree of cross-resistance to vemurafenib and AZD6244, except in two vemurafenib-resistant cell lines that acquired a secondary mutation in NRAS. In other cell lines, acquired resistance to both drugs was associated with persistence or increase in activity of AKT pathway. siRNA-mediated gene silencing and combination therapy with an AKT inhibitor or rapamycin partially or completely reversed the resistance. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Primary and acquired resistance to vemurafenib in these in vitro models results in frequent cross resistance to MEK inhibitors, except when the resistance is the result of a secondary NRAS mutation. Resistance to BRAF or MEK inhibitors is associated with the induction or persistence of activity within the AKT pathway in the presence of these drugs. This resistance can be potentially reversed by the combination of a RAF or MEK inhibitor with an AKT or mTOR inhibitor. These combinations should be available for clinical testing in patients progressing on BRAF inhibitors.

  19. Significantly altered expression of miR-511-3p and its target AKT3 has negative prognostic value in human prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fan; Wu, Zhongjun

    2017-09-01

    In this study, we assessed the expression and functions of microRNA-511-3p (miR-511-3p) in human prostate cancer (CaP). Gene expressions of miR-511-3p in CaP cells and human CaP tumors were assessed by qPCR. In VCaP and PC3 cells, miR-511-3p was overexpressed by lentivirus. The functions of miR-511-3p upregulation in regulating in vitro cancer proliferation, migration and in vivo cancer growth were assessed by MTT, transwell and transplantation assays, respectively. Downstream target gene of miR-511-3p, AKT3, was verified by dual-luciferase activity and qPCR assays. AKT3 was then overexpressed in miR-511-3p-upregulated CaP cells to assess its functions in miR-511-3p-mediated cancer regulation. MiR-511-3p is significantly downregulated in CaP cell lines, and human CaP tumors. MiR-511-3p was further downregulated in T3/T4-staged CaP tumors and closely correlated with shorter overall survival among CaP patients. In VCaP and PC3 cells, lentiviral-induced miR-511-3p upregulation was acting as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting in vitro cancer proliferation, migration and in vivo transplantation. Human AKT3 gene was confirmed to be the downstream target of miR-511-3p in CaP. In miR-511-3p-upregulated VCaP and PC3 cells, forced-overexpression of AKT3 reversed the tumor suppressive effects of miR-511-3p in CaP. MiR-511-3p may serve as a prognostic factor and tumor suppressor in CaP, very likely through inverse regulation of its downstream target gene of AKT3. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Metabonomics applied in exploring the antitumour mechanism of physapubenolide on hepatocellular carcinoma cells by targeting glycolysis through the Akt-p53 pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ting; Fan, Bo-Yi; Zhang, Chao; Zhao, Hui-Jun; Han, Chao; Gao, Cai-Yun; Luo, Jian-Guang; Kong, Ling-Yi

    2016-01-01

    Metabolomics can be used to identify potential markers and discover new targets for future therapeutic interventions. Here, we developed a novel application of the metabonomics method based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) for rapidly exploring the anticancer mechanism of physapubenolide (PB), a cytotoxic withanolide isolated from Physalis species. PB inhibited the proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo, accompanied by apoptosis-related biochemical events, including the cleavage of caspase-3/7/9 and PARP. Metabolic profiling analysis revealed that PB disturbed the metabolic pattern and significantly decreased lactate production. This suggests that the suppression of glycolysis plays an important role in the anti-tumour effects induced by PB, which is further supported by the decreased expression of glycolysis-related genes and proteins. Furthermore, the increased level of p53 and decreased expression of p-Akt were observed, and the attenuated glycolysis and enhanced apoptosis were reversed in the presence of Akt cDNA or p53 siRNA. These results confirm that PB exhibits anti-cancer activities through the Akt-p53 pathway. Our study not only reports for the first time the anti-tumour mechanism of PB, but also suggests that PB is a promising therapeutic agent for use in cancer treatments and that metabolomic approaches provide a new strategy to effectively explore the molecular mechanisms of promising anticancer compounds. PMID:27416811

  1. Differential effects of selective inhibitors targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badura, Susanne; Tesanovic, Tamara; Pfeifer, Heike; Wystub, Sylvia; Nijmeijer, Bart A; Liebermann, Marcus; Falkenburg, J H Frederik; Ruthardt, Martin; Ottmann, Oliver G

    2013-01-01

    Aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling has been linked to oncogenesis and therapy resistance in various malignancies including leukemias. In Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) positive leukemias, activation of PI3K by dysregulated BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase (TK) contributes to the pathogenesis and development of resistance to ABL-TK inhibitors (TKI). The PI3K pathway thus is an attractive therapeutic target in BCR-ABL positive leukemias, but its role in BCR-ABL negative ALL is conjectural. Moreover, the functional contribution of individual components of the PI3K pathway in ALL has not been established. We compared the activity of the ATP-competitive pan-PI3K inhibitor NVP-BKM120, the allosteric mTORC1 inhibitor RAD001, the ATP-competitive dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors NVP-BEZ235 and NVP-BGT226 and the combined mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibitors Torin 1, PP242 and KU-0063794 using long-term cultures of ALL cells (ALL-LTC) from patients with B-precursor ALL that expressed the BCR-ABL or TEL-ABL oncoproteins or were BCR-ABL negative. Dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors profoundly inhibited growth and survival of ALL cells irrespective of their genetic subtype and their responsiveness to ABL-TKI. Combined suppression of PI3K, mTORC1 and mTORC2 displayed greater antileukemic activity than selective inhibitors of PI3K, mTORC1 or mTORC1 and mTORC2. Inhibition of the PI3K/mTOR pathway is a promising therapeutic approach in patients with ALL. Greater antileukemic activity of dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors appears to be due to the redundant function of PI3K and mTOR. Clinical trials examining dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors in patients with B-precursor ALL are warranted, and should not be restricted to particular genetic subtypes.

  2. Differential effects of selective inhibitors targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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    Susanne Badura

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling has been linked to oncogenesis and therapy resistance in various malignancies including leukemias. In Philadelphia chromosome (Ph positive leukemias, activation of PI3K by dysregulated BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase (TK contributes to the pathogenesis and development of resistance to ABL-TK inhibitors (TKI. The PI3K pathway thus is an attractive therapeutic target in BCR-ABL positive leukemias, but its role in BCR-ABL negative ALL is conjectural. Moreover, the functional contribution of individual components of the PI3K pathway in ALL has not been established. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We compared the activity of the ATP-competitive pan-PI3K inhibitor NVP-BKM120, the allosteric mTORC1 inhibitor RAD001, the ATP-competitive dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors NVP-BEZ235 and NVP-BGT226 and the combined mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibitors Torin 1, PP242 and KU-0063794 using long-term cultures of ALL cells (ALL-LTC from patients with B-precursor ALL that expressed the BCR-ABL or TEL-ABL oncoproteins or were BCR-ABL negative. RESULTS: Dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors profoundly inhibited growth and survival of ALL cells irrespective of their genetic subtype and their responsiveness to ABL-TKI. Combined suppression of PI3K, mTORC1 and mTORC2 displayed greater antileukemic activity than selective inhibitors of PI3K, mTORC1 or mTORC1 and mTORC2. CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of the PI3K/mTOR pathway is a promising therapeutic approach in patients with ALL. Greater antileukemic activity of dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors appears to be due to the redundant function of PI3K and mTOR. Clinical trials examining dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors in patients with B-precursor ALL are warranted, and should not be restricted to particular genetic subtypes.

  3. The Trypanosoma cruzi flagellum is discarded via asymmetric cell division following invasion and provides early targets for protective CD8⁺ T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, Samarchith P; Tarleton, Rick L

    2014-10-08

    During invasion of host cells by Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, the elongated, flagellated trypomastigotes remodel into oval amastigotes with no external flagellum. The underlying mechanism of this remodeling and the fate of the flagellum are obscure. We discovered that T. cruzi trypomastigotes discard their flagella via an asymmetric cellular division. The flagellar proteins liberated become among the earliest parasite proteins to enter the MHC-I processing pathway in infected cells. Indeed, paraflagellar rod protein PAR4-specific CD8(+) T cells detect infected host cells >20 hr earlier than immunodominant trans-sialidase-specific T cells. Overexpression of PAR4 in T. cruzi enhanced the subdominant PAR4-specific CD8(+) T cell response, resulting in improved control of a challenge infection. These results provide insights into previously unappreciated events in intracellular invasion by T. cruzi and highlight the importance of T cells that recognize infected host cells early in the infectious process, in the control of infections. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Anti-Breast Cancer Potential of Quercetin via the Akt/AMPK/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR Signaling Cascade.

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    Amilcar Rivera Rivera

    Full Text Available The Akt/adenosine monophosphate protein kinase (AMPK/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR pathway has emerged as a critical signaling nexus for regulating cellular metabolism, energy homeostasis, and cell growth. Thus, dysregulation of this pathway contributes to the development of metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2diabetes, and cancer. We previously reported that a combination of grape polyphenols (resveratrol, quercetin and catechin: RQC, at equimolar concentrations, reduces breast cancer (BC growth and metastasis in nude mice, and inhibits Akt and mTOR activities and activates AMPK, an endogenous inhibitor of mTOR, in metastatic BC cells. The objective of the present study was to determine the contribution of individual polyphenols to the effect of combined RQC on mTOR signaling. Metastatic BC cells were treated with RQC individually or in combination, at various concentrations, and the activities (phosphorylation of AMPK, Akt, and the mTOR downstream effectors, p70S6 kinase (p70S6K and 4E binding protein (4EBP1, were determined by Western blot. Results show that quercetin was the most effective compound for Akt/mTOR inhibition. Treatment with quercetin at 15μM had a similar effect as the RQC combination in the inhibition of BC cell proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. However, cell cycle analysis showed that the RQC treatment arrested BC cells in the G1 phase, while quercetin arrested the cell cycle in G2/M. In vivo experiments, using SCID mice with implanted tumors from metastatic BC cells, demonstrated that administration of quercetin at 15mg/kg body weight resulted in a ~70% reduction in tumor growth. In conclusion, quercetin appears to be a viable grape polyphenol for future development as an anti BC therapeutic.

  5. Anti-Breast Cancer Potential of Quercetin via the Akt/AMPK/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) Signaling Cascade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera Rivera, Amilcar; Castillo-Pichardo, Linette; Gerena, Yamil; Dharmawardhane, Suranganie

    2016-01-01

    The Akt/adenosine monophosphate protein kinase (AMPK)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway has emerged as a critical signaling nexus for regulating cellular metabolism, energy homeostasis, and cell growth. Thus, dysregulation of this pathway contributes to the development of metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2diabetes, and cancer. We previously reported that a combination of grape polyphenols (resveratrol, quercetin and catechin: RQC), at equimolar concentrations, reduces breast cancer (BC) growth and metastasis in nude mice, and inhibits Akt and mTOR activities and activates AMPK, an endogenous inhibitor of mTOR, in metastatic BC cells. The objective of the present study was to determine the contribution of individual polyphenols to the effect of combined RQC on mTOR signaling. Metastatic BC cells were treated with RQC individually or in combination, at various concentrations, and the activities (phosphorylation) of AMPK, Akt, and the mTOR downstream effectors, p70S6 kinase (p70S6K) and 4E binding protein (4EBP1), were determined by Western blot. Results show that quercetin was the most effective compound for Akt/mTOR inhibition. Treatment with quercetin at 15μM had a similar effect as the RQC combination in the inhibition of BC cell proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. However, cell cycle analysis showed that the RQC treatment arrested BC cells in the G1 phase, while quercetin arrested the cell cycle in G2/M. In vivo experiments, using SCID mice with implanted tumors from metastatic BC cells, demonstrated that administration of quercetin at 15mg/kg body weight resulted in a ~70% reduction in tumor growth. In conclusion, quercetin appears to be a viable grape polyphenol for future development as an anti BC therapeutic.

  6. Tumor suppressor PRSS8 targets Sphk1/S1P/Stat3/Akt signaling in colorectal cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Li, Zexin; Yang, Yiqiong; Chen, Zhiguo; Wang, Jianguo; Zhao, Weixing; Zhang, Huijuan; Chen, Jiwang; Dong, Huali; Shen, Kui; Diamond, Alan M.; Yang, Wancai

    2016-01-01

    PRSS8 is a membrane-anchored serine protease prostasin and has been shown an association with carcinogenesis. Herein we found that PRSS8 expression was significantly reduced in colorectal adenomas and adenocarcinomas. The decreased PRSS8 was well correlated with clinical stages, poor differentiation and shorter survival time of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, increase of PRSS8 led to the inhibition of colorectal cancer cell proliferation, knockdown of PRSS8 accelerated cell proliferation in vitro, and overexpressing PRSS8 retarded cancer cell growth in nude mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that PRSS8 inhibited Sphk1/S1P/Stat3/Akt signaling pathway, in terms of inverse association between PRSS8 and Sphk1 in human colorectal cancers and in Sphk1-/− mice. In conclusion, PRSS8 acts as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting Sphk1/S1P/Stat3/Akt signaling pathway, and could be used as a biomarker to monitor colorectal carcinogenesis and predict outcomes. PMID:27050145

  7. Detection of Trypanosoma cruzi by Polymerase Chain Reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Márquez, María Elizabeth; Concepción, Juan Luis; González-Marcano, Eglys; Mondolfi, Alberto Paniz

    2016-01-01

    American Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) is an infectious disease caused by the hemoflagellate parasite Trypanosoma cruzi which is transmitted by reduviid bugs. T. cruzi infection occurs in a broad spectrum of reservoir animals throughout North, Central, and South America and usually evolves into an asymptomatic chronic clinical stage of the disease in which diagnosis is often challenging. This chapter describes the application of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA including protocols for sample preparation, DNA extraction, and target amplification methods.

  8. Targeting of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway to inhibit T cell activation and prevent graft-versus-host disease development

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    Mª Carmen Herrero-Sánchez

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD remains the major obstacle to successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, despite of the immunosuppressive regimens administered to control T cell alloreactivity. PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is crucial in T cell activation and function and, therefore, represents an attractive therapeutic target to prevent GvHD development. Recently, numerous PI3K inhibitors have been developed for cancer therapy. However, few studies have explored their immunosuppressive effect. Methods The effects of a selective PI3K inhibitor (BKM120 and a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor (BEZ235 on human T cell proliferation, expression of activation-related molecules, and phosphorylation of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway proteins were analyzed. Besides, the ability of BEZ235 to prevent GvHD development in mice was evaluated. Results Simultaneous inhibition of PI3K and mTOR was efficient at lower concentrations than PI3K specific targeting. Importantly, BEZ235 prevented naïve T cell activation and induced tolerance of alloreactive T cells, while maintaining an adequate response against cytomegalovirus, more efficiently than BKM120. Finally, BEZ235 treatment significantly improved the survival and decreased the GvHD development in mice. Conclusions These results support the use of PI3K inhibitors to control T cell responses and show the potential utility of the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 in GvHD prophylaxis.

  9. MicroRNA-130b targets PTEN to mediate drug resistance and proliferation of breast cancer cells via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Yuan; Zheng, Wei; Li, Nana; Su, Zhen; Zhao, Lifen; Zhou, Huimin; Jia, Li

    2017-01-01

    Multidrug resistance (MDR) correlates with treatment failure and poor prognosis among breast cancer patients. This study was aimed to investigate the possible mechanism by which microRNA-130b-3p (miR-130b) mediates the chemoresistance and proliferation of breast cancer. MiR-130b was found to be up-regulated in tumor tissues versus adjacent tissues of breast cancer, as well as in adriamycin (ADR) resistant breast cancer cell line (MCF-7/ADR) versus its parental line (MCF-7) and the non-malignant breast epithelial cell line (MCF-10A), demonstrating its crucial relevance for breast cancer biology. We identified that PTEN was a direct target of miR-130b and inversely correlated with miR-130b expression in breast cancer. Moreover, over-expression of miR-130b promoted drug resistance, proliferation and decreased apoptosis of MCF-7 cells, while suppression of miR-130b enhanced drug cytotoxicity and apoptosis, as well as reduced proliferation of MCF-7/ADR cells in vitro and in vivo. Particularly, miR-130b mediated the activity of phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway as well as the chemoresistance and proliferation of breast cancer cell lines, which was partially blocked following knockdown of PTEN. Altogether, miR-130b targets PTEN to induce MDR, proliferation, and apoptosis via PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. This provides a novel promising candidate for breast cancer therapy. PMID:28165066

  10. MiR-34a targets GAS1 to promote cell proliferation and inhibit apoptosis in papillary thyroid carcinoma via PI3K/Akt/Bad pathway

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    Ma, Yanfei; Qin, Huadong [Department of Fourth Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 148 Xuefu Road, Nangang District, Harbin 150086 (China); Cui, Yunfu, E-mail: yfma77@126.com [Department of First Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 148 Xuefu Road, Nangang District, Harbin 150086 (China)

    2013-11-29

    Highlights: •MiR-34a is up- and GAS1 is down-regulated in papillary thyroid carcinoma. •GAS1 is a direct target for miR-34a. •MiR-34a promotes PTC cells proliferation and inhibits apoptosis through PI3K/Akt/Bad pathway. -- Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are fundamental regulators of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, and are implicated in tumorigenesis of many cancers. MiR-34a is best known as a tumor suppressor through repression of growth factors and oncogenes. Growth arrest specific1 (GAS1) protein is a tumor suppressor that inhibits cancer cell proliferation and induces apoptosis through inhibition of RET receptor tyrosine kinase. Both miR-34a and GAS1 are frequently down-regulated in various tumors. However, it has been reported that while GAS1 is down-regulated in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), miR-34a is up-regulated in this specific type of cancer, although their potential roles in PTC tumorigenesis have not been examined to date. A computational search revealed that miR-34a putatively binds to the 3′-UTR of GAS1 gene. In the present study, we confirmed previous findings that miR-34a is up-regulated and GAS1 down-regulated in PTC tissues. Further studies indicated that GAS1 is directly targeted by miR-34a. Overexpression of miR-34a promoted PTC cell proliferation and colony formation and inhibited apoptosis, whereas knockdown of miR-34a showed the opposite effects. Silencing of GAS1 had similar growth-promoting effects as overexpression of miR-34a. Furthermore, miR-34a overexpression led to activation of PI3K/Akt/Bad signaling pathway in PTC cells, and depletion of Akt reversed the pro-growth, anti-apoptotic effects of miR-34a. Taken together, our results demonstrate that miR-34a regulates GAS1 expression to promote proliferation and suppress apoptosis in PTC cells via PI3K/Akt/Bad pathway. MiR-34a functions as an oncogene in PTC.

  11. Antagonism of miR-21 reverses epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cell phenotype through AKT/ERK1/2 inactivation by targeting PTEN.

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    Mingli Han

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence suggested that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT and cancer stem cell (CSC characteristics, both of which contribute to tumor invasion and metastasis, are interrelated with miR-21. MiR-21 is one of the important microRNAs associated with tumor progression and metastasis, but the molecular mechanisms underlying EMT and CSC phenotype during miR-21 contributes to migration and invasion of breast cancer cells remain to be elucidated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, MDA-MB-231/anti-miR-21 cells were established by transfected hsa-miR-21 antagomir into breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. EMT was evaluated by the changes of mesenchymal cell markers (N-cadherin, Vimentin, and alpha-SMA, epithelial cell marker (E-cadherin, as well as capacities of cell migration and invasion; CSC phenotype was measured using the changes of CSC surface markers (ALDH1 and CD44, and the capacity of sphereforming (mammospheres. We found that antagonism of miR-21 reversed EMT and CSC phenotype, accompanied with PTEN up-regulation and AKT/ERK1/2 inactivation. Interestingly, down-regulation of PTEN by siPTEN suppressed the effects of miR-21 antagomir on EMT and CSC phenotype, confirming that PTEN is a target of miR-21 in reversing EMT and CSC phenotype. The inhibitors of PI3K-AKT and ERK1/2 pathways, LY294002 and U0126, both significantly suppressed EMT and CSC phenotype, indicating that AKT and ERK1/2 pathways are required for miR-21 mediating EMT and CSC phenotype. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In conclusion, our results demonstrated that antagonism of miR-21 reverses EMT and CSC phenotype through targeting PTEN, via inactivation of AKT and ERK1/2 pathways, and showed a novel mechanism of which might relieve the malignant biological behaviors of breast cancer.

  12. PDK1/Akt/PDE4D axis identified as a target for asthma remedy synergistic with β2 AR agonists by a natural agent arctigenin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, R; Cui, Q; Sun, J; Duan, X; Ma, X; Wang, W; Cheng, B; Liu, Y; Hou, Y; Bai, G

    2015-12-01

    Asthma is a heterogenetic disorder characterized by chronic inflammation with variable airflow obstruction and airway hyper-responsiveness. As the most potent and popular bronchodilators, β2 adrenergic receptor (β2 AR) agonists bind to the β2 ARs that are coupled via a stimulatory G protein to adenylyl cyclase, thereby improving cAMP accumulation and resulting in airway smooth muscle relaxation. We previously demonstrated arctigenin had a synergistic function with the β2 AR agonist, but the target for this remained elusive. Chemical proteomics capturing was used to enrich and uncover the target of arctigenin in human bronchial smooth muscle cells, and reverse docking and molecular dynamic stimulation were performed to evaluate the binding of arctigenin and its target. In vitro enzyme activities and protein levels were demonstrated with special kits and Western blotting. Finally, guinea pig tracheal muscle segregation and ex vivo function were analysed. Arctigenin bound to PDK1 with an ideal binding free energy -25.45 kcal/mol and inhibited PDK1 kinase activity without changing its protein level. Additionally, arctigenin reduced PKB/Akt-induced phosphorylation of PDE4D, which was first identified in this study. Attenuation of PDE4D resulted in cAMP accumulation in human bronchial smooth muscle. The inhibition of PDK1 showed a synergistic function with β2 AR agonists and relaxed the constriction of segregated guinea pig tracheal muscle. The PDK1/Akt/PDE4D axis serves as a novel asthma target, which may benefit airflow obstruction. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Disulfiram targets cancer stem-like properties and the HER2/Akt signaling pathway in HER2-positive breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ji Young; Cho, Youngkwan; Oh, Eunhye; Lee, Nahyun; An, Hyunsook; Sung, Daeil; Cho, Tae-Min; Seo, Jae Hong

    2016-08-28

    HER2-positive breast tumors are known to harbor cancer stem-like cell populations and are associated with an aggressive tumor phenotype and poor clinical outcomes. Disulfiram (DSF), an anti-alcoholism drug, is known to elicit cytotoxicity in many cancer cell types in the presence of copper (Cu). The objective of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of action responsible for the induction of apoptosis by DSF/Cu and its effect on cancer stem cell properties in HER2-positive breast cancers in vitro and in vivo. DSF/Cu treatment induced apoptosis, associated with a marked decrease in HER2, truncated p95HER2, phospho-HER2, HER3, phospho-HER3 and phospho-Akt levels, and p27 nuclear accumulation. This was accompanied by the eradication of cancer stem-like populations, concomitant with the suppression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) activity and mammosphere formation. DSF administration resulted in a significant reduction in tumor growth and an enhancement of apoptosis, as well as HER2 intracellular domain (ICD) and ALDH1A1 downregulation. Our results demonstrate that DSF/Cu induces apoptosis and eliminates cancer stem-like cells via the suppression of HER2/Akt signaling, suggesting that DSF may be potentially effective for the treatment of HER2-positive cancers.

  14. Black raspberry extracts inhibit benzo(a)pyrene diol-epoxide-induced activator protein 1 activation and VEGF transcription by targeting the phosphotidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chuanshu; Li, Jingxia; Song, Lun; Zhang, Dongyun; Tong, Qiangsong; Ding, Min; Bowman, Linda; Aziz, Robeena; Stoner, Gary D

    2006-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that freeze-dried black raspberry extract fractions inhibit benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P]-induced transformation of Syrian hamster embryo cells and benzo(a)pyrene diol-epoxide [B(a)PDE]-induced activator protein-1 (AP-1) activity in mouse epidermal Cl 41 cells. The phosphotidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K)/Akt pathway is critical for B(a)PDE-induced AP-1 activation in mouse epidermal Cl 41 cells. In the present study, we determined the potential involvement of PI-3K and its downstream kinases on the inhibition of AP-1 activation by black raspberry fractions, RO-FOO3, RO-FOO4, RO-ME, and RO-DM. In addition, we investigated the effects of these fractions on the expression of the AP-1 target genes, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Pretreatment of Cl 41 cells with fractions RO-F003 and RO-ME reduced activation of AP-1 and the expression of VEGF, but not iNOS. In contrast, fractions RO-F004 and RO-DM had no effect on AP-1 activation or the expression of either VEGF or iNOS. Consistent with inhibition of AP-1 activation, the RO-ME fraction markedly inhibited activation of PI-3K, Akt, and p70 S6 kinase (p70(S6k)). In addition, overexpression of the dominant negative PI-3K mutant delta p85 reduced the induction of VEGF by B(a)PDE. It is likely that the inhibitory effects of fractions RO-FOO3 and RO-ME on B(a)PDE-induced AP-1 activation and VEGF expression are mediated by inhibition of the PI-3K/Akt pathway. In view of the important roles of AP-1 and VEGF in tumor development, one mechanism for the chemopreventive activity of black raspberries may be inhibition of the PI-3K/Akt/AP-1/VEGF pathway.

  15. Activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt-mammalian target of Rapamycin signaling pathway in the hippocampus is essential for the acquisition of morphine-induced place preference in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yue; Zhang, X Q; Cui, Y; Xin, W J; Jing, J; Liu, X G

    2010-11-24

    Hippocampus is a critical structure for the acquisition of morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), which is a usual learning paradigm for assessing drug reward. However, the precise mechanisms remain largely unknown. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and its downstream targets, including Akt, mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) and 70-kDa ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6K), are critical molecules implicated in learning and memory. Here, we tested the role of PI3K/Akt-mTOR-p70S6K signaling pathway in morphine-induced CPP in the hippocampus. Our results showed that the acquisition of morphine CPP increased phosphorylation of Akt in the hippocampal CA3, but not in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the ventral tegmental area (VTA) or the CA1. Moreover, the phosphorylated Akt exclusively expressed in the CA3 neurons. Likewise, levels of phosphorylated mTOR and p70S6K were significantly enhanced in the CA3 following morphine CPP. The alterations of these phosphorylated proteins are positively correlated with the acquisition of morphine CPP. More importantly, microinjection of PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) or mTOR inhibitor (Rapamycin) into the CA3 prevented the acquisition of CPP and inhibited the activation of PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. In addition, pre-infusion of β-FNA (β-funaltrexamine hydrochloride), a selective irreversible μ opioid receptor antagonist, into CA3 significantly prevented the acquisition of CPP and impaired Akt phosphorylation. All these results strongly implied that the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway activated by μ opioid receptor in hippocampal CA3 plays an important role in acquisition of morphine-induced CPP.

  16. MicroRNA-143-3p inhibits hyperplastic scar formation by targeting connective tissue growth factor CTGF/CCN2 via the Akt/mTOR pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Shengzhi; Kang, Bei; Zeng, Weihui; Sun, Yaowen; Yang, Fan

    2016-05-01

    Post-traumatic hypertrophic scar (HS) is a fibrotic disease with excessive extracellular matrix (ECM) production, which is a response to tissue injury by fibroblasts. Although emerging evidence has indicated that miRNA contributes to hypertrophic scarring, the role of miRNA in HS formation remains unclear. In this study, we found that miR-143-3p was markedly downregulated in HS tissues and fibroblasts (HSFs) using qRT-PCR. The expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) was upregulated both in HS tissues and HSFs, which is proposed to play a key role in ECM deposition in HS. The protein expression of collagen I (Col I), collagen III (Col III), and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) was obviously inhibited after treatment with miR-143-3p in HSFs. The CCK-8 assay showed that miR-143-3p transfection reduced the proliferation ability of HSFs, and flow cytometry showed that either early or late apoptosis of HSFs was upregulated by miR-143-3p. In addition, the activity of caspase 3 and caspase 9 was increased after miR-143-3p transfection. On the contrary, the miR-143-3p inhibitor was demonstrated to increase cell proliferation and inhibit apoptosis of HSFs. Moreover, miR-143-3p targeted the 3'-UTR of CTGF and caused a significant decrease of CTGF. Western blot demonstrated that Akt/mTOR phosphorylation and the expression of CTGF, Col I, Col III, and α-SMA were inhibited by miR-143-3p, but increased by CTGF overexpression. In conclusion, we found that miR-143-3p inhibits hypertrophic scarring by regulating the proliferation and apoptosis of human HSFs, inhibiting ECM production-associated protein expression by targeting CTGF, and restraining the Akt/mTOR pathway.

  17. MiR-128b is down-regulated in gastric cancer and negatively regulates tumour cell viability by targeting PDK1/Akt/NF-κB axis

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ling Zhang; Jun Lei; Zi-Ling Fang; Jian-Ping Xiong

    2016-03-01

    Gastric cancer (GC) is the fourth most prevalent type of cancer worldwide, which is usually caused by the interaction between environmental and genetic factors, or epigenetic aspects. Referring to the non-coding RNAs, miR-128b has been reported to be associated with many tumour cases, and exerts distinct functions in different types of cancers. However, the function of miR-128b in GC onset and progression largely remains unknown. In the present study, we found that miR-128b expression was down-regulated in tissues from 18 GC patients and 3 carcinoma cell lines. In turn, over-expression of miR-128b suppressed GC cell proliferation, invasion and promoted apoptosis. Moreover, miR-128b was predicted to bind the 3'UTR of PDK1 gene using bioinformatic target-screening tools. Accordingly, ectopic expression of miR-128b inhibited the PDK1 expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, and furthermore, the expression of gene tailed by the 3′UTR of PDK1 gene was significantly decreased in a dualluciferase reporter assay, suggesting that PDK1 was a direct target of miR-128b in GC cells. In the conditon of miR-128b over-expression, we also observed spontaneous inactivation of the Akt/NF-κB signalling, implying PDK1 was a potential regulator of this pathway. In conclusion, our study shed some novel light on miR-128b-PDK1/Akt/NF-κB axis on GC progression.

  18. MicroRNA-320 inhibits invasion and induces apoptosis by targeting CRKL and inhibiting ERK and AKT signaling in gastric cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yue; Dong, Qianze; Wang, Enhua

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNA-320 (miR-320) downregulation has been reported in several human cancers. Until now, its expression pattern and biological roles in human cancer remain unknown. This study aims to clarify its clinical expression pattern and biological function in gastric cancers. We found miR-320 level was downregulated in gastric cancer tissues. miR-320 mimic was transfected in SGC-7901 cells with low endogenous expression. miR-320 inhibitor was used in BGC-823 cells with high endogenous expression. We found that miR-320 inhibited SGC-7901 proliferation and invasion, with decreased expression of cyclin D1 and MMP9 at both mRNA and protein levels. We also found that miR-320 mimic downregulated chemoresistance and cell survival of gastric cancer cells when treated with 5-fluorouracil. miR-320 inhibitor displayed the opposite effects in BGC-823 cell line. In addition, we discovered that miR-320 mimic could inhibit AKT and ERK activity. By using luciferase reporter assay, we found that CRKL serves as the target of miR-320. miR-320 mimic downregulated CRKL expression, whereas miR-320 inhibitor upregulated CRKL expression. miR-320 suppressed CRKL-3′-untranslated region reporter intensity in SGC-7901 cells. Furthermore, CRKL depletion abrogated the effects of miR-320. In gastric cancer tissues, we observed a negative correlation between CRKL and miR-320. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that downregulation of miR-320 was closely related with malignant progression of gastric cancer. miR-320 inhibits proliferation, invasion, and chemoresistance through ERK and AKT signaling by targeting CRKL. PMID:28255248

  19. Trypanosoma cruzi: circulating antigens

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    V. Bongertz

    1981-03-01

    Full Text Available Circulating antigens were detected in sera of mice experimentally infected with a high close of Trypanosoma cruzi by reaction with sera from chronically infected mice. The immunodiffusion reaction between homologous acute and chronic sera produced four precipitation lines. By reaction with chronic mouse serum, circulating antingens were detected in sera from heavily infected hamsters, dogs, rabbits and in sera from chagasic patients. A reaction was also found in urine from acutely infected mice and dogs. Trypanosoma cruzi exoantigen was detected in trypanosome culture medium and in the supernatant of infected cell cultures. Attempts to isolate the antigens are described.Antígenos circulantes foram detectados em soros de camundongos infectados experimentalmente com elevadas doses de Trypanosoma cruzi pela reação com soros obtidos de camundongos em fase crônica de infecção. A reação de imunodifusão entre soros homólogos agudo e crônico produziu quatro linhas de precipitação. Por reação com soro crônico de camundongo antígenos circulantes foram detectados em soros de crícetos, cães e coelhos infectados com doses elevadas de Trypanosoma cruzi e em soros de pacientes chagásicos. Uma reação foi também observada com urina de camundongos e cães infectados de forma aguda. Exoantígeno de Trypanosoma cruzi foi detectado em meio de cultura de tripanosomas e em sobrenadantes de culturas de células infectadas. Tentativas de isolamento dos antigenos são descritas.

  20. miR-2861 acts as a tumor suppressor via targeting EGFR/AKT2/CCND1 pathway in cervical cancer induced by human papillomavirus virus 16 E6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Junfen; Wan, Xiaoyun; Chen, Xiaojing; Fang, Yifeng; Cheng, Xiaodong; Xie, Xing; Lu, Weiguo

    2016-07-01

    Persistent infection with oncogenic human papillomavirus viruses (HPVs) is a casual factor for cervical cancer and its precursors, and the abnormal constitutive expression of viral oncoprotein E6 is a key event during the malignant transformation. Here, we performed miRNA microarray to identify changes of miRNAs following ectopic HPV16 E6 overexpression in HEK293T cells and found miR-2861 was greatly decreased in both HEK293T and HaCaT cells expressing HPV16 E6 compared to vector control. Further, we demonstrated a biological link among HPV16 E6, miR-2861, EGFR, AKT2, and CCND1 in cervical cancer cells. We showed that miR-2861 was downregulated in cervical cancer tissues and negatively correlated with advanced tumor stage and lymph node metastasis. Overexpression of miR-2861 suppressed cervical cancer cell proliferation and invasion and enhanced apoptosis. Subsequent investigation revealed that EGFR, AKT2, and CCND1 were all the direct targets of miR-2861. Importantly, silencing EGFR, AKT2, and/or CCND1 recapitulated the cellular effects seen upon miR-2861 overexpression. Restoration of EGFR, AKT2, and/or CCND1 counteracted the effects of miR-2861 expression. Thus, we identified a new pathway employing miR-2861, EGFR, AKT2, and CCND1 that may mediate HPV16 E6 induced initiation and progression of cervical cancer.

  1. Sensitive and specific detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA in clinical specimens using a multi-target real-time PCR approach.

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    Yvonne Qvarnstrom

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The laboratory diagnosis of Chagas disease is challenging because the usefulness of different diagnostic tests will depend on the stage of the disease. Serology is the preferred method for patients in the chronic phase, whereas PCR can be successfully used to diagnose acute and congenital cases. Here we present data using a combination of three TaqMan PCR assays to detect T. cruzi DNA in clinical specimens. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Included in the analysis were DNA extracted from 320 EDTA blood specimens, 18 heart tissue specimens, 6 umbilical cord blood specimens, 2 skin tissue specimens and 3 CSF specimens. For the blood specimens both whole blood and buffy coat fraction were analyzed. The specimens were from patients living in the USA, with suspected exposure to T. cruzi through organ transplantation, contact with triatomine bugs or laboratory accidents, and from immunosuppressed patients with suspected Chagas disease reactivation. Real-time PCR was successfully used to diagnose acute and Chagas disease reactivation in 20 patients, including one case of organ-transmitted infection and one congenital case. Analysis of buffy coat fractions of EDTA blood led to faster diagnosis in six of these patients compared to whole blood analysis. The three real-time PCR assays produced identical results for 94% of the specimens. The major reason for discrepant results was variable sensitivity among the assays, but two of the real-time PCR assays also produced four false positive results. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data strongly indicate that at least two PCR assays with different performances should be combined to increase the accuracy. This evaluation also highlights the benefit of extracting DNA from the blood specimen's buffy coat to increase the sensitivity of PCR analysis.

  2. Pentamidine exerts in vitro and in vivo anti Trypanosoma cruzi activity and inhibits the polyamine transport in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, María V; Miranda, Mariana R; Campos-Estrada, Carolina; Reigada, Chantal; Maya, Juan D; Pereira, Claudio A; López-Muñoz, Rodrigo

    2014-06-01

    Pentamidine is an antiprotozoal and fungicide drug used in the treatment of leishmaniasis and African trypanosomiasis. Despite its extensive use as antiparasitic drug, little evidence exists about the effect of pentamidine in Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease. Recent studies have shown that pentamidine blocks a polyamine transporter present in Leishmania major; consequently, its might also block these transporters in T. cruzi. Considering that T. cruzi lacks the ability to synthesize putrescine de novo, the inhibition of polyamine transport can bring a new therapeutic target against the parasite. In this work, we show that pentamidine decreases, not only the viability of T. cruzi trypomastigotes, but also the parasite burden of infected cells. In T. cruzi-infected mice pentamidine decreases the inflammation and parasite burden in hearts from infected mice. The treatment also decreases parasitemia, resulting in an increased survival rate. In addition, pentamidine strongly inhibits the putrescine and spermidine transport in T. cruzi epimastigotes and amastigotes. Thus, this study points to reevaluate the utility of pentamidine and introduce evidence of a potential new action mechanism. In the quest of new therapeutic strategies against Chagas disease, the extensive use of pentamidine in human has led to a well-known clinical profile, which could be an advantage over newly synthesized molecules that require more comprehensive trials prior to their clinical use.

  3. Role of the Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase-Akt-Mammalian Target of the Rapamycin Signaling Pathway in Long-Term Potentiation and Trace Fear Conditioning Memory in Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Li; Wang, Jing; Li, Bao-Ming

    2008-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and its downstream targets, including Akt (also known as protein kinase B, PKB), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), the 70-kDa ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6k), and the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), may play important roles in long-term synaptic plasticity and memory in many…

  4. Comprehensive glycoprofiling of the epimastigote and trypomastigote stages of Trypanosoma cruzi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alves, Maria Julia Manso; Kawahara, Rebeca; Viner, Rosa

    2017-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan that causes Chagas disease, has a complex life cycle involving insect and mammalian hosts and distinct developmental stages. During T. cruzi developmental stages, glycoproteins play important role in the host-parasite interaction, such as cellular recognition, host...... the significant T. cruzi stage-specific expression of glycoproteins that can help to better understand the T. cruzi phenotype and response caused by the interaction with different hosts during its complex life cycle. BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Chagas disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi is a neglected...... disease which affects millions of people especially in Latin America. The absence of efficient drugs and vaccines against Chagas disease stimulates the search for novel targets. Glycoproteins are very attractive therapeutic candidate targets since they mediate key processes in the host...

  5. Fucoidan inhibits the migration and proliferation of HT-29 human colon cancer cells via the phosphoinositide-3 kinase/Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yong-Seok; Lee, Jun Hee; Lee, Sang Hun

    2015-09-01

    Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide, has a variety of biological activities, including anti-cancer, anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the underlying mechanisms of fucoidan as an anti‑cancer agent remain to be elucidated. The present study examined the anti‑cancer effect of fucoidan on HT‑29 human colon cancer cells. The cell growth of HT29 cells was significantly decreased following treatment with fucoidan (200 µg/ml). In addition, fucoidan inhibited the migration of HT‑29 cells by decreasing the expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase‑2 in a dose‑dependent manner (0‑200 µg/ml). The underlying mechanism of these inhibitory effects included the downregulation of phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) by treatment with fucoidan. Furthermore, fucoidan increased the expression of cleaved caspase‑3 and decreased cancer sphere formation. The present study suggested that fucoidan exerts an anti‑cancer effect on HT‑29 human colon cancer cells by downregulating the PI3K‑Akt‑mTOR signaling pathway. Therefore, fucoidan may be a potential therapeutic reagent against the growth of human colon cancer cells.

  6. Multi-drug loaded micelles delivering chemotherapy and targeted therapies directed against HSP90 and the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in prostate cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Bao; Powers, Ginny L.; Tam, Yu Tong; Schumacher, Nicholas; Malinowski, Rita L.; Steinke, Laura; Kwon, Glen; Marker, Paul C.

    2017-01-01

    Background Advanced prostate cancers that are resistant to all current therapies create a need for new therapeutic strategies. One recent innovative approach to cancer therapy is the simultaneous use of multiple FDA-approved drugs to target multiple pathways. A challenge for this approach is caused by the different solubility requirements of each individual drug, resulting in the need for a drug vehicle that is non-toxic and capable of carrying multiple water-insoluble antitumor drugs. Micelles have recently been shown to be new candidate drug solubilizers for anti cancer therapy. Methods This study set out to examine the potential use of multi-drug loaded micelles for prostate cancer treatment in preclinical models including cell line and mouse models for prostate cancers with Pten deletions. Specifically antimitotic agent docetaxel, mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, and HSP90 inhibitor 17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin were incorporated into the micelle system (DR17) and tested for antitumor efficacy. Results In vitro growth inhibition of prostate cancer cells was greater when all three drugs were used in combination compared to each individual drug, and packaging the drugs into micelles enhanced the cytotoxic effects. At the molecular level DR17 targeted simultaneously several molecular signaling axes important in prostate cancer including androgen receptor, mTOR, and PI3K/AKT. In a mouse genetic model of prostate cancer, DR17 treatment decreased prostate weight, which was achieved by both increasing caspase-dependent cell death and decreasing cell proliferation. Similar effects were also observed when DR17 was administered to nude mice bearing prostate cancer cells xenografts. Conclusion These results suggest that combining these three cancer drugs in multi-drug loaded micelles may be a promising strategy for prostate cancer therapy. PMID:28350865

  7. MicroRNA-21 Regulates PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling by Targeting TGFβI during Skeletal Muscle Development in Pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Lijing; Liang, Ruyi; Yang, Yalan; Hou, Xinhua; Wang, Zishuai; Zhu, Shiyun; Wang, Chuduan; Tang, Zhonglin; Li, Kui

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs), which are short (22-24 base pairs), non-coding RNAs, play critical roles in myogenesis. Using Solexa deep sequencing, we detected the expression levels of 229 and 209 miRNAs in swine skeletal muscle at 90 days post-coitus (E90) and 100 days postnatal (D100), respectively. A total of 138 miRNAs were up-regulated on E90, and 31 were up-regulated on D100. Of these, 9 miRNAs were selected for the validation of the small RNA libraries by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR). We found that miRNA-21 was down-regulated by 17-fold on D100 (P<0.001). Bioinformatics analysis suggested that the transforming growth factor beta-induced (TGFβI) gene was a potential target of miRNA-21. Both dual luciferase reporter assays and western blotting demonstrated that the TGFβI gene was regulated by miRNA-21. Co-expression analysis revealed that the mRNA expression levels of miRNA-21 and TGFβI were negatively correlated (r = -0.421, P = 0.026) in skeletal muscle during the 28 developmental stages. Our results revealed that more miRNAs are expressed in prenatal than in postnatal skeletal muscle. The miRNA-21 is a novel myogenic miRNA that is involved in skeletal muscle development and regulates PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling by targeting the TGFβI gene.

  8. MicroRNA-21 Regulates PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling by Targeting TGFβI during Skeletal Muscle Development in Pigs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijing Bai

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs, which are short (22-24 base pairs, non-coding RNAs, play critical roles in myogenesis. Using Solexa deep sequencing, we detected the expression levels of 229 and 209 miRNAs in swine skeletal muscle at 90 days post-coitus (E90 and 100 days postnatal (D100, respectively. A total of 138 miRNAs were up-regulated on E90, and 31 were up-regulated on D100. Of these, 9 miRNAs were selected for the validation of the small RNA libraries by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR. We found that miRNA-21 was down-regulated by 17-fold on D100 (P<0.001. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that the transforming growth factor beta-induced (TGFβI gene was a potential target of miRNA-21. Both dual luciferase reporter assays and western blotting demonstrated that the TGFβI gene was regulated by miRNA-21. Co-expression analysis revealed that the mRNA expression levels of miRNA-21 and TGFβI were negatively correlated (r = -0.421, P = 0.026 in skeletal muscle during the 28 developmental stages. Our results revealed that more miRNAs are expressed in prenatal than in postnatal skeletal muscle. The miRNA-21 is a novel myogenic miRNA that is involved in skeletal muscle development and regulates PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling by targeting the TGFβI gene.

  9. MiR-181a Targets PHLPP2 to Augment AKT Signaling and Regulate Proliferation and Apoptosis in Human Keloid Fibroblasts

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    Zhen Rang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Keloids are fibrous overgrowths induced by cutaneous injury. MicroRNAs (miRNAs have recently emerged as post-transcriptional gene repressors and participants in a diverse array of pathophysiological processes leading to skin disease. The purpose of the current study was to explore the precise functions of miR-181a in human keloid development and the underlying mechanisms. Methods: A miRNA microarray analysis was performed to compare expression profiles between keloid and normal skin tissues. Quantitative real-time PCR was conducted to estimate miR-181a expression. Cell proliferation was determined using the cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8 and 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine (EdU assays, and cell cycle and apoptosis were detected with flow cytometry. Direct targets of miR-181a were identified using the luciferase reporter assay. Results: miR-181a was significantly upregulated in human keloid tissues and fibroblasts, compared with their control counterparts. Overexpression of miR-181a enhanced keloid fibroblast DNA synthesis and proliferation and inhibited apoptosis, whereas miR-181a suppression triggered the opposite effects. Moreover, miR-181a suppressed the expression of PH domain leucine-rich repeat protein phosphatase 2 (PHLPP2 through direct interactions with its 3′UTR region and subsequently enhanced AKT activation. Overexpression of PHLPP2 without its 3′UTR attenuated the effects of miR-181a on cell proliferation and apoptosis in keloid fibroblast cells. Furthermore, miR-181a mimics increased normal skin fibroblast proliferation. Conclusions: Our results highlight a novel pathway mediated by miR-181a, which may be effectively used as a therapeutic target for treatment of keloids.

  10. PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway and targeting therapy of skin cancer%PI3K/Akt/mTOR信号通路与皮肤肿瘤靶向治疗

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李金超; 许爱娥

    2009-01-01

    P13K/AkdmTOR信号转导通路是促存活通路,在很多肿瘤中组成性激活.该通路激活的机制是肿瘤抑制基PTEN功能缺失、P13K扩增或突变、Akt扩增或突变.近年研究发现,该通路失常可促进肿瘤细胞的存活和生长,持续活化在皮肤肿瘤发病中起着重要的作用,已经发现抑制该通路中的信号分子可以治疗多种肿瘤,目前,针对该通路的抑制药物也在研究中,主要集中于mTOR抑制剂.%The PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is a prototypic survival pathway that is constitutively activated in various types of cancer. This pathway may be activated by function loss of tumor suppressor gene PTEN, amplification or mutation of PI3K and Akt genes. Recent studies have shown that the abnormality of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway may promote the survival and development of tumor cells, and continuous activation of this pathway is associated with the development of cutaneous tumors. It has been found that many tumors can be treated by inhibition of this pathway. Multiple inhibitors of this pathway have been developed and are being evaluated in laboratory and clinical trials, with much attention focused on mTOR inhibition.

  11. Abnormal Protein Glycosylation and Activated PI3K/Akt/mTOR Pathway: Role in Bladder Cancer Prognosis and Targeted Therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Luís; Peixoto, Andreia; Fernandes, Elisabete; Neves, Diogo; Neves, Manuel; Gaiteiro, Cristiana; Tavares, Ana; Gil da Costa, Rui M.; Cruz, Ricardo; Amaro, Teresina; Oliveira, Paula A.; Ferreira, José Alexandre; Santos, Lúcio L.

    2015-01-01

    Muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC, stage ≥T2) is generally associated with poor prognosis, constituting the second most common cause of death among genitourinary tumours. Due to high molecular heterogeneity significant variations in the natural history and disease outcome have been observed. This has also delayed the introduction of personalized therapeutics, making advanced stage bladder cancer almost an orphan disease in terms of treatment. Altered protein glycosylation translated by the expression of the sialyl-Tn antigen (STn) and its precursor Tn as well as the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway are cancer-associated events that may hold potential for patient stratification and guided therapy. Therefore, a retrospective design, 96 bladder tumours of different stages (Ta, T1-T4) was screened for STn and phosphorylated forms of Akt (pAkt), mTOR (pmTOR), S6 (pS6) and PTEN, related with the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. In our series the expression of Tn was residual and was not linked to stage or outcome, while STn was statically higher in MIBC when compared to non-muscle invasive tumours (p = 0.001) and associated decreased cancer-specific survival (log rank p = 0.024). Conversely, PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway intermediates showed an equal distribution between non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and MIBC and did not associate with cancer-specif survival (CSS) in any of these groups. However, the overexpression of pAKT, pmTOR and/or pS6 allowed discriminating STn-positive advanced stage bladder tumours facing worst CSS (p = 0.027). Furthermore, multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that overexpression of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway proteins in STn+ MIBC was independently associated with approximately 6-fold risk of death by cancer (p = 0.039). Mice bearing advanced stage chemically-induced bladder tumours mimicking the histological and molecular nature of human tumours were then administrated with mTOR-pathway inhibitor sirolimus (rapamycin

  12. Abnormal Protein Glycosylation and Activated PI3K/Akt/mTOR Pathway: Role in Bladder Cancer Prognosis and Targeted Therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Céu; Pereira, Sofia; Lima, Luís; Peixoto, Andreia; Fernandes, Elisabete; Neves, Diogo; Neves, Manuel; Gaiteiro, Cristiana; Tavares, Ana; Gil da Costa, Rui M; Cruz, Ricardo; Amaro, Teresina; Oliveira, Paula A; Ferreira, José Alexandre; Santos, Lúcio L

    2015-01-01

    Muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC, stage ≥T2) is generally associated with poor prognosis, constituting the second most common cause of death among genitourinary tumours. Due to high molecular heterogeneity significant variations in the natural history and disease outcome have been observed. This has also delayed the introduction of personalized therapeutics, making advanced stage bladder cancer almost an orphan disease in terms of treatment. Altered protein glycosylation translated by the expression of the sialyl-Tn antigen (STn) and its precursor Tn as well as the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway are cancer-associated events that may hold potential for patient stratification and guided therapy. Therefore, a retrospective design, 96 bladder tumours of different stages (Ta, T1-T4) was screened for STn and phosphorylated forms of Akt (pAkt), mTOR (pmTOR), S6 (pS6) and PTEN, related with the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. In our series the expression of Tn was residual and was not linked to stage or outcome, while STn was statically higher in MIBC when compared to non-muscle invasive tumours (p = 0.001) and associated decreased cancer-specific survival (log rank p = 0.024). Conversely, PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway intermediates showed an equal distribution between non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and MIBC and did not associate with cancer-specif survival (CSS) in any of these groups. However, the overexpression of pAKT, pmTOR and/or pS6 allowed discriminating STn-positive advanced stage bladder tumours facing worst CSS (p = 0.027). Furthermore, multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that overexpression of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway proteins in STn+ MIBC was independently associated with approximately 6-fold risk of death by cancer (p = 0.039). Mice bearing advanced stage chemically-induced bladder tumours mimicking the histological and molecular nature of human tumours were then administrated with mTOR-pathway inhibitor sirolimus (rapamycin

  13. Repertoire, genealogy and genomic organization of cruzipain and homologous genes in Trypanosoma cruzi, T. cruzi-like and other trypanosome species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Luciana; Ortiz, Paola A; da Silva, Flávia Maia; Alves, João Marcelo P; Serrano, Myrna G; Cortez, Alane P; Alfieri, Silvia C; Buck, Gregory A; Teixeira, Marta M G

    2012-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, is a complex of genetically diverse isolates highly phylogenetically related to T. cruzi-like species, Trypanosoma cruzi marinkellei and Trypanosoma dionisii, all sharing morphology of blood and culture forms and development within cells. However, they differ in hosts, vectors and pathogenicity: T. cruzi is a human pathogen infective to virtually all mammals whilst the other two species are non-pathogenic and bat restricted. Previous studies suggest that variations in expression levels and genetic diversity of cruzipain, the major isoform of cathepsin L-like (CATL) enzymes of T. cruzi, correlate with levels of cellular invasion, differentiation, virulence and pathogenicity of distinct strains. In this study, we compared 80 sequences of genes encoding cruzipain from 25 T. cruzi isolates representative of all discrete typing units (DTUs TcI-TcVI) and the new genotype Tcbat and 10 sequences of homologous genes from other species. The catalytic domain repertoires diverged according to DTUs and trypanosome species. Relatively homogeneous sequences are found within and among isolates of the same DTU except TcV and TcVI, which displayed sequences unique or identical to those of TcII and TcIII, supporting their origin from the hybridization between these two DTUs. In network genealogies, sequences from T. cruzi clustered tightly together and closer to T. c. marinkellei than to T. dionisii and largely differed from homologues of T. rangeli and T. b. brucei. Here, analysis of isolates representative of the overall biological and genetic diversity of T. cruzi and closest T. cruzi-like species evidenced DTU- and species-specific polymorphisms corroborating phylogenetic relationships inferred with other genes. Comparison of both phylogenetically close and distant trypanosomes is valuable to understand host-parasite interactions, virulence and pathogenicity. Our findings corroborate cruzipain as valuable target for drugs, vaccine

  14. Is the anti-tumor property of Trypanosoma cruzi infection mediated by its Calreticulin?

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    Galia Andrea Ramírez-Toloza

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Eight to 10 million people in 21 endemic countries are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. However, only 30% of those infected develop symptoms of Chagas’ disease, a chronic, neglected tropical disease worldwide. Similar to other pathogens, T. cruzi has evolved to resist the host immune response. Studies, performed 80 years ago in the Soviet Union, proposed that T. cruzi infects tumor cells with similar capacity to that displayed for target tissues such as cardiac, aortic or digestive. An antagonistic relationship between T. cruzi infection and cancer development was also proposed, but the molecular mechanisms involved have remained largely unknown. Probably, a variety of T. cruzi molecules is involved. This review focuses on how T. cruzi calreticulin (TcCRT, exteriorized from the endoplasmic reticulum, targets the first classical complement component C1 and negatively regulates the Classical Complement activation cascade, promoting parasite infectivity. We propose that this C1-dependent TcCRT-mediated virulence is critical to explain, at least an important part, of the parasite capacity to inhibit tumor development. We will discuss how TcCRT, by directly interacting with venous and arterial endothelial cells, inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth. Thus, these TcCRT functions not only illustrate T. cruzi interactions with the host immune defensive strategies, but also illustrate a possible co-evolutionary adaptation to privilege a prolonged interaction with its host.

  15. PPAR-γ ligands repress TGFβ-induced myofibroblast differentiation by targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway: implications for therapy of fibrosis.

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    Ajit A Kulkarni

    Full Text Available Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ induced differentiation of human lung fibroblasts to myofibroblasts is a key event in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. Although the typical TGFβ signaling pathway involves the Smad family of transcription factors, we have previously reported that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ ligands inhibit TGFβ-mediated differentiation of human lung fibroblasts to myofibroblasts via a Smad-independent pathway. TGFβ also activates the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt pathway leading to phosphorylation of Akt(S473. Here, we report that PPAR-γ ligands, 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO and 15-deoxy-(12,14-15d-prostaglandin J(2 (15d-PGJ(2, inhibit human myofibroblast differentiation of normal and idiopathic pulmonary fibrotic (IPF fibroblasts, by blocking Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 by a PPAR-γ-independent mechanism. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and a dominant-negative inactive kinase-domain mutant of Akt both inhibited TGFβ-stimulated myofibroblast differentiation, as determined by Western blotting for α-smooth muscle actin and calponin. Prostaglandin A(1 (PGA(1, a structural analogue of 15d-PGJ(2 with an electrophilic center, also reduced TGFβ-driven phosphorylation of Akt, while CAY10410, another analogue that lacks an electrophilic center, did not; implying that the activity of 15d-PGJ(2 and CDDO is dependent on their electrophilic properties. PPAR-γ ligands inhibited TGFβ-induced Akt phosphorylation via both post-translational and post-transcriptional mechanisms. This inhibition is independent of MAPK-p38 and PTEN but is dependent on TGFβ-induced phosphorylation of FAK, a kinase that acts upstream of Akt. Thus, PPAR-γ ligands inhibit TGFβ signaling by affecting two pro-survival pathways that culminate in myofibroblast differentiation. Further studies of PPAR-γ ligands and small electrophilic molecules may lead to a new generation of

  16. The Trypanosoma cruzi protease cruzain mediates immune evasion.

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    Patricia S Doyle

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas' disease. Novel chemotherapy with the drug K11777 targets the major cysteine protease cruzain and disrupts amastigote intracellular development. Nevertheless, the biological role of the protease in infection and pathogenesis remains unclear as cruzain gene knockout failed due to genetic redundancy. A role for the T. cruzi cysteine protease cruzain in immune evasion was elucidated in a comparative study of parental wild type- and cruzain-deficient parasites. Wild type T. cruzi did not activate host macrophages during early infection (<60 min and no increase in ∼P iκB was detected. The signaling factor NF-κB P65 colocalized with cruzain on the cell surface of intracellular wild type parasites, and was proteolytically cleaved. No significant IL-12 expression occurred in macrophages infected with wild type T. cruzi and treated with LPS and BFA, confirming impairment of macrophage activation pathways. In contrast, cruzain-deficient parasites induced macrophage activation, detectable iκB phosphorylation, and nuclear NF-κB P65 localization. These parasites were unable to develop intracellularly and survive within macrophages. IL 12 expression levels in macrophages infected with cruzain-deficient T. cruzi were comparable to LPS activated controls. Thus cruzain hinders macrophage activation during the early (<60 min stages of infection, by interruption of the NF-κB P65 mediated signaling pathway. These early events allow T. cruzi survival and replication, and may lead to the spread of infection in acute Chagas' disease.

  17. Inhibition of breast cancer invasion by TIS21/BTG2/Pc3-Akt1-Sp1-Nox4 pathway targeting actin nucleators, mDia genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, J-A; Jung, Y S; Kim, J Y; Kim, H M; Lim, I K

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian homolog of Drosophila diaphanous (mDia), actin nucleator, has been known to participate in the process of invasion and metastasis of cancer cells via regulating a number of actin-related biological processes. We have previously reported that tumor suppressor TIS21(/BTG2/Pc3) (TIS21) inhibits invadopodia formation by downregulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) in MDA-MB-231 cells. We herein report that TIS21(/BTG2/Pc3) downregulates diaphanous-related formin (DRF) expression via reducing NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4)-derived ROS generation by Akt1 activation and subsequently impairs invasion activity of the highly invasive breast cancer cells. Knockdown of Akt1 by RNA interference recovered the TIS21(/BTG2/Pc3)-inhibited F-actin remodeling and ROS generation by recovering Nox4 expression. Furthermore, Sp1-mediated Nox4 transcription was downregulated by TIS21(/BTG2/Pc3)-Akt1 signals, leading to the inhibition of cancer cell invasion via F-actin remodeling by mDia genes. To our best knowledge, this is the first study to show that TIS21(/BTG2/Pc3)-Akt1 inhibited Sp1-Nox4-ROS cascade, subsequently reducing invasion activity via inhibition of mDia family genes.

  18. MiR-126 regulates proliferation and invasion in the bladder cancer BLS cell line by targeting the PIK3R2-mediated PI3K/Akt signaling pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao J

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Jun Xiao,1 Huan-Yi Lin,2 Yuan-Yuan Zhu,3 Yu-Ping Zhu,1 Ling-Wu Chen2 1Department of Urology, Anhui Provincial Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 2Department of Urology, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 3Clinical Laboratory, Anhui Provincial Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, People’s Republic of China Objective: To assess whether microRNA-126 (miR-126 targets phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulatory subunit beta (PIK3R2 and to determine the potential roles of miR-126 in regulating proliferation and invasion via the PIK3R2-mediated phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K-protein kinase B (Akt signaling pathway in the human bladder BLS cell line. Materials and methods: A recombinant lentivirus (Lv vector expressing miR-216 (Lv-miR-126 was successfully constructed, and Lv-miR-126 and Lv vector were transfected into the BLS cell line. A direct regulatory relationship between miR-126 and the PIK3R2 gene was demonstrated by luciferase reporter assays. To determine whether PIK3R2 directly participates in the miR-126-induced effects in BLS cells, anti-miR-126 and a PIK3R2 small interfering RNA (siRNA were transfected into the BLS cells. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to measure miR-126 and PIK3R2 expressions. 5-Ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine and colony formation assays to assess cell proliferation, flow cytometry for cell apoptosis and cell cycle analysis, Transwell assays for cell migration and invasion, and Western blots for PIK3R2, PI3K, phosphorylated PI3K (p-PI3K, Akt, and phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt protein expressions were performed. Results: Lv-miR-126 significantly enhanced the relative expression of miR-126 in the BLS cells after infection (P<0.0001. MiR-126 overexpression inhibited the proliferation, cloning, migration, and invasion of BLS cells, promoted cell apoptosis, and induced S phase arrest (all P<0.05. PIK3R2, p-PI3K, and p-Akt protein expressions were significantly

  19. Cellular and Molecular Roles of the Akt Protein Kinase in Breast Carcinomas

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    are in progress. Identification of Akt interacting proteins We proposed to identify targets of Akt using a yeast two-hybrid screen (1). We have...studies in Task 2. Key Research Accomplishments "* Identified Akt interacting proteins using a yeast two-hybrid screen "* Provided secondary evidence...human breast cancer lines (5). Therefore, our studies in the future will also focus on the regulation of Oct3 by Akt. Identification of AKT Interacting

  20. The Complement System: A Prey of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kárita C. F. Lidani

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan parasite known to cause Chagas disease (CD, a neglected sickness that affects around 6–8 million people worldwide. Originally, CD was mainly found in Latin America but more recently, it has been spread to countries in North America, Asia, and Europe due the international migration from endemic areas. Thus, at present CD represents an important concern of global public health. Most of individuals that are infected by T. cruzi may remain in asymptomatic form all lifelong, but up to 40% of them will develop cardiomyopathy, digestive mega syndromes, or both. The interaction between the T. cruzi infective forms and host-related immune factors represents a key point for a better understanding of the physiopathology of CD. In this context, the complement, as one of the first line of host defense against infection was shown to play an important role in recognizing T. cruzi metacyclic trypomastigotes and in controlling parasite invasion. The complement consists of at least 35 or more plasma proteins and cell surface receptors/regulators, which can be activated by three pathways: classical (CP, lectin (LP, and alternative (AP. The CP and LP are mainly initiated by immune complexes or pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs, respectively, whereas AP is spontaneously activated by hydrolysis of C3. Once activated, several relevant complement functions are generated which include opsonization and phagocytosis of particles or microorganisms and cell lysis. An important step during T. cruzi infection is when intracellular trypomastigotes are release to bloodstream where they may be target by complement. Nevertheless, the parasite uses a sequence of events in order to escape from complement-mediated lysis. In fact, several T. cruzi molecules are known to interfere in the initiation of all three pathways and in the assembly of C3 convertase, a key step in the activation of complement. Moreover, T. cruzi promotes secretion

  1. Inhibitory effect of adenovirus-mediated short hairpin RNA targeting P85 and Akt1 on growth of human gastric adenocarcinoma cell%腺病毒介导的靶向P85和Akt1短发夹RNA对人胃腺癌细胞生长抑制作用的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张靖; 付彦超; 康春生; 张庆瑜; 王涛; 张洁

    2009-01-01

    目的 构建靶向P85和蛋白激酶B1(PKB1/Akt1)的短发夹RNA(shRNA)腺病毒载体,研究其对人胃腺癌细胞SGC-7901生长的抑制效果.方法 构建腺病毒载体rAd5-P+A,体外转染SGC-7901细胞后,以实时定量PCR和Western blot分别检测P85和Akt1的mRNA和蛋白质的表达.以噻唑蓝比色分析法(MTT法)和流式细胞法评价转染后胃癌细胞的增殖活性.构建裸鼠皮下荷瘤模型进一步观察rAd5-P+A对SGC-7901细胞生长的抑制效果,并应用原位末端标记技术(TUNEL法)检测肿瘤细胞的凋亡情况.结果 成功构建的rAd5-P+A重组腺病毒载体转染SGC-7901细胞后可显著抑制p85和Akt1的mRNA表达,而P85和Aktl蛋白表达量在转染48 h、72 h后分别下调57.5%、63.7%和67.8%、75.6%,与空白对照组和通用腺病毒对照(rAd5-HK)组相比,差异具有统计学意义(P=0.005,P=0.003).与空白对照组和rAd5-HK组相比,SGC-7901细胞的增殖活性在rAd5-P+A转染后第2天明显下降(P<0.001),且rAd5-P+A转染组进入S期的细胞数减少了5.9%~7.1%,而进入G0/G1期的细胞增加了12.1%~13.7%.裸鼠皮下荷瘤模型治疗实验也显示,rAd5-P+A可抑制胃癌细胞的生长,诱导细胞的凋亡.结论 腺病毒介导的靶向P85和Akt1的shRNA可抑制人胃腺癌细胞的生长,这可能为胃腺癌靶向性联合基因治疗提供新的策略.%Objective To construct a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) adenovirus vector targeting P85 and protein kinase B1 (PKB1/Akt1) and study its effects on the growth of SGC-7901 human gastric adenocareinoma cells. Methods P85 and Aktl shRNA expression frames were subcloned to pGSadeno adenovirus vector with homologous recombination technology to construct pGSadeno-P85 + Akt1 (rAd5-P + A) vector. After screening and amplification, the recombinant adenovirus vector was digested with PacI and transfected into SGC-7901 cells and then its titer and transfection efficiency were detected with fluorescent microscope. P85 and Akt1 mRNA protein

  2. Akt is negatively regulated by the MULAN E3 ligase

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Seunghee Bae; Jongdoo Kim; Hong-Duck Um; In-Chul Park; Su-Jae Lee; Seon Young Nam; Young-Woo Jin; Jae Ho Lee; Sungkwan An; Sun-Yong Kim; Jin Hyuk Jung; Yeongmin Yoon; Hwa Jun Cha; Hyunjin Lee; Karam Kim; Jongran Kim; In-Sook An

    2012-01-01

    The serine/threonine kinase Akt functions in multiple cellular processes,including cell survival and tumor development.Studies of the mechanisms that negatively regulate Akt have focused on dephosphorylation-mediated inactivation.In this study,we identified a negative regulator of Akt,MULAN,which possesses both a RING finger domain and E3 ubiquitin ligase activity.Akt was found to directly interact with MULAN and to be ubiquitinated by MULAN in vitro and in vivo.Other molecular assays demonstrated that phosphorylated Akt is a substantive target for both interaction with MULAN and ubiquitination by MULAN.The results of the functional studies suggest that the degradation of Akt by MULAN suppresses cell proliferation and viability.These data provide insight into the Akt ubiquitination signaling network.

  3. Antiprotozoal drug nitazoxanide enhances parasitemia, tissue lesions and mortality caused by Trypanosoma cruzi in murine model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valle-Reyes, Juan Salvador; Melnikov, Valery; Dobrovinskaya, Oxana; Rodriguez-Hernández, Alejandrina; Wookee-Zea, Cristina; Pimientel-Rodrigez, Víctor; Rueda-Valdovinos, Gabriela; Delgado-Enciso, Iván; López-Lemus, Uriel A; Espinoza-Gómez, Francisco

    2017-01-01

    Chagas' disease is caused by unicellular parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). It is endemic throughout Latin America, but nowadays has become a global challenge due to tourism and migration. Non-treated infection may result in health-threatening complications and lead to death. Current medications for this infection are nifurtimox (NFT) and benznidazol. Both drugs may cause side effects and are ineffective in the chronic phase. Therefore, new antichagasic compounds are urgently required. Nitazoxanide (NTZ) is a broad spectrum antiparasitic drug, proposed recently as a potential candidate to be added to the list of essential medicines for integrated neglected tropical disease control and elimination. Although the effect of NTZ against T. cruzi epimastigotes in vitro was reported, the corresponding experiments in animal models of T. cruzi infection have never been undertaken. The present work was designed to fill this gap and evaluate the effect of NTZ on experimental murine trypanosomiasis, in comparison with classical antichagasic agent NFT. Highly sensitive to T. cruzi BALB/c mice were infected using Albarrada T. cruzi strain, recently isolated in Mexico. Experimental groups were either left untreated, or otherwise treated with NFT, NTZ (100 and 1000 mg/kg), or with both drugs simultaneously. The severity of the infection was estimated based on criteria such as parasitemia, lesions in target tissues (heart, muscles and lungs) and mortality. Despite the expected protective effect, NTZ drastically aggravates the course of T. cruzi infection. Namely, parasitemia, tissue lesions and mortality caused by T. cruzi infection were significantly higher in NTZ-treated mice groups, even in comparison with untreated infected animals. NTZ by itself no produced mortality o tissue damage, and NFT showed an expected protective effect. Our results indicate that NTZ cannot be considered for Chagas' disease treatment. Moreover, NTZ should be used with caution in patients

  4. Analyses of 32 loci clarify phylogenetic relationships among Trypanosoma cruzi lineages and support a single hybridization prior to human contact.

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    Carlos A Flores-López

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The genetic diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, has been traditionally divided in two major groups, T. cruzi I and II, corresponding to discrete typing units TcI and TcII-VI under a recently proposed nomenclature. The two major groups of T. cruzi seem to differ in important biological characteristics, and are thus thought to represent a natural division relevant for epidemiological studies and development of prophylaxis. To understand the potential connection between the different manifestations of Chagas disease and variability of T. cruzi strains, it is essential to have a correct reconstruction of the evolutionary history of T. cruzi. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Nucleotide sequences from 32 unlinked loci (>26 Kilobases of aligned sequence were used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of strains representing the known genetic variability of T. cruzi. Thorough phylogenetic analyses show that the original classification of T. cruzi in two major lineages does not reflect its evolutionary history and that there is only strong evidence for one major and recent hybridization event in the history of this species. Furthermore, estimates of divergence times using Bayesian methods show that current extant lineages of T. cruzi diverged very recently, within the last 3 million years, and that the major hybridization event leading to hybrid lineages TcV and TcVI occurred less than 1 million years ago, well before the contact of T. cruzi with humans in South America. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The described phylogenetic relationships among the six major genetic subdivisions of T. cruzi should serve as guidelines for targeted epidemiological and prophylaxis studies. We suggest that it is important to reconsider conclusions from previous studies that have attempted to uncover important biological differences between the two originally defined major lineages of T. cruzi especially if those conclusions

  5. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication in human monocyte-derived macrophages by parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Guadalupe Andreani

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cells of monocyte/macrophage lineage are one of the major targets of HIV-1 infection and serve as reservoirs for viral persistence in vivo. These cells are also the target of the protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, being one of the most important endemic protozoonoses in Latin America. It has been demonstrated in vitro that co-infection with other pathogens can modulate HIV replication. However, no studies at cellular level have suggested an interaction between T. cruzi and HIV-1 to date. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By using a fully replicative wild-type virus, our study showed that T. cruzi inhibits HIV-1 antigen production by nearly 100% (p99% being stronger than HIV-T. cruzi (approximately 90% for BaL and approximately 85% for VSV-G infection. In MDM with established HIV-1 infection, T. cruzi significantly inhibited luciferate activity (p<0.01. By quantifying R-U5 and U5-gag transcripts by real time PCR, our study showed the expression of both transcripts significantly diminished in the presence of trypomastigotes (p<0.05. Thus, T. cruzi inhibits viral post-integration steps, early post-entry steps and entry into MDM. Trypomastigotes also caused a approximately 60-70% decrease of surface CCR5 expression on MDM. Multiplication of T. cruzi inside the MDM does not seem to be required for inhibiting HIV-1 replication since soluble factors secreted by trypomastigotes have shown similar effects. Moreover, the major parasite antigen cruzipain, which is secreted by the trypomastigote form, was able to inhibit viral production in MDM over 90% (p<0.01. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study showed that T. cruzi inhibits HIV-1 replication at several replication stages in macrophages, a major cell target for both pathogens.

  6. Combined PI3K/Akt and Hsp90 targeting synergistically suppresses essential functions of alloreactive T cells and increases Tregs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berges, Carsten; Bedke, Tanja; Stuehler, Claudia; Khanna, Nina; Zehnter, Sarah; Kruhm, Michaela; Winter, Nadine; Bargou, Ralf C; Topp, Max S; Einsele, Hermann; Chatterjee, Manik

    2015-12-01

    Acute graft-versus-host disease is still a major cause of transplant-related mortality after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. It requires immunosuppressive treatments that broadly abrogate T cell responses, including beneficial ones directed against tumor cells or infective pathogens. Inhibition of the heat shock protein of 90 kDa has been demonstrated to eliminate tumor cells, as well as alloreactive T cells while preserving antiviral T cell immunity. Here, we show that the suppressive effects of heat shock protein of 90 kDa inhibition on alloreactive T cells were synergistically enhanced by concomitant inhibition of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, which is also strongly activated upon allogeneic stimulation. Molecular analyses revealed that this antiproliferative effect was mainly mediated by induction of cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. In addition, we observed an increased proportion of activated regulatory T cells, which critically contribute to acute graft-versus-host disease control, upon combined heat shock protein of 90 kDa/Akt isoforms 1 and 2 or heat shock protein of 90 kDa/PI3K/p110δ isoform inhibition. Moreover, antiviral T cell immunity was functionally preserved after combined heat shock protein of 90 kDa/Akt isoforms 1 and 2 inhibition. Taken together, our data suggest that the combined heat shock protein of 90 kDa/PI3K/Akt inhibition approach represents a reasonable dual strategy to suppress residual tumor growth and efficiently deplete alloreactive T cells and thus, provide a rationale to prevent and treat acute graft-versus-host disease selectively without impairing pathogen-specific T cell immunity. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.

  7. Immune Evasion Strategies of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Flávia Nardy

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbes have evolved a diverse range of strategies to subvert the host immune system. The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, provides a good example of such adaptations. This parasite targets a broad spectrum of host tissues including both peripheral and central lymphoid tissues. Rapid colonization of the host gives rise to a systemic acute response which the parasite must overcome. The parasite in fact undermines both innate and adaptive immunity. It interferes with the antigen presenting function of dendritic cells via an action on host sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin receptors. These receptors also induce suppression of CD4+ T cells responses, and we presented evidence that the sialylation of parasite-derived mucins is required for the inhibitory effects on CD4 T cells. In this review we highlight the major mechanisms used by Trypanosoma cruzi to overcome host immunity and discuss the role of parasite colonization of the central thymic lymphoid tissue in chronic disease.

  8. Bias due to methods of parasite detection when estimating prevalence of infection of Triatoma infestans by Trypanosoma cruzi

    OpenAIRE

    Lardeux, Frédéric; Aliaga, C.; Depickère, Stéphanie

    2016-01-01

    The study aimed to quantify the bias from parasite detection methods in the estimation of the prevalence of infection of Triatoma infestans by Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease. Three common protocols that detect T. cruzi in a sample of 640 wild-caught T. infestans were compared: (1) the microscopic observation of insect fecal droplets, (2) a PCR protocol targeting mini-exon genes of T. cruzi (MeM-PCR), and (3) a PCR protocol targeting a satellite repeated unit of the parasite. A...

  9. Trypanosoma cruzi contains a single detectable uracil-DNA glycosylase and repairs uracil exclusively via short patch base excision repair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pena Diaz, Javier; Akbari, Mansour; Sundheim, Ottar;

    2004-01-01

    Enzymes involved in genomic maintenance of human parasites are attractive targets for parasite-specific drugs. The parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi contains at least two enzymes involved in the protection against potentially mutagenic uracil, a deoxyuridine triphosphate nucleotidohydrolase (...

  10. Trypanosoma cruzi maxicircle heterogeneity in Chagas disease patients from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carranza, Julio César; Valadares, Helder M S; D'Avila, Daniella A; Baptista, Rodrigo P; Moreno, Margoth; Galvão, Lúcia M C; Chiari, Egler; Sturm, Nancy R; Gontijo, Eliane D; Macedo, Andrea M; Zingales, Bianca

    2009-07-15

    The majority of individuals in the chronic phase of Chagas disease are asymptomatic (indeterminate form, IF). Each year, approximately 3% of them develop lesions in the heart or gastrointestinal tract. Cardiomyopathy (CCHD) is the most severe manifestation of Chagas disease. The factors that determine the outcome of the infection are unknown, but certainly depend on complex interactions amongst the genetic make-up of the parasite, the host immunogenetic background and environment. In a previous study we verified that the maxicircle gene NADH dehydrogenase (mitochondrial complex I) subunit 7 (ND7) from IF isolates had a 455 bp deletion compared with the wild type (WT) ND7 gene from CCHD strains. We proposed that ND7 could constitute a valuable target for PCR assays in the differential diagnosis of the infective strain. In the present study we evaluated this hypothesis by examination of ND7 structure in parasites from 75 patients with defined pathologies, from Southeast Brazil. We also analysed the structure of additional mitochondrial genes (ND4/CR4, COIII and COII) since the maxicircle is used for clustering Trypanosoma cruzi strains into three clades/haplogroups. We conclude that maxicircle genes do not discriminate parasite populations which induce IF or CCHD forms. Interestingly, the great majority of the analysed isolates belong to T. cruzi II (discrete typing unit, (DTU) IIb) genotype. This scenario is at variance with the prevalence of hybrid (DTU IId) human isolates in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The distribution of WT and deleted ND7 and ND4 genes in T. cruzi strains suggests that mutations in the two genes occurred in different ancestrals in the T. cruzi II cluster, allowing the identification of at least three mitochondrial sub-lineages within this group. The observation that T. cruzi strains accumulate mutations in several genes coding for complex I subunits favours the hypothesis that complex I may have a limited activity in this parasite.

  11. Grape proanthocyanidin inhibit pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo through induction of apoptosis and by targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Ram; Vaid, Mudit; Katiyar, Santosh K

    2012-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignancy that is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage with poor prognosis. Here, we report the chemotherapeutic effects of bioactive proanthocyanidins from grape seeds (GSPs) as assessed using In Vitro and In Vivo models. Treatment of human pancreatic cancer cells (Miapaca-2, PANC-1 and AsPC-1) with GSPs In Vitro reduced cell viability and increased G2/M phase arrest of the cell cycle leading to induction of apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The GSPs-induced apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells was associated with a decrease in the levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl and an increase in the levels of Bax and activated caspase-3. Treatment of Miapaca-2 and PANC-1 cells with GSPs also decreased the levels of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and phosphorylation of Akt at ser(473). siRNA knockdown of PI3K from pancreatic cancer cells also reduced the phosphorylation of Akt. Further, dietary administration of GSPs (0.5%, w/w) as a supplemented AIN76A control diet significantly inhibited the growth of Miapaca-2 pancreatic tumor xenografts grown subcutaneously in athymic nude mice, which was associated with: (i) inhibition of cell proliferation, (ii) induction of apoptosis of tumor cells, (iii) increased expression of Bax, reduced expression of anti-apoptotic proteins and activation of caspase-3-positive cells, and (iv) decreased expression of PI3K and p-Akt in tumor xenograft tissues. Together, these results suggest that GSPs may have a potential chemotherapeutic effect on pancreatic cancer cell growth.

  12. Grape proanthocyanidin inhibit pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo through induction of apoptosis and by targeting the PI3K/Akt pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ram Prasad

    Full Text Available Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignancy that is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage with poor prognosis. Here, we report the chemotherapeutic effects of bioactive proanthocyanidins from grape seeds (GSPs as assessed using In Vitro and In Vivo models. Treatment of human pancreatic cancer cells (Miapaca-2, PANC-1 and AsPC-1 with GSPs In Vitro reduced cell viability and increased G2/M phase arrest of the cell cycle leading to induction of apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The GSPs-induced apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells was associated with a decrease in the levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl and an increase in the levels of Bax and activated caspase-3. Treatment of Miapaca-2 and PANC-1 cells with GSPs also decreased the levels of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K and phosphorylation of Akt at ser(473. siRNA knockdown of PI3K from pancreatic cancer cells also reduced the phosphorylation of Akt. Further, dietary administration of GSPs (0.5%, w/w as a supplemented AIN76A control diet significantly inhibited the growth of Miapaca-2 pancreatic tumor xenografts grown subcutaneously in athymic nude mice, which was associated with: (i inhibition of cell proliferation, (ii induction of apoptosis of tumor cells, (iii increased expression of Bax, reduced expression of anti-apoptotic proteins and activation of caspase-3-positive cells, and (iv decreased expression of PI3K and p-Akt in tumor xenograft tissues. Together, these results suggest that GSPs may have a potential chemotherapeutic effect on pancreatic cancer cell growth.

  13. Salvianolic acid A reverses paclitaxel resistance in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells via targeting the expression of transgelin 2 and attenuating PI3 K/Akt pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Jiangxia; Chen, Siying; Zhang, Weipeng; Zheng, Xiaowei; Hu, Sasa; Pang, Chengsen; Lu, Jun; Xing, Jianfeng; Dong, Yalin

    2014-10-15

    Chemotherapy resistance represents a major problem for the treatment of patients with breast cancer and greatly restricts the use of first-line chemotherapeutics paclitaxel. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of transgelin 2 in human breast cancer paclitaxel resistance cell line (MCF-7/PTX) and the reversal mechanism of salvianolic acid A (SAA), a phenolic active compound extracted from Salvia miltiorrhiza. Western blotting and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) indicated that transgelin 2 may mediate paclitaxel resistance by activating the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3 K)/Akt signaling pathway to suppress MCF-7/PTX cells apoptosis. The reversal ability of SAA was confirmed by MTT assay and flow cytometry, with a superior 9.1-fold reversal index and enhancement of the apoptotic cytotoxicity induced by paclitaxel. In addition, SAA effectively prevented transgelin 2 and adenosine-triphosphate binding cassette transporter (ABC transporter) including P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance associated protein 1 (MRP1), and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) up-regulation and exhibited inhibitory effect on PI3 K/Akt signaling pathway in MCF-7/PTX cells. Taken together, SAA can reverse paclitaxel resistance through suppressing transgelin 2 expression by mechanisms involving attenuation of PI3 K/Akt pathway activation and ABC transporter up-regulation. These results not only provide insight into the potential application of SAA in reversing paclitaxel resistance, thus facilitating the sensitivity of breast cancer chemotherapy, but also highlight a potential role of transgelin 2 in the development of paclitaxel resistance in breast cancer.

  14. Trypanosoma cruzi: Transporte de metabolitos esenciales obtenidos del hospedador Trypanosoma cruzi: Transport of essential metabolites acquired from the host

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio A. Pereira

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available El Trypanosoma cruzi es el agente causal de la enfermedad de Chagas, endémica en Argentina y en toda América Latina. Presenta numerosas características metabólicas diferenciales respecto a sus hospedadores insectos y mamíferos. Algunas de estas diferencias fueron consecuencia de millones de años de adaptación al parasitismo en los cuales estos organismos protozoarios reemplazaron, a lo largo de su evolución, muchas rutas metabólicas de biosíntesis por sistemas de transporte de metabolitos desde el hospedador. En esta revisión se describen los avances en el conocimiento de los sistemas de transporte tanto bioquímicos como también de las moléculas involucradas en dichos procesos. Se aborda con especial énfasis los transportadores de aminoácidos y poliaminas de T. cruzi de la familia AAAP (Amino Acid/Auxin Permeases ya que parece ser exclusiva de los tripanosomátidos. Teniendo en cuenta que estas moléculas se encuentran completamente ausentes en mamíferos podrían ser consideradas como potenciales blancos contra el Trypanosoma cruzi.Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagas disease, a disease endemic not only in Argentina but also in all of Latinamerica. T. cruzi presents several metabolic characteristics which are completely absent in its insect vectors and in mammalian hosts. Some of these differences were acquired after millions of years of adaptation to parasitism, during which this protozoan replaced many biosynthetic routes for transport systems. In the present review, we describe the advances in the knowledge of T. cruzi transport processes and the molecules involved. In particular, we focus on aminoacid and polyamine transporters from the AAAP family (Amino Acid/Auxin Permeases, because they seem to be exclusive transporters from trypanosomatids. Taking into account that these permeases are completely absent in mammals, they could be considered as a potential target against Trypanosoma cruzi.

  15. c-Src activation promotes nasopharyngeal carcinoma metastasis by inducing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition via PI3K/Akt signaling pathway: a new and promising target for NPC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jinping; Xia, Weixiong; Yu, Yahui; Peng, Yongjian; Wang, Li; Wang, Gang; Ye, Yanfang; Yang, Jing; Liang, Hu; Kang, Tiebang; Lv, Xing

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant activation of cellular Src (c-Src), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, could promote cancer progression through activating its downstream signaling pathways. However, the roles of c-Src and phosphorylated-Src (p-Src) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) progression are rarely investigated. Herein, we have identified high c-Src concentrations in the serum of NPC patients with distant metastasis using high-throughput protein microarrays. Levels of c-Src in serum and p-Src in human primary NPC samples were unfavorable independent prognostic factors for cancer-specific survival, disease-free survival, and distant metastasis-free survival. Depletion or inactivation of c-Src in NPC cells using sgRNA with CRISPR/Cas9 system or PP2 decreased cell viability, colony formation, migration and invasion in vitro and metastasis in vivo. In contrast, these malignancies could be up-regulated by overexpressed c-Src in a NPC cell line with low-metastasis potential. Furthermore, p-Src was involved in promoting NPC cell metastasis by inducing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process via activating the PI3K/Akt pathway and cytoskeleton remodeling. The p-Src-induced EMT process could be retarded by PP2, which mediated by down-regulating the PI3K/Akt pathway. In conclusion, elevated levels of c-Src in serum and p-Src in primary NPC tissue correlated with poor outcomes of NPC patients. And aberrant activation of c-Src facilitated NPC cells with malignant potential, especially metastasis ability, which mediated by the PI3K/Akt pathway activation and sequentially induced the EMT process. These findings unveiled a promising approach for targeted therapy of advanced NPC. PMID:27078847

  16. Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in an Indigenous Kariña Community in Eastern Venezuela

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariolga Berrizbeitia

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in an indigenous Kariña population in eastern Venezuela. A total of 175 serum samples were collected in the community of Piñantal during February 2009. Interviews targeting socioeconomic and environmental factors associated with the T. cruzi transmission were also conducted. Samples were evaluated using trypomastigote excreted/secreted antigens (TESAs in an ELISA format. TESA-ELISA positive samples were confirmed by indirect haemagglutination (HAI (Wiener. A nonsystematic collection of vectors was also undertaken. T. cruzi seroprevalence was 7.43% according to both assays, and the mean age of infected patients was 48.61±10.40 years (range 34 to 73 years. The vector infection rate was 20.00% (2/10. T. cruzi seropositivity was associated with a history of triatomine bites, the ability to recognize the vector and poor knowledge about Chagas disease, but no associations were found with gender, house type, knowledge of how the disease is transmitted, or the presence of vectors or animals inside dwellings. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the seroprevalence of T. cruzi in an indigenous population in eastern Venezuela. All of the epidemiological variables required for the establishment of active vectorial transmission of T. cruzi were present in this community.

  17. Cloning and expression of transgenes using linear vectors in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curto, María de Los Ángeles; Lorenzi, Hernán A; Moraes Barros, Roberto R; Souza, Renata T; Levin, Mariano J; Da Silveira, José Franco; Schijman, Alejandro G

    2014-06-01

    The identification of new targets for vaccine and drug development for the treatment of Chagas' disease is dependent on deepening our understanding of the parasite genome. Vectors for genetic manipulation in Trypanosoma cruzi basically include those that remain as circular episomes and those that integrate into the parasite's genome. Artificial chromosomes are alternative vectors to overcome problematic transgene expression often occurring with conventional vectors in this parasite. We have constructed a series of vectors named pTACs (Trypanosome Artificial Chromosomes), all of them carrying telomeric and subtelomeric sequences and genes conferring resistance to different selection drugs. In addition, one pTAC harbours a modified GFP gene (pTAC-gfp), and another one carries the ornithine decarboxilase gene from Crithidia fasciculata (pTAC-odc). We have encountered artificial chromosomes generated from pTACs in transformed T. cruzi epimastigotes for every version of the designed vectors. These extragenomic elements, in approximately 6-8 copies per cell, remained as linear episomes, contained telomeres and persisted after 150 and 60 generations with or without selection drugs, respectively. The linear molecules remained stable through the different T. cruzi developmental forms. Furthermore, derived artificial chromosomes from pTAC-odc could complement the auxotrophy of T. cruzi for polyamines. Our results show that pTACs constitute useful tools for reverse functional genetics in T. cruzi that will contribute to a better understanding of T. cruzi biology.

  18. The trans-sialidase, the major Trypanosoma cruzi virulence factor: Three decades of studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freire-de-Lima, L; Fonseca, L M; Oeltmann, T; Mendonça-Previato, L; Previato, J O

    2015-11-01

    Chagas' disease is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Since the description of Chagas'disease in 1909 extensive research has identified important events in the disease in order to understand the biochemical mechanism that modulates T. cruzi-host cell interactions and the ability of the parasite to ensure its survival in the infected host. Exactly 30 years ago, we presented evidence for the first time of a trans-sialidase activity in T. cruzi (T. cruzi-TS). This enzyme transfers sialic acid from the host glycoconjugates to the terminal β-galactopyranosyl residues of mucin-like molecules on the parasite's cell surface. Thenceforth, many articles have provided convincing data showing that T. cruzi-TS is able to govern relevant mechanisms involved in the parasite's survival in the mammalian host, such as invasion, escape from the phagolysosomal vacuole, differentiation, down-modulation of host immune responses, among others. The aim of this review is to cover the history of the discovery of T. cruzi-TS, as well as some well-documented biological effects encompassed by this parasite's virulence factor, an enzyme with potential attributes to become a drug target against Chagas disease.

  19. Trypanosoma cruzi: insights into naphthoquinone effects on growth and proteinase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourguignon, Saulo C; Cavalcanti, Danielle F B; de Souza, Alessandra M T; Castro, Helena C; Rodrigues, Carlos R; Albuquerque, Magaly G; Santos, Dilvani O; da Silva, Gabriel Gomes; da Silva, Fernando C; Ferreira, Vitor F; de Pinho, Rosa T; Alves, Carlos R

    2011-01-01

    In this study we compared the effects of naphthoquinones (α-lapachone, β-lapachone, nor-β-lapachone and Epoxy-α-lap) on growth of Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes forms, and on viability of VERO cells. In addition we also experimentally analyzed the most active compounds inhibitory profile against T. cruzi serine- and cysteine-proteinases activity and theoretically evaluated them against cruzain, the major T. cruzi cysteine proteinase by using a molecular docking approach. Our results confirmed β-lapachone and Epoxy-α-lap with a high trypanocidal activity in contrast to α-lapachone and nor-β-lapachone whereas Epoxy-α-lap presented the safest toxicity profile against VERO cells. Interestingly the evaluation of the active compounds effects against T. cruzi cysteine- and serine-proteinases activities revealed different targets for these molecules. β-Lapachone is able to inhibit the cysteine-proteinase activity of T. cruzi proteic whole extract and of cruzain, similar to E-64, a classical cysteine-proteinase inhibitor. Differently, Epoxy-α-lap inhibited the T. cruzi serine-proteinase activity, similar to PMSF, a classical serine-proteinase inhibitor. In agreement to these biological profiles in the enzymatic assays, our theoretical analysis showed that E-64 and β-lapachone interact with the cruzain specific S2 pocket and active site whereas Epoxy-α-lap showed no important interactions. Overall, our results infer that β-lapachone and Epoxy-α-lap compounds may inhibit T. cruzi epimastigotes growth by affecting T. cruzi different proteinases. Thus the present data shows the potential of these compounds as prototype of protease inhibitors on drug design studies for developing new antichagasic compounds.

  20. The Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi, the Causal Agent of Chagas Disease, in Texas Rodent Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleman, Adriana; Guerra, Trina; Maikis, Troy J; Milholland, Matthew T; Castro-Arellano, Ivan; Forstner, Michael R J; Hahn, Dittmar

    2017-03-01

    Rodent species were assessed as potential hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, from five sites throughout Texas in sylvan and disturbed habitats. A total of 592 rodents were captured, resulting in a wide taxonomic representation of 11 genera and 15 species. Heart samples of 543 individuals were successfully analyzed by SybrGreen-based quantitative PCR (qPCR) targeting a 166 bp fragment of satellite DNA of T. cruzi. Eight rodents representing six species from six genera and two families were infected with T. cruzi. This is the first report of T. cruzi in the pygmy mouse (Baiomys taylori) and the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) for the USA. All infected rodents were from the southernmost site (Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area). No differences in pathogen prevalence existed between disturbed habitats (5 of 131 tested; 3.8%) and sylvan habitats (3 of 40 tested; 7.5%). Most positives (n = 6, 16% prevalence) were detected in late winter with single positives in both spring (3% prevalence) and fall (1% prevalence). Additionally, 30 Triatoma insects were collected opportunistically from sites in central Texas. Fifty percent of these insects, i.e., 13 T. gerstaeckeri (68%), and two T. lecticularia (100%) were positive for T. cruzi. Comparative sequence analyses of 18S rRNA of samples provided identical results with respect to detection of the presence or absence of T. cruzi and assigned T. cruzi from rodents collected in late winter to lineage TcI. T. cruzi from Triatoma sp. and rodents from subsequent collections in spring and fall were different, however, and could not be assigned to other lineages with certainty.

  1. Synthesis and evaluation of indazole based analog sensitive Akt inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuzumi, Tatsuya; Ducker, Gregory S; Zhang, Chao; Aizenstein, Brian; Hoffman, Randy; Shokat, Kevan M

    2010-08-01

    The kinase Akt is a key signaling node in regulating cellular growth and survival. It is implicated in cancer by mutation and its role in the downstream transmission of aberrant PI3K signaling. For these reasons, Akt has become an increasingly important target of drug development efforts and several inhibitors are now reaching clinical trials. Paradoxically it has been observed that active site kinase inhibitors of Akt lead to hyperphosphorylation of Akt itself. To investigate this phenomenon we here describe the application of a chemical genetics strategy that replaces native Akt with a mutant version containing an active site substitution that allows for the binding of an engineered inhibitor. This analog sensitive strategy allows for the selective inhibition of a single kinase. In order to create the inhibitor selective for the analog sensitive kinase, a diversity of synthetic approaches was required, finally resulting in the compound PrINZ, a 7-substituted version of the Abbott Labs Akt inhibitor A-443654.

  2. Aptamer based, non-PCR, non-serological detection of Chagas disease biomarkers in Trypanosoma cruzi infected mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rana Nagarkatti

    Full Text Available Chagas disease affects about 5 million people across the world. The etiological agent, the intracellular parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi, can be diagnosed using microscopy, serology or PCR based assays. However, each of these methods has their limitations regarding sensitivity and specificity, and thus to complement these existing diagnostic methods, alternate assays need to be developed. It is well documented that several parasite proteins called T. cruzi Excreted Secreted Antigens (TESA, are released into the blood of an infected host. These circulating parasite antigens could thus be used as highly specific biomarkers of T. cruzi infection. In this study, we have demonstrated that, using a SELEx based approach, parasite specific ligands called aptamers, can be used to detect TESA in the plasma of T. cruzi infected mice. An Enzyme Linked Aptamer (ELA assay, similar to ELISA, was developed using biotinylated aptamers to demonstrate that these RNA ligands could interact with parasite targets. Aptamer L44 (Apt-L44 showed significant and specific binding to TESA as well as T. cruzi trypomastigote extract and not to host proteins or proteins of Leishmania donovani, a related trypanosomatid parasite. Our result also demonstrated that the target of Apt-L44 is conserved in three different strains of T. cruzi. In mice infected with T. cruzi, Apt-L44 demonstrated a significantly higher level of binding compared to non-infected mice suggesting that it could detect a biomarker of T. cruzi infection. Additionally, Apt-L44 could detect these circulating biomarkers in both the acute phase, from 7 to 28 days post infection, and in the chronic phase, from 55 to 230 days post infection. Our results show that Apt-L44 could thus be used in a qualitative ELA assay to detect biomarkers of Chagas disease.

  3. Molecular basis of mammalian cell invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobuko Yoshida

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Establishment of infection by Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas' disease, depends on a series of events involving interactions of diverse parasite molecules with host components. Here we focus on the mechanisms of target cell invasion by metacyclic trypomastigotes (MT and mammalian tissue culture trypomastigotes (TCT. During MT or TCT internalization, signal transduction pathways are activated both in the parasite and the target cell, leading to Ca2+ mobilization. For cell adhesion, MT engage surface glycoproteins, such as gp82 and gp35/50, which are Ca2+ signal-inducing molecules. In T. cruzi isolates that enter host cells in gp82-mediated manner, parasite protein tyrosine kinase as well as phospholipase C are activated, and Ca2+ is released from I P3-sensitive stores, whereas in T. cruzi isolates that attach to target cells mainly through gp35/50, the signaling pathway involving adenylate cyclase appears to be stimulated, with Ca2+ release from acidocalciosomes. In addition, T. cruzi isolate-dependent inhibitory signals, mediated by MT-specific gp90, may be triggered both in the host cell and the parasite. The repertoire of TCT molecules implicated in cell invasion includes surface glycoproteins of gp85 family, with members containing binding sites for laminin and cytokeratin 18, enzymes such as cruzipain, trans-sialidase, and an oligopeptidase B that generates a Ca2+-agonist from a precursor molecule.O estabelecimento da infecção por Trypanosoma cruzi, o agente da doença de Chagas, depende de uma série de eventos envolvendo interações de diversas moléculas do parasita com componentes do hospedeiro. Focalizamos aqui os mecanismos de invasão celular por tripomastigotas metacíclicos (TM e por tripomastigotas de cultura de tecido (TCT. Durante a internalização de TM ou TCT, vias de transdução de sinal são ativadas tanto no parasita como na célula alvo, acarretando a mobilização de Ca2+. Para adesão, TM utiliza as glicoprote

  4. A genomic scale map of genetic diversity in Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ackermann Alejandro A

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas Disease, affects more than 16 million people in Latin America. The clinical outcome of the disease results from a complex interplay between environmental factors and the genetic background of both the human host and the parasite. However, knowledge of the genetic diversity of the parasite, is currently limited to a number of highly studied loci. The availability of a number of genomes from different evolutionary lineages of T. cruzi provides an unprecedented opportunity to look at the genetic diversity of the parasite at a genomic scale. Results Using a bioinformatic strategy, we have clustered T. cruzi sequence data available in the public domain and obtained multiple sequence alignments in which one or two alleles from the reference CL-Brener were included. These data covers 4 major evolutionary lineages (DTUs: TcI, TcII, TcIII, and the hybrid TcVI. Using these set of alignments we have identified 288,957 high quality single nucleotide polymorphisms and 1,480 indels. In a reduced re-sequencing study we were able to validate ~ 97% of high-quality SNPs identified in 47 loci. Analysis of how these changes affect encoded protein products showed a 0.77 ratio of synonymous to non-synonymous changes in the T. cruzi genome. We observed 113 changes that introduce or remove a stop codon, some causing significant functional changes, and a number of tri-allelic and tetra-allelic SNPs that could be exploited in strain typing assays. Based on an analysis of the observed nucleotide diversity we show that the T. cruzi genome contains a core set of genes that are under apparent purifying selection. Interestingly, orthologs of known druggable targets show statistically significant lower nucleotide diversity values. Conclusions This study provides the first look at the genetic diversity of T. cruzi at a genomic scale. The analysis covers an estimated ~ 60% of the genetic diversity present in the

  5. PIK3R1 targeting by miR-21 suppresses tumor cell migration and invasion by reducing PI3K/AKT signaling and reversing EMT, and predicts clinical outcome of breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Li-Xu; Liu, Yan-Hui; Xiang, Jian-Wen; Wu, Qi-Nian; Xu, Lei-Bo; Luo, Xin-Lan; Zhu, Xiao-Lan; Liu, Chao; Xu, Fang-Ping; Luo, Dong-Lan; Mei, Ping; Xu, Jie; Zhang, Ke-Ping; Chen, Jie

    2016-02-01

    We have previously shown that dysregulation of miR-21 functioned as an oncomiR in breast cancer. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the mechanisms by which miR-21 regulate breast tumor migration and invasion. We applied pathway analysis on genome microarray data and target-predicting algorithms for miR-21 target screening, and used luciferase reporting assay to confirm the direct target. Thereafter, we investigated the function of the target gene phosphoinositide-3-kinase, regulatory subunit 1 (α) (PIK3R1), and detected PIK3R1 coding protein (p85α) by immunohistochemistry and miR-21 by RT-qPCR on 320 archival paraffin-embedded tissues of breast cancer to evaluate the correlation of their expression with prognosis. First, we found that PIK3R1 suppressed growth, invasiveness, and metastatic properties of breast cancer cells. Next, we identified the PIK3R1 as a direct target of miR-21 and showed that it was negatively regulated by miR-21. Furthermore, we demonstrated that p85α overexpression phenocopied the suppression effects of antimiR-21 on breast cancer cell growth, migration and invasion, indicating its tumor suppressor role in breast cancer. On the contrary, PIK3R1 knockdown abrogated antimiR‑21-induced effect on breast cancer cells. Notably, antimiR-21 induction increased p85α, accompanied by decreased p-AKT level. Besides, antimiR-21/PIK3R1-induced suppression of invasiveness in breast cancer cells was mediated by reversing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). p85α downregulation was found in 25 (7.8%) of the 320 breast cancer patients, and was associated with inferior 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Taken together, we provide novel evidence that miR-21 knockdown suppresses cell growth, migration and invasion partly by inhibiting PI3K/AKT activation via direct targeting PIK3R1 and reversing EMT in breast cancer. p85α downregulation defined a specific subgroup of breast cancer with shorter 5-year DFS and OS

  6. Reduced signaling of PI3K-Akt and RAS-MAPK pathways is the key target for weight-loss-induced cancer prevention by dietary calorie restriction and/or physical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Standard, Joseph; Jiang, Yu; Yu, Miao; Su, Xiaoyu; Zhao, Zhihui; Xu, Jianteng; Chen, Jie; King, Brenee; Lu, Lizhi; Tomich, John; Baybutt, Richard; Wang, Weiqun

    2014-12-01

    Weight control through either dietary calorie restriction (DCR) or exercise has been associated with cancer prevention in animal models. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully defined. Bioinformatics using genomics, proteomics and lipidomics was employed to elucidate the molecular targets of weight control in a mouse skin cancer model. SENCAR mice were randomly assigned into four groups for 10 weeks: ad-libitum-fed sedentary control, ad-libitum-fed exercise (AE), exercise but pair-fed isocaloric amount of control (PE) and 20% DCR. Two hours after topical TPA treatment, skin epidermis was analyzed by Affymetrix for gene expression, DIGE for proteomics and lipidomics for phospholipids. Body weights were significantly reduced in both DCR and PE but not AE mice versus the control. Among 39,000 transcripts, 411, 67 and 110 genes were significantly changed in DCR, PE and AE, respectively. The expression of genes relevant to PI3K-Akt and Ras-MAPK signaling was effectively reduced by DCR and PE but not AE as measured through GenMAPP software. Proteomics analysis identified ~120 proteins, with 27 proteins significantly changed by DCR, including up-regulated apolipoprotein A-1, a key antioxidant protein that decreases Ras-MAPK activity. Of the total 338 phospholipids analyzed by lipidomics, 57 decreased by PE including 5 phophatidylinositol species that serve as PI3K substrates. Although a full impact has not been determined yet, it appears that the reduction of both Ras-MAPK and PI3K-Akt signaling pathways is a cancer preventive target that has been consistently demonstrated by three bioinformatics approaches.

  7. Transmission of Donor-Derived Trypanosoma cruzi and Subsequent Development of Chagas Disease in a Lung Transplant Recipient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. B. Corey

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Donor infection status should be considered when accepting an organ for transplant. Here we present a case of Chagas disease developing after a lung transplant where the donor was known to be Trypanosoma cruzi antibody positive. The recipient developed acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection with reactivation after treatment. Chagas disease-positive donors are likely to be encountered in the United States; donor targeted screening is needed to guide decisions regarding organ transplant and posttransplant monitoring.

  8. JVG9, a benzimidazole derivative, alters the surface and cytoskeleton of Trypanosoma cruzi bloodstream trypomastigotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Chiguer, Dylan L; Hernández-Luis, Francisco; Nogueda-Torres, Benjamín; Castillo, Rafael; Reynoso-Ducoing, Olivia; Hernández-Campos, Alicia; Ambrosio, Javier R

    2014-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi has a particular cytoskeleton that consists of a subpellicular network of microtubules and actin microfilaments. Therefore, it is an excellent target for the development of new anti-parasitic drugs. Benzimidazole 2-carbamates, a class of well-known broad-spectrum anthelmintics, have been shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of many protozoa. Therefore, to find efficient anti-trypanosomal (trypanocidal) drugs, our group has designed and synthesised several benzimidazole derivatives. One, named JVG9 (5-chloro-1H-benzimidazole-2-thiol), has been found to be effective against T. cruzi bloodstream trypomastigotes under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Here, we present the in vitro effects observed by laser scanning confocal and scanning electron microscopy on T. cruzi trypomastigotes. Changes in the surface and the distribution of the cytoskeletal proteins are consistent with the hypothesis that the trypanocidal activity of JVG9 involves the cytoskeleton as a target. PMID:25317703

  9. Human infection with Trypanosoma cruzi induces parasite antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wizel, B; Palmieri, M; Mendoza, C; Arana, B; Sidney, J; Sette, A; Tarleton, R

    1998-09-01

    Experimental models of Chagas' disease, an infection caused by the intracellular protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, have demonstrated the crucial immunoprotective role played by CD8(+) T lymphocytes. These cells dominate inflammatory foci in parasitized tissues and their elimination from mice leads to uncontrolled parasite replication and subsequent death of the infected host. A trypomastigote surface antigen, TSA-1, and two amastigote surface molecules, ASP-1 and ASP-2, were recently identified as targets of CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in T. cruzi-infected mice. Until now, however, there was no evidence for the development of parasite-specific CTL in T. cruzi-infected humans. In this study, human CTL specific for TSA-1-, ASP-1-, and ASP-2-derived peptides were detected in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 21 of 24 HLA-A2(+) T. cruzi-infected patients. CTL recognition was antigen specific, A2-restricted, and CD8(+) T cell-dependent. Demonstration of human CTL against T. cruzi and against target molecules identified using the murine model provides important information for the optimal design and evaluation of vaccines to prevent or ameliorate Chagas' disease.

  10. Mitochondrial Akt Regulation of Hypoxic Tumor Reprogramming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, Young Chan; Vaira, Valentina; Caino, M Cecilia; Tang, Hsin-Yao; Seo, Jae Ho; Kossenkov, Andrew V; Ottobrini, Luisa; Martelli, Cristina; Lucignani, Giovanni; Bertolini, Irene; Locatelli, Marco; Bryant, Kelly G; Ghosh, Jagadish C; Lisanti, Sofia; Ku, Bonsu; Bosari, Silvano; Languino, Lucia R; Speicher, David W; Altieri, Dario C

    2016-08-08

    Hypoxia is a universal driver of aggressive tumor behavior, but the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. Using a phosphoproteomics screen, we now show that active Akt accumulates in the mitochondria during hypoxia and phosphorylates pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1) on Thr346 to inactivate the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. In turn, this pathway switches tumor metabolism toward glycolysis, antagonizes apoptosis and autophagy, dampens oxidative stress, and maintains tumor cell proliferation in the face of severe hypoxia. Mitochondrial Akt-PDK1 signaling correlates with unfavorable prognostic markers and shorter survival in glioma patients and may provide an "actionable" therapeutic target in cancer.

  11. Expanding the tool box for genetic manipulation of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burle-Caldas, Gabriela de Assis; Grazielle-Silva, Viviane; Laibida, Letícia Adejani; DaRocha, Wanderson Duarte; Teixeira, Santuza Maria Ribeiro

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease, an illness that affects 6-7 million people and for which there is no effective drug therapy or vaccine. The publication of its complete genome sequence allowed a rapid advance in molecular studies including in silico screening of genes involved with pathogenicity as well as molecular targets for the development of new diagnostic methods, drug therapies and prophylactic vaccines. Alongside with in silico genomic analyses, methods to study gene function in this parasite such as gene deletion, overexpression, mutant complementation and reporter gene expression have been largely explored. More recently, the use of genome-wide strategies is producing a shift towards a global perspective on gene function studies, with the examination of the expression and biological roles of gene networks in different stages of the parasite life cycle and under different contexts of host parasite interactions. Here we describe the molecular tools and protocols currently available to perform genetic manipulation of the T. cruzi genome, with emphasis on recently described strategies of gene editing that will facilitate large-scale functional genomic analyses. These new methodologies are long overdue, since more efficient protocols for genetic manipulation in T. cruzi are urgently needed for a better understanding of the biology of this parasite and molecular processes involved with the complex and often harmful, interaction with its human host.

  12. Vaccination with trypomastigote surface antigen 1-encoding plasmid DNA confers protection against lethal Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wizel, B; Garg, N; Tarleton, R L

    1998-11-01

    DNA vaccination was evaluated with the experimental murine model of Trypanosoma cruzi infection as a means to induce antiparasite protective immunity, and the trypomastigote surface antigen 1 (TSA-1), a target of anti-T. cruzi antibody and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted CD8(+) cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses, was used as the model antigen. Following the intramuscular immunization of H-2(b) and H-2(d) mice with a plasmid DNA encoding an N-terminally truncated TSA-1 lacking or containing the C-terminal nonapeptide tandem repeats, the antibody level, CTL response, and protection against challenge with T. cruzi were assessed. In H-2(b) mice, antiparasite antibodies were induced only by immunization with the DNA construct encoding TSA-1 containing the C-terminal repeats. However, both DNA constructs were efficient in eliciting long-lasting CTL responses against the protective H-2Kb-restricted TSA-1515-522 epitope. In H-2(d) mice, inoculation with either of the two TSA-1-expressing vectors effectively generated antiparasite antibodies and primed CTLs that lysed T. cruzi-infected cells in an antigen-specific, MHC class I-restricted, and CD8(+)-T-cell-dependent manner. When TSA-1 DNA-vaccinated animals were challenged with T. cruzi, 14 of 22 (64%) H-2(b) and 16 of 18 (89%) H-2(d) mice survived the infection. The ability to induce significant murine anti-T. cruzi protective immunity by immunization with plasmid DNA expressing TSA-1 provides the basis for the application of this technology in the design of optimal DNA multicomponent anti-T. cruzi vaccines which may ultimately be used for the prevention or treatment of Chagas' disease.

  13. How Trypanosoma cruzi deals with oxidative stress: Antioxidant defence and DNA repair pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado-Silva, Alice; Cerqueira, Paula Gonçalves; Grazielle-Silva, Viviane; Gadelha, Fernanda Ramos; Peloso, Eduardo de Figueiredo; Teixeira, Santuza Maria Ribeiro; Machado, Carlos Renato

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is an obligatory intracellular parasite with a digenetic life cycle. Due to the variety of host environments, it faces several sources of oxidative stress. In addition to reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by its own metabolism, T. cruzi must deal with high ROS levels generated as part of the host's immune responses. Hence, the conclusion that T. cruzi has limited ability to deal with ROS (based on the lack of a few enzymes involved with oxidative stress responses) seems somewhat paradoxical. Actually, to withstand such variable sources of oxidative stress, T. cruzi has developed complex defence mechanisms. This includes ROS detoxification pathways that are distinct from the ones in the mammalian host, DNA repair pathways and specialized polymerases, which not only protect its genome from the resulting oxidative damage but also contribute to the generation of genetic diversity within the parasite population. Recent studies on T. cruzi's DNA repair pathways as mismatch repair (MMR) and GO system suggested that, besides a role associated with DNA repair, some proteins of these pathways may also be involved in signalling oxidative damage. Recent data also suggested that an oxidative environment might be beneficial for parasite survival within the host cell as it contributes to iron mobilization from the host's intracellular storages. Besides contributing to the understanding of basic aspects of T. cruzi biology, these studies are highly relevant since oxidative stress pathways are part of the poorly understood mechanisms behind the mode of action of drugs currently used against this parasite. By unveiling new peculiar aspects of T. cruzi biology, emerging data on DNA repair pathways and other antioxidant defences from this parasite have revealed potential new targets for a much needed boost in drug development efforts towards a better treatment for Chagas disease.

  14. Subtelomeric I-SceI-Mediated Double-Strand Breaks Are Repaired by Homologous Recombination in Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiurillo, Miguel A.; Moraes Barros, Roberto R.; Souza, Renata T.; Marini, Marjorie M.; Antonio, Cristiane R.; Cortez, Danielle R.; Curto, María Á.; Lorenzi, Hernán A.; Schijman, Alejandro G.; Ramirez, José L.; da Silveira, José F.

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi chromosome ends are enriched in surface protein genes and pseudogenes (e.g., trans-sialidases) surrounded by repetitive sequences. It has been proposed that the extensive sequence variability among members of these protein families could play a role in parasite infectivity and evasion of host immune response. In previous reports we showed evidence suggesting that sequences located in these regions are subjected to recombination. To support this hypothesis we introduced a double-strand break (DSB) at a specific target site in a T. cruzi subtelomeric region cloned into an artificial chromosome (pTAC). This construct was used to transfect T. cruzi epimastigotes expressing the I-SceI meganuclease. Examination of the repaired sequences showed that DNA repair occurred only through homologous recombination (HR) with endogenous subtelomeric sequences. Our findings suggest that DSBs in subtelomeric repetitive sequences followed by HR between them may contribute to increased variability in T. cruzi multigene families. PMID:28066363

  15. Subtelomeric I-SceI-Mediated Double-Strand Breaks Are Repaired by Homologous Recombination in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiurillo, Miguel A; Moraes Barros, Roberto R; Souza, Renata T; Marini, Marjorie M; Antonio, Cristiane R; Cortez, Danielle R; Curto, María Á; Lorenzi, Hernán A; Schijman, Alejandro G; Ramirez, José L; da Silveira, José F

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi chromosome ends are enriched in surface protein genes and pseudogenes (e.g., trans-sialidases) surrounded by repetitive sequences. It has been proposed that the extensive sequence variability among members of these protein families could play a role in parasite infectivity and evasion of host immune response. In previous reports we showed evidence suggesting that sequences located in these regions are subjected to recombination. To support this hypothesis we introduced a double-strand break (DSB) at a specific target site in a T. cruzi subtelomeric region cloned into an artificial chromosome (pTAC). This construct was used to transfect T. cruzi epimastigotes expressing the I-SceI meganuclease. Examination of the repaired sequences showed that DNA repair occurred only through homologous recombination (HR) with endogenous subtelomeric sequences. Our findings suggest that DSBs in subtelomeric repetitive sequences followed by HR between them may contribute to increased variability in T. cruzi multigene families.

  16. Suppressive action of melatonin on the TH-2 immune response in rats infected with Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Fabricia Helena; Frare, Eduardo Osório; dos Santos, Carla Domingues; Caetano, Leony Cristina; Alonso Toldo, Míriam Paula; do Prado, José Clóvis

    2008-10-01

    Control of the acute phase of Trypanosoma cruzi infection is critically dependent on cytokine-mediated macrophage activation to intracellular killing, natural killer (NK) cells, CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells and B cells. Cell-mediated immunity in T. cruzi infection is also modulated by cytokines, but in addition to parasite-specific responses, autoimmunity can be also triggered. Importantly, cytokines may also play a role in the cell-mediated immunity of infected subjects. Here we studied the role of cytokines in the regulation of innate and adaptive immunity during the acute phase of T. cruzi infection in Wistar rats. Melatonin is an effective regulator of the immune system. Macrophages and T lymphocytes, which have melatonin receptors, are target cells for the immunomodulatory function of melatonin. In this paper melatonin was orally given via two protocols: prior to and concomitant with infection. Both treatments were highly effective against T. cruzi with enhanced action for the concomitant treatment. The data suggest an up-regulation of the TH-1 immune response as all analyzed parameters, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, transforming growth factor-beta1 and splenocyte proliferation, displayed reduced levels as compared with the untreated counterparts. However, the direct effects of melatonin on immune cells have not been fully investigated during T. cruzi infection. We conclude that in light of the current results, melatonin exerted important therapeutic benefits through its immune regulatory effects.

  17. Synthesis and characterization of potent inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi dihydrofolate reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schormann, Norbert; Velu, Sadanandan E.; Murugesan, Srinivasan; Senkovich, Olga; Walker, Kiera; Chenna, Bala C.; Shinkre, Bidhan; Desai, Amar; Chattopadhyay, Debasish (UAB)

    2010-09-17

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) is a potential target for developing drugs to treat Chagas disease. We have undertaken a detailed structure-activity study of this enzyme. We report here synthesis and characterization of six potent inhibitors of the parasitic enzyme. Inhibitory activity of each compound was determined against T. cruzi and human DHFR. One of these compounds, ethyl 4-(5-[(2,4-diamino-6-quinazolinyl)methyl]amino-2-methoxyphenoxy)butanoate (6b) was co-crystallized with the bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase enzyme of T. cruzi and the crystal structure of the ternary enzyme:cofactor:inhibitor complex was determined. Molecular docking was used to analyze the potential interactions of all inhibitors with T. cruzi DHFR and human DHFR. Inhibitory activities of these compounds are discussed in the light of enzyme-ligand interactions. Binding affinities of each inhibitor for the respective enzymes were calculated based on the experimental or docked binding mode. An estimated 60-70% of the total binding energy is contributed by the 2,4-diaminoquinazoline scaffold.

  18. Vaccination with Trypomastigote Surface Antigen 1-Encoding Plasmid DNA Confers Protection against Lethal Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

    OpenAIRE

    1998-01-01

    DNA vaccination was evaluated with the experimental murine model of Trypanosoma cruzi infection as a means to induce antiparasite protective immunity, and the trypomastigote surface antigen 1 (TSA-1), a target of anti-T. cruzi antibody and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses, was used as the model antigen. Following the intramuscular immunization of H-2b and H-2d mice with a plasmid DNA encoding an N-terminally truncated TSA-1 ...

  19. Trypanosoma cruzi Infection and Host Lipid Metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease. Approximately 8 million people are thought to be affected worldwide. Several players in host lipid metabolism have been implicated in T. cruzi-host interactions in recent research, including macrophages, adipocytes, low density lipoprotein (LDL), low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), and high density lipoprotein (HDL). All of these factors are required to maintain host lipid homeostasis and are intricately connected via several me...

  20. Construction of the AKT2 3′-UTR luciferase reporter gene vector and verification of the targeted relationship with miRNA-625%A KT23′-U TR荧光素酶报告基因载体构建及与miRNA-625靶向关系验证

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏斌; 邓霞; 卞秀娟; 钱粉红

    2016-01-01

    目的:通过构建荧光素酶报告基因重组质粒验证miRNA-625与AKT2基因的靶向调控关系。方法:通过生物信息学软件预测AKT2为miRNA-625靶基因;构建野生型AKT2基因3′端非翻译区荧光素酶报告基因载体及miR-NA-625靶序列突变型载体;将HEK-293T细胞株随机分为野生型+miRNA-625组、野生型+miRNA内参组、突变型+miRNA-625组、突变型+miRNA内参组;Lipofectamine 2000转染相应的质粒与miRNA,双荧光素酶报告基因系统检测荧光素酶活性。结果:构建野生型及突变型荧光素酶报告载体鉴定正确,双荧光素酶报告基因检测系统显示野生型+miRNA-625组相对荧光素酶活性较野生型+miRNA内参组明显降低(t=14.1764,P<0.05)。结论:miRNA-625对野生型AKT2重组质粒荧光活性有明显的抑制作用,证实miRNA-625能够靶向调控AKT2基因。%Objective:To identify the targeted-regulating relationship between miRNA-625 and AKT2 via constructing luciferase reporter gene vector.Methods:The AKT2 was predicted as miRNA-625 target gene by biological software.The 3′-untranslated regions(3′-UTR)of the wild type AKT2 and mutant AKT2 sequence were cloned into luciferase reporter vector pMIR-Report.The HEK-293T cells were divided into four groups randomly,wild-type plasmid +miRNA-625 group,wild-type plasmid +miRNA negative con-trol group,mutant plasmid +miRNA-625 group,mutant plasmid+miRNA negative control group.The rel-evant plasmids and miRNAs were transfected into groups by Lipofectamine 2000.The luciferase activity was detected by dual luciferase reporter gene system.Results:The recombinant plasmids were identified cor-rectly.Dual-luciferase reporter assay system revealed luciferase activity of wild-type plasmid+miRNA-625 group was significantly lower than that of wild-type plasmid+miRNA negative control group(P<0.05 ). Conclusion:The miRNA-625 inhibited the luciferase activity of AKT2 wild type

  1. Suppression of Glioma-Cell Survival by Antisense and Dominant-Negative AKT2 RNA

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peiyu Pu; Chunsheng Kang; Jie Li; Guangxiu Wang

    2005-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Overexpression of growth factors and their receptors such as PDGF, FGF, VEGF, IGF, EGF, TGFα etc. Play a critical role in the development and progression of malignant gliomas. AKT, one of the most potent downstream signaling effectors of these growth factor receptors is usually overactivated in malignant gliomas. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of antisense and dominant negative AKT2 RNA on the survival of glioma cells with overexpression of AKT2.METHODS Antisense and dominant negative AKT2 constructs (AS-AKT2,DN-AKT2) were transfected into human glioblastoma cell line TJ905 with overexpression of AKT2. Using Western blotting, MTT assay, Ki67 labeling index (Ki67 LI), flow cytometry and the TUNEL method, the expression of AKT2 and GFAP, the proliferation rate and apoptosis of glioma cells transfected with AS-AKT2 or DN-AKT2 were compared to those characteristics of parental and glioma cells transfected with an empty vector.RESULTS Cell proliferation was inhibited in glioma cells transfected with ASAKT2 and DN-AKT2 RNA, while GFAP expression and apoptosis were markedly increased in those cells.CONCLUSION AKT is an important mediator in the growth signaling pathway of malignant gliomas and is a potential promising therapeutic target for malignant gliomas.

  2. Theobromine, the primary methylxanthine found in Theobroma cacao, prevents malignant glioblastoma proliferation by negatively regulating phosphodiesterase-4, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin kinase, and nuclear factor-kappa B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugimoto, Naotoshi; Miwa, Shinji; Hitomi, Yoshiaki; Nakamura, Hiroyuki; Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki; Yachie, Akihiro

    2014-01-01

    Theobromine, a caffeine derivative, is the primary methylxanthine produced by Theobroma cacao. We previously showed that methylxanthines, including caffeine and theophylline, have antitumor and antiinflammatory effects, which are in part mediated by their inhibition of phosphodiesterase (PDE). A member of the PDE family, PDE4, is widely expressed in and promotes the growth of glioblastoma, the most common type of brain tumor. The purpose of this study was to determine whether theobromine could exert growth inhibitory effects on U87-MG, a cell line derived from human malignant glioma. We show that theobromine treatment elevates intracellular cAMP levels and increases the activity of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun N-terminal kinase, whereas it attenuates p44/42 extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity and the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin kinase and nuclear factor-kappa B signal pathways. It also inhibits cell proliferation. These results suggest that foods and beverages containing cocoa bean extracts, including theobromine, might be extremely effective in preventing human glioblastoma.

  3. Frequent alterations of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jönsson, Mats; Ekstrand, Anna Isinger; Jönsson, Mats;

    2010-01-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases-AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin pathway (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) is central in colorectal tumors. Data on its role in hereditary cancers are, however, scarce and we therefore characterized mutations in PIK3CA and KRAS, and expression of PIK3CA, phosphorylated AKT...

  4. Development of an aptamer-based concentration method for the detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in blood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rana Nagarkatti

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, a blood-borne parasite, is the etiological agent of Chagas disease. T. cruzi trypomastigotes, the infectious life cycle stage, can be detected in blood of infected individuals using PCR-based methods. However, soon after a natural infection, or during the chronic phase of Chagas disease, the number of parasites in blood may be very low and thus difficult to detect by PCR. To facilitate PCR-based detection methods, a parasite concentration approach was explored. A whole cell SELEX strategy was utilized to develop serum stable RNA aptamers that bind to live T. cruzi trypomastigotes. These aptamers bound to the parasite with high affinities (8-25 nM range. The highest affinity aptamer, Apt68, also demonstrated high specificity as it did not interact with the insect stage epimastigotes of T. cruzi nor with other related trypanosomatid parasites, L. donovani and T. brucei, suggesting that the target of Apt68 was expressed only on T. cruzi trypomastigotes. Biotinylated Apt68, immobilized on a solid phase, was able to capture live parasites. These captured parasites were visible microscopically, as large motile aggregates, formed when the aptamer coated paramagnetic beads bound to the surface of the trypomastigotes. Additionally, Apt68 was also able to capture and aggregate trypomastigotes from several isolates of the two major genotypes of the parasite. Using a magnet, these parasite-bead aggregates could be purified from parasite-spiked whole blood samples, even at concentrations as low as 5 parasites in 15 ml of whole blood, as detected by a real-time PCR assay. Our results show that aptamers can be used as pathogen specific ligands to capture and facilitate PCR-based detection of T. cruzi in blood.

  5. Development of an Aptamer-Based Concentration Method for the Detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagarkatti, Rana; Bist, Vaibhav; Sun, Sirena; Fortes de Araujo, Fernanda; Nakhasi, Hira L.; Debrabant, Alain

    2012-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, a blood-borne parasite, is the etiological agent of Chagas disease. T. cruzi trypomastigotes, the infectious life cycle stage, can be detected in blood of infected individuals using PCR-based methods. However, soon after a natural infection, or during the chronic phase of Chagas disease, the number of parasites in blood may be very low and thus difficult to detect by PCR. To facilitate PCR-based detection methods, a parasite concentration approach was explored. A whole cell SELEX strategy was utilized to develop serum stable RNA aptamers that bind to live T. cruzi trypomastigotes. These aptamers bound to the parasite with high affinities (8–25 nM range). The highest affinity aptamer, Apt68, also demonstrated high specificity as it did not interact with the insect stage epimastigotes of T. cruzi nor with other related trypanosomatid parasites, L. donovani and T. brucei, suggesting that the target of Apt68 was expressed only on T. cruzi trypomastigotes. Biotinylated Apt68, immobilized on a solid phase, was able to capture live parasites. These captured parasites were visible microscopically, as large motile aggregates, formed when the aptamer coated paramagnetic beads bound to the surface of the trypomastigotes. Additionally, Apt68 was also able to capture and aggregate trypomastigotes from several isolates of the two major genotypes of the parasite. Using a magnet, these parasite-bead aggregates could be purified from parasite-spiked whole blood samples, even at concentrations as low as 5 parasites in 15 ml of whole blood, as detected by a real-time PCR assay. Our results show that aptamers can be used as pathogen specific ligands to capture and facilitate PCR-based detection of T. cruzi in blood. PMID:22927983

  6. Implication of CA repeated tracts on post-transcriptional regulation in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastro, Lucía; Smircich, Pablo; Pérez-Díaz, Leticia; Duhagon, María Ana; Garat, Beatriz

    2013-08-01

    In Trypanosoma cruzi gene expression regulation mainly relays on post-transcriptional events. Nevertheless, little is known about the signals which control mRNA abundance and functionality. We have previously found that CA repeated tracts (polyCA) are abundant in the vicinity of open reading frames and constitute specific targets for single stranded binding proteins from T. cruzi epimastigote. Given the reported examples of the involvement of polyCA motifs in gene expression regulation, we decided to further study their role in T. cruzi. Using an in silico genome-wide analysis, we identify the genes that contain polyCA within their predicted UTRs. We found that about 10% of T. cruzi genes carry polyCA therein. Strikingly, they are frequently concurrent with GT repeated tracts (polyGT), favoring the formation of a secondary structure exhibiting the complementary polydinucleotides in a double stranded helix. This feature is found in the species-specific family of genes coding for mucine associated proteins (MASPs) and other genes. For those polyCA-containing UTRs that lack polyGT, the polyCA is mainly predicted to adopt a single stranded structure. We further analyzed the functional role of such element using a reporter approach in T. cruzi. We found out that the insertion of polyCA at the 3' UTR of a reporter gene in the pTEX vector modulates its expression along the parasite's life cycle. While no significant change of the mRNA steady state of the reporter gene could be detected at the trypomastigote stage, significant increase in the epimastigote and reduction in the amastigote stage were observed. Altogether, these results suggest the involvement of polyCA as a signal in gene expression regulation in T. cruzi.

  7. Structures of dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase of Trypanosoma cruzi in the folate-free state and in complex with two antifolate drugs, trimetrexate and methotrexate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Senkovich, Olga; Schormann, Norbert; Chattopadhyay, Debasish; (UAB)

    2010-11-22

    The flagellate protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the pathogenic agent of Chagas disease (also called American trypanosomiasis), which causes approximately 50 000 deaths annually. The disease is endemic in South and Central America. The parasite is usually transmitted by a blood-feeding insect vector, but can also be transmitted via blood transfusion. In the chronic form, Chagas disease causes severe damage to the heart and other organs. There is no satisfactory treatment for chronic Chagas disease and no vaccine is available. There is an urgent need for the development of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of T. cruzi infection and therefore for the identification of potential drug targets. The dihydrofolate reductase activity of T. cruzi, which is expressed as part of a bifunctional enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS), is a potential target for drug development. In order to gain a detailed understanding of the structure-function relationship of T. cruzi DHFR, the three-dimensional structure of this protein in complex with various ligands is being studied. Here, the crystal structures of T. cruzi DHFR-TS with three different compositions of the DHFR domain are reported: the folate-free state, the complex with the lipophilic antifolate trimetrexate (TMQ) and the complex with the classical antifolate methotrexate (MTX). These structures reveal that the enzyme is a homodimer with substantial interactions between the two TS domains of neighboring subunits. In contrast to the enzymes from Cryptosporidium hominis and Plasmodium falciparum, the DHFR and TS active sites of T. cruzi lie on the same side of the monomer. As in other parasitic DHFR-TS proteins, the N-terminal extension of the T. cruzi enzyme is involved in extensive interactions between the two domains. The DHFR active site of the T. cruzi enzyme shows subtle differences compared with its human counterpart. These differences may be exploited for the development of

  8. Essential role of AKT in tumor cells addicted to FGFR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yi; Lu, Huiru; Zhang, Jinchao; Chen, Jun; Chai, Zhifang; Zhang, Jingxin

    2014-02-01

    Tumor cells with genetic amplifications or mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) family are often addicted to FGFR and heavily dependent on its signaling to survive. Although it is critical to understand which signaling pathway downstream of FGFR plays an essential role to guide the research and development of FGFR inhibitors, it has remained unclear partly because the tool compounds used in the literature also hit many other kinases, making the results difficult to interpret. With the development of a potent FGFR-specific inhibitor, BGJ398, we are now able to dissect various pathways with low drug concentrations to minimize multiple-target effects. Importantly, here, we show that inhibition of FGFR signaling by BGJ398 leads to only transient inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas the inhibitory effect on AKT phosphorylation is sustainable, indicating that AKT, not ERK as commonly believed, serves as an appropriate pharmacodynamic biomarker for BGJ398. Although AKT inhibition by a pan-PI3K inhibitor alone has almost no effect on cell growth, heterologous expression of myr-AKT, an active form of AKT, rescues BGJ398-mediated suppression of tumor cell proliferation. These results indicate that AKT is an essential component downstream of FGFR. Finally, combination of the FGFR inhibitor BGJ398 with rapamycin significantly inhibits AKT phosphorylation and enhances their antiproliferative effects in FGFR-addicted cells, suggesting an effective combination strategy for clinical development of FGFR inhibitors.

  9. Ecological connectivity of Trypanosoma cruzi reservoirs and Triatoma pallidipennis hosts in an anthropogenic landscape with endemic Chagas disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janine M Ramsey

    Full Text Available Traditional methods for Chagas disease prevention are targeted at domestic vector reduction, as well as control of transfusion and maternal-fetal transmission. Population connectivity of Trypanosoma cruzi-infected vectors and hosts, among sylvatic, ecotone and domestic habitats could jeopardize targeted efforts to reduce human exposure. This connectivity was evaluated in a Mexican community with reports of high vector infestation, human infection, and Chagas disease, surrounded by agricultural and natural areas. We surveyed bats, rodents, and triatomines in dry and rainy seasons in three adjacent habitats (domestic, ecotone, sylvatic, and measured T. cruzi prevalence, and host feeding sources of triatomines. Of 12 bat and 7 rodent species, no bat tested positive for T. cruzi, but all rodent species tested positive in at least one season or habitat. Highest T. cruzi infection prevalence was found in the rodents, Baiomys musculus and Neotoma mexicana. In general, parasite prevalence was not related to habitat or season, although the sylvatic habitat had higher infection prevalence than by chance, during the dry season. Wild and domestic mammals were identified as bloodmeals of T. pallidipennis, with 9% of individuals having mixed human (4.8% single human and other mammal species in bloodmeals, especially in the dry season; these vectors tested >50% positive for T. cruzi. Overall, ecological connectivity is broad across this matrix, based on high rodent community similarity, vector and T. cruzi presence. Cost-effective T. cruzi, vector control strategies and Chagas disease transmission prevention will need to consider continuous potential for parasite movement over the entire landscape. This study provides clear evidence that these strategies will need to include reservoir/host species in at least ecotones, in addition to domestic habitats.

  10. Trypanosoma cruzi TcI and TcII transmission among wild carnivores, small mammals and dogs in a conservation unit and surrounding areas, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Santos, Jean Pierre; Lima, Valdirene dos Santos; Xavier, Samanta Cristina das Chagas; Cordeir-Estrela, Pedro; D'Andrea, Paulo Sérgio; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-02-01

    Aiming to better understand the ecological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles, wild carnivores, small mammals and dogs were examined for T. cruzi infection in the Serra da Canastra National Park region, Brazil. Isolates were genotyped using mini-exon gene and PCR-RFLP (1f8 and H3) genomic targets. Trypanosoma cruzi transmission was well established in the area and occurred in both wild and peridomestic environments. Dog seroprevalence was 29·4% (63/214) and TcI and TcII genotypes, besides mixed infections were observed. Only TcI was detected in wild mammals. Marsupials displayed lower relative abundance, but a high prevalence of positive haemocultures (4/22), whereas rodents displayed positive haemocultures (9/113) mainly in the abundant Akodon montensis and Cerradomys subflavus species. The felid Leopardus pardalis was the only carnivore to display positive haemoculture and was captured in the same region where the small mammal prevalence of T. cruzi infection was high. Two canid species, Chrysocyon brachyurus and Cerdocyon thous, were serologically positive for T. cruzi infection (4/8 and 8/39, respectively), probably related to their capacity to exploit different ecological niches. Herein, dog infection not only signals T. cruzi transmission but also the genotypes present. Distinct transmission strategies of the T. cruzi genotypes are discussed.

  11. Dataset to delineate changes in association between Akt1 and its interacting partners as a function of active state of Akt1 protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nutan Gupta

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Akt1 is a multi-functional protein, implicated in multiple human solid tumors. Pertaining to its key role in cell survival, Akt1 is under focus for development of targeted therapies. Functional diversity of Akt1 is a result of its interactions with other proteins; which changes with changing context. This investigation was designed to capture the dynamics of Akt1 Interactome as a function of its active state. Delineating dynamic changes in association of Akt1 with its interactors could help us comprehend how it changes as a function of inhibition of its active form. Similar information on changes in Akt1 interactome as of now is not well explored. Akt1 expressing HEK293 cells were cultured in light and heavy labeled SILAC media. Normal lysine and arginine were incorporated as light labels while for heavy labeling the isotopes were 8 and 10 Da heavier. Light labeled cells represented the indigenous state of Akt1 interactome while heavy labeled cells represented Akt1 interactome in presence of its allosteric inhibitor, MK-2206. Equal number of cells from both conditions were pooled, lysed and subjected to Affinity Purification coupled to Mass Spectroscopy (AP-MS. Additionally, SILAC labeling aided in quantitative estimation of changing association of a number of proteins which were common to the two experimental conditions, with Akt1. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD005976.

  12. Molecular Diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi Detected in the Vector Triatoma protracta from California, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A Shender

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, causative agent of Chagas disease in humans and dogs, is a vector-borne zoonotic protozoan parasite that can cause fatal cardiac disease. While recognized as the most economically important parasitic infection in Latin America, the incidence of Chagas disease in the United States of America (US may be underreported and even increasing. The extensive genetic diversity of T. cruzi in Latin America is well-documented and likely influences disease progression, severity and treatment efficacy; however, little is known regarding T. cruzi strains endemic to the US. It is therefore important to expand our knowledge on US T. cruzi strains, to improve upon the recognition of and response to locally acquired infections.We conducted a study of T. cruzi molecular diversity in California, augmenting sparse genetic data from southern California and for the first time investigating genetic sequences from northern California. The vector Triatoma protracta was collected from southern (Escondido and Los Angeles and northern (Vallecito California regions. Samples were initially screened via sensitive nuclear repetitive DNA and kinetoplast minicircle DNA PCR assays, yielding an overall prevalence of approximately 28% and 55% for southern and northern California regions, respectively. Positive samples were further processed to identify discrete typing units (DTUs, revealing both TcI and TcIV lineages in southern California, but only TcI in northern California. Phylogenetic analyses (targeting COII-ND1, TR and RB19 genes were performed on a subset of positive samples to compare Californian T. cruzi samples to strains from other US regions and Latin America. Results indicated that within the TcI DTU, California sequences were similar to those from the southeastern US, as well as to several isolates from Latin America responsible for causing Chagas disease in humans.Triatoma protracta populations in California are frequently infected with T. cruzi

  13. Congenital Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bern, Caryn; Verastegui, Manuela; Gilman, Robert H.; LaFuente, Carlos; Galdos-Cardenas, Gerson; Calderon, Maritza; Pacori, Juan; Abastoflor, Maria del Carmen; Aparicio, Hugo; Brady, Mark F.; Ferrufino, Lisbeth; Angulo, Noelia; Marcus, Sarah; Sterling, Charles; Maguire, James H.

    2017-01-01

    Background We conducted a study of congenital Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Our objective was to apply new tools to identify weak points in current screening algorithms, and find ways to improve them. Methods Women presenting for delivery were screened by rapid and conventional serological tests. For infants of infected mothers, blood specimens obtained on days 0, 7, 21, 30, 90, 180, and 270 were concentrated and examined microscopically; serological tests were performed for the day 90, 180, and 270 specimens. Maternal and infant specimens, including umbilical tissue, were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the kinetoplast minicircle and by quantitative PCR. Results Of 530 women, 154 (29%) were seropositive. Ten infants had congenital T. cruzi infection. Only 4 infants had positive results of microscopy evaluation in the first month, and none had positive cord blood microscopy results. PCR results were positive for 6 (67%) of 9 cord blood and 7 (87.5%) of 8 umbilical tissue specimens. PCR-positive women were more likely to transmit T. cruzi than were seropositive women with negative PCR results (P < .05). Parasite loads determined by quantitative PCR were higher for mothers of infected infants than for seropositive mothers of uninfected infants (P < .01). Despite intensive efforts, only 58% of at-risk infants had a month 9 specimen collected. Conclusions On the basis of the low sensitivity of microscopy in cord blood and high rate of loss to follow-up, we estimate that current screening programs miss one-half of all infected infants. Molecular techniques may improve early detection. PMID:19877966

  14. Akt1 mediates neuronal differentiation in zebrafish via a reciprocal interaction with notch signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi-Chuan Cheng

    Full Text Available Akt1 is well known for its role in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis and is implicated in tumors and several neurological disorders. However, the role of Akt1 in neural development has not been well defined. We have isolated zebrafish akt1 and shown that this gene is primarily transcribed in the developing nervous system, and its spatiotemporal expression pattern suggests a role in neural differentiation. Injection of akt1 morpholinos resulted in loss of neuronal precursors with a concomitant increase in post-mitotic neurons, indicating that knockdown of Akt1 is sufficient to cause premature differentiation of neurons. A similar phenotype was observed in embryos deficient for Notch signaling. Both the ligand (deltaA and the downstream target of Notch (her8a were downregulated in akt1 morphants, indicating that Akt1 is required for Delta-Notch signaling. Furthermore, akt1 expression was downregulated in Delta-Notch signaling-deficient embryos and could be induced by constitutive activation of Notch signaling. In addition, knockdown of Akt1 was able to nullify the inhibition of neuronal differentiation caused by constitutive activation of Notch signaling. Taken together, these results provide in vivo evidence that Akt1 interacts with Notch signaling reciprocally and provide an explanation of why Akt1 is essential for the inhibition of neuronal differentiation.

  15. Activating Akt1 mutations alter DNA double strand break repair and radiosensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeck, S.; Al-Refae, K.; Riffkin, H.; Wiel, G.; Handrick, R.; Klein, D.; Iliakis, G.; Jendrossek, V.

    2017-01-01

    The survival kinase Akt has clinical relevance to radioresistance. However, its contributions to the DNA damage response, DNA double strand break (DSB) repair and apoptosis remain poorly defined and often contradictory. We used a genetic approach to explore the consequences of genetic alterations of Akt1 for the cellular radiation response. While two activation-associated mutants with prominent nuclear access, the phospho-mimicking Akt1-TDSD and the clinically relevant PH-domain mutation Akt1-E17K, accelerated DSB repair and improved survival of irradiated Tramp-C1 murine prostate cancer cells and Akt1-knockout murine embryonic fibroblasts in vitro, the classical constitutively active membrane-targeted myrAkt1 mutant had the opposite effects. Interestingly, DNA-PKcs directly phosphorylated Akt1 at S473 in an in vitro kinase assay but not vice-versa. Pharmacological inhibition of DNA-PKcs or Akt restored radiosensitivity in tumour cells expressing Akt1-E17K or Akt1-TDSD. In conclusion, Akt1-mediated radioresistance depends on its activation state and nuclear localization and is accessible to pharmacologic inhibition. PMID:28209968

  16. Phospho-Akt overexpression is prognostic and can be used to tailor the synergistic interaction of Akt inhibitors with gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Massihnia

    2017-01-01

    decreased cell migration and invasion, which was additionally reduced by the combination with gemcitabine. This combination significantly increased apoptosis, associated with induction of caspase-3/6/8/9, PARP and BAD, and inhibition of Bcl-2 and NF-kB in LPC028, but not in LPC006 cells. However, targeting the key glucose transporter Glut1 resulted in similar apoptosis induction in LPC006 cells. Conclusions These data support the analysis of phospho-Akt expression as both a prognostic and a predictive biomarker, for the rational development of new combination therapies targeting the Akt pathway in PDAC. Finally, inhibition of Glut1 might overcome resistance to these therapies and warrants further studies.

  17. Protein kinase B (PKB/AKT1) formed signaling complexes with mitochondrial proteins and prevented glycolytic energy dysfunction in cultured cardiomyocytes during ischemia-reperfusion injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Wu; Leu, Hsin-Bang; Chen, Yumay; Chen, Yu-Han; Epperson, Christine M; Juang, Charity; Wang, Ping H

    2014-05-01

    Our previous studies showed that insulin stimulated AKT1 translocation into mitochondria and modulated oxidative phosphorylation complex V in cardiac muscle. This raised the possibility that mitochondrial AKT1 may regulate glycolytic oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial function in cardiac muscle cells. The aims of this project were to study the effects of mitochondrial AKT1 signaling on cell survival in stressed cardiomyocytes, to define the effect of mitochondrial AKT1 signaling on glycolytic bioenergetics, and to identify mitochondrial targets of AKT1 signaling in cardiomyocytes. Mitochondrial AKT1 signaling played a protective role against apoptosis and necrosis during ischemia-reperfusion stress, suppressed mitochondrial calcium overload, and alleviated mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Activation of AKT1 signaling in mitochondria increased glucose uptake, enhanced respiration efficiency, reduced superoxide generation, and increased ATP production in the cardiomyocytes. Inhibition of mitochondrial AKT attenuated insulin response, indicating that insulin regulation of ATP production required mitochondrial AKT1 signaling. A proteomic approach was used to reveal 15 novel targets of AKT1 signaling in mitochondria, including pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). We have confirmed and characterized the association of AKT1 and PDC subunits and verified a stimulatory effect of mitochondrial AKT1 on the enzymatic activity of PDC. These findings suggested that AKT1 formed protein complexes with multiple mitochondrial proteins and improved mitochondrial function in stressed cardiomyocytes. The novel AKT1 signaling targets in mitochondria may become a resource for future metabolism research.

  18. Sann-Joong-Kuey-Jian-Tang induces autophagy in HepG2 cells via regulation of the phosphoinositide-3 kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Wan-Ling; Su, Chin-Cheng; Lin, Ping-Yi; Lin, Chi-Chen; Chen, Yao-Li

    2015-08-01

    Sann-Joong-Kuey-Jian-Tang (SJKJT), a traditional Chinese medicine, was previously reported to induce autophagy and inhibit the proliferation of the human HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cell line via an extrinsic pathway. In the present study, the effects of SJKJT-induced autophagy and the cytotoxic mechanisms mediating these effects were investigated in HepG2 cells. The cytotoxicity of SJKJT in the HepG2 cells was evaluated using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. The results demonstrated that the half-maximal inhibitory concentration of SJKJT was 2.91 mg/ml at 24 h, 1.64 mg/ml at 48 h and 1.26 mg/ml at 72 h. The results of confocal fluorescence microscopy indicated that SJKJT resulted in the accumulation of green fluorescent protein-LC3 and vacuolation of the cytoplasm. Flow cytometric analysis revealed the accumulation of acidic vesicular organelles. Furthermore, western blot analysis, used to determine the expression levels of autophagy-associated proteins, demonstrated that the HepG2 cells treated with SJKJT exhibited LC3B-I/LC3B-II conversion, increased expression levels of Beclin, Atg-3 and Atg-5 and reduced expression levels of p62 and decreased signaling of the phosphoinositide-3 kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Taken together, these findings may assist in the development of novel chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of malignant types of liver cancer.

  19. Trypanosoma cruzi CYP51 inhibitor derived from a Mycobacterium tuberculosis screen hit.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiung-Kuang Chen

    Full Text Available The two front-line drugs for chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infections are limited by adverse side-effects and declining efficacy. One potential new target for Chagas' disease chemotherapy is sterol 14alpha-demethylase (CYP51, a cytochrome P450 enzyme involved in biosynthesis of membrane sterols.In a screening effort targeting Mycobacterium tuberculosis CYP51 (CYP51(Mt, we previously identified the N-[4-pyridyl]-formamide moiety as a building block capable of delivering a variety of chemotypes into the CYP51 active site. In that work, the binding modes of several second generation compounds carrying this scaffold were determined by high-resolution co-crystal structures with CYP51(Mt. Subsequent assays against the CYP51 orthologue in T. cruzi, CYP51(Tc, demonstrated that two of the compounds tested in the earlier effort bound tightly to this enzyme. Both were tested in vitro for inhibitory effects against T. cruzi and the related protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. One of the compounds had potent, selective anti-T. cruzi activity in infected mouse macrophages. Cure of treated host cells was confirmed by prolonged incubation in the absence of the inhibiting compound. Discrimination between T. cruzi and T. brucei CYP51 by the inhibitor was largely based on the variability (phenylalanine versus isoleucine of a single residue at a critical position in the active site.CYP51(Mt-based crystal structure analysis revealed that the functional groups of the two tightly bound compounds are likely to occupy different spaces in the CYP51 active site, suggesting the possibility of combining the beneficial features of both inhibitors in a third generation of compounds to achieve more potent and selective inhibition of CYP51(Tc.

  20. Identification of three classes of heteroaromatic compounds with activity against intracellular Trypanosoma cruzi by chemical library screening.

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    Esther Bettiol

    Full Text Available The development of new drugs against Chagas disease is a priority since the currently available medicines have toxic effects, partial efficacy and are targeted against the acute phase of disease. At present, there is no drug to treat the chronic stage. In this study, we have optimized a whole cell-based assay for high throughput screening of compounds that inhibit infection of mammalian cells by Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes. A 2000-compound chemical library was screened using a recombinant T. cruzi (Tulahuen strain expressing beta-galactosidase. Three hits were selected for their high activity against T. cruzi and low toxicity to host cells in vitro: PCH1, NT1 and CX1 (IC(50: 54, 190 and 23 nM, respectively. Each of these three compounds presents a different mechanism of action on intracellular proliferation of T. cruzi amastigotes. CX1 shows strong trypanocidal activity, an essential characteristic for the development of drugs against the chronic stage of Chagas disease where parasites are found intracellular in a quiescent stage. NT1 has a trypanostatic effect, while PCH1 affects parasite division. The three compounds also show high activity against intracellular T. cruzi from the Y strain and against the related kinetoplastid species Leishmania major and L. amazonensis. Characterization of the anti-T. cruzi activity of molecules chemically related to the three library hits allowed the selection of two compounds with IC(50 values of 2 nM (PCH6 and CX2. These values are approximately 100 times lower than those of the medicines used in patients against T. cruzi. These results provide new candidate molecules for the development of treatments against Chagas disease and leishmaniasis.

  1. Automated high-content assay for compounds selectively toxic to Trypanosoma cruzi in a myoblastic cell line.

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    Julio Alonso-Padilla

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, represents a very important public health problem in Latin America where it is endemic. Although mostly asymptomatic at its initial stage, after the disease becomes chronic, about a third of the infected patients progress to a potentially fatal outcome due to severe damage of heart and gut tissues. There is an urgent need for new drugs against Chagas disease since there are only two drugs available, benznidazole and nifurtimox, and both show toxic side effects and variable efficacy against the chronic stage of the disease.Genetically engineered parasitic strains are used for high throughput screening (HTS of large chemical collections in the search for new anti-parasitic compounds. These assays, although successful, are limited to reporter transgenic parasites and do not cover the wide T. cruzi genetic background. With the aim to contribute to the early drug discovery process against Chagas disease we have developed an automated image-based 384-well plate HTS assay for T. cruzi amastigote replication in a rat myoblast host cell line. An image analysis script was designed to inform on three outputs: total number of host cells, ratio of T. cruzi amastigotes per cell and percentage of infected cells, which respectively provides one host cell toxicity and two T. cruzi toxicity readouts. The assay was statistically robust (Z´ values >0.6 and was validated against a series of known anti-trypanosomatid drugs.We have established a highly reproducible, high content HTS assay for screening of chemical compounds against T. cruzi infection of myoblasts that is amenable for use with any T. cruzi strain capable of in vitro infection. Our visual assay informs on both anti-parasitic and host cell toxicity readouts in a single experiment, allowing the direct identification of compounds selectively targeted to the parasite.

  2. Differential Expression Profiles in the Midgut of Triatoma infestans Infected with Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buarque, Diego S.; Braz, Glória R. C.; Martins, Rafael M.; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita M.; Gomes, Cícera M.; Oliveira, Felipe A. A.; Schenkman, Sergio; Tanaka, Aparecida S.

    2013-01-01

    Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and is transmitted by insects from the Triatominae subfamily. To identify components involved in the protozoan-vector relationship, we constructed and analyzed cDNA libraries from RNA isolated from the midguts of uninfected and T. cruzi-infected Triatoma infestans, which are major vectors of Chagas disease. We generated approximately 440 high-quality Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) from each T. infestans midgut cDNA library. The sequences were grouped in 380 clusters, representing an average length of 664.78 base pairs (bp). Many clusters were not classified functionally, representing unknown transcripts. Several transcripts involved in different processes (e.g., detoxification) showed differential expression in response to T. cruzi infection. Lysozyme, cathepsin D, a nitrophorin-like protein and a putative 14 kDa protein were significantly upregulated upon infection, whereas thioredoxin reductase was downregulated. In addition, we identified several transcripts related to metabolic processes or immunity with unchanged expressions, including infestin, lipocalins and defensins. We also detected ESTs encoding juvenile hormone binding protein (JHBP), which seems to be involved in insect development and could be a target in control strategies for the vector. This work demonstrates differential gene expression upon T. cruzi infection in the midgut of T. infestans. These data expand the current knowledge regarding vector-parasite interactions for Chagas disease. PMID:23658688

  3. Visual Genome-Wide RNAi Screening to Identify Human Host Factors Required for Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Macedo Dossin, Fernando; Choi, Seo Yeon; Kim, Nam Youl; Kim, Hi Chul; Jung, Sung Yong; Schenkman, Sergio; Almeida, Igor C.; Emans, Neil; Freitas-Junior, Lucio H.

    2011-01-01

    The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, a neglected tropical infection that affects millions of people in the Americas. Current chemotherapy relies on only two drugs that have limited efficacy and considerable side effects. Therefore, the development of new and more effective drugs is of paramount importance. Although some host cellular factors that play a role in T. cruzi infection have been uncovered, the molecular requirements for intracellular parasite growth and persistence are still not well understood. To further study these host-parasite interactions and identify human host factors required for T. cruzi infection, we performed a genome-wide RNAi screen using cellular microarrays of a printed siRNA library that spanned the whole human genome. The screening was reproduced 6 times and a customized algorithm was used to select as hits those genes whose silencing visually impaired parasite infection. The 162 strongest hits were subjected to a secondary screening and subsequently validated in two different cell lines. Among the fourteen hits confirmed, we recognized some cellular membrane proteins that might function as cell receptors for parasite entry and others that may be related to calcium release triggered by parasites during cell invasion. In addition, two of the hits are related to the TGF-beta signaling pathway, whose inhibition is already known to diminish levels of T. cruzi infection. This study represents a significant step toward unveiling the key molecular requirements for host cell invasion and revealing new potential targets for antiparasitic therapy. PMID:21625474

  4. Visual genome-wide RNAi screening to identify human host factors required for Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

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    Auguste Genovesio

    Full Text Available The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, a neglected tropical infection that affects millions of people in the Americas. Current chemotherapy relies on only two drugs that have limited efficacy and considerable side effects. Therefore, the development of new and more effective drugs is of paramount importance. Although some host cellular factors that play a role in T. cruzi infection have been uncovered, the molecular requirements for intracellular parasite growth and persistence are still not well understood. To further study these host-parasite interactions and identify human host factors required for T. cruzi infection, we performed a genome-wide RNAi screen using cellular microarrays of a printed siRNA library that spanned the whole human genome. The screening was reproduced 6 times and a customized algorithm was used to select as hits those genes whose silencing visually impaired parasite infection. The 162 strongest hits were subjected to a secondary screening and subsequently validated in two different cell lines. Among the fourteen hits confirmed, we recognized some cellular membrane proteins that might function as cell receptors for parasite entry and others that may be related to calcium release triggered by parasites during cell invasion. In addition, two of the hits are related to the TGF-beta signaling pathway, whose inhibition is already known to diminish levels of T. cruzi infection. This study represents a significant step toward unveiling the key molecular requirements for host cell invasion and revealing new potential targets for antiparasitic therapy.

  5. Identification and Characterization of the Trypanosoma cruzi B-cell Superantigen Tc24.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunter, Sarah M; Jones, Kathryn M; Zhan, Bin; Essigmann, Heather T; Murray, Kristy O; Garcia, Melissa N; Gorchakov, Rodion; Bottazzi, Maria Elena; Hotez, Peter J; Brown, Eric L

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi causes life-long disease after infection and leads to cardiac disease in 30% of infected individuals. After infection, the parasites are readily detectable in the blood during the first few days before disseminating to infect numerous cell types. Preliminary data suggested that the Tc24 protein that localizes to the T. cruzi membrane during all life stages possesses B-cell superantigenic properties. These antigens facilitate immune escape by interfering with antibody-mediated responses, particularly the avoidance of catalytic antibodies. These antibodies are an innate host defense mechanism present in the naive repertoire, and catalytic antibody-antigen binding results in hydrolysis of the target. We tested the B-cell superantigenic properties of Tc24 by comparing the degree of Tc24 hydrolysis by IgM purified from either Tc24 unexposed or exposed mice and humans. Respective samples were subjected to sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, silver stained, and the degree of hydrolysis was measured. Data presented in this report suggest that the T. cruzi Tc24 is a B-cell superantigen based on the observations that 1) Tc24 was hydrolyzed by IgM present in serum of unexposed mice and humans and 2) exposure to Tc24 eliminated catalytic activity as early as 4 days after T. cruzi infection. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  6. New, combined, and reduced dosing treatment protocols cure Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, Juan M; Craft, Julie M; Crowe, Byron D; Ketchie, Sarah A; Tarleton, Rick L

    2014-01-01

    The development of treatment protocols with reduced toxicity and equivalent or improved efficacy for Trypanosoma cruzi infection is a priority. We tested the effectiveness of benznidazole (BZ), nifurtimox (NFX), other prospective drugs in intermittent and combined treatment protocols to cure T. cruzi infection initiated with susceptible and drug-resistant parasite strains. A 40-day course of BZ, NFX, or the oxaborale AN4169 cured 100% of mice, whereas posaconazole (POS), and NTLA-1 (a nitro-triazole) cured approximately 90% and 20% of mice, respectively. Reducing the overall dosage of BZ or NFX by using an intermittent (once every 5 days) schedule or combining 5 daily doses of POS with 7 intermittent doses of BZ also provided approximately 100% cure. T. cruzi strains resistant to BZ were also found to be resistant to other drugs (POS), and extending the time of treatment or combining drugs did not increase cure rates with these isolates. Thus, dosing schedules for anti-T. cruzi compounds should be determined empirically, and compounds targeting different pathways may be combined to yield effective therapies with reduced toxicity. This work also suggests that standard treatment protocols using BZ and NFX may be significantly overdosing patients, perhaps contributing to the adverse events.

  7. Differential expression profiles in the midgut of Triatoma infestans infected with Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego S Buarque

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi and is transmitted by insects from the Triatominae subfamily. To identify components involved in the protozoan-vector relationship, we constructed and analyzed cDNA libraries from RNA isolated from the midguts of uninfected and T. cruzi-infected Triatoma infestans, which are major vectors of Chagas disease. We generated approximately 440 high-quality Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs from each T. infestans midgut cDNA library. The sequences were grouped in 380 clusters, representing an average length of 664.78 base pairs (bp. Many clusters were not classified functionally, representing unknown transcripts. Several transcripts involved in different processes (e.g., detoxification showed differential expression in response to T. cruzi infection. Lysozyme, cathepsin D, a nitrophorin-like protein and a putative 14 kDa protein were significantly upregulated upon infection, whereas thioredoxin reductase was downregulated. In addition, we identified several transcripts related to metabolic processes or immunity with unchanged expressions, including infestin, lipocalins and defensins. We also detected ESTs encoding juvenile hormone binding protein (JHBP, which seems to be involved in insect development and could be a target in control strategies for the vector. This work demonstrates differential gene expression upon T. cruzi infection in the midgut of T. infestans. These data expand the current knowledge regarding vector-parasite interactions for Chagas disease.

  8. Biological characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael A Martínez-Díaz

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Biological parameters of five Trypanosoma cruzi strains from different sources were determined in order to know the laboratory behaviour of natural populations. The parameters evaluated were growth kinetics of epimastigotes, differentiation into metacyclic forms, infectivity in mammalian cells grown in vitro and parasite susceptibility to nifurtimox, benznidazole and gentian violet. Differences in transformation to metacyclic, in the percentage of infected cells as well as in the number of amastigotes per cell were observed among the strains. Regarding to pharmacological assays, Y strain was the most sensitive to the three assayed compounds. These data demonstrate the heterogeneity of natural populations of T. cruzi, the only responsible of infection in humans.

  9. Structural characterization of NETNES glycopeptide from Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiodi, Carla G; Verli, Hugo

    2013-05-24

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan, responsible for Chagas disease, that parasites triatomines and some vertebrates, mainly Homo sapiens. In 2010, nearly 10 million people in whole world, most from Latin America, had Chagas disease, which is an illness of high morbidity, low mortality, and serious problems of quality of life. The available treatment has high toxicity and low efficacy at chronic phase. Some of the protozoan antigenic or virulence factors include complex carbohydrate structures that, due to their uniqueness, may constitute potential selective targets for the development of new treatments. One example of such structures is NETNES, a low abundance T. cruzi glycopeptide, comprising 13 amino acid residues, one or two N-glycosylation chains, a GPI anchor and two P-glycosylations. In this context, the current work aims to obtain an atomic model for NETNES, including its glycan chains and membrane attachment, in order to contribute in the characterization of its structure and dynamics. Based on POPC and GPI models built in agreement with experimental data, our results indicate that, in the first third of the simulation, NETNES peptide is very flexible in solution, bending itself between asparagine residues and lying down on some carbohydrates and membrane, exposing amino acid residues and some other glycans, mainly terminal mannoses, to the extracellular medium, remaining in this position until the end of simulations.

  10. Effects of Glut1 gene silencing on proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of colorectal cancer cells by targeting the TGF-β/PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xue-Liang; Wang, Li-Kun; Yang, Dong-Dong; Qu, Ming; Yang, Yong-Jiang; Guo, Fei; Han, Lei; Xue, Jun

    2017-09-08

    This study aims to investigate the effects of glucose transport l (Glut1) gene on proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells by regulating the TGF-β/PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway. Immunohistochemistry was conducted to detect the positive Glut1 expression. Normal human CRC epithelial cells (CCD-18Co) and CRC cell line HCT116 were grouped into the control, blank, negative control (NC), and shGlut1-1 groups. RT-qPCR and Western blotting were performed to detect the expressions of Glut1, TGF-β1, PI3K, AKT, PTEN, mTOR, Bcl-2 and Bax. Protein expression of phosphorylated-PI3K (p-PI3K), p-S473-AKT, p-S389-S6K1, p-T70-4EBP1, Cleaved caspase-3 and Cleaved-PARP were detected. MTT assay, flow cytometry and colony formation assay were performed in order to detect cell viability, cell cycle and apoptosis, respectively. The positive expression rate of Glut1 in CRC tissues was 75% ± 8%, while in the adjacent normal tissues it was 0%. In comparison to adjacent normal tissues, CRC tissues had increased Glut1, TGF-β1, PI3K, AKT, mTOR and Bcl-2 expressions, and p-PI3K, p-S473-AKT, p-S389-S6K1 and p-T70-4EBP1 expressions; and decreased PTEN, Bax, Cleaved caspase-3 and Cleaved-PARP expressions. On comparison with the blank and NC groups, cells in the shGlut1-1 group showed decreased Glut1, TGF-β1, PI3K, AKT, mTOR and Bcl-2 expressions, and p-PI3K, p-S473-AKT, p-S389-S6K1 and p-T70-4EBP1 expressions; and increased PTEN, Bax, Cleaved caspase-3 and Cleaved-PARP expressions, along with more arrested cells in C0/C1 phase than in S phase and slower cell growth. These results suggested that silencing the Glut1 gene inhibited proliferation and promoted apoptosis of CRC cells by inactivating TGF-β/PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. A mathematical model of phosphorylation AKT in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

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    Adi, Y. A., E-mail: yudi.adi@math.uad.ac.id [Department of Mathematic Faculty of MIPA Universitas Ahmad Dahlan (Indonesia); Department of Mathematic Faculty of MIPA Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia); Kusumo, F. A.; Aryati, L. [Department of Mathematic Faculty of MIPA Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia); Hardianti, M. S. [Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

    2016-04-06

    In this paper we consider a mathematical model of PI3K/AKT signaling pathways in phosphorylation AKT. PI3K/AKT pathway is an important mediator of cytokine signaling implicated in regulation of hematopoiesis. Constitutive activation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway has been observed in Acute Meyloid Leukemia (AML) it caused by the mutation of Fms-like Tyrosine Kinase 3 in internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD), the most common molecular abnormality associated with AML. Depending upon its phosphorylation status, protein interaction, substrate availability, and localization, AKT can phosphorylate or inhibite numerous substrates in its downstream pathways that promote protein synthesis, survival, proliferation, and metabolism. Firstly, we present a mass action ordinary differential equation model describing AKT double phosphorylation (AKTpp) in a system with 11 equations. Finally, under the asumtion enzyme catalyst constant and steady state equilibrium, we reduce the system in 4 equation included Michaelis Menten constant. Simulation result suggested that a high concentration of PI3K and/or a low concentration of phospatase increased AKTpp activation. This result also indicates that PI3K is a potential target theraphy in AML.

  12. A mathematical model of phosphorylation AKT in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adi, Y. A.; Kusumo, F. A.; Aryati, L.; Hardianti, M. S.

    2016-04-01

    In this paper we consider a mathematical model of PI3K/AKT signaling pathways in phosphorylation AKT. PI3K/AKT pathway is an important mediator of cytokine signaling implicated in regulation of hematopoiesis. Constitutive activation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway has been observed in Acute Meyloid Leukemia (AML) it caused by the mutation of Fms-like Tyrosine Kinase 3 in internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD), the most common molecular abnormality associated with AML. Depending upon its phosphorylation status, protein interaction, substrate availability, and localization, AKT can phosphorylate or inhibite numerous substrates in its downstream pathways that promote protein synthesis, survival, proliferation, and metabolism. Firstly, we present a mass action ordinary differential equation model describing AKT double phosphorylation (AKTpp) in a system with 11 equations. Finally, under the asumtion enzyme catalyst constant and steady state equilibrium, we reduce the system in 4 equation included Michaelis Menten constant. Simulation result suggested that a high concentration of PI3K and/or a low concentration of phospatase increased AKTpp activation. This result also indicates that PI3K is a potential target theraphy in AML.

  13. SIRT1-PGC1α-NFκB Pathway of Oxidative and Inflammatory Stress during Trypanosoma cruzi Infection: Benefits of SIRT1-Targeted Therapy in Improving Heart Function in Chagas Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Jian-jun; Liang, Lisa Yi

    2016-01-01

    Chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCM) is presented by increased oxidative/inflammatory stress and decreased mitochondrial bioenergetics. SIRT1 senses the redox changes and integrates mitochondrial metabolism and inflammation; and SIRT1 deficiency may be a major determinant in CCM. To test this, C57BL/6 mice were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc), treated with SIRT1 agonists (resveratrol or SRT1720), and monitored during chronic phase (~150 days post-infection). Resveratrol treatment was partially beneficial in controlling the pathologic processes in Chagas disease. The 3-weeks SRT1720 therapy provided significant benefits in restoring the left ventricular (LV) function (stroke volume, cardiac output, ejection fraction etc.) in chagasic mice, though cardiac hypertrophy presented by increased thickness of the interventricular septum and LV posterior wall, increased LV mass, and disproportionate synthesis of collagens was not controlled. SRT1720 treatment preserved the myocardial SIRT1 activity and PGC1α deacetylation (active-form) that were decreased by 53% and 9-fold respectively, in chagasic mice. Yet, SIRT1/PGC1α-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis (i.e., mitochondrial DNA content, and expression of subunits of the respiratory complexes and mtDNA replication machinery) was not improved in chronically-infected/SRT1720-treated mice. Instead, SRT1720 therapy resulted in 2-10-fold inhibition of Tc-induced oxidative (H2O2 and advanced oxidation protein products), nitrosative (inducible nitric oxide synthase, 4-hydroxynonenal, 3-nitrotyrosine), and inflammatory (IFNγ, IL1β, IL6 and TNFα) stress and inflammatory infiltrate in chagasic myocardium. These benefits were delivered through SIRT1-dependent inhibition of NFκB transcriptional activity. We conclude that Tc inhibition of SIRT1/PGC1α activity was not a key mechanism in mitochondrial biogenesis defects during Chagas disease. SRT1720-dependent SIRT1 activation led to suppression of NFκB transcriptional

  14. 3-H-[1,2]Dithiole as a New Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi Chemotype: Biological and Mechanism of Action Studies

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    Marcos Couto

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The current pharmacological Chagas disease treatments, using Nifurtimox or Benznidazole, show limited therapeutic results and are associated with potential side effects, like mutagenicity. Using random screening we have identified new chemotypes that were able to inhibit relevant targets of the Trypanosoma cruzi. We found 3H-[1,2]dithioles with the ability to inhibit Trypanosoma cruzi triosephosphate isomerase (TcTIM. Herein, we studied the structural modifications of this chemotype to analyze the influence of volume, lipophilicity and electronic properties in the anti-T. cruzi activity. Their selectivity to parasites vs. mammalian cells was also examined. To get insights into a possible mechanism of action, the inhibition of the enzymatic activity of TcTIM and cruzipain, using the isolated enzymes, and the inhibition of membrane sterol biosynthesis and excreted metabolites, using the whole parasite, were achieved. We found that this structural framework is interesting for the generation of innovative drugs for the treatment of Chagas disease.

  15. 3-H-[1,2]Dithiole as a New Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi Chemotype: Biological and Mechanism of Action Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couto, Marcos; Sánchez, Carina; Dávila, Belén; Machín, Valentina; Varela, Javier; Álvarez, Guzmán; Cabrera, Mauricio; Celano, Laura; Aguirre-López, Beatriz; Cabrera, Nallely; de Gómez-Puyou, Marieta Tuena; Gómez-Puyou, Armando; Pérez-Montfort, Ruy; Cerecetto, Hugo; González, Mercedes

    2015-08-12

    The current pharmacological Chagas disease treatments, using Nifurtimox or Benznidazole, show limited therapeutic results and are associated with potential side effects, like mutagenicity. Using random screening we have identified new chemotypes that were able to inhibit relevant targets of the Trypanosoma cruzi. We found 3H-[1,2]dithioles with the ability to inhibit Trypanosoma cruzi triosephosphate isomerase (TcTIM). Herein, we studied the structural modifications of this chemotype to analyze the influence of volume, lipophilicity and electronic properties in the anti-T. cruzi activity. Their selectivity to parasites vs. mammalian cells was also examined. To get insights into a possible mechanism of action, the inhibition of the enzymatic activity of TcTIM and cruzipain, using the isolated enzymes, and the inhibition of membrane sterol biosynthesis and excreted metabolites, using the whole parasite, were achieved. We found that this structural framework is interesting for the generation of innovative drugs for the treatment of Chagas disease.

  16. Akt3 is a privileged first responder in isozyme-specific electrophile response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Marcus J C; Parvez, Saba; Zhao, Yi; Surya, Sanjna L; Wang, Yiran; Zhang, Sheng; Aye, Yimon

    2017-03-01

    Isozyme-specific post-translational regulation fine tunes signaling events. However, redundancy in sequence or activity renders links between isozyme-specific modifications and downstream functions uncertain. Methods to study this phenomenon are underdeveloped. Here we use a redox-targeting screen to reveal that Akt3 is a first-responding isozyme sensing native electrophilic lipids. Electrophile modification of Akt3 modulated downstream pathway responses in cells and Danio rerio (zebrafish) and markedly differed from Akt2-specific oxidative regulation. Digest MS sequencing identified Akt3 C119 as the privileged cysteine that senses 4-hydroxynonenal. A C119S Akt3 mutant was hypomorphic for all downstream phenotypes shown by wild-type Akt3. This study documents isozyme-specific and chemical redox signal-personalized physiological responses.

  17. Influence of ionizing radiation on Trypanosoma cruzi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szarota, R.M.; Baptista, J.A.; Nascimento, N. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Centro de Biologia Molecular]. E-mail: nnascime@ipen.br; Andrade Junior, H.F. [Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Lab. de Protozoologia; Dias, V.L.; Gimenes, A.P.; Martins, A.R.S.; Passos, L.A.C. [Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP (Brazil). Centro Multidisciplinar para Investigacao Biologica. Lab. de Genetica e Criopreservacao de Embrioes Murinos

    2005-07-01

    Chagas' disease is among the major health problems in South America impairing the wealth fare population. Since its discovery, in 1909, by Carlos Chagas, American Trypanosomiasis showed significant differences in the resistance of infected people. Such observations led to the hypothesis that the genetic background of the host could have an influence on the development of the disease and lifespan of infected people. Considering that ionizing radiation has been successfully employed to modify the immunological properties of biomolecules studies, this paper reports on results obtained by comparing infectivity and immunogenicity of native and irradiated T. cruzi. It was observed that radiation process causes inability of trypanosomes to infect and kill mice, however these results are different according to the strain mice studied. Different strains were immunized with native T. cruzi or 2 KGy irradiated parasite in a {sup 60} Co source with 10{sup 3} or 10{sup 5} forms. The results obtained by ELISA method indicated that when immunized with native T. cruzi, all different strain mice have produced significant antibodies title levels. However, if irradiated parasite is employed, smaller antibodies title is observed. These results indicate that ionizing radiation is a good tool to modify T. cruzi in order to get a less infective parasite, considering that although susceptible mice strain have presented no significant immune response, they did not die. These data could help to understand the immune mechanisms involved in recognition, processing and presentation of both native and irradiated parasites. (author)

  18. The cell surface of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanderley de Souza

    1984-01-01

    Full Text Available The cell surface of trypanosomatids is formed by the plasma membrane and a layer of sub-pellicular microtubules which are connected to the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane is composed by proteins, lipids and carbohydrates which form the glycocalix. In this paper we will review briefly aspects related to the organization of the cell surface of Trypanosoma cruzi.

  19. Inducible suicide vector systems for Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yanfen; Weiss, Louis M; Huang, Huan

    2015-06-01

    Chagas disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi is a major neglected tropical parasitic disease. The pathogenesis of this infection remains disputable. There is no suitable vaccine for the prevention. Attenuated live vaccines can provide strong protection against infection; however, there are the concerns about latent infection or reversion to virulence in such attenuated strains. A method to induce T. cruzi death would provide a critical tool for research into the pathophysiological mechanisms and provide a novel design of safe live attenuated vaccines. We established effective inducible systems for T. cruzi employing the degradation domain based on the Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (ecDHFR). The DHFR degradation domain (DDD) can be stabilized by trimethoprim-lactate and can be used to express detrimental or toxic proteins. T. cruzi lines with Alpha-toxin, Cecropin A and GFP under the control of DDD with a hemagglutinin tag (HA) were developed. Interestingly, amastigotes bearing GFP-DDDHA, Alpha-toxin-DDDHA, Cecropin A-DDDHA and DDDHA all resulted in inducible cell death with these fusions, indicating that DDDHA protein is also detrimental to amastigotes. Furthermore, these strains were attenuated in mouse experiments producing no pathological changes and inoculation with these DDDHA strains in mice provided strong protection against lethal wild type infection.

  20. Trypanosoma Cruzi Cyp51 Inhibitor Derived from a Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Screen Hit

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Chiung-Kuang; Doyle, Patricia S.; Yermalitskaya, Liudmila V.; Mackey, Zachary B.; Ang, Kenny K.H.; McKerrow, James H.; Podust, Larissa M.; (Vanderbilt); (UCSF)

    2009-02-18

    The two front-line drugs for chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infections are limited by adverse side-effects and declining efficacy. One potential new target for Chagas disease chemotherapy is sterol 14{alpha}-demethylase (CYP51), a cytochrome P450 enzyme involved in biosynthesis of membrane sterols. In a screening effort targeting Mycobacterium tuberculosis CYP51 (CYP51{sub Mt}), we previously identified the N-[4-pyridyl]-formamide moiety as a building block capable of delivering a variety of chemotypes into the CYP51 active site. In that work, the binding modes of several second generation compounds carrying this scaffold were determined by high-resolution co-crystal structures with CYP51{sub Mt}. Subsequent assays against the CYP51 orthologue in T. cruzi, CYP51{sub Tc}, demonstrated that two of the compounds tested in the earlier effort bound tightly to this enzyme. Both were tested in vitro for inhibitory effects against T. cruzi and the related protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. One of the compounds had potent, selective anti-T. cruzi activity in infected mouse macrophages. Cure of treated host cells was confirmed by prolonged incubation in the absence of the inhibiting compound. Discrimination between T. cruzi and T. brucei CYP51 by the inhibitor was largely based on the variability (phenylalanine versus isoleucine) of a single residue at a critical position in the active site. CYP51{sub Mt}-based crystal structure analysis revealed that the functional groups of the two tightly bound compounds are likely to occupy different spaces in the CYP51 active site, suggesting the possibility of combining the beneficial features of both inhibitors in a third generation of compounds to achieve more potent and selective inhibition of CYP51{sub Tc}. Enzyme sterol 14{alpha}-demethylase (CYP51) is a well-established target for anti-fungal therapy and is a prospective target for Chagas disease therapy. We previously identified a

  1. Inhibition of Akt signaling by exclusion from lipid rafts in normal and transformed epidermal keratinocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calay, Damien; Vind-Kezunovic, Dina; Frankart, Aurelie;

    2010-01-01

    in deactivation of mammalian target of rapamycin, activation of FoxO3a, and increased sensitivity to apoptosis stimuli. Lipid raft disruption abrogated the binding of Akt and the major Akt kinase, phosphatidylinositol-dependent kinase 1, to the membrane by pleckstrin-homology domains. Thus, the integrity of lipid...

  2. Targeted deletion of murine CEACAM 1 activates PI3K-Akt signaling and contributes to the expression of (Pro)renin receptor via CREB family and NF-κB transcription factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jiqian; Ledford, Kelly J; Pitkin, William B; Russo, Lucia; Najjar, Sonia M; Siragy, Helmy M

    2013-08-01

    The carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 regulates insulin sensitivity by promoting hepatic insulin clearance. Mice bearing a null mutation of Ceacam1 gene (Cc1(-/-)) develop impaired insulin clearance followed by hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, in addition to visceral obesity and increased plasma fatty acids. Because insulin resistance is associated with increased blood pressure, we investigated whether they develop higher blood pressure with activated renal renin-angiotensin system and whether this is mediated, in part, by the upregulation of renal (pro)renin receptor (PRR) expression. Compared with age-matched wild-type littermates, Cc1(-/-) mice exhibited increased blood pressure with increased activation of renal renin-angiotensin systems and renal PRR expression. Cytoplasmic and nuclear immunostaining of phospho-PI3K p85α and phospho-Akt was enhanced in the kidney of Cc1(-/-) mice. In murine renal inner medullary collecting duct epithelial cells with lentiviral-mediated small hairpin RNA knockdown of carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1, PRR expression was upregulated and phosphorylation of PI3K (Tyr508), Akt (Ser473), NF-κB p65 (Ser276), cAMP response element-binding protein/activated transcription factor (ATF)-1 (Ser133), and ATF-2 (Thr71) was enhanced. Inhibiting PI3K with LY294002 or Akt with Akt inhibitor VIII attenuated PRR expression. In conclusion, global null deletion of Ceacam1 caused an increase in blood pressure with increased renin-angiotensin system activation together with upregulation of PRR via PI3K-Akt activation of cAMP response element-binding protein 1, ATF-1, ATF-2, and NF-κB p65 transcription factors.

  3. Mammalian cell invasion and intracellular trafficking by Trypanosoma cruzi infective forms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato A. Mortara

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas’ disease, occurs as different strains or isolates that may be grouped in two major phylogenetic lineages: T. cruzi I, associated with the sylvatic cycle and T. cruzi II, linked to the human disease. In the mammalian host the parasite has to invade cells and many studies implicated the flagellated trypomastigotes in this process. Several parasite surface components and some of host cell receptors with which they interact have been identified. Our work focused on how amastigotes, usually found growing in the cytoplasm, can invade mammalian cells with infectivities comparable to that of trypomastigotes. We found differences in cellular responses induced by amastigotes and trypomastigotes regarding cytoskeletal components and actin-rich projections. Extracellularly generated amastigotes of T. cruzi I strains may display greater infectivity than metacyclic trypomastigotes towards cultured cell lines as well as target cells that have modified expression of different classes of cellular components. Cultured host cells harboring the bacterium Coxiella burnetii allowed us to gain new insights into the trafficking properties of the different infective forms of T. cruzi, disclosing unexpected requirements for the parasite to transit between the parasitophorous vacuole to its final destination in the host cell cytoplasm.O agente etiológico da doença de Chagas, Trypanosoma cruzi, ocorre como cepas ou isolados que podem ser agrupados em duas grandes linhagens filogenéticas: T. cruzi I associada ao ciclo silvestre e T. cruzi II ligada à doençahumana. No hospedeiro mamífero o parasita tem que invadir células, e vários estudos relacionam as formas flageladas tripomastigotas neste processo. Diferentes componentes de superfície dos parasitas e alguns dos respectivos receptores foram identificados. Em nosso trabalho temos procurado compreender como amastigotas, que normalmente são encontrados crescendo

  4. Predominance of Trypanosoma cruzi I among Panamanian sylvatic isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samudio, Franklyn; Ortega-Barría, Eduardo; Saldaña, Azael; Calzada, Jose

    2007-02-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is throughout Panama, which is in agreement with the widespread of the sylvatic vectors implicated in the transmission. Eco-epidemiological changes in some regions of the country have led to a successful dissemination of the palm-tree Attalea butyracea and a possible adaptation of the primary vector of Chagas' disease to human settlements. These facts might increase both vector-human contact and human infection with different potentials T. cruzi genotypes and make therefore necessary a study to disclose Panamanian T. cruzi make-up. In this study, 71 T. cruzi isolates from Rhodnius pallescens were analyzed using mini-exon gene and sequence-characterized amplified region markers. The analyzed strains were T. cruzi lineage I. This finding along with prior results indicates that T. cruzi I is the principal genotype circulating in both sylvatic and domestic/peridomestic cycles and consequently responsible for the disease in the country.

  5. Mother-to-Child Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebrekristos, Hirut T; Buekens, Pierre

    2014-09-01

    Among the world's most neglected tropical diseases, Chagas disease is vector-borne and caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. T cruzi infection is endemic to South and Central America as well as Mexico. Due to population migration, T cruzi is increasingly becoming a public health problem in nonendemic settings. Success with vector control strategies has led to a relative increase in the burden attributable to congenital transmission of T cruzi. In endemic settings, approximately 5% of infected pregnant women transmit to their offspring. Congenital T cruzi infection is generally asymptomatic and parasitological and serological testing is required for diagnosis. This review highlights research gaps with a focus on (1) improving screening, diagnostic, and treatment options and (2) designing epidemiologic studies to understand risk factors for congenital T cruzi.

  6. Mode of Action of the Sesquiterpene Lactones Psilostachyin and Psilostachyin C on Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papademetrio, Daniela; Batlle, Alcira; Martino, Virginia S.; Frank, Fernanda M.; Lombardo, María E.

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas’ disease, which is a major endemic disease in Latin America and is recognized by the WHO as one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases in the world. Psilostachyin and psilostachyin C, two sesquiterpene lactones isolated from Ambrosia spp., have been demonstrated to have trypanocidal activity. Considering both the potential therapeutic targets present in the parasite, and the several mechanisms of action proposed for sesquiterpene lactones, the aim of this work was to characterize the mode of action of psilostachyin and psilostachyin C on Trypanosoma cruzi and to identify the possible targets for these molecules. Psilostachyin and psilostachyin C were isolated from Ambrosia tenuifolia and Ambrosia scabra, respectively. Interaction of sesquiterpene lactones with hemin, the induction of oxidative stress, the inhibition of cruzipain and trypanothione reductase and their ability to inhibit sterol biosynthesis were evaluated. The induction of cell death by apoptosis was also evaluated by analyzing phosphatidylserine exposure detected using annexin-V/propidium iodide, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, assessed with Rhodamine 123 and nuclear DNA fragmentation evaluated by the TUNEL assay. Both STLs were capable of interacting with hemin. Psilostachyin increased about 5 times the generation of reactive oxygen species in Trypanosoma cruzi after a 4h treatment, unlike psilostachyin C which induced an increase in reactive oxygen species levels of only 1.5 times. Only psilostachyin C was able to inhibit the biosynthesis of ergosterol, causing an accumulation of squalene. Both sesquiterpene lactones induced parasite death by apoptosis. Upon evaluating the combination of both compounds, and additive trypanocidal effect was observed. Despite their structural similarity, both sesquiterpene lactones exerted their anti-T. cruzi activity through interaction with different targets. Psilostachyin accomplished its

  7. Mode of Action of the Sesquiterpene Lactones Psilostachyin and Psilostachyin C on Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sülsen, Valeria P; Puente, Vanesa; Papademetrio, Daniela; Batlle, Alcira; Martino, Virginia S; Frank, Fernanda M; Lombardo, María E

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas' disease, which is a major endemic disease in Latin America and is recognized by the WHO as one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases in the world. Psilostachyin and psilostachyin C, two sesquiterpene lactones isolated from Ambrosia spp., have been demonstrated to have trypanocidal activity. Considering both the potential therapeutic targets present in the parasite, and the several mechanisms of action proposed for sesquiterpene lactones, the aim of this work was to characterize the mode of action of psilostachyin and psilostachyin C on Trypanosoma cruzi and to identify the possible targets for these molecules. Psilostachyin and psilostachyin C were isolated from Ambrosia tenuifolia and Ambrosia scabra, respectively. Interaction of sesquiterpene lactones with hemin, the induction of oxidative stress, the inhibition of cruzipain and trypanothione reductase and their ability to inhibit sterol biosynthesis were evaluated. The induction of cell death by apoptosis was also evaluated by analyzing phosphatidylserine exposure detected using annexin-V/propidium iodide, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, assessed with Rhodamine 123 and nuclear DNA fragmentation evaluated by the TUNEL assay. Both STLs were capable of interacting with hemin. Psilostachyin increased about 5 times the generation of reactive oxygen species in Trypanosoma cruzi after a 4h treatment, unlike psilostachyin C which induced an increase in reactive oxygen species levels of only 1.5 times. Only psilostachyin C was able to inhibit the biosynthesis of ergosterol, causing an accumulation of squalene. Both sesquiterpene lactones induced parasite death by apoptosis. Upon evaluating the combination of both compounds, and additive trypanocidal effect was observed. Despite their structural similarity, both sesquiterpene lactones exerted their anti-T. cruzi activity through interaction with different targets. Psilostachyin accomplished its antiparasitic

  8. Sexual transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in murine model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Marcelle; Nitz, Nadjar; Santana, Camilla; Moraes, Aline; Hagström, Luciana; Andrade, Rafael; Rios, Adriano; Sousa, Alessandro; Dallago, Bruno; Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo; Hecht, Mariana

    2016-03-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is mainly transmitted by blood-sucking triatomines, but other routes also have epidemiological importance, such as blood transfusion and congenital transmission. Although the possibility of sexual transmission of T. cruzi has been suggested since its discovery, few studies have been published on this subject. We investigated acquisition of T. cruzi by sexual intercourse in an experimental murine model. Male and female mice in the chronic phase of Chagas disease were mated with naive partners. Parasitological, serological and molecular tests demonstrated the parasites in tissues and blood of partners. These results confirm the sexual transmission of T. cruzi in mice.

  9. Trypanosoma cruzi screening in Texas blood donors, 2008-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, M N; Woc-Colburn, L; Rossmann, S N; Townsend, R L; Stramer, S L; Bravo, M; Kamel, H; Beddard, R; Townsend, M; Oldham, R; Bottazzi, M E; Hotez, P J; Murray, K O

    2016-04-01

    Chagas disease is an important emerging disease in Texas that results in cardiomyopathy in about 30% of those infected with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Between the years 2008 and 2012, about 1/6500 blood donors were T. cruzi antibody-confirmed positive. We found older persons and minority populations, particularly Hispanic, at highest risk for screening positive for T. cruzi antibodies during routine blood donation. Zip code analysis determined that T. cruzi is associated with poverty. Chagas disease has a significant disease burden and is a cause of substantial economic losses in Texas.

  10. A Positive Feedback Loop between Akt and mTORC2 via SIN1 Phosphorylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guang Yang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2 regulates cell survival and cytoskeletal organization by phosphorylating its AGC kinase substrates; however, little is known about the regulation of mTORC2 itself. It was previously reported that Akt phosphorylates the mTORC2 subunit SIN1 at T86, activating mTORC2 through a positive feedback loop, though another study reported that S6K phosphorylates SIN1 at the same site, inhibiting mTORC2 activity. We performed extensive analysis of SIN1 phosphorylation upon inhibition of Akt, S6K, and mTOR under diverse cellular contexts, and we found that, in all cell lines and conditions studied, Akt is the major kinase responsible for SIN1 phosphorylation. These findings refine the activation mechanism of the Akt-mTORC2 signaling branch as follows: PDK1 phosphorylates Akt at T308, increasing Akt kinase activity. Akt phosphorylates SIN1 at T86, enhancing mTORC2 kinase activity, which leads to phosphorylation of Akt S473 by mTORC2, thereby catalyzing full activation of Akt.

  11. A Positive Feedback Loop between Akt and mTORC2 via SIN1 Phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guang; Murashige, Danielle S; Humphrey, Sean J; James, David E

    2015-08-11

    The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) regulates cell survival and cytoskeletal organization by phosphorylating its AGC kinase substrates; however, little is known about the regulation of mTORC2 itself. It was previously reported that Akt phosphorylates the mTORC2 subunit SIN1 at T86, activating mTORC2 through a positive feedback loop, though another study reported that S6K phosphorylates SIN1 at the same site, inhibiting mTORC2 activity. We performed extensive analysis of SIN1 phosphorylation upon inhibition of Akt, S6K, and mTOR under diverse cellular contexts, and we found that, in all cell lines and conditions studied, Akt is the major kinase responsible for SIN1 phosphorylation. These findings refine the activation mechanism of the Akt-mTORC2 signaling branch as follows: PDK1 phosphorylates Akt at T308, increasing Akt kinase activity. Akt phosphorylates SIN1 at T86, enhancing mTORC2 kinase activity, which leads to phosphorylation of Akt S473 by mTORC2, thereby catalyzing full activation of Akt.

  12. Anti-myeloma activity of Akt inhibition is linked to the activation status of PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Vijay; Kimlinger, Teresa; Haug, Jessica; Painuly, Utkarsh; Wellik, Linda; Halling, Timothy; Rajkumar, S Vincent; Kumar, Shaji

    2012-01-01

    The PI3K/Akt/mTOR signal transduction pathway plays a central role in multiple myeloma (MM) disease progression and development of therapeutic resistance. mTORC1 inhibitors have shown limited efficacy in the clinic, largely attributed to the reactivation of Akt due to rapamycin induced mTORC2 activity. Here, we present promising anti-myeloma activity of MK-2206, a novel allosteric pan-Akt inhibitor, in MM cell lines and patient cells. MK-2206 was able to induce cytotoxicity and inhibit proliferation in all MM cell lines tested, albeit with significant heterogeneity that was highly dependent on basal pAkt levels. MK-2206 was able to inhibit proliferation of MM cells even when cultured with marrow stromal cells or tumor promoting cytokines. The induction of cytotoxicity was due to apoptosis, which at least partially was mediated by caspases. MK-2206 inhibited pAkt and its down-stream targets and up-regulated pErk in MM cells. Using MK-2206 in combination with rapamycin (mTORC1 inhibitor), LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor), or U0126 (MEK1/2 inhibitor), we show that Erk- mediated downstream activation of PI3K/Akt pathway results in resistance to Akt inhibition. These provide the basis for clinical evaluation of MK-2206 alone or in combination in MM and potential use of baseline pAkt and pErk as biomarkers for patient selection.

  13. Anti-myeloma activity of Akt inhibition is linked to the activation status of PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijay Ramakrishnan

    Full Text Available The PI3K/Akt/mTOR signal transduction pathway plays a central role in multiple myeloma (MM disease progression and development of therapeutic resistance. mTORC1 inhibitors have shown limited efficacy in the clinic, largely attributed to the reactivation of Akt due to rapamycin induced mTORC2 activity. Here, we present promising anti-myeloma activity of MK-2206, a novel allosteric pan-Akt inhibitor, in MM cell lines and patient cells. MK-2206 was able to induce cytotoxicity and inhibit proliferation in all MM cell lines tested, albeit with significant heterogeneity that was highly dependent on basal pAkt levels. MK-2206 was able to inhibit proliferation of MM cells even when cultured with marrow stromal cells or tumor promoting cytokines. The induction of cytotoxicity was due to apoptosis, which at least partially was mediated by caspases. MK-2206 inhibited pAkt and its down-stream targets and up-regulated pErk in MM cells. Using MK-2206 in combination with rapamycin (mTORC1 inhibitor, LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor, or U0126 (MEK1/2 inhibitor, we show that Erk- mediated downstream activation of PI3K/Akt pathway results in resistance to Akt inhibition. These provide the basis for clinical evaluation of MK-2206 alone or in combination in MM and potential use of baseline pAkt and pErk as biomarkers for patient selection.

  14. Protein kinase B/Akt1 inhibits autophagy by down-regulating UVRAG expression

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Wonseok; Ju, Ji-hyun; Lee, Kyung-min; Nam, KeeSoo; Oh, Sunhwa [Department of Life Science, College of Natural Science, Hanyang University, 17 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Shin, Incheol, E-mail: incheol@hanyang.ac.kr [Department of Life Science, College of Natural Science, Hanyang University, 17 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-02-01

    Autophagy, or autophagocytosis, is a selective intracellular degradative process involving the cell's own lysosomal apparatus. An essential component in cell development, homeostasis, repair and resistance to stress, autophagy may result in either cell death or survival. The targeted region of the cell is sequestered within a membrane structure, the autophagosome, for regulation of the catabolic process. A key factor in both autophagosome formation and autophagosome maturation is a protein encoded by the ultraviolet irradiation resistance-associated gene (UVRAG). Conversely, the serine/threonine-specific protein kinase B (PKB, also known as Akt), which regulates survival in various cancers, inhibits autophagy through mTOR activation. We found that Akt1 may also directly inhibit autophagy by down-regulating UVRAG both in a 293T transient transfection system and breast cancer cells stably expressing Akt1. The UVRAG with mutations at putative Akt1-phosphorylation sites were still inhibited by Akt1, and dominant-negative Akt1 also inhibited UVRAG expression, suggesting that Akt1 down-regulates UVRAG by a kinase activity-independent mechanism. We showed that Akt1 overexpression in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells down-regulated UVRAG transcription. Cells over-expressing Akt1 were more resistant than control cells to ultraviolet light-induced autophagy and exhibited the associated reduction in cell viability. Levels of the autophagosome indicator protein LC3B-II and mRFP-GFP-LC3 were reduced in cells that over-expressing Akt1. Inhibiting Akt1 by siRNA or reintroducing UVRAG gene rescued the level of LC3B-II in UV-irradiation. Altogether, these data suggest that Akt1 may inhibit autophagy by decreasing UVRAG expression, which also sensitizes cancer cells to UV irradiation.

  15. Drosophila tribbles antagonizes insulin signaling-mediated growth and metabolism via interactions with Akt kinase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Das

    Full Text Available Drosophila Tribbles (Trbl is the founding member of the Trib family of kinase-like docking proteins that modulate cell signaling during proliferation, migration and growth. In a wing misexpression screen for Trbl interacting proteins, we identified the Ser/Thr protein kinase Akt1. Given the central role of Akt1 in insulin signaling, we tested the function of Trbl in larval fat body, a tissue where rapid increases in size are exquisitely sensitive to insulin/insulin-like growth factor levels. Consistent with a role in antagonizing insulin-mediated growth, trbl RNAi knockdown in the fat body increased cell size, advanced the timing of pupation and increased levels of circulating triglyceride. Complementarily, overexpression of Trbl reduced fat body cell size, decreased overall larval size, delayed maturation and lowered levels of triglycerides, while circulating glucose levels increased. The conserved Trbl kinase domain is required for function in vivo and for interaction with Akt in a yeast two-hybrid assay. Consistent with direct regulation of Akt, overexpression of Trbl in the fat body decreased levels of activated Akt (pSer505-Akt while misexpression of trbl RNAi increased phospho-Akt levels, and neither treatment affected total Akt levels. Trbl misexpression effectively suppressed Akt-mediated wing and muscle cell size increases and reduced phosphorylation of the Akt target FoxO (pSer256-FoxO. Taken together, these data show that Drosophila Trbl has a conserved role to bind Akt and block Akt-mediated insulin signaling, and implicate Trib proteins as novel sites of signaling pathway integration that link nutrient availability with cell growth and proliferation.

  16. Inhibition of Trypanosoma cruzi growth in vitro by Solanum alkaloids: a comparison with ketoconazole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chataing, B; Concepción, J L; Lobatón, R; Usubillaga, A

    1998-02-01

    The glycoalkaloids alpha-chaconine, alpha-solamargine, alpha-solanine, solasonine, sycophantine, and tomatine, as well as the aglycones demissidine, solanidine, solanocapsine, solasodine, tomatidine, and veratrine were tested as growth inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi, strain EP, in LIT medium. Their activity was compared with the antifungal ketoconazole. Glycoalkaloids containing alpha-chacotriose showed trypanolytic activity against the epimastigote form and trypanocidal activity against the bloodstream and metacyclic trypomastigote form of Trypanosoma cruzi in culture medium in micromolar concentrations. Ketoconazole showed a lower activity, at the same concentrations of alpha-chaconine and alpha-solamargine. The observations indicate that the initial target of the compound is at the membrane level with a concomitant change in the parasite morphology. Moreover, internal compartments of the parasites were observed to be affected by the drugs, revealing the dissolution of some organelles as mitocondrias and glycosomes.

  17. Trypanosoma cruzi, cancer and the Cold War.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krementsov, Nikolai

    2009-07-01

    In the summer of 1946, the international community of cancer researchers was inspired by the announcement that two Soviet scientists, Nina Kliueva and Grigorii Roskin, had discovered anticancer properties in culture extracts made from the South American protozoan, Trypanosoma cruzi, and had produced a preparation--named after its discoverers KR--which showed clear therapeutic effects on cancer patients. Research teams from various countries enthusiastically pursued the promising new line of investigation. The story of the rise and fall of interest in the anticancer properties of T. cruzi in different countries suggests that during the second half of the twentieth century, the Cold War competition between the superpowers played an important role in shaping the research agendas of cancer studies.

  18. AKT3 controls mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy via regulation of the major nuclear export protein CRM-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corum, Daniel G; Tsichlis, Philip N; Muise-Helmericks, Robin C

    2014-01-01

    Our previous work has shown that Akt3 is required for mitochondrial biogenesis in primary human endothelial cells (ECs) and in Akt3-null mice; Akt3 affects subcellular localization of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1 (PGC-1α), the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. The purpose of this study is to determine the mechanism by which Akt3 controls the subcellular distribution of PGC-1α and to explore the effect on mitochondrial biogenesis and turnover during angiogenesis. Here we use standard biochemical analyses and Akt3-knockdown strategies to show that Akt3 controls the stabilization of chromosome maintenance region-1 (CRM-1), the major nuclear export receptor. Site-directed mutagenesis and association analyses show that PGC-1α nuclear export is CRM-1 dependent. Akt3 knockdown and CRM-1 overexpression cause 3-fold reductions in PGC-1α target gene expression, compared to control levels. Akt3 inhibition causes autophagy, as measured by autophagosome formation, in a CRM-1-dependent, Akt1/mTOR-independent pathway. In vivo, Akt3-null and heterozygous mice show dose-dependent decreases in angiogenesis compared to wild-type littermates (~5- and 2.5-fold decreases, respectively), as assessed by Matrigel plug assays. This correlates with an ~1.5-fold decrease in mitochondrial Cox IV expression. Our studies suggest that Akt3 is a regulator of mitochondrial dynamics in the vasculature via regulation of CRM-1-dependent nuclear export.

  19. Binding Mode and Selectivity of Steroids towards Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase from the Pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Ortiz

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH plays a housekeeping role in cell metabolism by generating reducing power (NADPH and fueling the production of nucleotide precursors (ribose-5-phosphate. Based on its indispensability for pathogenic parasites from the genus Trypanosoma, G6PDH is considered a drug target candidate. Several steroid-like scaffolds were previously reported to target the activity of G6PDH. Epiandrosterone (EA is an uncompetitive inhibitor of trypanosomal G6PDH for which its binding site to the enzyme remains unknown. Molecular simulation studies with the structure of Trypanosoma cruzi G6PDH revealed that EA binds in a pocket close to the G6P binding-site and protrudes into the active site blocking the interaction between substrates and hence catalysis. Site directed mutagenesis revealed the important steroid-stabilizing effect of residues (L80, K83 and K84 located on helix α-1 of T. cruzi G6PDH. The higher affinity and potency of 16α-Br EA by T. cruzi G6PDH is explained by the formation of a halogen bond with the hydrogen from the terminal amide of the NADP+-nicotinamide. At variance with the human enzyme, the inclusion of a 21-hydroxypregnane-20-one moiety to a 3β-substituted steroid is detrimental for T. cruzi G6PDH inhibition. The species-specificity of certain steroid derivatives towards the parasite G6PDH and the corresponding biochemically validated binding models disclosed in this work may prove valuable for the development of selective inhibitors against the pathogen’s enzyme.

  20. Binding Mode and Selectivity of Steroids towards Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase from the Pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Cecilia; Moraca, Francesca; Medeiros, Andrea; Botta, Maurizio; Hamilton, Niall; Comini, Marcelo A

    2016-03-17

    Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) plays a housekeeping role in cell metabolism by generating reducing power (NADPH) and fueling the production of nucleotide precursors (ribose-5-phosphate). Based on its indispensability for pathogenic parasites from the genus Trypanosoma, G6PDH is considered a drug target candidate. Several steroid-like scaffolds were previously reported to target the activity of G6PDH. Epiandrosterone (EA) is an uncompetitive inhibitor of trypanosomal G6PDH for which its binding site to the enzyme remains unknown. Molecular simulation studies with the structure of Trypanosoma cruzi G6PDH revealed that EA binds in a pocket close to the G6P binding-site and protrudes into the active site blocking the interaction between substrates and hence catalysis. Site directed mutagenesis revealed the important steroid-stabilizing effect of residues (L80, K83 and K84) located on helix α-1 of T. cruzi G6PDH. The higher affinity and potency of 16α-Br EA by T. cruzi G6PDH is explained by the formation of a halogen bond with the hydrogen from the terminal amide of the NADP+-nicotinamide. At variance with the human enzyme, the inclusion of a 21-hydroxypregnane-20-one moiety to a 3β-substituted steroid is detrimental for T. cruzi G6PDH inhibition. The species-specificity of certain steroid derivatives towards the parasite G6PDH and the corresponding biochemically validated binding models disclosed in this work may prove valuable for the development of selective inhibitors against the pathogen's enzyme.

  1. Genotypic variation among lineages of Trypanosoma cruzi and its geographic aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higo, Hiroo; Miura, Sachio; Horio, Masahiro; Mimori, Tatsuyuki; Hamano, Shinjiro; Agatsuma, Takeshi; Yanagi, Tetsuo; Cruz-Reyes, Arejandro; Uyema, Norma; Rojas de Arias, A; Matta, Vivian; Akahane, Hiroshige; Hirayama, Kenji; Takeuchi, Tsutomu; Tada, Isao; Himeno, Kunisuke

    2004-12-01

    Isozyme analysis with 18 enzyme loci was conducted on 146 isolates of Trypanosoma cruzi from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile. Forty-four different MLGs (groups of isolates with identical multilocus genotypes) were identified and a phylogeny was constructed. The phylogenetic tree consisted of two main groups (T. cruzi I, T. cruzi II), and the latter was further divided into two subgroups (T. cruzi IIa, T. cruzi IIb-e). Evidence of hybridization between different MLGs of T. cruzi II was found, which means that genetic exchanges seem to have occurred in South American T. cruzi. On the other hand, the persistence of characteristic T. cruzi I and T. cruzi II isozyme patterns in single small villages in Bolivia and Guatemala suggested that genetic exchange is very rare between major lineages. A significant difference in genetic diversity was shown between T. cruzi I and T. cruzi II from several indices of population genetics. Two possibilities could explain this genetic variation in the population: differences in evolutionary history and/or different tendencies to exchange genetic material. Broad-scale geographic distributions of T. cruzi I and T. cruzi IIb-e were different; T. cruzi I occurred in Central America and south to Bolivia and Brazil, while T. cruzi IIb-e occurred in the central and southern areas of South America, overlapping with T. cruzi I in Brazil and Bolivia.

  2. Molecular characterization of Cyclophilin (TcCyP19) in Trypanosoma cruzi populations susceptible and resistant to benznidazole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rêgo, Juciane Vaz; Duarte, Ana Paula; Liarte, Daniel Barbosa; de Carvalho Sousa, Francirlene; Barreto, Humberto Medeiros; Bua, Jacqueline; Romanha, Alvaro José; Rádis-Baptista, Gandhi; Murta, Silvane Maria Fonseca

    2015-01-01

    Cyclophilin (CyP), a peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase, is a key molecule with diverse biological functions that include roles in molecular chaperoning, stress response, immune modulation, and signal transduction. In this respect, CyP could serve as a potential drug target in disease-causing parasites. Previous studies employing proteomics techniques have shown that the TcCyP19 isoform was more abundant in a benznidazole (BZ)-resistant Trypanosoma cruzi population than in its susceptible counterpart. In this study, TcCyP19 has been characterized in BZ-susceptible and BZ-resistant T. cruzi populations. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a clear dichotomy between Cyphophilin A (CyPA) sequences from trypanosomatids and mammals. Sequencing analysis revealed that the amino acid sequences of TcCyP19 were identical among the T. cruzi samples analyzed. Southern blot analysis showed that TcCyP19 is a single-copy gene, located in chromosomal bands varying in size from 0.68 to 2.2 Mb, depending on the strain of T. cruzi. Northern blot and qPCR indicated that the levels of TcCyP19 mRNA were twofold higher in drug-resistant T. cruzi populations than in their drug-susceptible counterparts. Similarly, as determined by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis immunoblot, the expression of TcCyP19 protein was increased to the same degree in BZ-resistant T. cruzi populations. No differences in TcCyP19 mRNA and protein expression levels were observed between the susceptible and the naturally resistant T. cruzi strains analyzed. Taken together, these data indicate that cyclophilin TcCyP19 expression is up-regulated at both transcriptional and translational levels in T. cruzi populations that were in vitro-induced and in vivo-selected for resistance to BZ.

  3. Association of MTOR and AKT Gene Polymorphisms with Susceptibility and Survival of Gastric Cancer.

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    Ying Piao

    Full Text Available The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K/protein kinase B (PKB, AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling pathway plays a critical role in angiogenesis and cell growth, proliferation, metabolism, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis. Genetic diversity in key factors of this pathway may influence protein function and signal transduction, contributing to disease initiation and progression. Studies suggest that MTOR rs1064261 and AKT rs1130233 polymorphisms are associated with risk and/or prognosis of multiple cancer types. However, this relationship with gastric cancer (GC remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of MTOR and AKT polymorphisms in the risk and prognosis of GC.The Sequenom MassARRAY platform was used to genotype 1842 individuals for MTOR rs1064261 T→C and AKT rs1130233 G→A polymorphisms. ELISA was used to detect Helicobacter pylori antibodies in serum. Immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect total and phosphorylated MTOR and AKT proteins.The MTOR rs1064261 (TC+CC genotype and the AKT rs1130233 (GA+AA genotype were associated with increased risk of GC in men (P = 0.049, P = 0.030. In H. pylori-negative individuals, the AKT rs1130233 GA and (GA+AA genotypes were related to increased risk of atrophic gastritis (AG; P = 0.012, P = 0.024. Notably, the AKT rs1130233 (GA+AA genotype demonstrated significant interactions with H. pylori in disease progression from healthy controls (CON to AG (P = 0.013 and from AG to GC (P = 0.049. Additionally, for individuals with the AKT rs1130233 variant, those in the H. pylori-positive group had higher levels of phosphorylated AKT (p-AKT expression. The AKT rs1130233 genotype was found to be associated with clinicopathological parameters including lymph node metastasis and alcohol drinking (P<0.05.MTOR rs1064261and AKT rs1130233 polymorphisms were associated with increased GC risk in males and increased AG risk in H. pylori-negative individuals. A significant

  4. Biotherapic T. cruzi 17DH when continuously used clinically improves mice infected with T. cruzi.

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    Silvana Marques de Araujo

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: In Trypanosoma cruzi infection, the pathogenesis is the result of a rupture in the host - parasite relationship [1]. This rupture is related to the imbalance of the vital force of the host, expressed through signs and symptoms, defined by Hahnemann (1995[2] as being the source of the disease. There is no research in the literature about the clinical evolution of mice experimentally infected with T. cruzi and treated in different ways using biotherapic. Therefore, this is an area to be studied in the future. Aim: To evaluate the effect of different ways of treatment using biotherapic T. cruzi 17 DH on clinical evolution of mice experimentally infected with T. cruzi. Materials and methods: A blind randomized controlled trial was performed, using 30 swiss male mice, aged 28 days, divided into groups according to the treatment: CONTROL - animals treated with 7% water-alcohol solution diluted in water given ad libitum in an amber bottle; GAVAGE – animals treated with medication highly diluted T. cruzi 17 DH from 4th to 9th day of infection by gavage; WATER -animals treated with highly diluted T. cruzi 17 DH in water ad libitum offered in an amber bottle until the end of the study period. The groups were infected with the Y strain of T. cruzi, intraperitoneal, 1400 blood trypomastigotes. The medicine was handled according to the Brazilian Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia [3] with microbiological test according to RDC n° 67 and in vivo biological risk. Parasitemic curve was determined by daily counting of the parasites [4]. Were measured temperature, weight, intake of water and feed, the ruffle fur and survival of mice. Statistical analysis was performed using the tests Fisher Exact and Log-Rank, with a significance of 5%. The experiment was approved under the protocol n° 030/2008 - Ethics in Animal Experimentation of the Universidade Estadual de Maringá. Results: The mice under different

  5. Survival of Trypanosoma cruzi in experimentally contaminated drinks Supervivencia de Trypanosoma cruzi en bebidas experimentalmente contaminadas

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    Diana Carolina Suárez

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available

    Introduction. Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, transmitted primarily by triatomine insects. However, in 2005, oral transmission was documented in countries where the disease is endemic for Chagas disease. This trend may also occur in Colombia, a situation that motivated epidemiological alerts and the necessity for exploring the risk level of oral, human-to-human infection by T. cruzi.
    Objective. Survival times were established for the T. cruzi strain DS using juices involved in the outbreak of Lebrija County (Cesar, Colombia in 2008.
    Materials and methods. Survival of the T. cruzi strain was evaluated as defined by vitality (forward movement and viability (growth in isolation medium Novy, McNeal and Nicolle/liver infusion tryptose. This strain was molecularly characterized as TCLA, isolated from a patient associated with an outbreak in Aguachica County (Santander, very near Lebrija. Its survival was tested in tangerine juice, guava, soursop (guanábana, water and sugar water.
    Results. The T. cruzi strain DS remained vital in mandarin at room temperature for 72 hr, at refrigerated temperatures for 36 hr;, the soursop (guanábana for 48 hr at room temperature and 384 hr under refrigeration; and guava at both temperatures 24 hr. This strain was viable 2 and 24 hours post-infection in each of the other juices at the two temperature conditions.
    Conclusions: The DS T. cruzi strain survived in all drinks for more than 24 hours post-infection, with a survival time of 384 hr in the juice of soursop (guanábana under refrigeration.

    Introducción. Trypanosoma cruzi es el agente causal de la enfermedad de Chagas, el cual puede ser transmitido por diferentes vías. A partir de 2005 la transmisión oral se incrementó en aquellos países donde la enfermedad es considerada endémica por transmisión vectorial. Colombia no se aparta de esta tendencia, situación que motivó la alerta epidemiol

  6. Computational Insights into the Inhibitory Mechanism of Human AKT1 by an Orally Active Inhibitor, MK-2206

    OpenAIRE

    Mohd Rehan; Beg, Mohd A.; Shadma Parveen; Ghazi A Damanhouri; Galila F Zaher

    2014-01-01

    The AKT signaling pathway has been identified as an important target for cancer therapy. Among small-molecule inhibitors of AKT that have shown tremendous potential in inhibiting cancer, MK-2206 is a highly potent, selective and orally active allosteric inhibitor. Promising preclinical anticancer results have led to entry of MK-2206 into Phase I/II clinical trials. Despite such importance, the exact binding mechanism and the molecular interactions of MK-2206 with human AKT are not available. ...

  7. siRNA-based gene silencing reveals specialized roles of IRS-1/Akt2 and IRS-2/Akt1 in glucose and lipid metabolism in human skeletal muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouzakri, Karim; Zachrisson, Anna; Al-Khalili, Lubna; Zhang, Bei B; Koistinen, Heikki A; Krook, Anna; Zierath, Juleen R

    2006-07-01

    Type 2 diabetes is associated with defects in insulin signaling and the resulting abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism. The complexity of insulin signaling cascades is highlighted by the existence of multiple isoforms of target proteins implicated in metabolic and gene-regulatory events. We utilized siRNA to decipher the specific role of predominant insulin receptor substrates and Akt isoforms expressed in human skeletal muscle. Gene silencing revealed specialized roles of insulin signaling cascades to metabolic endpoints. IRS-1 and Akt2 were required for myoblast differentiation and glucose metabolism, whereas IRS-2 and Akt1 were dispensable. A key role of IRS-2 and Akt1 in lipid metabolism was revealed, highlighting reciprocal relationships between metabolic pathways. Unraveling the isoform-specific regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism by key elements along insulin signaling cascades through siRNA-mediated gene silencing in human tissues will facilitate the discovery of novel targets for the treatment of diabetes and related metabolic disorders.

  8. Recurrent BCAM-AKT2 fusion gene leads to a constitutively activated AKT2 fusion kinase in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannan, Kalpana; Coarfa, Cristian; Chao, Pei-Wen; Luo, Liming; Wang, Yan; Brinegar, Amy E.; Hawkins, Shannon M.; Milosavljevic, Aleksandar; Matzuk, Martin M.; Yen, Laising

    2015-01-01

    High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) is among the most lethal forms of cancer in women. Excessive genomic rearrangements, which are expected to create fusion oncogenes, are the hallmark of this cancer. Here we report a cancer-specific gene fusion between BCAM, a membrane adhesion molecule, and AKT2, a key kinase in the PI3K signaling pathway. This fusion is present in 7% of the 60 patient cancers tested, a significant frequency considering the highly heterogeneous nature of this malignancy. Further, we provide direct evidence that BCAM-AKT2 is translated into an in-frame fusion protein in the patient’s tumor. The resulting AKT2 fusion kinase is membrane-associated, constitutively phosphorylated, and activated as a functional kinase in cells. Unlike endogenous AKT2, whose activity is tightly regulated by external stimuli, BCAM-AKT2 escapes the regulation from external stimuli. Moreover, a BCAM-AKT2 fusion gene generated via chromosomal translocation using the CRISPR/Cas9 system leads to focus formation in both OVCAR8 and HEK-293T cell lines, suggesting that BCAM-AKT2 is oncogenic. Together, the results indicate that BCAM-AKT2 expression is a new mechanism of AKT2 kinase activation in HGSC. BCAM-AKT2 is the only fusion gene in HGSC that is proven to translate an aberrant yet functional kinase fusion protein with oncogenic properties. This recurrent genomic alteration is a potential therapeutic target and marker of a clinically relevant subtype for tailored therapy of HGSC. PMID:25733895

  9. Development of conventional and real-time multiplex PCR-based assays for estimation of natural infection rates and Trypanosoma cruzi load in triatomine vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Otacilio C; Verly, Thaiane; Finamore-Araujo, Paula; Gomes, Suzete A O; Lopes, Catarina M; de Sousa, Danielle M; Azevedo, Lívia R; da Mota, Fabio F; d'Avila-Levy, Claudia M; Santos-Mallet, Jacenir R; Britto, Constança

    2017-08-29

    Chagas disease is a complex anthropozoonosis with distinct domestic and sylvatic mammal species acting as potential reservoirs. The diversity of vector species and their habitats are among the factors that hinder the control of the disease. Control programs periodically monitor the prevalence of T. cruzi infection in insect bugs through microscopical observation of diluted feces. However, microscopy presents limited sensitivity in samples with low parasite numbers, difficulties in examining all evolutionary stages of the insect and may in turn be limited to differentiate T. cruzi from other morphologically similar trypanosomatids. Here, we report two highly sensitive and accurate methodologies to infer T. cruzi infection rates and to quantify parasite load in the gut of field-collected triatomines. Triatomines were manually collected in the period 2011-2012 and 2014-2015, in domestic, peridomestic or sylvatic habitats in rural areas of 26 municipalities, encompassing three distinct Brazilian biomes: Caatinga, Cerrado and Atlantic Rainforest. Following morphological and taxonomical identification, the search for flagellated protozoa was performed by optical microscopy. A conventional PCR targeting T. cruzi kDNA and a TaqMan qPCR directed to the parasite nuclear satellite DNA (SAT) were developed, both in multiplex, with the triatomine 12S subunit ribosomal RNA gene, used as internal amplification control. Both methods were used for detection (kDNA-PCR) and parasite load quantification (SAT-DNA-qPCR), to investigate T. cruzi infection in captured triatomines. The combined methods were assayed on a panel of 205 field-collected triatomine samples. Diagnostic analysis revealed 21% positivity for the kDNA-PCR, whereas microscopic examination enabled identification of T. cruzi in only 7.0% of the PCR-positive samples. Negative PCR results were confirmed by the absence of T. cruzi flagellates using microscopy. Caatinga biome yielded the highest T. cruzi infection rate (60

  10. Shikonin Inhibits the Migration and Invasion of Human Glioblastoma Cells by Targeting Phosphorylated β-Catenin and Phosphorylated PI3K/Akt: A Potential Mechanism for the Anti-Glioma Efficacy of a Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Feng-Ying; Hu, Yi; Que, Zhong-You; Wang, Ping; Liu, Yun-Hui; Wang, Zhen-Hua; Xue, Yi-Xue

    2015-10-09

    Shikonin is an anthraquinone derivative extracted from the root of lithospermum. Shikonin is traditionally used in the treatment of inflammatory and infectious diseases such as hepatitis. Shikonin also inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in various tumors. However, the effect of shikonin on gliomas has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of shikonin on the migration and invasion of human glioblastoma cells as well as the underlying mechanisms. U87 and U251 human glioblastoma cells were treated with shikonin at 2.5, 5, and 7.5 μmol/L and cell viability, migration and invasiveness were assessed with CCK8, scratch wound healing, in vitro Transwell migration, and invasion assays. The expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and the expression of phosphorylated β-catenin (p-β-catenin) and phosphorylated PI3K/Akt were also checked. Results showed that shikonin significantly inhibited the cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in U87 and U251 cells. The expression of p-β-catenin showed contrary trends in two cell lines. It was significantly inhibited in U87 cells and promoted in U251 cells. Results in this work indicated that shikonin displayed an inhibitory effect on the migration and invasion of glioma cells by inhibiting the expression and activity of MMP-2 and -9. In addition, shikonin also inhibited the expression of p-PI3K and p-Akt to attenuate cell migration and invasion and MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in both cell lines, which could be reversed by the PI3K/Akt pathway agonist, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

  11. Shikonin Inhibits the Migration and Invasion of Human Glioblastoma Cells by Targeting Phosphorylated β-Catenin and Phosphorylated PI3K/Akt: A Potential Mechanism for the Anti-Glioma Efficacy of a Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine

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    Feng-Ying Zhang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Shikonin is an anthraquinone derivative extracted from the root of lithospermum. Shikonin is traditionally used in the treatment of inflammatory and infectious diseases such as hepatitis. Shikonin also inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in various tumors. However, the effect of shikonin on gliomas has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of shikonin on the migration and invasion of human glioblastoma cells as well as the underlying mechanisms. U87 and U251 human glioblastoma cells were treated with shikonin at 2.5, 5, and 7.5 μmol/L and cell viability, migration and invasiveness were assessed with CCK8, scratch wound healing, in vitro Transwell migration, and invasion assays. The expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9 and the expression of phosphorylated β-catenin (p-β-catenin and phosphorylated PI3K/Akt were also checked. Results showed that shikonin significantly inhibited the cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in U87 and U251 cells. The expression of p-β-catenin showed contrary trends in two cell lines. It was significantly inhibited in U87 cells and promoted in U251 cells. Results in this work indicated that shikonin displayed an inhibitory effect on the migration and invasion of glioma cells by inhibiting the expression and activity of MMP-2 and -9. In addition, shikonin also inhibited the expression of p-PI3K and p-Akt to attenuate cell migration and invasion and MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression in both cell lines, which could be reversed by the PI3K/Akt pathway agonist, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1.

  12. 14-Thienyl Methylene Matrine (YYJ18, the Derivative from Matrine, Induces Apoptosis of Human Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells by Targeting MAPK and PI3K/Akt Pathways in Vitro

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    Mao Xie

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC is a distinctive type of head and neck cancer with the highest incidence in South China. Previous studies have proved that matrine, a main alkaloid isolated from Sophora flavescens Ait, has antitumor activity against NPC. However, the effect is not so pronounced and the underlying mechanism remains largely unclear. Here we investigated whether 14-thienyl methylene matrine (YYJ18 that was derived from matrine could exert more effective suppression activity on NPC, along with the underlying mechanism. Methods: NPC cell lines CNE1, CNE2 and HONE1 were treated with YYJ18. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were determined by MTT assay and flow cytometry. Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt pathways were determined by Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCR. Results: YYJ18 remarkably inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of all three NPC cell lines in a dose-dependent manner, especially in CNE2 cells. Furthermore, YYJ18 treatment significantly suppressed phosphorylation of p38 in CNE2 cells, but upregulated phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2 and Akt. Next, alterations in downstream signaling were found, including activation of BCL2-associated X protein (Bax, caspase-3 and inactivation of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2. Conclusion: We demonstrate the potent inhibitory effects of 14-thienyl methylene matrine on NPC cells for the first time, which could be mediated by modulation of MAPK and PI3K/Akt pathways.

  13. Genome size, karyotype polymorphism and chromosomal evolution in Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Renata T Souza

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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

  14. Trypanosoma cruzi: effect and mode of action of nitroimidazole and nitrofuran derivatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maya, Juan Diego; Bollo, Soledad; Nuñez-Vergara, Luis J; Squella, Juan A; Repetto, Yolanda; Morello, Antonio; Périé, Jacques; Chauvière, Gérard

    2003-03-15

    With the aim of determining the actual target(s) of nitro-group bearing compounds considered as possible leads for the development of drugs against Chagas' disease, we studied in parallel nitrofurans and nitroimidazoles. We investigated nine representative compounds for the following properties: efficacy on different Trypanosoma cruzi strains, redox cyclers, inhibition of respiration, production of corresponding nitroso derivatives and intracellular thiol scavengers. Our results indicate that nifurtimox and related compounds act as redox cyclers, whereas the most active in the series, the 5-nitroimidazole megazol essentially acts as thiol scavenger particularly for trypanothione, the cofactor for trypanothione reductase, an essential enzyme in the detoxification process.

  15. Activation of Akt is increased in the dysplasia-carcinoma sequence in Barrett's oesophagus and contributes to increased proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis: a histopathological and functional study

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    El-Amin Khalid

    2007-06-01

    stimulate Akt phosphorylation. Downstream targets of Akt include Bad and Forkhead transcription factors. Activation of Akt in obesity and by reflux of gastric acid may be important in the pathogenesis of Barrett's adenocarcinoma

  16. Structural Insights into Inhibition of Sterol 14[alpha]-Demethylase in the Human Pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lepesheva, Galina I.; Hargrove, Tatiana Y.; Anderson, Spencer; Kleshchenko, Yuliya; Furtak, Vyacheslav; Wawrzak, Zdzislaw; Villalta, Fernando; Waterman, Michael R. (Vanderbilt); (NWU); (Meharry)

    2010-09-02

    Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis), which threatens the lives of millions of people and remains incurable in its chronic stage. The antifungal drug posaconazole that blocks sterol biosynthesis in the parasite is the only compound entering clinical trials for the chronic form of this infection. Crystal structures of the drug target enzyme, Trypanosoma cruzi sterol 14{alpha}-demethylase (CYP51), complexed with posaconazole, another antifungal agent fluconazole and an experimental inhibitor, (R)-4{prime}-chloro-N-(1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-2-(1H-imid-azol-1-yl)ethyl)biphenyl-4-carboxamide (VNF), allow prediction of important chemical features that enhance the drug potencies. Combined with comparative analysis of inhibitor binding parameters, influence on the catalytic activity of the trypanosomal enzyme and its human counterpart, and their cellular effects at different stages of the Trypanosoma cruzi life cycle, the structural data provide a molecular background to CYP51 inhibition and azole resistance and enlighten the path for directed design of new, more potent and selective drugs to develop an efficient treatment for Chagas disease.

  17. Post-translational Modifications of Trypanosoma cruzi Canonical and Variant Histones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picchi, Gisele F A; Zulkievicz, Vanessa; Krieger, Marco A; Zanchin, Nilson T; Goldenberg, Samuel; de Godoy, Lyris M F

    2017-03-03

    Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, still affects millions of people around the world. No vaccines nor treatment for chronic Chagas disease are available, and chemotherapy for the acute phase is hindered by limited efficacy and severe side effects. The processes by which the parasite acquires infectivity and survives in different hosts involve tight regulation of gene expression, mainly post-transcriptionally. Nevertheless, chromatin structure/organization of trypanosomatids is similar to other eukaryotes, including histone variants and post-translational modifications. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms also play an important role in the biology/pathogenesis of these parasites, making epigenetic targets suitable candidates to drug discovery. Here, we present the first comprehensive map of post-translational modifications of T. cruzi canonical and variant histones and show that its histone code can be as sophisticated as that of other eukaryotes. A total of 13 distinct modification types were identified, including rather novel and unusual ones such as alternative lysine acylations, serine/threonine acetylation, and N-terminal methylation. Some histone marks correlate to those described for other organisms, suggesting that similar regulatory mechanisms may be in place. Others, however, are unique to T. cruzi or to trypanosomatids as a group and might represent good candidates for the development of antiparasitic drugs.

  18. The Trypanosoma cruzi Diamine Transporter Is Essential for Robust Infection of Mammalian Cells.

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    Marie-Pierre Hasne

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is incapable of synthesizing putrescine or cadaverine de novo, and, therefore, salvage of polyamines from the host milieu is an obligatory nutritional function for the parasite. A high-affinity diamine transporter (TcPOT1 from T. cruzi has been identified previously that recognizes both putrescine and cadaverine as ligands. In order to assess the functional role of TcPOT1 in intact parasites, a Δtcpot1 null mutant was constructed by targeted gene replacement and characterized. The Δtcpot1 mutant lacked high-affinity putrescine-cadaverine transport capability but retained the capacity to transport diamines via a non-saturable, low-affinity mechanism. Transport of spermidine and arginine was not impacted by the Δtcpot1 lesion. The Δtcpot1 cell line exhibited a significant but not total defect in its ability to subsist in Vero cells, although initial infection rates were not affected by the lesion. These findings reveal that TcPOT1 is the sole high-affinity diamine permease in T. cruzi, that genetic obliteration of TcPOT1 impairs the ability of the parasite to maintain a robust infection in mammalian cells, and that a secondary low-affinity uptake mechanism for this key parasite nutrient is operative but insufficient for optimal infection.

  19. Multi-epitope proteins for improved serological detection of Trypanosoma cruzi infection and Chagas Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duthie, Malcolm S; Guderian, Jeffery A; Vallur, Aarthy C; Misquith, Ayesha; Liang, Hong; Mohamath, Raodoh; Luquetti, Alejandro O; Carter, Darrick; Tavares, Suelene N B; Reed, Steven G

    2016-03-01

    We previously reported that tandem repeat (TR) proteins from Trypanosoma cruzi could serve as targets of the antibody response and be useful as diagnostic indicators. To optimize reagents for detecting T. cruzi infection we evaluated individual TR proteins and identified several that were recognized by the majority of Chagas patient's sera collected from individuals form Brazil. We then produced novel, recombinant fusion proteins to combine the reactive TR proteins into a single diagnostic product. Direct comparison of the antibody response of serum samples that were readily detected by the established fusion antigen used in commercial detection of Chagas disease, TcF, revealed strong responses to TcF43 and TcF26 proteins. While the TcF43 and TcF26 antigens enhanced detection and strength of signal, they did not compromise the specificity of detection compared to that obtained with TcF. Finally, it was apparent by testing against a panel of 84 serum samples assembled on the basis of moderate or weak reactivity against TcF (mostly signal:noise detected by many of the sera that had low TcF antibody levels. Taken together, these data indicate that TcF43 and TcF26 could be used to enhance the detection of T. cruzi infection as well as supporting a diagnosis of Chagas disease.

  20. Inhibition of AKT with the orally active allosteric AKT inhibitor, MK-2206, sensitizes endometrial cancer cells to progestin.

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    Alok Pant

    Full Text Available Progestin resistance is a major obstacle to treating early stage, well-differentiated endometrial cancer as well as recurrent endometrial cancer. The mechanism behind the suboptimal response to progestin is not well understood. The PTEN tumor suppressor gene is frequently mutated in type I endometrial cancers and this mutation results in hyperactivation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. We hypothesized that increased activation of AKT promotes an inadequate response to progestins in endometrial cancer cells. Ishikawa cells stably transfected with progesterone receptor B (PRB23 cells were treated with the AKT inhibitor, MK-2206, which effectively decreased levels of p(Ser473-AKT in a dose-dependent (10 nM to 1 uM and time-dependent manner (0.5 h to 24 h. MK-2206 inhibited levels of p(Thr308-AKT and a downstream target, p(Thr246-PRAS40, but did not change levels of p(Thr202/Tyr204ERK or p(Thr13/Tyr185SAPK/JNK, demonstrating specificity of MK-2206 for AKT. Additionally, MK-2206 treatment of PRB23 cells resulted in a significant increase in levels of progesterone receptor B (PRB protein. Microarray analysis of PRB23 cells identified PDK4 as the most highly upregulated gene among 70 upregulated genes in response to R5020. Inhibition of AKT further upregulated progestin-mediated expression of PDK4 but did not affect another progestin-responsive gene, SGK1. Treatment of PRB23 cells with R5020 and MK-2206 independently decreased viability of cells while the combination of R5020 and MK-2206 caused the greatest decrease in cell viability. Furthermore, mice with xenografted tumors treated with MK-2206 alone or with progesterone alone exhibited modest reductions in their tumor volume. The largest decrease in tumor size was observed in the mice treated with both MK-2206 and progesterone; these tumors exhibited the least proliferation (Ki67 and the most apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3 of all the treatment groups. In summary, inhibition of AKT stabilizes the Progesterone

  1. Aspirin treatment of mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi and implications for the pathogenesis of Chagas disease.

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    Shankar Mukherjee

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi, is an important cause of cardiovascular disease. It is increasingly clear that parasite-derived prostaglandins potently modulate host response and disease progression. Here, we report that treatment of experimental T. cruzi infection (Brazil strain beginning 5 days post infection (dpi with aspirin (ASA increased mortality (2-fold and parasitemia (12-fold. However, there were no differences regarding histopathology or cardiac structure or function. Delayed treatment with ASA (20 mg/kg beginning 60 dpi did not increase parasitemia or mortality but improved ejection fraction. ASA treatment diminished the profile of parasite- and host-derived circulating prostaglandins in infected mice. To distinguish the effects of ASA on the parasite and host bio-synthetic pathways we infected cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1 null mice with the Brazil-strain of T. cruzi. Infected COX-1 null mice displayed a reduction in circulating levels of thromboxane (TXA(2 and prostaglandin (PGF(2α. Parasitemia was increased in COX-1 null mice compared with parasitemia and mortality in ASA-treated infected mice indicating the effects of ASA on mortality potentially had little to do with inhibition of prostaglandin metabolism. Expression of SOCS-2 was enhanced, and TRAF6 and TNFα reduced, in the spleens of infected ASA-treated mice. Ablation of the initial innate response to infection may cause the increased mortality in ASA-treated mice as the host likely succumbs more quickly without the initiation of the "cytokine storm" during acute infection. We conclude that ASA, through both COX inhibition and other "off-target" effects, modulates the progression of acute and chronic Chagas disease. Thus, eicosanoids present during acute infection may act as immunomodulators aiding the transition to and maintenance of the chronic phase of the disease. A deeper understanding of the mechanism of ASA action may provide clues to the

  2. Aspirin treatment of mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi and implications for the pathogenesis of Chagas disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Shankar; Machado, Fabiana S; Huang, Huang; Oz, Helieh S; Jelicks, Linda A; Prado, Cibele M; Koba, Wade; Fine, Eugene J; Zhao, Dazhi; Factor, Stephen M; Collado, J Elias; Weiss, Louis M; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Ashton, Anthony W

    2011-02-15

    Chagas disease, caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi, is an important cause of cardiovascular disease. It is increasingly clear that parasite-derived prostaglandins potently modulate host response and disease progression. Here, we report that treatment of experimental T. cruzi infection (Brazil strain) beginning 5 days post infection (dpi) with aspirin (ASA) increased mortality (2-fold) and parasitemia (12-fold). However, there were no differences regarding histopathology or cardiac structure or function. Delayed treatment with ASA (20 mg/kg) beginning 60 dpi did not increase parasitemia or mortality but improved ejection fraction. ASA treatment diminished the profile of parasite- and host-derived circulating prostaglandins in infected mice. To distinguish the effects of ASA on the parasite and host bio-synthetic pathways we infected cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) null mice with the Brazil-strain of T. cruzi. Infected COX-1 null mice displayed a reduction in circulating levels of thromboxane (TX)A(2) and prostaglandin (PG)F(2α). Parasitemia was increased in COX-1 null mice compared with parasitemia and mortality in ASA-treated infected mice indicating the effects of ASA on mortality potentially had little to do with inhibition of prostaglandin metabolism. Expression of SOCS-2 was enhanced, and TRAF6 and TNFα reduced, in the spleens of infected ASA-treated mice. Ablation of the initial innate response to infection may cause the increased mortality in ASA-treated mice as the host likely succumbs more quickly without the initiation of the "cytokine storm" during acute infection. We conclude that ASA, through both COX inhibition and other "off-target" effects, modulates the progression of acute and chronic Chagas disease. Thus, eicosanoids present during acute infection may act as immunomodulators aiding the transition to and maintenance of the chronic phase of the disease. A deeper understanding of the mechanism of ASA action may provide clues to the differences

  3. The Effectiveness of Natural Diarylheptanoids against Trypanosoma cruzi: Cytotoxicity, Ultrastructural Alterations and Molecular Modeling Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sueth-Santiago, Vitor; Moraes, Julliane de B. B.; Sobral Alves, Eliomara Sousa; Vannier-Santos, Marcos André; Freire-de-Lima, Célio G.; Castro, Rosane N.; Mendes-Silva, Gustavo Peron; Del Cistia, Catarina de Nigris; Magalhães, Luma Godoy; Andricopulo, Adriano Defini; Sant´Anna, Carlos Mauricio R.; Decoté-Ricardo, Debora; Freire de Lima, Marco Edilson

    2016-01-01

    Curcumin (CUR) is the major constituent of the rhizomes of Curcuma longa and has been widely investigated for its chemotherapeutic properties. The well-known activity of CUR against Leishmania sp., Trypanosoma brucei and Plasmodium falciparum led us to investigate its activity against Trypanosoma cruzi. In this work, we tested the cytotoxic effects of CUR and other natural curcuminoids on different forms of T. cruzi, as well as the ultrastructural changes induced in epimastigote form of the parasite. CUR was verified as the curcuminoid with more significant trypanocidal properties (IC50 10.13 μM on epimastigotes). Demethoxycurcumin (DMC) was equipotent to CUR (IC50 11.07 μM), but bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) was less active (IC50 45.33 μM) and cyclocurcumin (CC) was inactive. In the experiment with infected murine peritoneal macrophages all diarylheptanoids were more active than the control in the inhibition of the trypomastigotes release. The electron microscopy images showed ultrastructural changes associated with the cytoskeleton of the parasite, indicating tubulin as possible target of CUR in T. cruzi. The results obtained by flow cytometry analysis of DNA content of the parasites treated with natural curcuminoids suggested a mechanism of action on microtubules related to the paclitaxel`s mode of action. To better understand the mechanism of action highlighted by electron microscopy and flow cytometry experiments we performed the molecular docking of natural curcuminoids on tubulin of T. cruzi in a homology model and the results obtained showed that the observed interactions are in accordance with the IC50 values found, since there CUR and DMC perform similar interactions at the binding site on tubulin while BDMC do not realize a hydrogen bond with Lys163 residue due to the absence of methoxyl groups. These results indicate that trypanocidal properties of CUR may be related to the cytoskeletal alterations. PMID:27658305

  4. Host cell poly(ADP-ribose glycohydrolase is crucial for Trypanosoma cruzi infection cycle.

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    Salomé C Vilchez Larrea

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, etiological agent of Chagas' disease, has a complex life cycle which involves the invasion of mammalian host cells, differentiation and intracellular replication. Here we report the first insights into the biological role of a poly(ADP-ribose glycohydrolase in a trypanosomatid (TcPARG. In silico analysis of the TcPARG gene pointed out the conservation of key residues involved in the catalytic process and, by Western blot, we demonstrated that it is expressed in a life stage-dependant manner. Indirect immunofluorescence assays and electron microscopy using an anti-TcPARG antibody showed that this enzyme is localized in the nucleus independently of the presence of DNA damage or cell cycle stage. The addition of poly(ADP-ribose glycohydrolase inhibitors ADP-HPD (adenosine diphosphate (hydroxymethyl pyrrolidinediol or DEA (6,9-diamino-2-ethoxyacridine lactate monohydrate to the culture media, both at a 1 µM concentration, reduced in vitro epimastigote growth by 35% and 37% respectively, when compared to control cultures. We also showed that ADP-HPD 1 µM can lead to an alteration in the progression of the cell cycle in hydroxyurea synchronized cultures of T. cruzi epimastigotes. Outstandingly, here we demonstrate that the lack of poly(ADP-ribose glycohydrolase activity in Vero and A549 host cells, achieved by chemical inhibition or iRNA, produces the reduction of the percentage of infected cells as well as the number of amastigotes per cell and trypomastigotes released, leading to a nearly complete abrogation of the infection process. We conclude that both, T. cruzi and the host, poly(ADP-ribose glycohydrolase activities are important players in the life cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi, emerging as a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of Chagas' disease.

  5. Frequency of the Congenital Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Elizabeth J.; Xiong, Xu; Carlier, Yves; Sosa-Estani, Sergio; Buekens, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Background Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and endemic in much of Latin America. With increased globalization and immigration, it is a risk in any country due in part to congenital transmission. The frequency of congenital transmission is unclear. Objective To assess the frequency of congenital transmission of T. cruzi. Search Strategy PubMed, Journals@Ovid Full Text, EMBASE, CINAHL, Fuente Academica and BIREME databases were searched using seven search terms related to Chagas disease or Trypanosoma cruzi and congenital transmission. Selection Criteria The inclusion criteria were the following: Dutch, English, French, Portuguese or Spanish language; case report, case series or observational study; original data on congenital T. cruzi infection in humans; congenital infection rate reported or it could be derived. This systematic review included 13 case reports/series and 51 observational studies. Data Collection and Analysis Two investigators independently collected data on study characteristics, diagnosis and congenital infection rate. The principal summary measure – the congenital transmission rate – is defined as the number of congenitally infected infants divided by the number of infants born to infected mothers. A random effects model was utilized. Main Results The pooled congenital transmission rate was 4.7% (95% confidence interval: 3.9–5.6%). Endemic countries had a higher rate of congenital transmission compared to non-endemic (5.0% vs. 2.7%). Conclusions Congenital transmission of Chagas disease is a global problem. Overall risk of congenital infection in infants born to infected mothers is about 5%. The congenital mode of transmission requires targeted screening to prevent future cases of Chagas disease. PMID:23924273

  6. A binding hotspot in Trypanosoma cruzi histidyl-tRNA synthetase revealed by fragment-based crystallographic cocktail screens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Cho Yeow; Siddaramaiah, Latha Kallur; Ranade, Ranae M; Nguyen, Jasmine; Jian, Tengyue; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Gillespie, J Robert; Buckner, Frederick S; Verlinde, Christophe L M J; Fan, Erkang; Hol, Wim G J

    2015-08-01

    American trypanosomiasis, commonly known as Chagas disease, is a neglected tropical disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The chronic form of the infection often causes debilitating morbidity and mortality. However, the current treatment for the disease is typically inadequate owing to drug toxicity and poor efficacy, necessitating a continual effort to discover and develop new antiparasitic therapeutic agents. The structure of T. cruzi histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS), a validated drug target, has previously been reported. Based on this structure and those of human cytosolic HisRS, opportunities for the development of specific inhibitors were identified. Here, efforts are reported to identify small molecules that bind to T. cruzi HisRS through fragment-based crystallographic screening in order to arrive at chemical starting points for the development of specific inhibitors. T. cruzi HisRS was soaked into 68 different cocktails from the Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa (MSGPP) fragment library and diffraction data were collected to identify bound fragments after soaking. A total of 15 fragments were identified, all bound to the same site on the protein, revealing a fragment-binding hotspot adjacent to the ATP-binding pocket. On the basis of the initial hits, the design of reactive fragments targeting the hotspot which would be simultaneously covalently linked to a cysteine residue present only in trypanosomatid HisRS was initiated. Inhibition of T. cruzi HisRS was observed with the resultant reactive fragments and the anticipated binding mode was confirmed crystallographically. These results form a platform for the development of future generations of selective inhibitors for trypanosomatid HisRS.

  7. The Akt1/IL-6/STAT3 pathway regulates growth of lung tumor initiating cells

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    Malanga, Donatella; De Marco, Carmela; Guerriero, Ilaria; Colelli, Fabiana; Rinaldo, Nicola; Scrima, Marianna; Mirante, Teresa; De Vitis, Claudia; Zoppoli, Pietro; Ceccarelli, Michele; Riccardi, Miriam; Ravo, Maria; Weisz, Alessandro; Federico, Antonella; Franco, Renato; Rocco, Gaetano; Mancini, Rita; Rizzuto, Antonia; Gulletta, Elio; Ciliberto, Gennaro; Viglietto, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Here we report that the PI3K/Akt1/IL-6/STAT3 signalling pathway regulates generation and stem cell-like properties of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) tumor initiating cells (TICs). Mutant Akt1, mutant PIK3CA or PTEN loss enhances formation of lung cancer spheroids (LCS), self-renewal, expression of stemness markers and tumorigenic potential of human immortalized bronchial cells (BEAS-2B) whereas Akt inhibition suppresses these activities in established (NCI-H460) and primary NSCLC cells. Matched microarray analysis of Akt1-interfered cells and LCSs identified IL-6 as a critical target of Akt signalling in NSCLC TICs. Accordingly, suppression of Akt in NSCLC cells decreases IL-6 levels, phosphorylation of IkK and IkB, NF-kB transcriptional activity, phosphorylation and transcriptional activity of STAT3 whereas active Akt1 up-regulates them. Exposure of LCSs isolated from NSCLC cells to blocking anti-IL-6 mAbs, shRNA to IL-6 receptor or to STAT3 markedly reduces the capability to generate LCSs, to self-renew and to form tumors, whereas administration of IL-6 to Akt-interfered cells restores the capability to generate LCSs. Finally, immunohistochemical studies in NSCLC patients demonstrated a positive correlative trend between activated Akt, IL-6 expression and STAT3 phosphorylation (n = 94; p < 0.05). In conclusion, our data indicate that aberrant Akt signalling contributes to maintaining stemness in lung cancer TICs through a NF-kB/IL-6/STAT3 pathway and provide novel potential therapeutic targets for eliminating these malignant cells in NSCLC. PMID:26486080

  8. The Akt1/IL-6/STAT3 pathway regulates growth of lung tumor initiating cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanga, Donatella; De Marco, Carmela; Guerriero, Ilaria; Colelli, Fabiana; Rinaldo, Nicola; Scrima, Marianna; Mirante, Teresa; De Vitis, Claudia; Zoppoli, Pietro; Ceccarelli, Michele; Riccardi, Miriam; Ravo, Maria; Weisz, Alessandro; Federico, Antonella; Franco, Renato; Rocco, Gaetano; Mancini, Rita; Rizzuto, Antonia; Gulletta, Elio; Ciliberto, Gennaro; Viglietto, Giuseppe

    2015-12-15

    Here we report that the PI3K/Akt1/IL-6/STAT3 signalling pathway regulates generation and stem cell-like properties of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) tumor initiating cells (TICs). Mutant Akt1, mutant PIK3CA or PTEN loss enhances formation of lung cancer spheroids (LCS), self-renewal, expression of stemness markers and tumorigenic potential of human immortalized bronchial cells (BEAS-2B) whereas Akt inhibition suppresses these activities in established (NCI-H460) and primary NSCLC cells. Matched microarray analysis of Akt1-interfered cells and LCSs identified IL-6 as a critical target of Akt signalling in NSCLC TICs. Accordingly, suppression of Akt in NSCLC cells decreases IL-6 levels, phosphorylation of IkK and IkB, NF-kB transcriptional activity, phosphorylation and transcriptional activity of STAT3 whereas active Akt1 up-regulates them. Exposure of LCSs isolated from NSCLC cells to blocking anti-IL-6 mAbs, shRNA to IL-6 receptor or to STAT3 markedly reduces the capability to generate LCSs, to self-renew and to form tumors, whereas administration of IL-6 to Akt-interfered cells restores the capability to generate LCSs. Finally, immunohistochemical studies in NSCLC patients demonstrated a positive correlative trend between activated Akt, IL-6 expression and STAT3 phosphorylation (n = 94; p < 0.05). In conclusion, our data indicate that aberrant Akt signalling contributes to maintaining stemness in lung cancer TICs through a NF-kB/IL-6/STAT3 pathway and provide novel potential therapeutic targets for eliminating these malignant cells in NSCLC.

  9. Critical importance of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway for Trypanosoma cruzi growth in the mammalian host cell cytoplasm

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    Hashimoto, Muneaki, E-mail: muneaki@juntendo.ac.jp [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Morales, Jorge; Fukai, Yoshihisa; Suzuki, Shigeo; Takamiya, Shinzaburo; Tsubouchi, Akiko; Inoue, Syou [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Inoue, Masayuki [Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Kita, Kiyoshi [Department of Biomedical Chemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Harada, Shigeharu [Department of Applied Biology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8585 (Japan); Tanaka, Akiko [Systems and Structural Biology Center, RIKEN, Tsurumi, Yokohama 230-0045 (Japan); Aoki, Takashi [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Nara, Takeshi, E-mail: tnara@juntendo.ac.jp [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan)

    2012-01-20

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We established Trypanosoma cruzi lacking the gene for carbamoyl phosphate synthetase II. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Disruption of the cpsII gene significantly reduced the growth of epimastigotes. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer In particular, the CPSII-null mutant severely retarded intracellular growth. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The de novo pyrimidine pathway is critical for the parasite growth in the host cell. -- Abstract: The intracellular parasitic protist Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease in Latin America. In general, pyrimidine nucleotides are supplied by both de novo biosynthesis and salvage pathways. While epimastigotes-an insect form-possess both activities, amastigotes-an intracellular replicating form of T. cruzi-are unable to mediate the uptake of pyrimidine. However, the requirement of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis for parasite growth and survival has not yet been elucidated. Carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase II (CPSII) is the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the de novo biosynthetic pathway, and increased CPSII activity is associated with the rapid proliferation of tumor cells. In the present study, we showed that disruption of the T. cruzicpsII gene significantly reduced parasite growth. In particular, the growth of amastigotes lacking the cpsII gene was severely suppressed. Thus, the de novo pyrimidine pathway is important for proliferation of T. cruzi in the host cell cytoplasm and represents a promising target for chemotherapy against Chagas disease.

  10. Human Leucocyte Antigen-G (HLA-G) and Its Murine Functional Homolog Qa2 in the Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Fabrício C.; Mendes-Junior, Celso T.; Silva, Maria C.; Tristão, Fabrine S. M.; Dellalibera-Joviliano, Renata; Soares, Edson G.; Menezes, Jean G.; Schmidt, André; Dantas, Roberto O.; Marin-Neto, José A.; Silva, João S.; Donadi, Eduardo A.

    2015-01-01

    Genetic susceptibility factors, parasite strain, and an adequate modulation of the immune system seem to be crucial for disease progression after Trypanosoma cruzi infection. HLA-G and its murine functional homolog Qa2 have well-recognized immunomodulatory properties. We evaluated the HLA-G 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) polymorphic sites (associated with mRNA stability and target for microRNA binding) and HLA-G tissue expression (heart, colon, and esophagus) in patients presenting Chagas disease, stratified according to the major clinical variants. Further, we investigated the transcriptional levels of Qa2 and other pro- and anti-inflammatory genes in affected mouse tissues during T. cruzi experimental acute and early chronic infection induced by the CL strain. Chagas disease patients exhibited differential HLA-G 3′UTR susceptibility allele/genotype/haplotype patterns, according to the major clinical variant (digestive/cardiac/mixed/indeterminate). HLA-G constitutive expression on cardiac muscle and colonic cells was decreased in Chagasic tissues; however, no difference was observed for Chagasic and non-Chagasic esophagus tissues. The transcriptional levels of Qa2 and other anti and proinflammatory (CTLA-4, PDCD1, IL-10, INF-γ, and NOS-2) genes were induced only during the acute T. cruzi infection in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. We present several lines of evidence indicating the role of immunomodulatory genes and molecules in human and experimental T. cruzi infection. PMID:25688175

  11. Comparison of seven diagnostic tests to detect Trypanosoma cruzi infection in patients in chronic phase of Chagas disease

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    Luisa Fernanda Duarte

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To compare the diagnostic performance of seven methods to determine Trypanosoma cruzi infection in patients with chronic Chagas disease.Methods: Analytical study, using the case-control design, which included 205 people (patients with Chagasic cardiomyopathy, n= 100; control group, n= 105. Three enzyme linked immunosorbent assays, one indirect hemagglutination assay and one immunochromatographic test were assessed. Additionally, DNA amplification was performed via the PCR method using kinetoplast and nuclear DNA as target sequences. For the comparative analysis of diagnostic tests, the parameters used were sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC, positive and negative likelihood ratio, as well as κ quality analysis.Results: The commercial Bioelisa Chagas test showed the highest sensitivity (98%, specificity (100%, and positive and negative predictive values; additionally it had the highest discriminatory power. Otherwise, the amplification of T. cruzi DNA in blood samples showed low values of sensitivity (kinetoplast DNA= 51%, nuclear DNA= 22%, but high values of specificity (100%, and moderate to low discriminatory ability.Conclusion: The comparative analysis among the different methods suggests that the diagnostic strategy of T. cruzi infection in patients with chronic Chagas disease can be performed using ELISA assays based on recombinant proteins and/or synthetic peptides, which show higher diagnosis performance and can confirm and exclude the diagnosis of T. cruzi infection. The molecular methods show poor performance when used in the diagnosis of patients with chronic Chagas disease.

  12. Human Leucocyte Antigen-G (HLA-G and Its Murine Functional Homolog Qa2 in the Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício C. Dias

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Genetic susceptibility factors, parasite strain, and an adequate modulation of the immune system seem to be crucial for disease progression after Trypanosoma cruzi infection. HLA-G and its murine functional homolog Qa2 have well-recognized immunomodulatory properties. We evaluated the HLA-G 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR polymorphic sites (associated with mRNA stability and target for microRNA binding and HLA-G tissue expression (heart, colon, and esophagus in patients presenting Chagas disease, stratified according to the major clinical variants. Further, we investigated the transcriptional levels of Qa2 and other pro- and anti-inflammatory genes in affected mouse tissues during T. cruzi experimental acute and early chronic infection induced by the CL strain. Chagas disease patients exhibited differential HLA-G 3′UTR susceptibility allele/genotype/haplotype patterns, according to the major clinical variant (digestive/cardiac/mixed/indeterminate. HLA-G constitutive expression on cardiac muscle and colonic cells was decreased in Chagasic tissues; however, no difference was observed for Chagasic and non-Chagasic esophagus tissues. The transcriptional levels of Qa2 and other anti and proinflammatory (CTLA-4, PDCD1, IL-10, INF-γ, and NOS-2 genes were induced only during the acute T. cruzi infection in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. We present several lines of evidence indicating the role of immunomodulatory genes and molecules in human and experimental T. cruzi infection.

  13. The role of mouse Akt2 in insulin-dependent suppression of adipocyte lipolysis in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koren, Shlomit; DiPilato, Lisa M.; Emmett, Matthew J.; Shearin, Abigail L.; Chu, Qingwei; Monks, Bob; Birnbaum, Morris J.

    2015-01-01

    Aim/hypothesis The release of fatty acids from adipocytes, i.e. lipolysis, is maintained under tight control, primarily by the opposing actions of catecholamines and insulin. A widely accepted model is that insulin antagonises catecholamine-dependent lipolysis through phosphorylation and activation of cAMP phosphodiesterase 3B (PDE3B) by the serine-threonine protein kinase Akt (protein kinase B). Recently, this hypothesis has been challenged, as in cultured adipocytes insulin appears, under some conditions, to suppress lipolysis independently of Akt. Methods To address the requirement for Akt2, the predominant isoform expressed in classic insulin target tissues, in the suppression of fatty acid release in vivo, we assessed lipolysis in mice lacking Akt2. Results In the fed state and following an oral glucose challenge, Akt2 null mice were glucose intolerant and hyperinsulinaemic, but nonetheless exhibited normal serum NEFA and glycerol levels, suggestive of normal suppression of lipolysis. Furthermore, insulin partially inhibited lipolysis in Akt2 null mice during an insulin tolerance test (ITT) and hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic clamp, respectively. In support of these in vivo observations, insulin antagonised catecholamine-induced lipolysis in primary brown fat adipocytes from Akt2-deficient nice. Conclusion These data suggest that suppression of lipolysis by insulin in hyperinsulinaemic states can take place in the absence of Akt2. PMID:25740694

  14. Environment, interactions between Trypanosoma cruzi and its host, and health Meio-ambiente, interações entre Trypanosoma cruzi e seu hospedeiro e saúde humana

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    Antonio R. L. Teixeira

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available An epidemiological chain involving Trypanosoma cruzi is discussed at the environmental level, and in terms of fine molecular interactions in invertebrate and vertebrate hosts dwelling in different ecosystems. This protozoan has a complex, genetically controlled plasticity, which confers adaptation to approximately 40 blood-sucking triatomine species and to over 1,000 mammalian species, fulfilling diverse metabolic requirements in its complex life-cycle. The Tr. cruzi infections are deeply embedded in countless ecotypes, where they are difficult to defeat using the control methods that are currently available. Many more field and laboratory studies are required to obtain data and information that may be used for the control and prevention of Tr. cruzi infections and their various disease manifestations. Emphasis should be placed on those sensitive interactions at cellular and environmental levels that could become selected targets for disease prevention. In the short term, new technologies for social mobilization should be used by people and organizations working for justice and equality through health information and promotion. A mass media directed program could deliver education, information and communication to protect the inhabitants at risk of contracting Tr. cruzi infections.Uma rede epidemiológica envolvendo o Trypanosoma cruzi foi discutida nos níveis ambientais e de interações moleculares nos hospedeiros que habitam em 19 diferentes ecossistemas. O protozoário tem uma enorme plasticidade controlada geneticamente que confere sua adaptação a cerca de quarenta espécies de triatomíneos e mais de mil espécies de mamíferos. Essas infecções estão profundamente embutidas em inúmeros ecótopos, onde elas estão inacessíveis aos métodos de controle utilizados. Muito mais estudos de campo e de laboratório são necessários à obtenção de dados e informação pertinentes ao controle e prevenção das infecções pelo Tr. cruzi e

  15. Chronic Trypanosoma cruzi-elicited cardiomyopathy: from the discovery to the proposal of rational therapeutic interventions targeting cell adhesion molecules and chemokine receptors - how to make a dream come true

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    Joseli Lannes-Vieira

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available One hundred years ago, Carlos Chagas discovered a new disease, the American trypanosomiasis. Chagas and co-workers later characterised the disease's common manifestation, chronic cardiomyopathy, and suggested that parasitic persistence coupled with inflammation was the key underlying pathogenic mechanism. Better comprehension of the molecular mechanisms leading to clinical heart afflictions is a prerequisite to developing new therapies that ameliorate inflammation and improve heart function without hampering parasite control. Here, we review recent data showing that distinct cell adhesion molecules, chemokines and chemokine receptors participate in anti-parasite immunity and/or detrimental leukocyte trafficking to the heart. Moreover, we offer evidence that CC-chemokine receptors may be attractive therapeutic targets aiming to regain homeostatic balance in parasite/host interaction thereby improving prognosis, supporting that it is becoming a non-phantasious proposal.

  16. Sensitization of Cancer Cells through Reduction of Total Akt and Downregulation of Salinomycin-Induced pAkt, pGSk3β, pTSC2, and p4EBP1 by Cotreatment with MK-2206

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    Ae-Ran Choi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available MK-2206 is an inhibitor of Akt activation. It has been investigated as an anticancer drug in clinical trials assessing the potential of pAkt targeting therapy. The purpose of this study was to identify conditions that increase the sensitivity of cancer cells to MK-2206. We found that the treatment of cancer cells with a high concentration of salinomycin (Sal reduced total Akt protein levels but increased activated Akt levels. When cancer cells were cotreated with MK-2206 and Sal, both pAkt and total Akt levels were reduced. Using microscopic observation, an assessment of cleaved PARP, FACS analysis of pre-G1 region, and Hoechst staining, we found that Sal increased apoptosis of MK-2206-treated cancer cells. These results suggest that cotreatment with MK-2206 and Sal sensitizes cancer cells via reduction of both pAkt and total Akt. Furthermore, cotreatment of cancer cells with Sal and MK-2206 reduced pp70S6K, pmTOR, and pPDK1 levels. In addition, Sal-induced activation of GSK3β, TSC2, and 4EBP1 was abolished by MK-2206 cotreatment. These results suggest that cotreatment using MK-2206 and Sal could be used as a therapeutic method to sensitize cancer cells through targeting of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Our findings may contribute to the development of MK-2206-based sensitization therapies for cancer patients.

  17. Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas' Disease in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bern, Caryn; Kjos, Sonia; Yabsley, Michael J.; Montgomery, Susan P.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Chagas' disease is caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and causes potentially life-threatening disease of the heart and gastrointestinal tract. The southern half of the United States contains enzootic cycles of T. cruzi, involving 11 recognized triatomine vector species. The greatest vector diversity and density occur in the western United States, where woodrats are the most common reservoir; other rodents, raccoons, skunks, and coyotes are also infected with T. cruzi. In the eastern United States, the prevalence of T. cruzi is highest in raccoons, opossums, armadillos, and skunks. A total of 7 autochthonous vector-borne human infections have been reported in Texas, California, Tennessee, and Louisiana; many others are thought to go unrecognized. Nevertheless, most T. cruzi-infected individuals in the United States are immigrants from areas of endemicity in Latin America. Seven transfusion-associated and 6 organ donor-derived T. cruzi infections have been documented in the United States and Canada. As improved control of vector- and blood-borne T. cruzi transmission decreases the burden in countries where the disease is historically endemic and imported Chagas' disease is increasingly recognized outside Latin America, the United States can play an important role in addressing the altered epidemiology of Chagas' disease in the 21st century. PMID:21976603

  18. Occurrence of Trypanosoma cruzi in Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.; Bruce, J.I.

    1962-01-01

    During 1954-1960, 2005 mammals of 18 species collected at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Maryland, were examined for trypanosomes. T. cruzi was found in 10 raccoons between October 31 and November 30. Infection occurred in 2 percent of all raccoons sampled, and in 11.3 percent of the 80 raccoons sampled in November. Examination was by direct smears, stained smears and cultures of heart blood. Although, in previous studies, at least two experimentally infected raccoons exhibited extended parasitemia (14 and 8 weeks), no such continuing parasitemia was observed in the natural infections. No trypanosomes were found in any of the other mammals examined.

  19. Cyclooxygenase-2 and Prostaglandin E2 Signaling through Prostaglandin Receptor EP-2 Favor the Development of Myocarditis during Acute Trypanosoma cruzi Infection.

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    Néstor A Guerrero

    Full Text Available Inflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Prostanoids are regulators of homeostasis and inflammation and are produced mainly by myeloid cells, being cyclooxygenases, COX-1 and COX-2, the key enzymes in their biosynthesis from arachidonic acid (AA. Here, we have investigated the expression of enzymes involved in AA metabolism during T. cruzi infection. Our results show an increase in the expression of several of these enzymes in acute T. cruzi infected heart. Interestingly, COX-2 was expressed by CD68+ myeloid heart-infiltrating cells. In addition, infiltrating myeloid CD11b+Ly6G- cells purified from infected heart tissue express COX-2 and produce prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 ex vivo. T. cruzi infections in COX-2 or PGE2-dependent prostaglandin receptor EP-2 deficient mice indicate that both, COX-2 and EP-2 signaling contribute significantly to the heart leukocyte infiltration and to the release of chemokines and inflammatory cytokines in the heart of T. cruzi infected mice. In conclusion, COX-2 plays a detrimental role in acute Chagas disease myocarditis and points to COX-2 as a potential target for immune intervention.

  20. Cyclooxygenase-2 and Prostaglandin E2 Signaling through Prostaglandin Receptor EP-2 Favor the Development of Myocarditis during Acute Trypanosoma cruzi Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, Néstor A; Camacho, Mercedes; Vila, Luis; Íñiguez, Miguel A; Chillón-Marinas, Carlos; Cuervo, Henar; Poveda, Cristina; Fresno, Manuel; Gironès, Núria

    2015-01-01

    Inflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Prostanoids are regulators of homeostasis and inflammation and are produced mainly by myeloid cells, being cyclooxygenases, COX-1 and COX-2, the key enzymes in their biosynthesis from arachidonic acid (AA). Here, we have investigated the expression of enzymes involved in AA metabolism during T. cruzi infection. Our results show an increase in the expression of several of these enzymes in acute T. cruzi infected heart. Interestingly, COX-2 was expressed by CD68+ myeloid heart-infiltrating cells. In addition, infiltrating myeloid CD11b+Ly6G- cells purified from infected heart tissue express COX-2 and produce prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) ex vivo. T. cruzi infections in COX-2 or PGE2-dependent prostaglandin receptor EP-2 deficient mice indicate that both, COX-2 and EP-2 signaling contribute significantly to the heart leukocyte infiltration and to the release of chemokines and inflammatory cytokines in the heart of T. cruzi infected mice. In conclusion, COX-2 plays a detrimental role in acute Chagas disease myocarditis and points to COX-2 as a potential target for immune intervention.

  1. Pharmacophore Modeling, Virtual Screening, and Molecular Docking Studies for Discovery of Novel Akt2 Inhibitors

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    Jia Fei, Lu Zhou, Tao Liu, Xiang-Yang Tang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Akt2 is considered as a potential target for cancer therapy. In order to find novel Akt2 inhibitors which have different scaffolds, structure-based pharmacophore model and 3D-QSAR pharmacophore model were built and validated by different methods. Then, they were used for chemical databases virtual screening. The selected compounds were further analyzed and refined using drug-like filters and ADMET analysis. Finally, seven hits with different scaffolds were picked out for docking studies. These seven hits were predicted to have high inhibitory activity and good ADMET properties, they may act as novel leads for Akt2 inhibitors designing.

  2. TARGET:?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    James M Acton

    2014-01-01

      By 2003. as military planners had become worried that the country's long-range conventional weapons, such as cruise missiles, might be too slow to reach hypothetical distant targets that needed to be struck urgently...

  3. Detection of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in naturally infected dogs and cats using serological, parasitological and molecular methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez, G F; Cardinal, M V; Orozco, M M; Schijman, A G; Gürtler, R E

    2013-06-01

    Domestic dogs and cats are major domestic reservoir hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi and a risk factor for parasite transmission. In this study we assessed the relative performance of a polymerase chain reaction assay targeted to minicircle DNA (kDNA-PCR) in reference to conventional serological tests, a rapid dipstick test and xenodiagnosis to detect T. cruzi infection in dogs and cats from an endemic rural area in northeastern Argentina. A total of 43 dogs and 13 cats seropositive for T. cruzi by an immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and an indirect hemagglutination assay (IHA), which had been examined by xenodiagnosis, were also tested by kDNA-PCR. kDNA-PCR was nearly as sensitive as xenodiagnosis for detecting T. cruzi-infectious dogs and cats. kDNA-PCR was slightly more sensitive than xenodiagnosis in seropositive dogs (91% versus 86%, respectively) and cats (77% against 54%, respectively), but failed to detect all of the seropositive individuals. ELISA and IHA detected all xenodiagnosis-positive dogs and both outcomes largely agreed (kappa coefficient, κ=0.92), whereas both assays failed to detect all of the xenodiagnosis-positive cats and their agreement was moderate (κ=0.68). In dogs, the sensitivity of the dipstick test was 95% and agreed closely with the outcome of conventional serological tests (κ=0.82). The high sensitivity of kDNA-PCR to detect T. cruzi infections in naturally infected dogs and cats supports its application as a diagnostic tool complementary to serology and may replace the use of xenodiagnosis or hemoculture.

  4. Detection of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in naturally-infected dogs and cats using serological, parasitological and molecular methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez, G.F.; Cardinal, M.V.; Orozco, M.M.; Schijman, A.G.; Gürtler, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    Domestic dogs and cats are major domestic reservoir hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi and a risk factor for parasite transmission. In this study we assessed the relative performance of a polymerase chain reaction assay targeted to minicircle DNA (kDNA-PCR) in reference to conventional serological tests, a rapid dipstick test and xenodiagnosis to detect T. cruzi infection in dogs and cats from an endemic rural area in northeastern Argentina. A total of 43 dogs and 13 cats seropositive for T. cruzi by an immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and an indirect hemagglutination assay (IHA), which had been examined by xenodiagnosis, were also tested by kDNA-PCR. kDNA-PCR was nearly as sensitive as xenodiagnosis for detecting T. cruzi- infectious dogs and cats. kDNA-PCR was slightly more sensitive than xenodiagnosis in seropositive dogs (91% versus 86%, respectively) and cats (77% against 54%, respectively), but failed to detect all of the seropositive individuals. ELISA and IHA detected all xenodiagnosis-positive dogs and both outcomes largely agreed (kappa coefficient, κ = 0.92), whereas both assays failed to detect all of the xenodiagnosis-positive cats and their agreement was moderate (κ = 0.68). In dogs, the sensitivity of the dipstick test was 95% and agreed closely with the outcome of conventional serological tests (κ = 0.82). The high sensitivity of kDNA-PCR to detect T. cruzi infections in naturally-infected dogs and cats supports its application as a diagnostic tool complementary to serology and may replace the use of xenodiagnosis or hemoculture. PMID:23499860

  5. Immunopathological Aspects of Experimental Trypanosoma cruzi Reinfections

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    Juliana Reis Machado

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Besides the host-related factors, such as immune response and genetic background, the parasite, strain, and occurrences of reinfection episodes, may influence disease outcome. Our results demonstrate that both the primary infection and the reinfection with the Colombiana strain are connected with lower survival rate of the mice. After reinfection, parasitaemia is approximately ten times lower than in primary infected animals. Only Colombiana, Colombiana/Colombiana, and Y/Colombiana groups presented amastigote nests in cardiac tissue. Moreover, the mice infected and/or reinfected with the Colombiana strain had more T. cruzi nests, more intense inflammatory infiltrate, and higher in situ expression of TNF-α and IFN-γ than Y strain. Antigen-stimulated spleen cells from infected and/or reinfected animals produced higher levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-10. Our results reinforce the idea that Chagas disease outcome is influenced by the strain of the infective parasite, being differentially modulated during reinfection episodes. It highlights the need of control strategies involving parasite strain characterization in endemic areas for Chagas disease.

  6. The flagellar adenylate kinases of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camara, María de los Milagros; Bouvier, León A; Miranda, Mariana R; Pereira, Claudio A

    2015-01-01

    Adenylate kinases (ADK) are key enzymes involved in cell energy management. Trypanosomatids present the highest number of variants in a single cell in comparison with the rest of the living organisms. In this work, we characterized two flagellar ADKs from Trypanosoma cruzi, called TcADK1 and TcADK4, which are also located in the cell cytosol. Interestingly, TcADK1 presents a stage-specific expression. This variant was detected in epimastigotes cells, and was completely absent in trypomastigotes and amastigotes, while TcADK4 is present in the major life cycle stages of T. cruzi. Both variants are also regulated, in opposite ways, along the parasite growth curve suggesting that their expression depends on the intra- and extracellular conditions. Both, TcADK1 and TcADK4 present N-terminal extension that could be responsible for their subcellular localization. The presence of ADK variants in the flagellum would be critical for the provision of energy in a process of high ATP consumption such as cell motility.

  7. Flagellar Motility of Trypanosoma cruzi Epimastigotes

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    G. Ballesteros-Rodea

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The hemoflagellate Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of American trypanosomiasis. Despite the importance of motility in the parasite life cycle, little is known about T. cruzi motility, and there is no quantitative description of its flagellar beating. Using video microscopy and quantitative vectorial analysis of epimastigote trajectories, we find a forward parasite motility defined by tip-to-base symmetrical flagellar beats. This motion is occasionally interrupted by base-to-tip highly asymmetric beats, which represent the ciliary beat of trypanosomatid flagella. The switch between flagellar and ciliary beating facilitates the parasite's reorientation, which produces a large variability of movement and trajectories that results in different distance ranges traveled by the cells. An analysis of the distance, speed, and rotational angle indicates that epimastigote movement is not completely random, and the phenomenon is highly dependent on the parasite behavior and is characterized by directed and tumbling parasite motion as well as their combination, resulting in the alternation of rectilinear and intricate motility paths.

  8. Differential gene expression during Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclogenesis

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    Marco Aurelio Krieger

    1999-09-01

    Full Text Available The transformation of epimastigotes into metacyclic trypomastigotes involves changes in the pattern of expressed genes, resulting in important morphological and functional differences between these developmental forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. In order to identify and characterize genes involved in triggering the metacyclogenesis process and in conferring to metacyclic trypomastigotes their stage specific biological properties, we have developed a method allowing the isolation of genes specifically expressed when comparing two close related cell populations (representation of differential expression or RDE. The method is based on the PCR amplification of gene sequences selected by hybridizing and subtracting the populations in such a way that after some cycles of hybridization-amplification genes specific to a given population are highly enriched. The use of this method in the analysis of differential gene expression during T. cruzi metacyclogenesis (6 hr and 24 hr of differentiation and metacyclic trypomastigotes resulted in the isolation of several clones from each time point. Northern blot analysis showed that some genes are transiently expressed (6 hr and 24 hr differentiating cells, while others are present in differentiating cells and in metacyclic trypomastigotes. Nucleotide sequencing of six clones characterized so far showed that they do not display any homology to gene sequences available in the GeneBank.

  9. The Uptake of GABA in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvez Rojas, Robert L; Ahn, Il-Young; Suárez Mantilla, Brian; Sant'Anna, Celso; Pral, Elizabeth Mieko Furusho; Silber, Ariel Mariano

    2015-01-01

    Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is widely known as a neurotransmitter and signal transduction molecule found in vertebrates, plants, and some protozoan organisms. However, the presence of GABA and its role in trypanosomatids is unknown. Here, we report the presence of intracellular GABA and the biochemical characterization of its uptake in Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease. Kinetic parameters indicated that GABA is taken up by a single transport system in pathogenic and nonpathogenic forms. Temperature dependence assays showed a profile similar to glutamate transport, but the effect of extracellular cations Na(+) , K(+) , and H(+) on GABA uptake differed, suggesting a different uptake mechanism. In contrast to reports for other amino acid transporters in T. cruzi, GABA uptake was Na(+) dependent and increased with pH, with a maximum activity at pH 8.5. The sensitivity to oligomycin showed that GABA uptake is dependent on ATP synthesis. These data point to a secondary active Na(+) /GABA symporter energized by Na(+) -exporting ATPase. Finally, we show that GABA occurs in the parasite's cytoplasm under normal culture conditions, indicating that it is regularly taken up from the culture medium or synthesized through an still undescribed metabolic pathway.

  10. Methylglyoxal mediates adipocyte proliferation by increasing phosphorylation of Akt1.

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    Xuming Jia

    Full Text Available Methylglyoxal (MG is a highly reactive metabolite physiologically presented in all biological systems. The effects of MG on diabetes and hypertension have been long recognized. In the present study, we investigated the potential role of MG in obesity, one of the most important factors to cause metabolic syndrome. An increased MG accumulation was observed in the adipose tissue of obese Zucker rats. Cell proliferation assay showed that 5-20 µM of MG stimulated the proliferation of 3T3-L1 cells. Further study suggested that accumulated-MG stimulated the phosphorylation of Akt1 and its targets including p21 and p27. The activated Akt1 then increased the activity of CDK2 and accelerated the cell cycle progression of 3T3-L1 cells. The effects of MG were efficiently reversed by advanced glycation end product (AGE breaker alagebrium and Akt inhibitor SH-6. In summary, our study revealed a previously unrecognized effect of MG in stimulating adipogenesis by up-regulation of Akt signaling pathway and this mechanism might offer a new approach to explain the development of obesity.

  11. AKT1 and BRAF mutations in pediatric aggressive fibromatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meazza, Cristina; Belfiore, Antonino; Busico, Adele; Settanni, Giulio; Paielli, Nicholas; Cesana, Luca; Ferrari, Andrea; Chiaravalli, Stefano; Massimino, Maura; Gronchi, Alessandro; Colombo, Chiara; Pilotti, Silvana; Perrone, Federica

    2016-06-01

    Aside from the CTNNB1 and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutations, the genetic profile of pediatric aggressive fibromatosis (AF) has remained poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to shed more light on the mutational spectrum of pediatric AF, comparing it with its adult counterpart, with a view to identifying biomarkers for use as prognostic factors or new potential therapeutic targets. CTNNB1, APC, AKT1, BRAF TP53, and RET Sanger sequencing and next-generation sequencing (NGS) with the 50-gene Ion AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel v2 were performed on formalin-fixed samples from 28 pediatric and 33 adult AFs. The prognostic value of CTNNB1, AKT1, and BRAF mutations in pediatric AF patients was investigated. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) curves were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and statistical comparisons were drawn using the log-rank test. In addition to the CTNNB1 mutation (64%), pediatric AF showed AKT1 (31%), BRAF (19%), and TP53 (9%) mutations, whereas only the CTNNB1 mutation was found in adult AF. The polymorphism Q472H VEGFR was identified in both pediatric (56%) and adult (40%) AF. Our results indicate that the mutational spectrum of pediatric AF is more complex than that of adult AF, with multiple gene mutations involving not only CTNNB1 but also AKT1 and BRAF. This intriguing finding may have clinical implications and warrants further investigations. © 2016 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Perturbation of the dimer interface of triosephosphate isomerase and its effect on Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Vanesa Olivares-Illana

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chagas disease affects around 18 million people in the American continent. Unfortunately, there is no satisfactory treatment for the disease. The drugs currently used are not specific and exert serious toxic effects. Thus, there is an urgent need for drugs that are effective. Looking for molecules to eliminate the parasite, we have targeted a central enzyme of the glycolytic pathway: triosephosphate isomerase (TIM. The homodimeric enzyme is catalytically active only as a dimer. Because there are significant differences in the interface of the enzymes from the parasite and humans, we searched for small molecules that specifically disrupt contact between the two subunits of the enzyme from Trypanosoma cruzi but not those of TIM from Homo sapiens (HTIM, and tested if they kill the parasite. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Dithiodianiline (DTDA at nanomolar concentrations completely inactivates recombinant TIM of T. cruzi (TcTIM. It also inactivated HTIM, but at concentrations around 400 times higher. DTDA was also tested on four TcTIM mutants with each of its four cysteines replaced with either valine or alanine. The sensitivity of the mutants to DTDA was markedly similar to that of the wild type. The crystal structure of the TcTIM soaked in DTDA at 2.15 A resolution, and the data on the mutants showed that inactivation resulted from alterations of the dimer interface. DTDA also prevented the growth of Escherichia coli cells transformed with TcTIM, had no effect on normal E. coli, and also killed T. cruzi epimastigotes in culture. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: By targeting on the dimer interface of oligomeric enzymes from parasites, it is possible to discover small molecules that selectively thwart the life of the parasite. Also, the conformational changes that DTDA induces in the dimer interface of the trypanosomal enzyme are unique and identify a region of the interface that could be targeted for drug discovery.

  13. Knockout of the dhfr-ts gene in Trypanosoma cruzi generates attenuated parasites able to confer protection against a virulent challenge.

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    Cecilia Perez Brandan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan parasite that causes severe disease in millions of habitants of developing countries. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent this disease and the available drugs have the consequences of side effects. Live vaccines are likely to be more effective in inducing protection than recombinant proteins or DNA vaccines; however, safety problems associated to their use have been pointed out. In recent years, increasing knowledge on the molecular genetics of Trypanosomes has allowed the identification and elimination of genes that may be necessary for parasite infectivity and survival. In this sense, targeted deletion or disruption of specific genes in the parasite genome may protect against such reversion to virulent genotypes. METHODS AND FINDINGS: By targeted gene disruption we generated monoallelic mutant parasites for the dhfr-ts gene in a T. cruzi strain that has been shown to be naturally attenuated. In comparison to T. cruzi wild type epimastigotes, impairment in growth of dhfr-ts(+/- mutant parasites was observed and mutant clones displayed decreased virulence in mice. Also, a lower number of T. cruzi-specific CD8(+ T cells, in comparison to those induced by wild type parasites, was detected in mice infected with mutant parasites. However, no remarkable differences in the protective effect of TCC wild type versus TCC mutant parasites were observed. Mice challenged with virulent parasites a year after the original infection with the mutant parasites still displayed a significant control over the secondary infection. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that it is possible to generate genetically attenuated T. cruzi parasites able to confer protection against further T. cruzi infections.

  14. Isolation and characterization of paraflagellar proteins from Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saborio, J L; Manuel Hernandez, J; Narayanswami, S; Wrightsman, R; Palmer, E; Manning, J

    1989-03-05

    Two different Trypanosoma cruzi polypeptides, with masses of 70 and 68 kDa were purified and characterized in this work. These two polypeptides designated PAR 1 and PAR 2, respectively, co-purified during each step of the isolation procedure and were found to be located exclusively in T. cruzi flagella by indirect immunofluorescence. A pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy procedure, with a gold-tagged secondary antibody, permitted direct identification of PAR 2 as a component of the T. cruzi paraflagellar rod. PAR 1 and PAR 2 were found to be immunologically distinct and showed no cross-reactivity with actin, tubulin, intermediate filament proteins, or other proteins present in mammalian cells. The results presented indicate that PAR 1 and PAR 2 are the major components of T. cruzi paraflagellar filaments, and that these filaments have no counterpart in mammalian cells.

  15. Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) as vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Renzo; Castillo-Neyra, Ricardo; Tustin, Aaron W; Borrini-Mayorí, Katty; Náquira, César; Levy, Michael Z

    2015-02-01

    Populations of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, have recently undergone explosive growth. Bed bugs share many important traits with triatomine insects, but it remains unclear whether these similarities include the ability to transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. Here, we show efficient and bidirectional transmission of T. cruzi between hosts and bed bugs in a laboratory environment. Most bed bugs that fed on experimentally infected mice acquired the parasite. A majority of previously uninfected mice became infected after a period of cohabitation with exposed bed bugs. T. cruzi was also transmitted to mice after the feces of infected bed bugs were applied directly to broken host skin. Quantitative bed bug defecation measures were similar to those of important triatomine vectors. Our findings suggest that the common bed bug may be a competent vector of T. cruzi and could pose a risk for vector-borne transmission of Chagas disease.

  16. Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius) as Vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Renzo; Castillo-Neyra, Ricardo; Tustin, Aaron W.; Borrini-Mayorí, Katty; Náquira, César; Levy, Michael Z.

    2015-01-01

    Populations of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, have recently undergone explosive growth. Bed bugs share many important traits with triatomine insects, but it remains unclear whether these similarities include the ability to transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. Here, we show efficient and bidirectional transmission of T. cruzi between hosts and bed bugs in a laboratory environment. Most bed bugs that fed on experimentally infected mice acquired the parasite. A majority of previously uninfected mice became infected after a period of cohabitation with exposed bed bugs. T. cruzi was also transmitted to mice after the feces of infected bed bugs were applied directly to broken host skin. Quantitative bed bug defecation measures were similar to those of important triatomine vectors. Our findings suggest that the common bed bug may be a competent vector of T. cruzi and could pose a risk for vector-borne transmission of Chagas disease. PMID:25404068

  17. Amastigotes forms of Trypanosoma cruzi detected in a renal allograft

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    CARVALHO Maria Fernanda C.

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas?disease assumes two distinct forms in vertebrate hosts: circulating trypomastigote and tissular amastigote. This latter form infects predominantly the myocardium, smooth and skeletal muscle, and central nervous system. The present work describes for the first time the detection of amastigote forms of T. cruzi in the renal parenchyma of a kidney graft recipient one month after transplantation. The patient was serologically negative for Chagas?disease and received no blood transfusion prior to transplant. The cadaver donor was from an endemic area for Chagas?disease. The recipient developed the acute form of the disease with detection of amastigote forms of T. cruzi in the renal allograft biopsy and circulating trypomastigote forms. The present report demonstrates that T. cruzi can infect the renal parenchyma. This mode of transmission warrants in endemic areas of Chagas?disease

  18. The Role of PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling in Gastric Carcinoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuoka, Tasuku [Department of Surgical Oncology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585 (Japan); Yashiro, Masakazu, E-mail: m9312510@med.osaka-cu.ac.jp [Department of Surgical Oncology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585 (Japan); Oncology Institute of Geriatrics and Medical Science, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585 (Japan)

    2014-07-07

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is one of the key signaling pathways induced by various receptor-tyrosine kinases. Accumulating evidence shows that this pathway is an important promoter of cell growth, metabolism, survival, metastasis, and resistance to chemotherapy. Genetic alterations in the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in gastric carcinoma have often been demonstrated. Many kinds of molecular targeting therapies are currently undergoing clinical testing in patients with solid tumors. However, with the exception of the ErbB2-targeting antibody, targeting agents, including PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitors, have not been approved for treatment of patients with gastric carcinoma. This review summarizes the current knowledge on PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling in the pathogenesis of gastric carcinoma and the possible therapeutic targets for gastric carcinoma. Improved knowledge of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in gastric carcinoma will be useful in understanding the mechanisms of tumor development and for identifying ideal targets of anticancer therapy for gastric carcinoma.

  19. The Role of PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling in Gastric Carcinoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuoka, Tasuku; Yashiro, Masakazu

    2014-01-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is one of the key signaling pathways induced by various receptor-tyrosine kinases. Accumulating evidence shows that this pathway is an important promoter of cell growth, metabolism, survival, metastasis, and resistance to chemotherapy. Genetic alterations in the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in gastric carcinoma have often been demonstrated. Many kinds of molecular targeting therapies are currently undergoing clinical testing in patients with solid tumors. However, with the exception of the ErbB2-targeting antibody, targeting agents, including PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitors, have not been approved for treatment of patients with gastric carcinoma. This review summarizes the current knowledge on PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling in the pathogenesis of gastric carcinoma and the possible therapeutic targets for gastric carcinoma. Improved knowledge of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in gastric carcinoma will be useful in understanding the mechanisms of tumor development and for identifying ideal targets of anticancer therapy for gastric carcinoma. PMID:25003395

  20. Physical association of PDK1 with AKT1 is sufficient for pathway activation independent of membrane localization and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiyong Ding

    Full Text Available Frequent activation of the AKT serine-threonine kinase in cancer confers resistance to therapy. AKT is activated by a multi-step process involving phosphatidylinositide (PtdIns phosphate-mediated recruitment of AKT and its upstream kinases, including 3-Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1, to the inner surface of the cell membrane. PDK1 in the appropriate context phosphorylates AKT at threonine 308 (T308 to activate AKT. Whether PtdIns(3,4,5Ps (PtdInsP3 binding and AKT membrane translocation mediate functions other than formation of a functional PDK1::AKT complex have not been fully elucidated. We fused complementary fragments of intensely fluorescent protein (IFP to AKT1 and PDK1 to induce a stable complex to study the prerequisites of AKT1 phosphorylation and function. In the stabilized PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex, AKT1 T308 phosphorylation was independent of PtdIns, as demonstrated by treatment with Phosphatidylinositol 3 Kinase (PI3K inhibitors. Further when interaction with PtdIns and the cell membrane was prevented by creating PH-domain mutants of AKT1 (R25A and PDK1 (R474A, AKT1 phosphorylation on T308 was maintained in the PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex. The PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex was sufficient for phosphorylation of known AKT substrates, and conferred resistance to inhibitors of PI3K (LY294002, PI103, GDC0941 and TGX286 but not inhibitors of the downstream TORC1 complex (rapamycin. Thus the locus of action of targeted therapeutics can be elucidated by the constitutively active AKT1 complex. Our data indicate that PtdIns and membrane localization are not required for AKT phosphorylation and activation, but rather serve to induce a functional physical interaction between PDK1 and AKT. The PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex provides a cell-based platform to examine specificity of drugs targeting PI3K pathway components.

  1. Physical association of PDK1 with AKT1 is sufficient for pathway activation independent of membrane localization and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Zhiyong; Liang, Jiyong; Li, Jin; Lu, Yiling; Ariyaratna, Vathsala; Lu, Zhimin; Davies, Michael A; Westwick, John K; Mills, Gordon B

    2010-03-26

    Frequent activation of the AKT serine-threonine kinase in cancer confers resistance to therapy. AKT is activated by a multi-step process involving phosphatidylinositide (PtdIns) phosphate-mediated recruitment of AKT and its upstream kinases, including 3-Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1), to the inner surface of the cell membrane. PDK1 in the appropriate context phosphorylates AKT at threonine 308 (T308) to activate AKT. Whether PtdIns(3,4,5)Ps (PtdInsP3) binding and AKT membrane translocation mediate functions other than formation of a functional PDK1::AKT complex have not been fully elucidated. We fused complementary fragments of intensely fluorescent protein (IFP) to AKT1 and PDK1 to induce a stable complex to study the prerequisites of AKT1 phosphorylation and function. In the stabilized PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex, AKT1 T308 phosphorylation was independent of PtdIns, as demonstrated by treatment with Phosphatidylinositol 3 Kinase (PI3K) inhibitors. Further when interaction with PtdIns and the cell membrane was prevented by creating PH-domain mutants of AKT1 (R25A) and PDK1 (R474A), AKT1 phosphorylation on T308 was maintained in the PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex. The PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex was sufficient for phosphorylation of known AKT substrates, and conferred resistance to inhibitors of PI3K (LY294002, PI103, GDC0941 and TGX286) but not inhibitors of the downstream TORC1 complex (rapamycin). Thus the locus of action of targeted therapeutics can be elucidated by the constitutively active AKT1 complex. Our data indicate that PtdIns and membrane localization are not required for AKT phosphorylation and activation, but rather serve to induce a functional physical interaction between PDK1 and AKT. The PDK1-IFPC::IFPN-AKT1 complex provides a cell-based platform to examine specificity of drugs targeting PI3K pathway components.

  2. Quantitative Proteomic and Phosphoproteomic Analysis of Trypanosoma cruzi Amastigogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Queiroz, Rayner M L; Charneau, Sebastien; Mandacaru, Samuel C;

    2014-01-01

    Chagas disease is a tropical neglected disease endemic in Latin America and it is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite has four major life stages: epimastigote, metacyclic trypomastigote, bloodstream trypomastigote and amastigote. The differentiation from infective trypomastigo......Chagas disease is a tropical neglected disease endemic in Latin America and it is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite has four major life stages: epimastigote, metacyclic trypomastigote, bloodstream trypomastigote and amastigote. The differentiation from infective...

  3. Genitourinary changes in hamsters infected and reinfected with Trypanosoma cruzi

    OpenAIRE

    Cabrine-Santos Marlene; Santos Vitorino Modesto dos; Lima Marcus Aurelho; Abreu Marta Elena Araújo de; Lages-Silva Eliane; Ramírez Luís Eduardo

    2003-01-01

    Authors describe genitourinary changes in male hamsters infected and reinfected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Changes in genital organs have been described in human and in experimental chagasic infection. Genital dysfunctions in chronic chagasic patients affect ejaculation, libido and sexual potency, and testis biopsies may show arrested maturation of germ cells, oligozoospermia and azoospermia. Sixty-five male hamsters were inoculated and reinoculated with 2x10³ trypomastigotes of T. cruzi VIC str...

  4. The identification of two Trypanosoma cruzi I genotypes from domestic and sylvatic transmission cycles in Colombia based on a single polymerase chain reaction amplification of the spliced-leader intergenic region

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    Lina Marcela Villa

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available A single polymerase chain reaction (PCR reaction targeting the spliced-leader intergenic region of Trypanosoma cruzi I was standardised by amplifying a 231 bp fragment in domestic (TcIDOM strains or clones and 450 and 550 bp fragments in sylvatic strains or clones. This reaction was validated using 44 blind coded samples and 184 non-coded T. cruzi I clones isolated from sylvatic triatomines and the correspondence between the amplified fragments and their domestic or sylvatic origin was determined. Six of the nine strains isolated from acute cases suspected of oral infection had the sylvatic T. cruzi I profile. These results confirmed that the sylvatic T. cruzi I genotype is linked to cases of oral Chagas disease in Colombia. We therefore propose the use of this novel PCR reaction in strains or clones previously characterised as T. cruzi I to distinguish TcIDOMfrom sylvatic genotypes in studies of transmission dynamics, including the verification of population selection within hosts or detection of the frequency of mixed infections by both T. cruzi I genotypes in Colombia.

  5. AKT regulates NPM dependent ARF localization and p53mut stability in tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Garth; Abraham, Aswin G; Morton, Jennifer; Sampson, Oliver; Pefani, Dafni E; Khoronenkova, Svetlana; Grawenda, Anna; Papaspyropoulos, Angelos; Jamieson, Nigel; McKay, Colin; Sansom, Owen; Dianov, Grigory L; O'Neill, Eric

    2014-08-15

    Nucleophosmin (NPM) is known to regulate ARF subcellular localization and MDM2 activity in response to oncogenic stress, though the precise mechanism has remained elusive. Here we describe how NPM and ARF associate in the nucleoplasm to form a MDM2 inhibitory complex. We find that oligomerization of NPM drives nucleolar accumulation of ARF. Moreover, the formation of NPM and ARF oligomers antagonizes MDM2 association with the inhibitory complex, leading to activation of MDM2 E3-ligase activity and targeting of p53. We find that AKT phosphorylation of NPM-Ser48 prevents oligomerization that results in nucleoplasmic localization of ARF, constitutive MDM2 inhibition and stabilization of p53. We also show that ARF promotes p53 mutant stability in tumors and suppresses p73 mediated p21 expression and senescence. We demonstrate that AKT and PI3K inhibitors may be effective in treatment of therapeutically resistant tumors with elevated AKT and carrying gain of function mutations in p53. Our results show that the clinical candidate AKT inhibitor MK-2206 promotes ARF nucleolar localization, reduced p53(mut) stability and increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation in a xenograft model of pancreatic cancer. Analysis of human tumors indicates that phospho-S48-NPM may be a useful biomarker for monitoring AKT activity and in vivo efficacy of AKT inhibitor treatment. Critically, we propose that combination therapy involving PI3K-AKT inhibitors would benefit from a patient stratification rationale based on ARF and p53(mut) status.

  6. Akt-mediated regulation of antidepressant-sensitive serotonin transporter function, cell-surface expression and phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajamanickam, Jeyaganesh; Annamalai, Balasubramaniam; Rahbek-Clemmensen, Troels; Sundaramurthy, Santhanalakshmi; Gether, Ulrik; Jayanthi, Lankupalle D; Ramamoorthy, Sammanda

    2015-05-15

    The serotonin [5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine)] transporter (SERT) controls serotonergic neurotransmission in the brain by rapid clearance of 5-HT from the synaptic cleft into presynaptic neurons. SERTs are primary targets for antidepressants for therapeutic intervention of mood disorders. Our previous studies have identified the involvement of several signalling pathways and protein kinases in regulating SERT function, trafficking and phosphorylation. However, whether Akt/PKB (protein kinase) regulates SERT function is not known. In the present study, we made the novel observation that inhibition of Akt resulted in the down-regulation of SERT function through the regulation of SERT trafficking and phosphorylation. Akt inhibitor Akt X {10-(4'-[N-diethylamino)butyl]-2-chlorophenoxazine} reduced the endogenously phosphorylated Akt and significantly decreased 5-HT uptake and 5-HT-uptake capacity. Furthermore, SERT activity is also reduced by siRNA down-regulation of total and phospho-Akt levels. The reduction in SERT activity is paralleled by lower levels of cell-surface SERT protein, reduced SERT exocytosis with no effect on SERT endocytosis and accumulation of SERT in intracellular endocytic compartments with the most prominent localization to late endosomes and lysosomes. Akt2 inhibitor was more effective than Akt1 inhibitor in inhibiting SERT activity. Inhibition of downstream Akt kinase GSK3α/β (glycogen synthase kinase α/β) stimulates SERT function. Akt inhibition leads to a decrease in SERT basal phosphorylation. Our results provide evidence that Akt regulates SERT function and cell-surface expression by regulating the intracellular SERT distribution and plasma membrane availability, which perhaps may be linked to SERT phosphorylation state. Thus any changes in the activation of Akt and/or GSK3α/β could alter SERT-mediated 5-HT clearance and subsequently serotonergic neurotransmission.

  7. Structural characterization of CYP51 from Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei bound to the antifungal drugs posaconazole and fluconazole.

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    Chiung-Kuang Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chagas Disease is the leading cause of heart failure in Latin America. Current drug therapy is limited by issues of both efficacy and severe side effects. Trypansoma cruzi, the protozoan agent of Chagas Disease, is closely related to two other major global pathogens, Leishmania spp., responsible for leishmaniasis, and Trypansoma brucei, the causative agent of African Sleeping Sickness. Both T. cruzi and Leishmania parasites have an essential requirement for ergosterol, and are thus vulnerable to inhibitors of sterol 14alpha-demethylase (CYP51, which catalyzes the conversion of lanosterol to ergosterol. Clinically employed anti-fungal azoles inhibit ergosterol biosynthesis in fungi, and specific azoles are also effective against both Trypanosoma and Leishmania parasites. However, modification of azoles to enhance efficacy and circumvent potential drug resistance has been problematic for both parasitic and fungal infections due to the lack of structural insights into drug binding. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have determined the crystal structures for CYP51 from T. cruzi (resolutions of 2.35 A and 2.27 A, and from the related pathogen T. brucei (resolutions of 2.7 A and 2.6 A, co-crystallized with the antifungal drugs fluconazole and posaconazole. Remarkably, both drugs adopt multiple conformations when binding the target. The fluconazole 2,4-difluorophenyl ring flips 180 degrees depending on the H-bonding interactions with the BC-loop. The terminus of the long functional tail group of posaconazole is bound loosely in the mouth of the hydrophobic substrate binding tunnel, suggesting that the major contribution of the tail to drug efficacy is for pharmacokinetics rather than in interactions with the target. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The structures provide new insights into binding of azoles to CYP51 and mechanisms of potential drug resistance. Our studies define in structural detail the CYP51 therapeutic target in T. cruzi, and

  8. Biotherapic of Trypanosoma cruzi 17d increases apoptosis in experimentally infected mice

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    Silvana Marques de Araújo

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: the mechanism of action of ultradiluted medicines has not yet been established[1,3]. Many basic research studies have focused on isopathic models using in vitro or in vivo designs [4,5]. Recent studies indicate that an ultradiluted (isopathic antigen can transfer signals to the immune system and modulate its response when an organism is challenged against this same antigen [6]. Some studies on experimental infection of mice by T. cruzi identified apoptotic cells and showed that the increase of their number is associated with an increase also in the number of parasites in the blood of the infected animals, while blockage of apoptosis can be the target of therapeutic intervention [7,8]. Aim: to evaluate the development of apoptosis in mice treated with biotherapic of Trypanosoma cruzi in dilution 17d through in situ detection of fragmented DNA. Method: in a blind randomized controlled trial, 36 male Swiss mice age 4 or 8 weeks were distributed in groups control - treated with 7% hydroalcoholic solution(CI-4=9 animals or CI-8=9 animals; and treated with biotherapic 17d (BIOT-4=9 animals or BIOT-8=9 animals. Infection was performed with 1,400 trypomastigotes T. cruzi-strain Y via intraperitoneal. Biotherapic 17d was prepared through the addition of 0.9ml of concentrated T. cruzi (10E+7 trypomastigotes/ml to 9.1 ml of distilled water. The following dilutions were prepared in 86% hydroalcoholic solution until dilution 16d. Dilution 17d was prepared with 7% hydroalcoholic solution. It was performed microbiological control and biological risk in vivo. Treatment: 0.2 ml in 3 consecutive days, oral route, from the moment infection was verified. Animals were sacrificed on the 3rd day of treatment in a chamber saturated with ether. The liver and spleen were removed and fixated in 4% paraformaldehyde for 24 hours and then included in paraffin. Apoptosis was evaluated through DNA fragmentation – TUNEL technique (TdT d

  9. Crystal Structure of Triosephosphate Isomerase from Trypanosoma cruzi in Hexane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xiu-Gong; Maldonado, Ernesto; Perez-Montfort, Ruy; Garza-Ramos, Georgina; Tuena de Gomez-Puyou, Marietta; Gomez-Puyou, Armando; Rodriguez-Romero, Adela

    1999-08-01

    To gain insight into the mechanisms of enzyme catalysis in organic solvents, the x-ray structure of some monomeric enzymes in organic solvents was determined. However, it remained to be explored whether the structure of oligomeric proteins is also amenable to such analysis. The field acquired new perspectives when it was proposed that the x-ray structure of enzymes in nonaqueous media could reveal binding sites for organic solvents that in principle could represent the starting point for drug design. Here, a crystal of the dimeric enzyme triosephosphate isomerase from the pathogenic parasite Trypanosoma cruzi was soaked and diffracted in hexane and its structure solved at 2- angstrom resolution. Its overall structure and the dimer interface were not altered by hexane. However, there were differences in the orientation of the side chains of several amino acids, including that of the catalytic Glu-168 in one of the monomers. No hexane molecules were detected in the active site or in the dimer interface. However, three hexane molecules were identified on the surface of the protein at sites, which in the native crystal did not have water molecules. The number of water molecules in the hexane structure was higher than in the native crystal. Two hexanes localized at <4 angstrom from residues that form the dimer interface; they were in close proximity to a site that has been considered a potential target for drug design.

  10. Akt and MAPK signaling mediate pregnancy-induced cardiac adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Eunhee; Yeung, Fan; Leinwand, Leslie A

    2012-05-01

    Although the signaling pathways underlying exercise-induced cardiac adaptation have been extensively studied, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that result in the response of the heart to pregnancy. The objective of this study was to define the morphological, functional, and gene expression patterns that define the hearts of pregnant mice, and to identify the signaling pathways that mediate this response. Mice were divided into three groups: nonpregnant diestrus control, midpregnancy, and late pregnancy. Both time points of pregnancy were associated with significant cardiac hypertrophy. The prosurvival signaling cascades of Akt and ERK1/2 were activated in the hearts of pregnant mice, while the stress kinase, p38, was decreased. Given the activation of Akt in pregnancy and its known role in cardiac hypertrophy, the hypertrophic response to pregnancy was tested in mice expressing a cardiac-specific activated (myristoylated) form of Akt (myrAkt) or a cardiac-specific constitutively active (antipathologic hypertrophic) form of its downstream target, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (caGSK3β). The pregnancy-induced hypertrophic responses of hearts from these mice were significantly attenuated. Finally, we tested whether pregnancy-associated sex hormones could induce hypertrophy and alter signaling pathways in isolated neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs). In fact, progesterone, but not estradiol treatment increased NRVM cell size via phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Inhibition of MEK1 effectively blocked progesterone-induced cellular hypertrophy. Taken together, our study demonstrates that pregnancy-induced cardiac hypertrophy is mediated by activation of Akt and ERK1/2 pathways.

  11. Signal transduction induced in Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclic trypomastigotes during the invasion of mammalian cells

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    N. Yoshida

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available Penetration of Trypanosoma cruzi into mammalian cells depends on the activation of the parasite's protein tyrosine kinase and on the increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. We used metacyclic trypomastigotes, the T. cruzi developmental forms that initiate infection in mammalian hosts, to investigate the association of these two events and to identify the various components of the parasite signal transduction pathway involved in host cell invasion. We have found that i both the protein tyrosine kinase activation, as measured by phosphorylation of a 175-kDa protein (p175, and Ca2+ mobilization were induced in the metacyclic forms by the HeLa cell extract but not by the extract of T. cruzi-resistant K562 cells; ii treatment of parasites with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein blocked both p175 phosphorylation and the increase in cytosolic Ca2+ concentration; iii the recombinant protein J18, which contains the full-length sequence of gp82, a metacyclic stage surface glycoprotein involved in target cell invasion, interfered with tyrosine kinase and Ca2+ responses, whereas the monoclonal antibody 3F6 directed at gp82 induced parasite p175 phosphorylation and Ca2+ mobilization; iv treatment of metacyclic forms with phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 blocked Ca2+ signaling and impaired the ability of the parasites to enter HeLa cells, and v drugs such as heparin, a competitive IP3-receptor blocker, caffeine, which affects Ca2+ release from IP3-sensitive stores, in addition to thapsigargin, which depletes intracellular Ca2+ compartments and lithium ion, reduced the parasite infectivity. Taken together, these data suggest that protein tyrosine kinase, phospholipase C and IP3 are involved in the signaling cascade that is initiated on the parasite cell surface by gp82 and leads to Ca2+ mobilization required for target cell invasion.

  12. Akt1 is the principal Akt isoform regulating apoptosis in limiting cytokine concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, B D; Jabbour, A M; Sandow, J J; Riffkin, C D; Masouras, D; Daunt, C P; Salmanidis, M; Brumatti, G; Hemmings, B A; Guthridge, M A; Pearson, R B; Ekert, P G

    2013-10-01

    The activation of the Akt signalling in response to cytokine receptor signalling promotes protein synthesis, cellular growth and proliferation. To determine the role of Akt in interleukin-3 (IL-3) signalling, we generated IL-3-dependent myeloid cell lines from mice lacking Akt1, Akt2 or Akt3. Akt1 deletion resulted in accelerated apoptosis at low concentrations of IL-3. Expression of constitutively active Akt1 was sufficient to delay apoptosis in response to IL-3 withdrawal, but not sufficient to induce proliferation in the absence of IL-3. Akt1 prolonged survival of Bim- or Bad-deficient cells, but not cells lacking Puma, indicating that Akt1-dependent repression of apoptosis was in part dependent on Puma and independent of Bim or Bad. Our data show that a key role of Akt1 during IL-3 signalling is to repress p53-dependent apoptosis pathways, including transcriptional upregulation of Puma. Moreover, our data indicate that regulation of BH3-only proteins by Akt is dispensable for Akt-dependent cell survival.

  13. EPIDEMIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR DE TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI

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    Felipe Guhl

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available La enfermedad de Chagas causada por el parásito Trypanosoma cruzi es una zoonosis compleja, ampliamente distribuida en el continente americano. La infección puede ser adquirida a través de las heces de insectos triatominos, transfusión de sangre, trasplante de órganos, vía oral, por transmisión congénita y por accidentes de laboratorio. El completo entendimiento de la etiología y epidemiología de la enfermedad de Chagas a través de su distribución geográfica es complejo y permanece bajo intensa investigación hasta la actualidad. Los recientes estudios sobre la variabilidad genética del parásito han dado nuevas luces de los diferentes escenarios de los ciclos de transmisión de la enfermedad y su patogénesis en humanos. El propósito principal para la caracterización molecular de T.cruzi y sus múltiples genotipos está dirigido hacia su asociación con la clínica y la patogenesis de la enfermedad, así como al esclarecimiento de los diferentes escenarios de transmisión y los aspectos coevolutivos relacionados con reservorios e insectos vectores. La caracterización molecular de los diferentes aislamientos a partir de humanos, insectos y reservorios, ha permitido identificar la amplia variabilidad genética del parásito, abriendo nuevos caminos hacia la búsqueda de nuevos blancos terapéuticos y pruebas diagnósticas más específicas que contribuyan a mitigar la enfermedad de Chagas.

  14. Development of a Fluorescence-based Trypanosoma cruzi CYP51 Inhibition Assay for Effective Compound Triaging in Drug Discovery Programmes for Chagas Disease.

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    Jennifer Riley

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi, is a life threatening global health problem with only two drugs available for treatment (benznidazole and nifurtimox, both having variable efficacy in the chronic stage of the disease and high rates of adverse drug reactions. Inhibitors of sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51 have proven effective against T. cruzi in vitro and in vivo in animal models of Chagas disease. Consequently two azole inhibitors of CYP51 (posaconazole and ravuconazole have recently entered clinical development by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative. Further new drug treatments for this disease are however still urgently required, particularly having a different mode of action to CYP51 in order to balance the overall risk in the drug discovery portfolio. This need has now been further strengthened by the very recent reports of treatment failure in the clinic for both posaconazole and ravuconazole. To this end and to prevent enrichment of drug candidates against a single target, there is a clear need for a robust high throughput assay for CYP51 inhibition in order to evaluate compounds active against T. cruzi arising from phenotypic screens. A high throughput fluorescence based functional assay using recombinantly expressed T. cruzi CYP51 (Tulahuen strain is presented here that meets this requirement. This assay has proved valuable in prioritising medicinal chemistry resource on only those T. cruzi active series arising from a phenotypic screening campaign where it is clear that the predominant mode of action is likely not via inhibition of CYP51.

  15. Development of a Fluorescence-based Trypanosoma cruzi CYP51 Inhibition Assay for Effective Compound Triaging in Drug Discovery Programmes for Chagas Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Jennifer; Brand, Stephen; Voice, Michael; Caballero, Ivan; Calvo, David; Read, Kevin D

    2015-09-01

    Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), is a life threatening global health problem with only two drugs available for treatment (benznidazole and nifurtimox), both having variable efficacy in the chronic stage of the disease and high rates of adverse drug reactions. Inhibitors of sterol 14α-demethylase (CYP51) have proven effective against T. cruzi in vitro and in vivo in animal models of Chagas disease. Consequently two azole inhibitors of CYP51 (posaconazole and ravuconazole) have recently entered clinical development by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative. Further new drug treatments for this disease are however still urgently required, particularly having a different mode of action to CYP51 in order to balance the overall risk in the drug discovery portfolio. This need has now been further strengthened by the very recent reports of treatment failure in the clinic for both posaconazole and ravuconazole. To this end and to prevent enrichment of drug candidates against a single target, there is a clear need for a robust high throughput assay for CYP51 inhibition in order to evaluate compounds active against T. cruzi arising from phenotypic screens. A high throughput fluorescence based functional assay using recombinantly expressed T. cruzi CYP51 (Tulahuen strain) is presented here that meets this requirement. This assay has proved valuable in prioritising medicinal chemistry resource on only those T. cruzi active series arising from a phenotypic screening campaign where it is clear that the predominant mode of action is likely not via inhibition of CYP51.

  16. Protective Role of Acetylsalicylic Acid in Experimental Trypanosoma cruzi Infection: Evidence of a 15-epi-Lipoxin A4-Mediated Effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriquez, Natalia; Faúndez, Mario; Torres, Gloria; Castillo, Christian; Escanilla, Sebastián; Kemmerling, Ulrike; Morello, Antonio; López-Muñoz, Rodrigo A.; Maya, Juan D.

    2013-01-01

    Chagas' disease, produced by Trypanosoma cruzi, affects more than 8 million people, producing approximately 10,000 deaths each year in Latin America. Migration of people from endemic regions to developed countries has expanded the risk of infection, transforming this disease into a globally emerging problem. PGE2 and other eicosanoids contribute to cardiac functional deficits after infection with T. cruzi. Thus, the inhibition of host cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme emerges as a potential therapeutic target. In vivo studies about the effect of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) upon T. cruzi infection are controversial, and always report the effect of ASA at a single dose. Therefore, we aimed to analyze the effect of ASA at different doses in an in vivo model of infection and correlate it with the production of arachidonic acid metabolites. ASA decreased mortality, parasitemia, and heart damage in T. cruzi (Dm28c) infected mice, at the low doses of 25 and 50 mg/Kg. However, this effect disappeared when the high ASA doses of 75 and 100 mg/Kg were used. We explored whether this observation was related to the metabolic shift toward the production of 5-lipoxygenase derivatives, and although we did not observe an increase in LTB4 production in infected RAW cells and mice infected, we did find an increase in 15-epi-LXA4 (an ASA-triggered lipoxin). We also found high levels of 15-epi-LXA4 in T. cruzi infected mice treated with the low doses of ASA, while the high ASA doses decreased 15-epi-LXA4 levels. Importantly, 15-epi-LXA4 prevented parasitemia, mortality, and cardiac changes in vivo and restored the protective role in the treatment with a high dose of ASA. This is the first report showing the production of ASA-triggered lipoxins in T. cruzi infected mice, which demonstrates the role of this lipid as an anti-inflammatory molecule in the acute phase of the disease. PMID:23638194

  17. Biochemical evaluation of a series of synthetic chalcone and hydrazide derivatives as novel inhibitors of cruzain from Trypanosoma cruzi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borchhardt, Deise M.; Oliva, Glaucius; Andricopulo, Adriano D. [Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Carlos (USP), SP (Brazil). Centro de Biotecnologia Molecular Estrutural. Lab. de Quimica Medicinal e Computacional; Mascarello, Alessandra; Chiaradia, Louise Domeneghini; Nunes, Ricardo J.; Yunes, Rosendo A. [Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianopolis, SC (Brazil). Centro de Ciencias Fisicas e Matematicas. Lab. Estrutura e Atividade

    2010-07-01

    Chagas' disease, a parasitic infection widely distributed throughout Latin America, is a major public health problem with devastating consequences in terms of human morbidity and mortality. The enzyme cruzain is the major cysteine protease from Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of American trypanosomiasis or Chagas' disease, and has been selected as an attractive target for the development of novel trypanocidal drugs. In the present work, we describe the synthesis and inhibitory effects of a series of thirty-three chalcone and seven hydrazide derivatives against the enzyme cruzain from T. cruzi. Most of the compounds showed promising in vitro inhibition (IC{sub 50} values in the range of 20-60 {mu}M), which suggest the potential of these compounds as lead candidates for further development. Twelve compounds have not been reported before, and four of them (7, 13, 16 e 18) are among the most potent inhibitors of the series. (author)

  18. Inhibition of carbonic anhydrase from Trypanosoma cruzi for the management of Chagas disease: an underexplored therapeutic opportunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supuran, Claudiu T

    2016-01-01

    An α-carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 4.2.1.1) was recently discovered, cloned and characterized in the genome of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, a neglected but widespread tropical disease. Inhibition of this α-CAs (TcCA) with anions, sulfonamides, sulfamates, thiols and hydroxamates has been investigated in detail, with several low nanomolar in vitro inhibitors. Although the sulfonamides were the best in vitro inhibitors, they showed no ex vivo anti-T. cruzi activity, due to poor penetration. However, some thiols and hydroxamates acting as low nanomolar TcCA inhibitors also showed significant antitrypanosomal ex vivo activity, making this enzyme an attractive yet underexplored drug target for the management of Chagas disease.

  19. Akt Regulates TNFα synthesis downstream of RIP1 kinase activation during necroptosis.

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    Colleen R McNamara

    Full Text Available Necroptosis is a regulated form of necrotic cell death that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases including intestinal inflammation and systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS. In this work, we investigated the signaling mechanisms controlled by the necroptosis mediator receptor interacting protein-1 (RIP1 kinase. We show that Akt kinase activity is critical for necroptosis in L929 cells and plays a key role in TNFα production. During necroptosis, Akt is activated in a RIP1 dependent fashion through its phosphorylation on Thr308. In L929 cells, this activation requires independent signaling inputs from both growth factors and RIP1. Akt controls necroptosis through downstream targeting of mammalian Target of Rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1. Akt activity, mediated in part through mTORC1, links RIP1 to JNK activation and autocrine production of TNFα. In other cell types, such as mouse lung fibroblasts and macrophages, Akt exhibited control over necroptosis-associated TNFα production without contributing to cell death. Overall, our results provide new insights into the mechanism of necroptosis and the role of Akt kinase in both cell death and inflammatory regulation.

  20. Tomosyn is a novel Akt substrate mediating insulin-dependent GLUT4 exocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagano, Koki; Takeuchi, Hiroshi; Gao, Jing; Mori, Yoshihide; Otani, Takahito; Wang, DaGuang; Hirata, Masato

    2015-05-01

    Insulin triggers glucose uptake into skeletal muscle and adipose tissues by gaining the available number of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) on the cell surface. GLUT4-loaded vesicles are targeted to plasma membrane from the intracellular reservoir through multiple trafficking and fusion processes that are mainly regulated by Akt. However, it is still largely unknown how GLUT4 expression in the cell surface is promoted by insulin. In the present study, we identified tomosyn at Ser-783 as a possible Akt-substrate motif and examined whether the phosphorylation at Ser-783 is involved in the regulation of GLUT4 expression. Both Akt1 and Akt2 phosphorylated the wild-type tomosyn, but not the mutant tomosyn in which Ser-783 was replaced with Ala. Phosphorylation of tomosyn at Ser-783 was also observed in the intact cells by insulin stimulation, which was blocked by PI3K inhibitor, LY294002. In vitro pull-down assay showed that phosphorylation of tomosyn at Ser-783 by Akt inhibited the interaction with syntaxin 4. Insulin stimulation increased GLUT4 in the cell surface of CHO-K1 cells to promote glucose uptake, however exogenous expression of the mutant tomosyn attenuated the increase by insulin. These results suggest that Ser-783 of tomosyn is a target of Akt and is implicated in the interaction with syntaxin 4.

  1. miR-92a-3p Exerts Various Effects in Glioma and Glioma Stem-Like Cells Specifically Targeting CDH1/β-Catenin and Notch-1/Akt Signaling Pathways

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    Hang Song

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are implicated in the regulation of tumor progression and stemness of cancer stem-like cells. Recently, miR-92a-3p was reported to be up-regulated in human glioma samples. Nevertheless, the precise role of miR-92a-3p in glioma cells and glioma stem-like cells (GSCs has not been fully elucidated. It is necessary to clarify the function of miR-92a-3p in glioma and GSCs to develop novel therapeutic approaches for glioma patients. In the present study, we applied methyl-thiazolyl-tetrazolium (MTT assay and Transwell assay to measure the proliferation rate and metastatic potential of glioma cells. Meanwhile, the self-renewal ability of GSCs was detected by tumor sphere formation assay. The results revealed that down-regulation of miR-92a-3p suppressed the glioma cell malignancy in vitro. Moreover, knockdown of miR-92a-3p led to a reduction of tumorgenesis in vivo. Interestingly, we also observed that up-regulation of miR-92a-3p could inhibit the stemness of GSCs. Subsequent mechanistic investigation indicated that cadherin 1 (CDH1/β-catenin signaling and Notch-1/Akt signaling were the downstream pathways of miR-92a-3p in glioma cells and GSCs, respectively. These results suggest that miR-92a-3p plays different roles in glioma cells and GSCs through regulating different signaling pathways.

  2. An immunoinformatic approach for identification of Trypanosoma cruzi HLA-A2-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eickhoff, Christopher S; Van Aartsen, Daniel; Terry, Frances E; Meymandi, Sheba K; Traina, Mahmoud M; Hernandez, Salvador; Martin, William D; Moise, Leonard; De Groot, Annie S; Hoft, Daniel F

    2015-01-01

    Chagas disease is a major neglected tropical disease caused by persistent chronic infection with the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. An estimated 8 million people are infected with T. cruzi, however only 2 drugs are approved for treatment and no vaccines are available. Thus there is an urgent need to develop vaccines and new drugs to prevent and treat Chagas disease. In this work, we identify T cell targets relevant for human infection with T. cruzi. The trans-sialidase (TS) gene family is a large family of homologous genes within the T. cruzi genome encoding over 1,400 members. There are 12 highly conserved TS gene family members which encode enzymatically active TS (functional TS; F-TS), while the remaining TS family genes are less conserved, enzymatically inactive and have been hypothesized to be involved in immune evasion (non-functional TS; NF-TS). We utilized immunoinformatic tools to identify HLA-A2-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes conserved within F-TS family members and NF-TS gene family members. We also utilized a whole-genome approach to identify T cell epitopes present within genes which have previously been shown to be expressed in life stages relevant for human infection (Non-TS genes). Thirty immunogenic HLA-A2-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes were identified using IFN-γ ELISPOT assays after vaccination of humanized HLA-A2 transgenic mice with mature dendritic cells pulsed with F-TS, NF-TS, and Non-TS peptide pools. The immunogenic HLA-A2-restricted T cell epitopes identified in this work may serve as potential components of an epitope-based T cell targeted vaccine for Chagas disease. PMID:26107442

  3. Trypanosoma cruzi population dynamics in the Central Ecuadorian Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costales, Jaime A; Jara-Palacios, Miguel A; Llewellyn, Martin S; Messenger, Louisa A; Ocaña-Mayorga, Sofía; Villacís, Anita G; Tibayrenc, Michel; Grijalva, Mario J

    2015-11-01

    Chagas disease is the most important parasitic disease in Latin America. The causative agent, Trypanosoma cruzi, displays high genetic diversity and circulates in complex transmission cycles among domestic, peridomestic and sylvatic environments. In Ecuador, Rhodnius ecuadoriensis is known to be the major vector species implicated in T. cruzi transmission. However, across vast areas of Ecuador, little is known about T. cruzi genetic diversity in relation to different parasite transmission scenarios. Fifty-eight T. cruzi stocks from the central Ecuadorian coast, most of them derived from R. ecuadoriensis, were included in the study. All of them were genotyped as T. cruzi discrete typing unit I (DTU TcI). Analysis of 23 polymorphic microsatellite loci through neighbor joining and discriminant analysis of principal components yielded broadly congruent results and indicate genetic subdivision between sylvatic and peridomestic transmission cycles. However, both analyses also suggest that any barriers are imperfect and significant gene flow between parasite subpopulations in different habitats exists. Also consistent with moderate partition and residual gene flow between subpopulations, the fixation index (FST) was significant, but of low magnitude. Finally, the lack of private alleles in the domestic/peridomestic transmission cycle suggests the sylvatic strains constitute the ancestral population. The T. cruzi population in the central Ecuadorian coast shows moderate tendency to subdivision according to transmission cycle. However, connectivity between cycles exists and the sylvatic T. cruzi population harbored by R. ecuadoriensis vectors appears to constitute a source from which the parasite invades human domiciles and their surroundings in this region. We discuss the implications these findings have for the planning, implementation and evaluation of local Chagas disease control interventions.

  4. Identification of Protein Complex Associated with LYT1 of Trypanosoma cruzi

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    C. Lugo-Caballero

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available To carry out the intracellular phase of its life cycle, Trypanosoma cruzi must infect a host cell. Although a few molecules have been reported to participate in this process, one known protein is LYT1, which promotes lysis under acidic conditions and is involved in parasite infection and development. Alternative transcripts from a single LYT1 gene generate two proteins with differential functions and compartmentalization. Single-gene products targeted to more than one location can interact with disparate proteins that might affect their function and targeting properties. The aim of this work was to study the LYT1 interaction map using coimmunoprecipitation assays with transgenic parasites expressing LYT1 products fused to GFP. We detected several proteins of sizes from 8 to 150 kDa that bind to LYT1 with different binding strengths. By MS-MS analysis, we identified proteins involved in parasite infectivity (trans-sialidase, development (kDSPs and histones H2A and H2B, and motility and protein traffic (dynein and α- and β-tubulin, as well as protein-protein interactions (TPR-protein and kDSPs and several hypothetical proteins. Our approach led us to identify the LYT1 interaction profile, thereby providing insights into the molecular mechanisms that contribute to parasite stage development and pathogenesis of T. cruzi infection.

  5. Resveratrol inhibits Trypanosoma cruzi arginine kinase and exerts a trypanocidal activity.

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    Valera Vera, Edward A; Sayé, Melisa; Reigada, Chantal; Damasceno, Flávia S; Silber, Ariel M; Miranda, Mariana R; Pereira, Claudio A

    2016-06-01

    Arginine kinase catalyzes the reversible transphosphorylation between ADP and phosphoarginine which plays a critical role in the maintenance of cellular energy homeostasis. Arginine kinase from the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, meets the requirements to be considered as a potential therapeutic target for rational drug design including being absent in its mammalian hosts. In this study a group of polyphenolic compounds was evaluated as potential inhibitors of arginine kinase using molecular docking techniques. Among the analyzed compounds with the lowest free binding energy to the arginine kinase active site (cruzi trypomastigotes bursting from infected CHO K1 cells, with IC50=77μM. Additionally epimastigotes overexpressing arginine kinase were 5 times more resistant to resveratrol compared to controls. Taking into account that: (1) resveratrol is considered as completely nontoxic; (2) is easily accessible due to its low market price; and (3) has as a well-defined target enzyme which is absent in the mammalian host, it is a promising compound as a trypanocidal drug for Chagas disease.

  6. The chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 promote a protective immune response but do not contribute to cardiac inflammation following infection with Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardison, Jenny L; Wrightsman, Ruth A; Carpenter, Philip M; Lane, Thomas E; Manning, Jerry E

    2006-01-01

    The expression of chemokines within the heart during experimental infection of susceptible mice with the Colombiana strain of Trypanosoma cruzi was characterized in an attempt to determine a functional role for these molecules in both host defense and disease. Analysis of chemokine transcripts revealed that CXC chemokine ligand 9 (CXCL9) and CXCL10, as well as CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) and CCL5, were prominently expressed during acute disease, whereas transcripts for CXCL9, CXCL10, and CCL5 remained elevated during chronic infection. Inflammatory macrophages present within the heart were the primary cellular source of these chemokines following T. cruzi infection. Peak chemokine expression levels coincided with increased gamma interferon expression and inflammation within the heart, suggesting a role for these molecules in both host defense and disease. Indeed, simultaneous treatment of T. cruzi-infected mice with neutralizing antibodies specific for CXCL9 and CXCL10 resulted in an increased parasite burden that was sustained out to 50 days p.i. Antibody targeting either CXCL10 or CCL5 did not change either T. cruzi burden within the heart nor attenuate the severity of cardiac inflammation at any time point examined, while targeting CXCL9 in combination with CXCL10 resulted in increased parasite burden. Collectively, these studies imply that CXCL9 and CXCL10 signaling enhances immune responses following parasite infection. However, antibody targeting of CXCL9 and CXCL10, or CXCL10 alone, or CCL5 alone does not directly modulate the inflammatory response within the heart, suggesting that other proinflammatory factors are able to regulate inflammation in this tissue in response to T. cruzi infection.

  7. Trypanosoma cruzi infection: a continuous invader-host cell cross talk with participation of extracellular matrix and adhesion and chemoattractant molecules

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    Marino A.P.M.P.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Several lines of evidence have shown that Trypanosoma cruzi interacts with host extracellular matrix (ECM components producing breakdown products that play an important role in parasite mobilization and infectivity. Parasite-released antigens also modulate ECM expression that could participate in cell-cell and/or cell-parasite interactions. Increased expression of ECM components has been described in the cardiac tissue of chronic chagasic patients and diverse target tissues including heart, thymus, central nervous system and skeletal muscle of experimentally T. cruzi-infected mice. ECM components may adsorb parasite antigens and cytokines that could contribute to the establishment and perpetuation of inflammation. Furthermore, T. cruzi-infected mammalian cells produce cytokines and chemokines that not only participate in the control of parasitism but also contribute to the establishment of chronic inflammatory lesions in several target tissues and most frequently lead to severe myocarditis. T. cruzi-driven cytokines and chemokines may also modulate VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 adhesion molecules on endothelial cells of target tissues and play a key role in cell recruitment, especially of activated VLA-4+LFA-1+CD8+ T lymphocytes, resulting in a predominance of this cell population in the inflamed heart, central nervous system and skeletal muscle. The VLA-4+-invading cells are surrounded by a fine network of fibronectin that could contribute to cell anchorage, activation and effector functions. Since persistent "danger signals" triggered by the parasite and its antigens are required for the establishment of inflammation and ECM alterations, therapeutic interventions that control parasitism and selectively modulate cell migration improve ECM abnormalities, paving the way for the development of new therapeutic strategies improving the prognosis of T. cruzi-infected individuals.

  8. Inhibition of hydrogen peroxide signaling by 4-hydroxynonenal due to differential regulation of Akt1 and Akt2 contributes to decreases in cell survival and proliferation in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

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    Shearn, Colin T; Reigan, Philip; Petersen, Dennis R

    2012-07-01

    Dysregulation of cell signaling by electrophiles such as 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) is a key component in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory liver disease. Another consequence of inflammation is the perpetuation of oxidative damage by the production of reactive oxidative species such as hydrogen peroxide. Previously, we have demonstrated Akt2 as a direct target of 4-HNE in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. In the present study, we used the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2 as model to understand the combinatorial effects of 4-HNE and hydrogen peroxide. We demonstrate that 4-HNE inhibits hydrogen peroxide-mediated phosphorylation of Akt1 but not Akt2. Pretreatment of HepG2 cells with 4-HNE prevented hydrogen peroxide stimulation of Akt-dependent phosphorylation of downstream targets and intracellular Akt activity compared with untreated control cells. Using biotin hydrazide capture, it was confirmed that 4-HNE treatment resulted in carbonylation of Akt1, which was not observed in untreated control cells. Using a synthetic GSK3α/β peptide as a substrate, treatment of recombinant human myristoylated Akt1 (rAkt1) with 20 or 40 μΜ 4-HNE inhibited rAkt1 activity by 29 and 60%, respectively. We further demonstrate that 4-HNE activates Erk via a PI3 kinase and PP2A-dependent mechanism leading to increased Jnk phosphorylation. At higher concentrations, 4-HNE decreased both cell survival and proliferation as evidenced by MTT assays and EdU incorporation as well as decreased expression of cyclin D1 and β-catenin, an effect only moderately increased by the addition of hydrogen peroxide. The ability of 4-HNE to exert combinatorial effects on Erk, Jnk, and Akt-dependent cell survival pathways provides additional insight into the mechanisms of cellular damage associated with chronic inflammation.

  9. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in raccoons from Tennessee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maloney, Jenny; Newsome, Anthony; Huang, Junjun; Kirby, Jordona; Kranz, Melissa; Wateska, Angela; Dunlap, Brett; Yabsley, Michael J; Dunn, John R; Jones, Timothy F; Moncayo, Abelardo C

    2010-04-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas' disease. Autochthonous human and canine transmission of T. cruzi has been documented in Tennessee, but little is known about its ecology, including the prevalence of T. cruzi among wildlife in Tennessee. Serum samples from 706 raccoons (Procyon lotor) from 10 counties in the Ridge and Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains ecoregions of eastern Tennessee were tested for antibodies reactive with T. cruzi using the indirect fluorescent antibody assay. Two hundred six (29.2%) samples were seropositive, with 9 counties yielding positive samples (range 14.6-63.6%). Significantly more raccoons from rural habitats (35.1%) were found positive for T. cruzi exposure than were those from suburban habitats (23.1%, P raccoons were trapped and the most common site of positive raccoons in rural areas (42%). Interestingly, age was positively associated with seropositivity. Raccoons older than 1 yr (adults) were 40.1% seropositive compared to 12.2% of those less than 1 yr (juveniles; P raccoons (P raccoon populations in Tennessee. The importance of habitat (rural vs. suburban) and microhabitat (dens) in risk of exposure to these populations is also discussed.

  10. Akt inhibition promotes ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux to ApoA-I through suppressing mTORC1.

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    Fumin Dong

    Full Text Available ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1 plays an essential role in mediating cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I, a major housekeeping mechanism for cellular cholesterol homeostasis. After initial engagement with ABCA1, apoA-I directly interacts with the plasma membrane to acquire cholesterol. This apoA-I lipidation process is also known to require cellular signaling processes, presumably to support cholesterol trafficking to the plasma membrane. We report here that one of major signaling pathways in mammalian cells, Akt, is also involved. In several cell models that express ABCA1 including macrophages, pancreatic beta cells and hepatocytes, inhibition of Akt increases cholesterol efflux to apoA-I. Importantly, Akt inhibition has little effect on cells expressing non-functional mutant of ABCA1, implicating a specific role of Akt in ABCA1 function. Furthermore, we provide evidence that mTORC1, a major downstream target of Akt, is also a negative regulator of cholesterol efflux. In cells where mTORC1 is constitutively activated due to tuberous sclerosis complex 2 deletion, cholesterol efflux to apoA-I is no longer sensitive to Akt activity. This suggests that Akt suppresses cholesterol efflux through mTORC1 activation. Indeed, inhibition of mTORC1 by rapamycin or Torin-1 promotes cholesterol efflux. On the other hand, autophagy, one of the major pathways of cholesterol trafficking, is increased upon Akt inhibition. Furthermore, Akt inhibition disrupts lipid rafts, which is known to promote cholesterol efflux to apoA-I. We therefore conclude that Akt, through its downstream targets, mTORC1 and hence autophagy, negatively regulates cholesterol efflux to apoA-I.

  11. Mechanism of Akt1 inhibition of breast cancer cell invasionreveals a protumorigenic role for TSC2

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    Liu, Hong; Radisky, Derek C.; Nelson, Celeste M.; Zhang, Hui; Fata, Jimmie; Roth, Richard A.; Bissell, Mina J.

    2006-02-07

    Akt1 is frequently upregulated in human tumors, and has been shown to accelerate cell proliferation and to suppress programmed cell death; consequently, inhibiting the activity of Akt1 has been seen as an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Paradoxically, hyperactivation of the Akt1 oncogene can also prevent the invasive behavior that underlies progression to metastasis. Here we show that overexpression of activated myr-Akt1 in human breast cancer cells phosphorylates and thereby targets the tumor suppressor tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2) for degradation, leading to reduced Rho-GTPase activity, decreased actin stress fibers and focal adhesions, and reduced motility and invasion. Overexpression of TSC2 rescues the migration phenotype of myr-Akt1-expressing tumor cells, and high levels of TSC2 in breast cancer patients correlate with increased metastasis and reduced survival. These data indicate that the functional properties of genes designated as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes depends on the context of the cell type and the tissues studied, and suggest the need for caution in designing therapies targeting the function of individual genes in epithelial tissues.

  12. Soulamarin isolated from Calophyllum brasiliense (Clusiaceae induces plasma membrane permeabilization of Trypanosoma cruzi and mytochondrial dysfunction.

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    Alexandre Rea

    Full Text Available Chagas disease is caused by the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. It has high mortality as well as morbidity rates and usually affects the poorer sections of the population. The development of new, less harmful and more effective drugs is a promising research target, since current standard treatments are highly toxic and administered for long periods. Fractioning of methanol (MeOH extract of the stem bark of Calophyllum brasiliense (Clusiaceae resulted in the isolation of the coumarin soulamarin, which was characterized by one- and two-dimensional (1H- and (13C NMR spectroscopy as well as ESI mass spectrometry. All data obtained were consistent with a structure of 6-hydroxy-4-propyl-5-(3-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-oxobutyl-6″,6″-dimethylpyrane-[2″,3″:8,7]-benzopyran-2-one for soulamarin. Colorimetric MTT assays showed that soulamarin induces trypanocidal effects, and is also active against trypomastigotes. Hemolytic activity tests showed that soulamarin is unable to induce any observable damage to erythrocytes (cmax. = 1,300 µM. The lethal action of soulamarin against T. cruzi was investigated by using amino(4-(6-(amino(iminiomethyl-1H-indol-2-ylphenylmethaniminium chloride (SYTOX Green and 1H,5H,11H,15H-Xantheno[2,3,4-ij:5,6,7-i'j']diquinolizin-18-ium, 9-[4-(chloromethylphenyl]-2,3,6,7,12,13,16,17-octahydro-chloride (MitoTracker Red as fluorimetric probes. With the former, soulamarin showed dose-dependent permeability of the plasma membrane, relative to fully permeable Triton X-100-treated parasites. Spectrofluorimetric and fluorescence microscopy with the latter revealed that soulamarin also induced a strong depolarization (ca. 97% of the mitochondrial membrane potential. These data demonstrate that the lethal action of soulamarin towards T. cruzi involves damages to the plasma membrane of the parasite and mitochondrial dysfunction without the additional generation of reactive oxygen species, which may have also contributed to the

  13. Soulamarin isolated from Calophyllum brasiliense (Clusiaceae) induces plasma membrane permeabilization of Trypanosoma cruzi and mytochondrial dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, Alexandre; Tempone, Andre G; Pinto, Erika G; Mesquita, Juliana T; Rodrigues, Eliana; Silva, Luciana Grus M; Sartorelli, Patricia; Lago, João Henrique G

    2013-01-01

    Chagas disease is caused by the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. It has high mortality as well as morbidity rates and usually affects the poorer sections of the population. The development of new, less harmful and more effective drugs is a promising research target, since current standard treatments are highly toxic and administered for long periods. Fractioning of methanol (MeOH) extract of the stem bark of Calophyllum brasiliense (Clusiaceae) resulted in the isolation of the coumarin soulamarin, which was characterized by one- and two-dimensional (1)H- and (13)C NMR spectroscopy as well as ESI mass spectrometry. All data obtained were consistent with a structure of 6-hydroxy-4-propyl-5-(3-hydroxy-2-methyl-1-oxobutyl)-6″,6″-dimethylpyrane-[2″,3″:8,7]-benzopyran-2-one for soulamarin. Colorimetric MTT assays showed that soulamarin induces trypanocidal effects, and is also active against trypomastigotes. Hemolytic activity tests showed that soulamarin is unable to induce any observable damage to erythrocytes (cmax. = 1,300 µM). The lethal action of soulamarin against T. cruzi was investigated by using amino(4-(6-(amino(iminio)methyl)-1H-indol-2-yl)phenyl)methaniminium chloride (SYTOX Green and 1H,5H,11H,15H-Xantheno[2,3,4-ij:5,6,7-i'j']diquinolizin-18-ium, 9-[4-(chloromethyl)phenyl]-2,3,6,7,12,13,16,17-octahydro-chloride (MitoTracker Red) as fluorimetric probes. With the former, soulamarin showed dose-dependent permeability of the plasma membrane, relative to fully permeable Triton X-100-treated parasites. Spectrofluorimetric and fluorescence microscopy with the latter revealed that soulamarin also induced a strong depolarization (ca. 97%) of the mitochondrial membrane potential. These data demonstrate that the lethal action of soulamarin towards T. cruzi involves damages to the plasma membrane of the parasite and mitochondrial dysfunction without the additional generation of reactive oxygen species, which may have also contributed to the death of

  14. Dynasore, a dynamin inhibitor, inhibits Trypanosoma cruzi entry into peritoneal macrophages.

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    Emile S Barrias

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trypanosoma cruzi is an intracellular parasite that, like some other intracellular pathogens, targets specific proteins of the host cell vesicular transport machinery, leading to a modulation of host cell processes that results in the generation of unique phagosomes. In mammalian cells, several molecules have been identified that selectively regulate the formation of endocytic transport vesicles and the fusion of such vesicles with appropriate acceptor membranes. Among these, the GTPase dynamin plays an important role in clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and it was recently found that dynamin can participate in a phagocytic process. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a compound called dynasore that has the ability to block the GTPase activity of dynamin. Dynasore acts as a potent inhibitor of endocytic pathways by blocking coated vesicle formation within seconds of its addition. Here, we investigated whether dynamin is involved in the entry process of T. cruzi in phagocytic and non-phagocytic cells by using dynasore. In this aim, peritoneal macrophages and LLC-MK2 cells were treated with increasing concentrations of dynasore before interaction with trypomastigotes, amastigotes or epimastigotes. We observed that, in both cell lines, the parasite internalization was drastically diminished (by greater than 90% in LLC-MK2 cells and 70% in peritoneal macrophages when we used 100 microM dynasore. The T. cruzi adhesion index, however, was unaffected in either cell line. Analyzing these interactions by scanning electron microscopy and comparing peritoneal macrophages to LLC-MK2 cells revealed differences in the stage at which cell entry was blocked. In LLC-MK2 cells, this blockade is observed earlier than it is in peritoneal macrophages. In LLC-MK2 cells, the parasites were only associated with cellular microvilli, whereas in peritoneal macrophages, trypomastigotes were not completely engulfed by a host cell plasma membrane. CONCLUSIONS

  15. Distantiae transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi: a new epidemiological feature of acute Chagas disease in Brazil.

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    Samanta Cristina das Chagas Xavier

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The new epidemiological scenario of orally transmitted Chagas disease that has emerged in Brazil, and mainly in the Amazon region, needs to be addressed with a new and systematic focus. Belém, the capital of Pará state, reports the highest number of acute Chagas disease (ACD cases associated with the consumption of açaí juice. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The wild and domestic enzootic transmission cycles of Trypanosoma cruzi were evaluated in the two locations (Jurunas and Val-de Cães that report the majority of the autochthonous cases of ACD in Belém city. Moreover, we evaluated the enzootic cycle on the three islands that provide most of the açaí fruit that is consumed in these localities. We employed parasitological and serological tests throughout to evaluate infectivity competence and exposure to T. cruzi. In Val-de-Cães, no wild mammal presented positive parasitological tests, and 56% seroprevalence was observed, with low serological titers. Three of 14 triatomines were found to be infected (TcI. This unexpected epidemiological picture does not explain the high number of autochthonous ACD cases. In Jurunas, the cases of ACD could not be autochthonous because of the absence of any enzootic cycle of T. cruzi. In contrast, in the 3 island areas from which the açaí fruit originates, 66.7% of wild mammals and two dogs displayed positive hemocultures, and 15.6% of triatomines were found to be infected by T. cruzi. Genotyping by mini-exon gene and PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I targeting revealed that the mammals and triatomines from the islands harbored TcI and Trypanosoma rangeli in single and mixed infections. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings show that cases of Chagas disease in the urban area of Belém may be derived from infected triatomines coming together with the açaí fruits from distant islands. We term this new epidemiological feature of Chagas disease as "Distantiae transmission".

  16. Modulation of Cell Sialoglycophenotype: A Stylish Mechanism Adopted by Trypanosoma cruzi to Ensure Its Persistence in the Infected Host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freire-de-Lima, Leonardo; da Fonseca, Leonardo M.; da Silva, Vanessa A.; da Costa, Kelli M.; Morrot, Alexandre; Freire-de-Lima, Célio G.; Previato, Jose O.; Mendonça-Previato, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease exhibits multiple mechanisms to guarantee its establishment and persistence in the infected host. It has been well demonstrated that T. cruzi is not able to synthesize sialic acids (Sia). To acquire the monosaccharide, the parasite makes use of a multifunctional enzyme called trans-sialidase (Tc-TS). Since this enzyme has no analogous in the vertebrate host, it has been used as a target in drug therapy development. Tc-TS preferentially catalyzes the transfer of Sia from the host glycoconjugates to the terminal β-galactopyranosyl residues of mucin-like molecules present on the parasite’s cell surface. Alternatively, the enzyme can sialylate/re-sialylate glycoconjugates expressed on the surface of host cells. Since its discovery, several studies have shown that T. cruzi employs the Tc-TS activity to modulate the host cell sialoglycophenotype, thus favoring its perpetuation in the infected vertebrate. In this review, we summarize the dynamic of host/parasite sialoglycophenotype modulation, highlighting its role in the subversion of host immune response in order to promote the establishment of persistent chronic infection. PMID:27242722

  17. Nonimmune Cells Contribute to Crosstalk between Immune Cells and Inflammatory Mediators in the Innate Response to Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

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    Maria Pilar Aoki

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Chagas myocarditis, which is caused by infection with the intracellular parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, remains the major infectious heart disease worldwide. Innate recognition through toll-like receptors (TLRs on immune cells has not only been revealed to be critical for defense against T. cruzi but has also been involved in triggering the pathology. Subsequent studies revealed that this parasite activates nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain- (NOD-like receptors and several particular transcription factors in TLR-independent manner. In addition to professional immune cells, T. cruzi infects and resides in different parenchyma cells. The innate receptors in nonimmune target tissues could also have an impact on host response. Thus, the outcome of the myocarditis or the inflamed liver relies on an intricate network of inflammatory mediators and signals given by immune and nonimmune cells. In this paper, we discuss the evidence of innate immunity to the parasite developed by the host, with emphasis on the crosstalk between immune and nonimmune cell responses.

  18. Chloroquine stimulates glucose uptake and glycogen synthase in muscle cells through activation of Akt.

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    Halaby, Marie-Jo; Kastein, Brandon K; Yang, Da-Qing

    2013-06-14

    Chloroquine is a pharmaceutical agent that has been widely used to treat patients with malaria. Chloroquine has also been reported to have hypoglycemic effects on humans and animal models of diabetes. Despite many previous studies, the mechanism responsible for its hypoglycemic effect is still unclear. Chloroquine was recently reported to be an activator of ATM, the protein deficient in the Ataxia-telagiectasia (A-T) disease. Since ATM is also known as an insulin responsive protein that mediates Akt activation, we tested the effect of chloroquine on the activity of Akt and its downstream targets. In L6 muscle cells treated with insulin and chloroquine, the phosphorylation of Akt and glucose uptake were dramatically increased compared to cells treated with insulin alone, suggesting that chloroquine is a potent activator of Akt and glucose uptake in these cells. We also found that the reduction of insulin-mediated Akt activity in muscle tissues of insulin resistant rats was partially reversed by chloroquine treatment. Moreover, insulin-mediated phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β in L6 cells was greatly enhanced by chloroquine. A substantial decrease in phosphorylation of glycogen synthase was also observed in chloroquine-treated L6 cells, indicating enhanced activity of glycogen synthase. Taken together, our results not only show that chloroquine is a novel activator of Akt that stimulates glucose uptake and glycogen synthase, but also validate chloroquine as a potential therapeutic agent for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. An iron-binding Trypanosoma cruzi urinary antigen.

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    Corral, R S; Bertot, G M; Petray, P B; Altcheh, J M; Singh, M; Orn, A; Rapoport, M F; Grinstein, S

    1995-12-01

    An 80-kDa Trypanosoma cruzi urinary antigen (UAg) was affinity-purified from the urine of infected dogs. We demonstrated that UAg is structurally and functionally related to proteins belonging to the transferrin family, as shown by amino acid sequence and iron binding experiments. Nevertheless, monoclonal antibodies raised against UAg specifically and selectively recognized this parasite's circulating antigen. The existence of an 80-kDa T. cruzi antigen co-migrating with UAg could be confirmed when epimastigotes were metabolically labelled with [35S] methionine and then immunoprecipitated with the above mentioned antibodies. We conclude that UAg is an iron-binding T. cruzi component eliminated in the urine of the infected host.

  20. Altering the motility of Trypanosoma cruzi with rabbit polyclonal anti-peptide antibodies reduces infection to susceptible mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkelsztein, Eli J; Diaz-Soto, Juan C; Vargas-Zambrano, Juan C; Suesca, Elizabeth; Guzmán, Fanny; López, Manuel C; Thomas, M Carmen; Forero-Shelton, Manu; Cuellar, Adriana; Puerta, Concepción J; González, John M

    2015-03-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi's trypomastigotes are highly active and their incessant motility seems to be important for mammalian host cell infection. The kinetoplastid membrane protein-11 (KMP-11) is a protein expressed in all parasite stages, which induces a cellular and humoral immune response in the infected host, and is hypothesized to participate in the parasite's motility. An N-terminal peptide from KMP-11, termed K1 or TcTLE, induced polyclonal antibodies that inhibit parasitic invasion of Vero cells. The goal of this study was to evaluate the motility and infectivity of T. cruzi when exposed to polyclonal anti-TcTLE antibodies. Rabbits were immunized with TcTLE peptide along with FIS peptide as an immunomodulator. ELISA assay results showed that post-immunization sera contained high titers of polyclonal anti-TcTLE antibodies, which were also reactive against the native KMP-11 protein and live parasites as detected by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry assays. Trypomastigotes of T. cruzi were incubated with pre- or post-immunization sera, and infectivity to human astrocytes was assessed by Giemsa staining/light microscope and flow cytometry using carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) labeled parasites. T. cruzi infection in astrocytes decreased approximately by 30% upon incubation with post-immunization sera compared with pre-immunization sera. Furthermore, trypomastigotes were recorded by video microscopy and the parasite's flagellar speed was calculated by tracking the flagella. Trypomastigotes exposed to post-immunization sera had qualitative alterations in motility and significantly slower flagella (45.5 µm/s), compared with those exposed to pre-immunization sera (69.2 µm/s). In summary, polyclonal anti-TcTLE serum significantly reduced the parasite's flagellar speed and cell infectivity. These findings support that KMP-11 could be important for parasite motility, and that by targeting its N-terminal peptide infectivity can be reduced.

  1. Aspirin treatment exacerbates oral infections by Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossentini, Luana Aparecida; Da Silva, Rosiane Valeriano; Yamada-Ogatta, Sueli Fumie; Yamauchi, Lucy Megumi; De Almeida Araújo, Eduardo José; Pinge-Filho, Phileno

    2016-05-01

    Oral transmission of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, has been documented in Latin American countries. The reported cases of infection were due to the ingestion of contaminated fresh fruit, juices, or sugar cane juice. There have been few studies on the physiopathology of the disease in oral transmission cases. Gastritis is a common ailment that can be caused by poor dietary habits, intake of alcohol or other gastric irritants, bacterial infection, or by the widespread use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This study investigated in a mouse model whether gastric mucosal injury, induced by aspirin, would affect the course of disease in animals infected with T. cruzi by the oral route. The CL14 and G strains of T. cruzi, both of low infectivity, were used. To this end, groups of BALB/c mice were treated during 5 days with aspirin (100 mg kg(-1)) before oral infection with T. cruzi metacyclic forms (4 × 10(5) or 5 × 10(7) parasites/mouse). Histological analysis and determination of nitric oxide and TNF-α were performed in gastric samples obtained 5 days after infection. Parasitemia was monitored from the thirteenth day after infection. The results indicate that aspirin treatment of mice injured their gastric mucosa and facilitated invasion by both CL14 and G strains of T. cruzi. Strain CL14 caused more severe infection compared to the G strain, as larger numbers of amastigote nests were found in the stomach and parasitemia levels were higher. Our study is novel in that it shows that gastric mucosal damage caused by aspirin, a commonly used NSAID, facilitates T. cruzi infection by the oral route.

  2. Nucleolar accumulation of RNA binding proteins induced by Actinomycin D is functional in Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania mexicana but not in T. brucei.

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    Ezequiel Názer

    Full Text Available We have recently shown in T. cruzi that a group of RNA Binding Proteins (RBPs, involved in mRNA metabolism, are accumulated into the nucleolus in response to Actinomycin D (ActD treatment. In this work, we have extended our analysis to other members of the trypanosomatid lineage. In agreement with our previous study, the mechanism seems to be conserved in L. mexicana, since both endogenous RBPs and a transgenic RBP were relocalized to the nucleolus in parasites exposed to ActD. In contrast, in T. brucei, neither endogenous RBPs (TbRRM1 and TbPABP2 nor a transgenic RBP from T. cruzi were accumulated into the nucleolus under such treatment. Interestingly, when a transgenic TbRRM1 was expressed in T. cruzi and the parasites exposed to ActD, TbRRM1 relocated to the nucleolus, suggesting that it contains the necessary sequence elements to be targeted to the nucleolus. Together, both experiments demonstrate that the mechanism behind nucleolar localization of RBPs, which is present in T. cruzi and L. mexicana, is not functional in T. brucei, suggesting that it has been lost or retained differentially during the evolution of the trypanosomatid lineage.

  3. Sea urchin akt activity is Runx-dependent and required for post-cleavage stage cell division

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    Anthony J. Robertson

    2013-03-01

    In animal development following the initial cleavage stage of embryogenesis, the cell cycle becomes dependent on intercellular signaling and controlled by the genomically encoded ontogenetic program. Runx transcription factors are critical regulators of metazoan developmental signaling, and we have shown that the sea urchin Runx gene runt-1, which is globally expressed during early embryogenesis, functions in support of blastula stage cell proliferation and expression of the mitogenic genes pkc1, cyclinD, and several wnts. To obtain a more comprehensive list of early runt-1 regulatory targets, we screened a Strongylocentrotus purpuratus microarray to identify genes mis-expressed in mid-blastula stage runt-1 morphants. This analysis showed that loss of Runx function perturbs the expression of multiple genes involved in cell division, including the pro-growth and survival kinase Akt (PKB, which is significantly underexpressed in runt-1 morphants. Further genomic analysis revealed that Akt is encoded by two genes in the S. purpuratus genome, akt-1 and akt-2, both of which contain numerous canonical Runx target sequences. The transcripts of both genes accumulate several fold during blastula stage, contingent on runt-1 expression. Inhibiting Akt expression or activity causes blastula stage cell cycle arrest, whereas overexpression of akt-1 mRNA rescues cell proliferation in runt-1 morphants. These results indicate that post-cleavage stage cell division requires Runx-dependent expression of akt.

  4. Sea urchin akt activity is Runx-dependent and required for post-cleavage stage cell division

    KAUST Repository

    Robertson, Anthony J.

    2013-03-25

    In animal development following the initial cleavage stage of embryogenesis, the cell cycle becomes dependent on intercellular signaling and controlled by the genomically encoded ontogenetic program. Runx transcription factors are critical regulators of metazoan developmental signaling, and we have shown that the sea urchin Runx gene runt-1, which is globally expressed during early embryogenesis, functions in support of blastula stage cell proliferation and expression of the mitogenic genes pkc1, cyclinD, and several wnts. To obtain a more comprehensive list of early runt-1 regulatory targets, we screened a Strongylocentrotus purpuratus microarray to identify genes mis-expressed in mid-blastula stage runt-1 morphants. This analysis showed that loss of Runx function perturbs the expression of multiple genes involved in cell division, including the pro-growth and survival kinase Akt (PKB), which is significantly underexpressed in runt-1 morphants. Further genomic analysis revealed that Akt is encoded by two genes in the S. purpuratus genome, akt-1 and akt-2, both of which contain numerous canonical Runx target sequences. The transcripts of both genes accumulate several fold during blastula stage, contingent on runt-1 expression. Inhibiting Akt expression or activity causes blastula stage cell cycle arrest, whereas overexpression of akt-1 mRNA rescues cell proliferation in runt-1 morphants. These results indicate that post-cleavage stage cell division requires Runx-dependent expression of akt.

  5. Overexpression of Akt1 enhances adipogenesis and leads to lipoma formation in zebrafish.

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    Che-Yu Chu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Obesity is a complex, multifactorial disorder influenced by the interaction of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. Obesity increases the risk of contracting many chronic diseases or metabolic syndrome. Researchers have established several mammalian models of obesity to study its underlying mechanism. However, a lower vertebrate model for conveniently performing drug screening against obesity remains elusive. The specific aim of this study was to create a zebrafish obesity model by over expressing the insulin signaling hub of the Akt1 gene. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Skin oncogenic transformation screening shows that a stable zebrafish transgenic of Tg(krt4Hsa.myrAkt1(cy18 displays severely obese phenotypes at the adult stage. In Tg(krt4:Hsa.myrAkt1(cy18, the expression of exogenous human constitutively active Akt1 (myrAkt1 can activate endogenous downstream targets of mTOR, GSK-3α/β, and 70S6K. During the embryonic to larval transitory phase, the specific over expression of myrAkt1 in skin can promote hypertrophic and hyperplastic growth. From 21 hour post-fertilization (hpf onwards, myrAkt1 transgene was ectopically expressed in several mesenchymal derived tissues. This may be the result of the integration position effect. Tg(krt4:Hsa.myrAkt1(cy18 caused a rapid increase of body weight, hyperplastic growth of adipocytes, abnormal accumulation of fat tissues, and blood glucose intolerance at the adult stage. Real-time RT-PCR analysis showed the majority of key genes on regulating adipogenesis, adipocytokine, and inflammation are highly upregulated in Tg(krt4:Hsa.myrAkt1(cy18. In contrast, the myogenesis- and skeletogenesis-related gene transcripts are significantly downregulated in Tg(krt4:Hsa.myrAkt1(cy18, suggesting that excess adipocyte differentiation occurs at the expense of other mesenchymal derived tissues. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Collectively, the findings of this study provide direct evidence that Akt1

  6. Akt Regulates Axon Wrapping and Myelin Sheath Thickness in the PNS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baloui, Hasna; Meng, Xiaosong; Zhang, Yanqing; Deinhardt, Katrin; Dupree, Jeff L.; Einheber, Steven; Chrast, Roman

    2016-01-01

    The signaling pathways that regulate myelination in the PNS remain poorly understood. Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase 1A, activated in Schwann cells by neuregulin and the extracellular matrix, has an essential role in the early events of myelination. Akt/PKB, a key effector of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase 1A, was previously implicated in CNS, but not PNS myelination. Here we demonstrate that Akt plays a crucial role in axon ensheathment and in the regulation of myelin sheath thickness in the PNS. Pharmacological inhibition of Akt in DRG neuron-Schwann cell cocultures dramatically decreased MBP and P0 levels and myelin sheath formation without affecting expression of Krox20/Egr2, a key transcriptional regulator of myelination. Conversely, expression of an activated form of Akt in purified Schwann cells increased expression of myelin proteins, but not Krox20/Egr2, and the levels of activated Rac1. Transgenic mice expressing a membrane-targeted, activated form of Akt under control of the 2′,3′-cyclic nucleotide 3′-phosphodiesterase promoter, exhibited thicker PNS and CNS myelin sheaths, and PNS myelin abnormalities, such as tomacula and myelin infoldings/outfoldings, centered around the paranodes and Schmidt Lanterman incisures. These effects were corrected by rapamycin treatment in vivo. Importantly, Akt activity in the transgenic mice did not induce myelination of nonmyelinating Schwann cells in the sympathetic trunk or Remak fibers of the dorsal roots, although, in those structures, they wrapped membranes redundantly around axons. Together, our data indicate that Akt is crucial for PNS myelination driving axonal wrapping by unmyelinated and myelinated Schwann cells and enhancing myelin protein synthesis in myelinating Schwann cells. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although the role of the key serine/threonine kinase Akt in promoting CNS myelination has been demonstrated, its role in the PNS has not been established and remains

  7. Trypanosoma cruzi meningoencephalitis in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasukawa, Kosuke; Patel, Shital M; Flash, Charlene A; Stager, Charles E; Goodman, Jerry C; Woc-Colburn, Laila

    2014-07-01

    As a result of global migration, a significant number of people with Trypanosoma cruzi infection now live in the United States, Canada, many countries in Europe, and other non-endemic countries. Trypanosoma cruzi meningoencephalitis is a rare cause of ring-enhancing lesions in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) that can closely mimic central nervous system (CNS) toxoplasmosis. We report a case of CNS Chagas reactivation in an AIDS patient successfully treated with benznidazole and antiretroviral therapy in the United States. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  8. V-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 3 (AKT3) contributes to poor disease outcome in humans and mice with pneumococcal meningitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valls Serón, Mercedes; Ferwerda, Bart; Engelen-Lee, JooYeon; Geldhoff, Madelijn; Jaspers, Valery; Zwinderman, Aeilko H; Tanck, Michael W; Baas, Frank; van der Ende, Arie; Brouwer, Matthijs C; van de Beek, Diederik

    2016-05-18

    Pneumococcal meningitis is the most common and severe form of bacterial meningitis. Fatality rates are substantial, and long-term sequelae develop in about half of survivors. Here, we have performed a prospective nationwide genetic association study using the Human Exome BeadChip and identified gene variants in encoding dynactin 4 (DCTN4), retinoic acid early transcript 1E (RAET1E), and V-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 3 (AKT3) to be associated with unfavourable outcome in patients with pneumococcal meningitis. No clinical replication cohort is available, so we validated the role of one of these targets, AKT3, in a pneumococcal meningitis mouse model. Akt3 deficient mice had worse survival and increased histopathology scores for parenchymal damage (infiltration) and vascular infiltration (large meningeal artery inflammation) but similar bacterial loads, cytokine responses, compared to wild-type mice. We found no differences in cerebrospinal fluid cytokine levels between patients with risk or non-risk alleles. Patients with the risk genotype (rs10157763, AA) presented with low scores on the Glasgow Coma Scale and high rate of epileptic seizures. Thus, our results show that AKT3 influences outcome of pneumococcal meningitis.

  9. The effect of Bulgarian propolis against Trypanosoma cruzi and during its interaction with host cells

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    Andréia Pires Dantas

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Propolis has shown activity against pathogenic microorganisms that cause diseases in humans and animals. The ethanol (Et-Blg and acetone (Ket-Blg extracts from a Bulgarian propolis, with known chemical compositions, presented similar activity against tissue culture-derived amastigotes. The treatment of Trypanosoma cruzi-infected skeletal muscle cells with Et-Blg led to a decrease of infection and of the intracellular proliferation of amastigotes, while damage to the host cell was observed only at concentration 12.5 times higher than those affecting the parasite. Ultrastructural analysis of the effect of both extracts in epimastigotes revealed that the main targets were the mitochondrion and reservosomes. Et-Blg also affected the mitochondrion-kinetoplast complex in trypomastigotes, offering a potential target for chemotherapeutic agents.

  10. Structure and Mechanism of the Farnesyl Diphosphate Synthase from Trypanosoma cruzi: Implications for Drug Design

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    Gabelli,S.; McLellan, J.; Montalvetti, A.; Oldfield, E.; Docampo, R.; Amzel, L.

    2006-01-01

    Typanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, has recently been shown to be sensitive to the action of the bisphosphonates currently used in bone resorption therapy. These compounds target the mevalonate pathway by inhibiting farnesyl diphosphate synthase (farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase, FPPS), the enzyme that condenses the diphosphates of C{sub 5} alcohols (isopentenyl and dimethylallyl) to form C{sub 10} and C{sub 15} diphosphates (geranyl and farnesyl). The structures of the T. cruzi FPPS (TcFPPS) alone and in two complexes with substrates and inhibitors reveal that following binding of the two substrates and three Mg2+ ions, the enzyme undergoes a conformational change consisting of a hinge-like closure of the binding site. In this conformation, it would be possible for the enzyme to bind a bisphosphonate inhibitor that spans the sites usually occupied by dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) and the homoallyl moiety of isopentenyl diphosphate. This observation may lead to the design of new, more potent anti-trypanosomal bisphosphonates, because existing FPPS inhibitors occupy only the DMAPP site. In addition, the structures provide an important mechanistic insight: after its formation, geranyl diphosphate can swing without leaving the enzyme, from the product site to the substrate site to participate in the synthesis of farnesyl diphosphate.

  11. Infecção por Trypanosoma cruzi em candidatos a doador de sangue Trypanosoma cruzi infection in blood donors

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    Ana M. Bonametti

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUÇÃO: A transmissão transfusional da tripanossomíase americana tem-se reduzido no Brasil, com a progressiva ampliação do controle de qualidade do sangue. Nesse sentido, realizou-se pesquisa para avaliar a atual soro-prevalência da infecção por Trypanosoma cruzi em candidatos a doador de sangue em Londrina, Paraná (Brasil, e comparar essa taxa com a encontrada em candidatos a doador estudados em 1958 e 1975, na mesma cidade. MÉTODO: Estudo transversal para determinação da soroprevalência. O imuno-diagnóstico de infecção por Trypanosoma cruzi foi realizado através das técnicas imunoenzimática (ELISA e imunofluorescência indireta. RESULTADOS E CONCLUSÃO: A taxa de soroprevalência encontrada foi de 1,3%. Foi detectada tendência de queda temporal da taxa de positividade dos testes sorológicos para o diagnóstico de infecção por Trypanosoma cruzi nos bancos de sangue do município estudado nos anos de 1958, 1975 e 1995.INTRODUCTION: Transmission of American trypanossomiasis by transfusion has been reduced by expansion of control measures of blood quality in Brazil. A research project was, therefore, undertaken to evaluate soropositivity for Trypanosoma cruzi infection on blood donors and to compare this rate with those found in 1958 and 1975 in blood banks. METHOD: A transversal study was carried out on blood donors in Londrina, Paraná, Brazil. ELISA and Immunofluorescence were the serological test techniques used in the diagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi infection. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: A serumprevalence rate of 1.3% was found with a tendency for positive serum findings for Trypanosoma cruzi infection on blood donors to decrease over Aime (1958, 1975, and 1995.

  12. Expression of P-EGFR and P-Akt protein in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and its prognosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Zheng-Zheng; Chen, Pei-Nan; Wang, Feng; Wang, Jun; Fan, Qing-Xia

    2017-09-01

    The phosphorylated epidermal growth factor receptor (P-EGFR) and phosphorylated Akt (P-Akt) protein in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) were studied, and its significance in clinical prognosis of patients was assessed. The expression of P-EGFR and P-Akt protein in 83 cases of ESCC and 83 normal esophageal tissues was determined by immunohistochemical staining. Log-rank test and correlation analysis were used to analyze the prognosis of ESCC. The positive expression of P-EGFR in ESCC was 88% (73/83 cases) compared with 41% in normal esophageal mucosa (34/83 cases) (PP-Akt protein expression in ESCC was 90.4% (75/83 cases), compared with 27.7% seen in normal esophageal mucosa (23/83 cases) (PP-EGFR and P-Akt protein was positively correlated with lymph node metastasis and degree of differentiation (PP>0.05). The expression of P-EGFR was positively correlated with that of P-Akt protein (r=0.674, PP-EGFR expression was negatively correlated with survival time of patients with ESCC (r=-0.526, PP-EGFR-positive cases was significantly lower than that of the P-EGFR-negative cases (PP-Akt was negatively correlated with survival in patients with ESCC (r=-0.473, PP-Akt-positive cases was significantly lower than that of the P-Akt-negative cases (PP-EGFR and P-Akt protein expression is closely related to the incidence of ESCC and mediates the development of invasive cancer and metastasis. It is used to determine the prognosis of ESCC, and may represent a new therapeutic target for the disease.

  13. Expression of AKT1 along with AKT2 in granulosa-lutein cells of hyperandrogenic PCOS patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nekoonam, Saeid; Naji, Mohammad; Nashtaei, Maryam Shabani; Mortezaee, Keywan; Koruji, Morteza; Safdarian, Leili; Amidi, Fardin

    2017-04-01

    AKTs have a pivotal role in the granulosa-lutein cell (GC) proliferation and folliculogenesis, and there is a reciprocal feedback between AKT with androgen. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the role of AKTs in GCs of hyperandrogenic (+HA) PCOS cases. There were three groups: control, +HA PCOS and -HA (non-hyperandrogenic) PCOS. All groups were subjected to GnRH antagonist protocol for stimulation of ovulation. Follicular fluid was aspirated from large follicles, and GCs were isolated using cell strainer method. AKT1, AKT2, AKT3, and androgen receptor (AR) mRNA expressions were analyzed with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), and total-AKT and p-AKT (Ser(473) & Thr(308)) were investigated using western blotting. There were high levels of AKT1, AKT2, and AR mRNA expressions and high levels of p-AKT protein expression in the +HA PCOS group (p ≤ 0.05). There was a direct positive correlation between free testosterone (FT) and total testosterone (TT) with the levels of AKT1, AKT2, and p-AKT (Ser(473)), and also between FT with the levels of AR. High expressions of AKT1 and AKT2 through possible relation with androgen may cause GCs dysfunction in the +HA PCOS patients.

  14. Regulation of PI3-kinase/Akt signaling by muscle-enriched microRNA-486

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Eric M.; O’Rourke, Jason R.; Moresi, Viviana; Sutherland, Lillian B.; McAnally, John; Gerard, Robert D.; Richardson, James A.; Olson, Eric N.

    2010-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in modulating a variety of cellular processes through repression of mRNA targets. In a screen for miRNAs regulated by myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTF-A), a coactivator of serum response factor (SRF), we discovered a muscle-enriched miRNA, miR-486, controlled by an alternative promoter within intron 40 of the Ankyrin-1 gene. Transcription of miR-486 is directly controlled by SRF and MRTF-A, as well as by MyoD. Among the most strongly predicted targets of miR-486 are phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and Foxo1a, which negatively affect phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling. Accordingly, PTEN and Foxo1a protein levels are reduced by miR-486 overexpression, which, in turn, enhances PI3K/Akt signaling. Similarly, we show that MRTF-A promotes PI3K/Akt signaling by up-regulating miR-486 expression. Conversely, inhibition of miR-486 expression enhances the expression of PTEN and Foxo1a and dampens signaling through the PI3K/Akt-signaling pathway. Our findings implicate miR-486 as a downstream mediator of the actions of SRF/MRTF-A and MyoD in muscle cells and as a potential modulator of PI3K/Akt signaling. PMID:20142475

  15. Trypanosoma cruzi Differentiates and Multiplies within Chimeric Parasitophorous Vacuoles in Macrophages Coinfected with Leishmania amazonensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessoa, Carina Carraro; Ferreira, Éden Ramalho; Bayer-Santos, Ethel; Rabinovitch, Michel; Mortara, Renato Arruda; Real, Fernando

    2016-05-01

    The trypanosomatids Leishmania amazonensis and Trypanosoma cruzi are excellent models for the study of the cell biology of intracellular protozoan infections. After their uptake by mammalian cells, the parasitic protozoan flagellates L. amazonensis and T. cruzi lodge within acidified parasitophorous vacuoles (PVs). However, whereas L. amazonensis develops in spacious, phagolysosome-like PVs that may enclose numerous parasites, T. cruzi is transiently hosted within smaller vacuoles from which it soon escapes to the host cell cytosol. To investigate if parasite-specific vacuoles are required for the survival and differentiation of T. cruzi, we constructed chimeric vacuoles by infection of L. amazonensis amastigote-infected macrophages with T. cruzi epimastigotes (EPIs) or metacyclic trypomastigotes (MTs). These chimeric vacuoles, easily observed by microscopy, allowed the entry and fate of T. cruzi in L. amazonensis PVs to be dynamically recorded by multidimensional imaging of coinfected cells. We found that although T. cruzi EPIs remained motile and conserved their morphology in chimeric vacuoles, T. cruzi MTs differentiated into amastigote-like forms capable of multiplying. These results demonstrate that the large adaptive vacuoles of L. amazonensis are permissive to T. cruzi survival and differentiation and that noninfective EPIs are spared from destruction within the chimeric PVs. We conclude that T. cruzi differentiation can take place in Leishmania-containing vacuoles, suggesting this occurs prior to their escape into the host cell cytosol.

  16. Production of amastigotes from metacyclic trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi

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    Víctor T Contreras

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Attempts to recreate all the developmental stages of Trypanosoma cruzi in vitro have thus far been met with partial success. It is possible, for instance, to produce trypomastigotes in tissue culture and to obtain metacyclic trypomastigotes in axenic conditions. Even though T. cruzi amastigotes are known to differentiate from trypomastigotes and metacyclic trypomastigotes, it has only been possible to generate amastigotes in vitro from the tissue-culture-derived trypomastigotes. The factors and culture conditions required to trigger the transformation of metacyclic trypomastigotes into amastigotes are as yet undetermined. We show here that pre-incubation of metacyclic trypomastigotes in culture (MEMTAU medium at 37°C for 48 h is sufficient to commit the parasites to the transformation process. After 72 h of incubation in fresh MEMTAU medium, 90% of the metacyclic parasites differentiate into forms that are morphologically indistinguishable from normal amastigotes. SDS-PAGE, Western blot and PAABS analyses indicate that the transformation of axenic metacyclic trypomastigotes to amastigotes is associated with protein, glycoprotein and antigenic modifications. These data suggest that (a T. cruzi amastigotes can be obtained axenically in large amounts from metacyclic trypomastigotes, and (b the amastigotes thus obtained are morphological, biological and antigenically similar to intracellular amastigotes. Consequently, this experimental system may facilitate a direct, in vitro assessment of the mechanisms that enable T. cruzi metacyclic trypomastigotes to transform into amastigotes in the cells of mammalian hosts.

  17. Early Trypanosoma cruzi Infection Reprograms Human Epithelial Cells

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    María Laura Chiribao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, has the peculiarity, when compared with other intracellular parasites, that it is able to invade almost any type of cell. This property makes Chagas a complex parasitic disease in terms of prophylaxis and therapeutics. The identification of key host cellular factors that play a role in the T. cruzi invasion is important for the understanding of disease pathogenesis. In Chagas disease, most of the focus is on the response of macrophages and cardiomyocytes, since they are responsible for host defenses and cardiac lesions, respectively. In the present work, we studied the early response to infection of T. cruzi in human epithelial cells, which constitute the first barrier for establishment of infection. These studies identified up to 1700 significantly altered genes regulated by the immediate infection. The global analysis indicates that cells are literally reprogrammed by T. cruzi, which affects cellular stress responses (neutrophil chemotaxis, DNA damage response, a great number of transcription factors (including the majority of NFκB family members, and host metabolism (cholesterol, fatty acids, and phospholipids. These results raise the possibility that early host cell reprogramming is exploited by the parasite to establish the initial infection and posterior systemic dissemination.

  18. Autochthonous Transmission of Trypanosoma Cruzi in Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Salvador; Flores, Carmen A.; Viana, Gracia M.; Sanchez, Daniel R.; Traina, Mahmoud I.

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi usually infects humans via triatomine insects in Latin America. Vector-borne transmission in the United States is exceedingly rare. We describe (1) the first case of probable autochthonous transmission reported in California in more than 30 years and (2) the first ever reported case in the greater Los Angeles area. PMID:28018928

  19. Identification of novel cyclic nucleotide binding proteins in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jäger, Adriana V; De Gaudenzi, Javier G; Mild, Jesica G; Mc Cormack, Bárbara; Pantano, Sergio; Altschuler, Daniel L; Edreira, Martin M

    2014-12-01

    Cyclic AMP has been implicated as second messenger in a wide range of cellular processes. In the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, cAMP is involved in the development of the parasite's life cycle. While cAMP effectors have been widely studied in other eukaryotic cells, little is known about cAMP's mechanism of action in T. cruzi. To date, only a cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) has been cloned and characterised in this parasite; however experimental evidence indicates the existence of cAMP-dependent, PKA-independent events. In order to identify new cAMP binding proteins as potential cAMP effectors, we carried out in silico studies using the predicted T. cruzi proteome. Using a combination of search methods 27 proteins with putative cNMP binding domains (CBDs) were identified. Phylogenetic analysis of the CBDs presented a homogeneous distribution, with sequences segregated into two main branches: one containing kinases-like proteins and the other gathering hypothetical proteins with different function or no other known. Comparative modelling of the strongest candidates provides support for the hypothesis that these proteins may give rise to structurally viable cyclic nucleotide binding domains. Pull-down and nucleotide displacement assays strongly suggest that TcCLB.508523.80 could bind cAMP and eventually be a new putative PKA-independent cAMP effector in T. cruzi.

  20. Trypanosoma cruzi: avirulence of the PF strain to Callithrix marmosets

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    Humberto Menezes

    1981-06-01

    Full Text Available Callithrix jacchus geoffroy marmosets (HumBol. 1812 were injected once subcutaneously with 10.000 parasites/g body weight and followed for a period of six months. The PF strain of Trypanosoma cruzi was used. Follow-up was done through blood cultures, xenodiagnosis, serological tests, and ECG. A small number of normaI animais served as control.

  1. Different functions of AKT1 and AKT2 in molecular pathways, cell migration and metabolism in colon cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häggblad Sahlberg, Sara; Mortensen, Anja C; Haglöf, Jakob; Engskog, Mikael K R; Arvidsson, Torbjörn; Pettersson, Curt; Glimelius, Bengt; Stenerlöw, Bo; Nestor, Marika

    2017-01-01

    AKT is a central protein in many cellular pathways such as cell survival, proliferation, glucose uptake, metabolism, angiogenesis, as well as radiation and drug response. The three isoforms of AKT (AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3) are proposed to have different physiological functions, properties and expression patterns in a cell type-dependent manner. As of yet, not much is known about the influence of the different AKT isoforms in the genome and their effects in the metabolism of colorectal cancer cells. In the present study, DLD-1 isogenic AKT1, AKT2 and AKT1/2 knockout colon cancer cell lines were used as a model system in conjunction with the parental cell line in order to further elucidate the differences between the AKT isoforms and how they are involved in various cellular pathways. This was done using genome wide expression analyses, metabolic profiling and cell migration assays. In conclusion, downregulation of genes in the cell adhesion, extracellular matrix and Notch-pathways and upregulation of apoptosis and metastasis inhibitory genes in the p53-pathway, confirm that the knockout of both AKT1 and AKT2 will attenuate metastasis and tumor cell growth. This was verified with a reduction in migration rate in the AKT1 KO and AKT2 KO and most explicitly in the AKT1/2 KO. Furthermore, the knockout of AKT1, AKT2 or both, resulted in a reduction in lactate and alanine, suggesting that the metabolism of carbohydrates and glutathione was impaired. This was further verified in gene expression analyses, showing downregulation of genes involved in glucose metabolism. Additionally, both AKT1 KO and AKT2 KO demonstrated an impaired fatty acid metabolism. However, genes were upregulated in the Wnt and cell proliferation pathways, which could oppose this effect. AKT inhibition should therefore be combined with other effectors to attain the best effect.

  2. Prevention of transfusional Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Latin America

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    Schmunis Gabriel A

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan infection widely spread in Latin America, from Mexico in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south. The second most important way of acquiring the infection is by blood transfusion. Even if most countries of Latin America have law/decree/norms, that make mandatory the screening of blood donors for infectious diseases, including T. cruzi (El Salvador and Nicaragua do not have laws on the subject, there is usually no enforcement or it is very lax. Analysis of published serologic surveys of T. cruzi antibodies in blood donors done in 1993, indicating the number of donors and screening coverage for T. cruzi in ten countries of Central and South America indicated that the probability of receiving a potentially infected transfusion unit in each country varied from 1,096 per 10,000 transfusions in Bolivia, the highest, to 13.02 or 13.86 per 10,000 transfusions in Honduras and Venezuela respectively, where screening coverage was 100%. On the other hand the probability of transmitting a T. cruzi infected unit was 219/10,000 in Bolivia, 24/10,000 in Colombia, 17/10,000 in El Salvador, and around 2-12/10,000 for the seven other countries. Infectivity risks defined as the likelihood of being infected when receiving an infected transfusion unit were assumed to be 20% for T. cruzi. Based on this, estimates of the absolute number of infections induced by transfusion indicated that they were 832, 236, and 875 in Bolivia, Chile and Colombia respectively. In all the other countries varied from seven in Honduras to 85 in El Salvador. Since 1993, the situation has improved. At that time only Honduras and Venezuela screened 100% of donors, while seven countries, Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, did the same in 1996. In Central America, without information from Guatemala, the screening of donors for T. cruzi prevented the transfusion of 1,481 infected units and the potential infection of

  3. Landscape ecology of Trypanosoma cruzi in the southern Yucatan Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Cancino, Sury Antonio; Tun-Ku, Ezequiel; De la Cruz-Felix, Himmler Keynes; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos Napoleón; Izeta-Alberdi, Amaia; Pech-May, Angélica; Mazariegos-Hidalgo, Carlos Jesús; Valdez-Tah, Alba; Ramsey, Janine M

    2015-11-01

    Landscape interactions of Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc) with Triatoma dimidiata (Td) depend on the presence and relative abundance of mammal hosts. This study analyzed a landscape adjacent to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, composed of conserved areas, crop and farming areas, and the human community of Zoh Laguna with reported Chagas disease cases. Sylvatic mammals of the Chiroptera, Rodentia, and Marsupialia orders were captured, and livestock and pets were sampled along with T. dimidiata in all habitats. Infection by T. cruzi was analyzed using mtDNA markers, while lineage and DTU was analyzed using the mini-exon. 303 sylvatic specimens were collected, corresponding to 19 species during the rainy season and 114 specimens of 18 species during dry season. Five bats Artibeus jamaicensis, Artibeus lituratus, Sturnira lilium, Sturnira ludovici, Dermanura phaeotis (Dp) and one rodent Heteromys gaumeri were collected in the three habitats. All but Dp, and including Carollia brevicauda and Myotis keaysi, were infected with predominately TcI in the sylvatic habitat and TcII in the ecotone. Sigmodon hispidus was the rodent with the highest prevalence of infection by T. cruzi I and II in ecotone and domestic habitats. Didelphis viginiana was infected only with TcI in both domestic and sylvatic habitats; the only two genotyped human cases were TcII. Two main clades of T. cruzi, lineages I (DTU Ia) and II (DTU VI), were found to be sympatric (all habitats and seasons) in the Zoh-Laguna landscape, suggesting that no species-specific interactions occur between the parasite and any mammal host, in any habitat. We have also found mixed infections of the two principal T. cruzi clades in individuals across modified habitats, particularly in livestock and pets, and in both haplogroups of T. dimidiata. Results are contradictory to the dilution hypothesis, although we did find that most resilient species had an important role as T. cruzi hosts. Our study detected some complex trends in

  4. Nitric oxide-releasing polymeric nanoparticles against Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seabra, A. B.; Kitice, N. A.; Pelegrino, M. T.; Lancheros, C. A. C.; Yamauchi, L. M.; Pinge-Filho, P.; Yamada-Ogatta, S. F.

    2015-05-01

    Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), and the disease remains a major health problem in many Latin American countries. Several papers report that the killing of the parasite is dependent on the production of nitric oxide (NO). The endogenous free radical NO is an important cellular signalling molecule that plays a key role in the defense against pathogens, including T. cruzi. As T. cruzi is able to compromise host macrophages decreasing endogenous NO production, the administration of exogenous NO donors represents an interesting strategy to combat Chagas disease. Thus, the aims of this study were to prepare and evaluate the antimicrobial activity of NO-releasing polymeric nanoparticles against T. cruzi. Biocompatible polymeric nanoparticles composed of chitosan/sodium tripolyphosphate(TPP) were prepared and used to encapsulate mercaptosuccinic acid (MSA), which is a thiol-containing molecule. Nitrosation of free thiols (SH) groups of MSA were performed by the addition of equimolar amount of sodium nitrite (NaNO2), leading to the formation of S-nitroso-MSA-containing nanoparticles. These polymeric nanoparticles act as spontaneous NO donors, with free NO release. The results show the formation of nanoparticles with average hydrodynamic diameter ranging from 270 to 500 nm, average of polydispersity index of 0.35, and encapsulation efficiency in the range of 99%. The NO release kinetics from the S-nitroso-MSA-containing nanoparticles showed sustained and controlled NO release over several hours. The microbicidal activity of S-nitroso-MSA-containing nanoparticles was evaluated by incubating NO-releasing nanoparticles (200 - 600 μg/mL) with replicative and non-infective epimastigote, and non-replicative and infective trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi. In addition, a significant decrease in the percentage of macrophage-infected (with amastigotes) and

  5. Impaired striatal Akt signaling disrupts dopamine homeostasis and increases feeding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Speed

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically worldwide. The obesity epidemic begs for novel concepts and therapeutic targets that cohesively address "food-abuse" disorders. We demonstrate a molecular link between impairment of a central kinase (Akt involved in insulin signaling induced by exposure to a high-fat (HF diet and dysregulation of higher order circuitry involved in feeding. Dopamine (DA rich brain structures, such as striatum, provide motivation stimuli for feeding. In these central circuitries, DA dysfunction is posited to contribute to obesity pathogenesis. We identified a mechanistic link between metabolic dysregulation and the maladaptive behaviors that potentiate weight gain. Insulin, a hormone in the periphery, also acts centrally to regulate both homeostatic and reward-based HF feeding. It regulates DA homeostasis, in part, by controlling a key element in DA clearance, the DA transporter (DAT. Upon HF feeding, nigro-striatal neurons rapidly develop insulin signaling deficiencies, causing increased HF calorie intake. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We show that consumption of fat-rich food impairs striatal activation of the insulin-activated signaling kinase, Akt. HF-induced Akt impairment, in turn, reduces DAT cell surface expression and function, thereby decreasing DA homeostasis and amphetamine (AMPH-induced DA efflux. In addition, HF-mediated dysregulation of Akt signaling impairs DA-related behaviors such as (AMPH-induced locomotion and increased caloric intake. We restored nigro-striatal Akt phosphorylation using recombinant viral vector expression technology. We observed a rescue of DAT expression in HF fed rats, which was associated with a return of locomotor responses to AMPH and normalization of HF diet-induced hyperphagia. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Acquired disruption of brain insulin action may confer risk for and/or underlie "food-abuse" disorders and the recalcitrance of obesity. This molecular

  6. Constitutively nuclear FOXO3a localization predicts poor survival and promotes Akt phosphorylation in breast cancer.

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    Jie Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The PI3K-Akt signal pathway plays a key role in tumorigenesis and the development of drug-resistance. Cytotoxic chemotherapy resistance is linked to limited therapeutic options and poor prognosis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Examination of FOXO3a and phosphorylated-Akt (P-Akt expression in breast cancer tissue microarrays showed nuclear FOXO3a was associated with lymph node positivity (p = 0.052, poor prognosis (p = 0.014, and P-Akt expression in invasive ductal carcinoma. Using tamoxifen and doxorubicin-sensitive and -resistant breast cancer cell lines as models, we found that doxorubicin- but not tamoxifen-resistance is associated with nuclear accumulation of FOXO3a, consistent with the finding that sustained nuclear FOXO3a is associated with poor prognosis. We also established that doxorubicin treatment induces proliferation arrest and FOXO3a nuclear relocation in sensitive breast cancer cells. Induction of FOXO3a activity in doxorubicin-sensitive MCF-7 cells was sufficient to promote Akt phosphorylation and arrest cell proliferation. Conversely, knockdown of endogenous FOXO3a expression reduced PI3K/Akt activity. Using MDA-MB-231 cells, in which FOXO3a activity can be induced by 4-hydroxytamoxifen, we showed that FOXO3a induction up-regulates PI3K-Akt activity and enhanced doxorubicin resistance. However FOXO3a induction has little effect on cell proliferation, indicating that FOXO3a or its downstream activity is deregulated in the cytotoxic drug resistant breast cancer cells. Thus, our results suggest that sustained FOXO3a activation can enhance hyperactivation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Together these data suggest that lymph node metastasis and poor survival in invasive ductal breast carcinoma are linked to an uncoupling of the Akt-FOXO3a signaling axis. In these breast cancers activated Akt fails to inactivate and re-localize FOXO3a to the cytoplasm, and nuclear-targeted FOXO3a does not induce cell

  7. Biosynthesis of very long chain fatty acids in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livore, Verónica I; Uttaro, Antonio D

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi showed similar fatty acid (FA) compositions, having a high proportion of unsaturated FAs, mainly 18:2Δ9,12 (23-39%) and 18:1Δ9 (11-17%). C22 polyunsaturated FAs are in significant amounts only in T. brucei (12-20%) but represent a mere 2% of total FAs in T. cruzi. Both species have also similar profiles of medium- and long-chain saturated FAs, from 14:0 to 20:0. Interestingly, procyclic and bloodstream forms of T. brucei lack very long chain FAs (VLCFAs), whereas epimastigotes and trypomastigotes of T. cruzi contain 22:0 (0.1-0.2%), 24:0 (1.5-2%), and 26:0 (0.1-0.2%). This is in agreement with the presence of an additional FA elongase gene (TcELO4) in T. cruzi. TcELO4 was expressed in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant lacking the endogenous ScELO3, rescuing the synthesis of saturated and hydroxylated C26 FAs in the yeast. Expression of TcELO4 also rescued the synthetic lethality of a ScELO2, ScELO3 double mutation, and the VLCFA profile of the transformed yeast was similar to that found in T. cruzi. By identifying TcELO4 as the enzyme responsible for the elongation of FA from 16:0 and 18:0 up to 26:0, with 24:0 being the preferred product, this work completed the characterization of FA elongases in Trypanosoma spp.

  8. CSTP1, a novel protein phosphatase, blocks cell cycle, promotes cell apoptosis, and suppresses tumor growth of bladder cancer by directly dephosphorylating Akt at Ser473 site.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De-Xiang Zhuo

    Full Text Available Akt/protein kinase B is a pivotal component downstream of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K pathway, whose activity regulates the balance between cell survival and apoptosis. Phosphorylation of Akt occurs at two key sites either at Thr308 site in the activation loop or at Ser473 site in the hydrophobic motif. The phosphorylated form of Akt (pAkt is activated to promote cell survival. The mechanisms of pAkt dephosphorylation and how the signal transduction of Akt pathway is terminated are still largely unknown. In this study, we identified a novel protein phosphatase CSTP1(complete s transactivated protein 1, which interacts and dephosphorylates Akt specifically at Ser473 site in vivo and in vitro, blocks cell cycle progression and promotes cell apoptosis. The effects of CSTP1 on cell survival and cell cycle were abrogated by depletion of phosphatase domain of CSTP1 or by expression of a constitutively active form of Akt (S473D, suggesting Ser473 site of Akt as a primary cellular target of CSTP1. Expression profile analysis showed that CSTP1 expression is selectively down-regulated in non-invasive bladder cancer tissues and over-expression of CSTP1 suppressed the size of tumors in nude mice. Kaplan-Meier curves revealed that decreased expression of CSTP1 implicated significantly reduced recurrence-free survival in patients suffered from non-invasive bladder cancers.

  9. Cytokine Stimulation Promotes Glucose Uptake via Phosphatidylinositol-3 Kinase/Akt Regulation of Glut1 Activity and Trafficking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieman, Heather L.; Wofford, Jessica A.

    2007-01-01

    Cells require growth factors to support glucose metabolism for survival and growth. It is unclear, however, how noninsulin growth factors may regulate glucose uptake and glucose transporters. We show that the hematopoietic growth factor interleukin (IL)3, maintained the glucose transporter Glut1 on the cell surface and promoted Rab11a-dependent recycling of intracellular Glut1. IL3 required phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase activity to regulate Glut1 trafficking, and activated Akt was sufficient to maintain glucose uptake and surface Glut1 in the absence of IL3. To determine how Akt may regulate Glut1, we analyzed the role of Akt activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/regulatory associated protein of mTOR (RAPTOR) and inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)3. Although Akt did not require mTOR/RAPTOR to maintain surface Glut1 levels, inhibition of mTOR/RAPTOR by rapamycin greatly diminished glucose uptake, suggesting Akt-stimulated mTOR/RAPTOR may promote Glut1 transporter activity. In contrast, inhibition of GSK3 did not affect Glut1 internalization but nevertheless maintained surface Glut1 levels in IL3-deprived cells, possibly via enhanced recycling of internalized Glut1. In addition, Akt attenuated Glut1 internalization through a GSK3-independent mechanism. These data demonstrate that intracellular trafficking of Glut1 is a regulated component of growth factor-stimulated glucose uptake and that Akt can promote Glut1 activity and recycling as well as prevent Glut1 internalization. PMID:17301289

  10. Akt1 signaling coordinates BMP signaling and β-catenin activity to regulate second heart field progenitor development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Wen; Zhao, Xia; Jin, Hengwei; Tao, Lichan; Zhu, Jingai; Wang, Huijuan; Hemmings, Brian A; Yang, Zhongzhou

    2015-02-15

    Second heart field (SHF) progenitors exhibit continued proliferation and delayed differentiation, which are modulated by FGF4/8/10, BMP and canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling. PTEN-Akt signaling regulates the stem cell/progenitor cell homeostasis in several systems, such as hematopoietic stem cells, intestinal stem cells and neural progenitor cells. To address whether PTEN-Akt signaling is involved in regulating cardiac progenitors, we deleted Pten in SHF progenitors. Deletion of Pten caused SHF expansion and increased the size of the SHF derivatives, the right ventricle and the outflow tract. Cell proliferation of cardiac progenitors was enhanced, whereas cardiac differentiation was unaffected by Pten deletion. Removal of Akt1 rescued the phenotype and early lethality of Pten deletion mice, suggesting that Akt1 was the key downstream target that was negatively regulated by PTEN in cardiac progenitors. Furthermore, we found that inhibition of FOXO by Akt1 suppressed the expression of the gene encoding the BMP ligand (BMP7), leading to dampened BMP signaling in the hearts of Pten deletion mice. Cardiac activation of Akt also increased the Ser552 phosphorylation of β-catenin, thus enhancing its activity. Reducing β-catenin levels could partially rescue heart defects of Pten deletion mice. We conclude that Akt signaling regulates the cell proliferation of SHF progenitors through coordination of BMP signaling and β-catenin activity.

  11. Perifosine as a potential novel anti-cancer agent inhibits EGFR/MET-AKT axis in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

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    Giulia Pinton

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: PI3K/AKT signalling pathway is aberrantly active and plays a critical role for cell cycle progression of human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MMe cells. AKT is one of the important cellular targets of perifosine, a novel bio-available alkylphospholipid that has displayed significant anti-proliferative activity in vitro and in vivo in several human tumour model systems and is currently being tested in clinical trials. METHODS: We tested Perifosine activity on human mesothelial cells and different mesothelioma cell lines, in order to provide evidence of its efficacy as single agent and combined therapy. RESULTS: We demonstrate here that perifosine, currently being evaluated as an anti-cancer agent in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, caused a dose-dependent reduction of AKT activation, at concentrations causing MMe cell growth arrest. In this study we firstly describe that MMe cells express aside from AKT1 also AKT3 and that either the myristoylated, constitutively active, forms of the two proteins, abrogated perifosine-mediated cell growth inhibition. Moreover, we describe here a novel mechanism of perifosine that interferes, upstream of AKT, affecting EGFR and MET phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate a significant increase in cell toxicity when MMe cells were treated with perifosine in combination with cisplatin. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a novel mechanism of action of perifosine, directly inhibiting EGFR/MET-AKT1/3 axis, providing a rationale for a novel translational approach to the treatment of MMe.

  12. Hepatitis C Virus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase Interacts with the Akt/PKB Kinase and Induces Its Subcellular Relocalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero, María Llanos; Sabariegos, Rosario; Cimas, Francisco J; Perales, Celia; Domingo, Esteban; Sánchez-Prieto, Ricardo; Mas, Antonio

    2016-06-01

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) interacts with cellular components and modulates their activities for its own benefit. These interactions have been postulated as a target for antiviral treatment, and some candidate molecules are currently in clinical trials. The multifunctional cellular kinase Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) must be activated to increase the efficacy of HCV entry but is rapidly inactivated as the viral replication cycle progresses. Viral components have been postulated to be responsible for Akt/PKB inactivation, but the underlying mechanism remained elusive. In this study, we show that HCV polymerase NS5B interacts with Akt/PKB. In the presence of transiently expressed NS5B or in replicon- or virus-infected cells, NS5B changes the cellular localization of Akt/PKB from the cytoplasm to the perinuclear region. Sequestration of Akt/PKB by NS5B could explain its exclusion from its participation in early Akt/PKB inactivation. The NS5B-Akt/PKB interaction represents a new regulatory step in the HCV infection cycle, opening possibilities for new therapeutic options.

  13. International study to evaluate PCR methods for detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA in blood samples from Chagas disease patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro G Schijman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A century after its discovery, Chagas disease still represents a major neglected tropical threat. Accurate diagnostics tools as well as surrogate markers of parasitological response to treatment are research priorities in the field. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of PCR methods in detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA by an external quality evaluation. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: An international collaborative study was launched by expert PCR laboratories from 16 countries. Currently used strategies were challenged against serial dilutions of purified DNA from stocks representing T. cruzi discrete typing units (DTU I, IV and VI (set A, human blood spiked with parasite cells (set B and Guanidine Hidrochloride-EDTA blood samples from 32 seropositive and 10 seronegative patients from Southern Cone countries (set C. Forty eight PCR tests were reported for set A and 44 for sets B and C; 28 targeted minicircle DNA (kDNA, 13 satellite DNA (Sat-DNA and the remainder low copy number sequences. In set A, commercial master mixes and Sat-DNA Real Time PCR showed better specificity, but kDNA-PCR was more sensitive to detect DTU I DNA. In set B, commercial DNA extraction kits presented better specificity than solvent extraction protocols. Sat-DNA PCR tests had higher specificity, with sensitivities of 0.05-0.5 parasites/mL whereas specific kDNA tests detected 5.10(-3 par/mL. Sixteen specific and coherent methods had a Good Performance in both sets A and B (10 fg/µl of DNA from all stocks, 5 par/mL spiked blood. The median values of sensitivities, specificities and accuracies obtained in testing the Set C samples with the 16 tests determined to be good performing by analyzing Sets A and B samples varied considerably. Out of them, four methods depicted the best performing parameters in all three sets of samples, detecting at least 10 fg/µl for each DNA stock, 0.5 par/mL and a sensitivity between 83.3-94.4%, specificity of 85

  14. International study to evaluate PCR methods for detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA in blood samples from Chagas disease patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro G Schijman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A century after its discovery, Chagas disease still represents a major neglected tropical threat. Accurate diagnostics tools as well as surrogate markers of parasitological response to treatment are research priorities in the field. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of PCR methods in detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA by an external quality evaluation. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: An international collaborative study was launched by expert PCR laboratories from 16 countries. Currently used strategies were challenged against serial dilutions of purified DNA from stocks representing T. cruzi discrete typing units (DTU I, IV and VI (set A, human blood spiked with parasite cells (set B and Guanidine Hidrochloride-EDTA blood samples from 32 seropositive and 10 seronegative patients from Southern Cone countries (set C. Forty eight PCR tests were reported for set A and 44 for sets B and C; 28 targeted minicircle DNA (kDNA, 13 satellite DNA (Sat-DNA and the remainder low copy number sequences. In set A, commercial master mixes and Sat-DNA Real Time PCR showed better specificity, but kDNA-PCR was more sensitive to detect DTU I DNA. In set B, commercial DNA extraction kits presented better specificity than solvent extraction protocols. Sat-DNA PCR tests had higher specificity, with sensitivities of 0.05-0.5 parasites/mL whereas specific kDNA tests detected 5.10(-3 par/mL. Sixteen specific and coherent methods had a Good Performance in both sets A and B (10 fg/µl of DNA from all stocks, 5 par/mL spiked blood. The median values of sensitivities, specificities and accuracies obtained in testing the Set C samples with the 16 tests determined to be good performing by analyzing Sets A and B samples varied considerably. Out of them, four methods depicted the best performing parameters in all three sets of samples, detecting at least 10 fg/µl for each DNA stock, 0.5 par/mL and a sensitivity between 83.3-94.4%, specificity of 85

  15. Targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR Pathway for the Treatment of Mesenchymal Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Evidence From a Phase 1 Trial of mTOR Inhibition in Combination With Liposomal Doxorubicin and Bevacizumab.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basho, Reva K; Gilcrease, Michael; Murthy, Rashmi K; Helgason, Thorunn; Karp, Daniel D; Meric-Bernstam, Funda; Hess, Kenneth R; Herbrich, Shelley M; Valero, Vicente; Albarracin, Constance; Litton, Jennifer K; Chavez-MacGregor, Mariana; Ibrahim, Nuhad K; Murray, James L; Koenig, Kimberly B; Hong, David; Subbiah, Vivek; Kurzrock, Razelle; Janku, Filip; Moulder, Stacy L

    2017-04-01

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) classified by transcriptional profiling as the mesenchymal subtype frequently harbors aberrations in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, raising the possibility of targeting this pathway to enhance chemotherapy response. Up to 30% of mesenchymal TNBC can be classified histologically as metaplastic breast cancer, a chemorefractory group of tumors with a mixture of epithelial and mesenchymal components identifiable by light microscopy. While assays to identify mesenchymal TNBC are under development, metaplastic breast cancer serves as a clinically identifiable surrogate to evaluate potential regimens for mesenchymal TNBC. To assess safety and efficacy of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibition in combination with liposomal doxorubicin and bevacizumab in patients with advanced metaplastic TNBC. Phase 1 study with dose escalation and dose expansion at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center of patients with advanced metaplastic TNBC. Patients were enrolled from April 16, 2009, to November 4, 2014, and followed for outcomes with a cutoff date of November 1, 2015, for data analysis. Liposomal doxorubicin, bevacizumab, and the mTOR inhibitors temsirolimus or everolimus using 21-day cycles. Safety and response. When available, archived tissue was evaluated for aberrations in the PI3K pathway. Fifty-two women with metaplastic TNBC (median age, 58 years; range, 37-79 years) were treated with liposomal doxorubicin, bevacizumab, and temsirolimus (DAT) (N = 39) or liposomal doxorubicin, bevacizumab, and everolimus (DAE) (N = 13). The objective response rate was 21% (complete response = 4 [8%]; partial response = 7 [13%]) and 10 (19%) patients had stable disease for at least 6 months, for a clinical benefit rate of 40%. Tissue was available for testing in 43 patients, and 32 (74%) had a PI3K pathway aberration. Presence of PI3K pathway aberration was associated with a significant improvement in

  16. Combination treatment of prostate cancer with FGF receptor and AKT kinase inhibitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shu; Shao, Longjiang; Castro, Patricia; Coleman, Ilsa; Nelson, Peter S; Smith, Paul D; Davies, Barry R; Ittmann, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway occurs in the vast majority of advanced prostate cancers (PCas). Activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) signaling occurs in a wide variety of malignancies, including PCa. RNA-Seq of castration resistant PCa revealed expression of multiple FGFR signaling components compatible with FGFR signaling in all cases, with multiple FGF ligands expressed in 90% of cases. Immunohistochemistry confirmed FGFR signaling in the majority of xenografts and advanced PCas. AZD5363, an AKT kinase inhibitor and AZD4547, a FGFR kinase inhibitor are under active clinical development. We therefore sought to determine if these two drugs have additive effects in PCa models. The effect of both agents, singly and in combination was evaluated in a variety of PCa cell lines in vitro and in vivo. All cell lines tested responded to both drugs with decreased invasion, soft agar colony formation and growth in vivo, with additive effects seen with combination treatment. Activation of the FGFR, AKT, ERK and STAT3 pathways was examined in treated cells. AZD5363 inhibited AKT signaling and increased FGFR1 signaling, which partially compensated for decreased AKT kinase activity. While AZD4547 could effectively block the ERK pathway, combination treatment was needed to completely block STAT3 activation. Thus combination treatment with AKT and FGFR kinase inhibitors have additive effects on malignant phenotypes in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting multiple signaling pathways and mitigating the compensatory upregulation of FGFR signaling induced by AKT kinase inhibition. Our studies suggest that co-targeting these pathways may be efficacious in advanced PCa. PMID:28008155

  17. Comparative evaluation of therapeutic DNA vaccines against Trypanosoma cruzi in mice

    OpenAIRE

    2007-01-01

    Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is a major public health problem in most of Latin America. A key priority is the development of new treatments, due to the poor efficacy of current ones. We report here the comparative evaluation of therapeutic DNA vaccines encoding various T. cruzi antigens. ICR mice infected with 500 parasites intraperitoneally were treated at 5 and 12 days postinfection with 20 mu g of plasmid DNA encoding T. cruzi antigens TSA-1, TS, ASP-...

  18. Purification of extracellular and intracellular amastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi from mammalian host-infected cells

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2015-01-01

    Authors: Alexandre Marques, Ernesto Nakayasu & Igor Almeida ### Abstract The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, which affects millions of people in Latin America. T. cruzi has a complex life cycle characterized by several developmental forms present in vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. In vertebrate mammalian hosts T. cruzi is found as intracellular amastigotes and bloodstream trypomastigotes. On the other hand, in the intestine of the ...

  19. Mechanistic Analysis of AKT1 Regulation by the CBL-CIPK-PP2CA Interactions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wen-Zhi Lan; Sung-Chul Lee; Yu-Fen Che; Yuan-Qing Jiang; Sheng Luan

    2011-01-01

    T Arabidopsis K+ transporter 1 (AKT1) participates in K+ uptake in roots, especially under low-K conditions. We recently identified a Ca2+ signaling pathway consisting of multiple calcineurin B-like calcium sensors (CBLs) and multiple target kinases (CBL-interacting protein kinases or CIPKs) that phosphorylate and activate AKT1, whereas a specific PP2C-type phosphatase inactivates CIPK-dependent AKT1 activity. In this study, we analyzed the interactions between PP2Cs and the CBL-CIPK pathway and found previously unsuspected mechanisms underlying the CBL-CIPK-PP2C signaling processes. The interaction between the CIPKs and PP2Cs involves the kinase domain of the CIPK component, in addition to the protein phosphatase interacting motif (PPI) in the regulatory domain. Furthermore, specific CBLs physically interact with and inactivate PP2C phosphatases to recover the CIPK-dependent AKT1 channel activity. These findings provide further insights into the signaling network consisting of CBL-CIPK-PP2C interactions in the activation of the AKT1 channel.

  20. Akt-dependent enhanced migratory capacity of Th17 cells from children with lupus nephritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kshirsagar, Sudhir; Riedl, Magdalena; Billing, Heiko; Tönshoff, Burkhard; Thangavadivel, Shanmugapriya; Steuber, Christian; Staude, Hagen; Wechselberger, Gottfried; Edelbauer, Monika

    2014-11-15

    Th17 cells infiltrate the kidneys of patients with lupus nephritis (LN) and are critical for the pathogenesis of this disease. In this study, we show that enhanced activity of Stat3 in CD4(+)CD45RA(-)Foxp3(-) and Foxp3(low) effector T cells from children with LN correlates with increased frequencies of IL-17-producing cells within these T cell populations. The levels of retinoic acid-related orphan receptor c and IL-17 mRNA are significantly higher in PBMCs from children with LN than in those from controls. Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibition by rapamycin reduces both Stat3 activation in effector T cells and the frequency of IL-17-producing T cells in lupus patients. Complement factor C5a slightly increases the expression of IL-17 and induces activation of Akt in anti-CD3-activated lupus effector T cells. Th17 cells from children with LN exhibit high Akt activity and enhanced migratory capacity. Inhibition of the Akt signaling pathway significantly decreases Th17 cell migration. These findings indicate that the Akt signaling pathway plays a significant role in the migratory activity of Th17 cells from children with LN and suggest that therapeutic modulation of the Akt activity may inhibit Th17 cell trafficking to sites of inflammation and thus suppress chronic inflammatory processes in children with LN.

  1. Immunohistochemical Investigation of HER/AKT/mTOR Pathway and Cellular Adhesion Molecules in Urothelial Carcinomas

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    Nikolaos Koletsas

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Several investigators have suggested the possibility that the expression of both EGFR and HER2 could be utilized for molecularly targeted therapy in urinary bladder cancer. We tried to evaluate the expression of HER2 and EGFR and activation of the AKT/PTEN/mTOR pathway in urothelial carcinomas and if there is any association between them and cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs. Materials and Methods. Forty-one paraffin-embedded urothelial cancer tissue blocks were collected. Immunostains for HER2, EGFR, MIB1, phospho-AKT, PTEN, phospho-mTOR, e-cadherin, p-cadherin, and b-catenin were performed on tissue microarrays sections. The immunohistochemical results were correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Results. The overexpression of HER2 was found in 19.6% of the cases and it was associated with high grade tumors with a high mitotic index and phosphorylation of AKT and mTOR. Muscle-invasive tumors presented both cytoplasmic and nuclear losses of PTEN expression. There was no association between HER/AKT/mTOR pathway activation and CAM expression. Although cadherins were often coexpressed, only p-cadherin immunoreactivity was associated with tumor grade and high proliferative index. Conclusions. HER2 overexpression is found in a respective proportion of urothelial carcinomas. P-cadherin expression is associated with high grade UCs but it is not affected by HER2 overexpression or by activation of HER/AKT/mTOR pathway.

  2. Astrocyte Apoptosis and HIV Replication Are Modulated in Host Cells Coinfected with Trypanosoma cruzi

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    Javier M. Urquiza

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagas disease. In immunosuppressed individuals, as it occurs in the coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the central nervous system may be affected. In this regard, reactivation of Chagas disease is severe and often lethal, and it accounts for meningoencephalitis. Astrocytes play a crucial role in the environment maintenance of healthy neurons; however, they can host HIV and T. cruzi. In this report, human astrocytes were infected in vitro with both genetically modified-pathogens to express alternative fluorophore. As evidenced by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, HIV and T. cruzi coexist in the same astrocyte, likely favoring reciprocal interactions. In this context, lower rates of cell death were observed in both T. cruzi monoinfected-astrocytes and HIV-T. cruzi coinfection in comparison with those infected only with HIV. The level of HIV replication is significantly diminished under T. cruzi coinfection, but without affecting the infectivity of the HIV progeny. This interference with viral replication appears to be related to the T. cruzi multiplication rate or its increased intracellular presence but does not require their intracellular cohabitation or infected cell-to-cell contact. Among several Th1/Th2/Th17 profile-related cytokines, only IL-6 was overexpressed in HIV-T. cruzi coinfection exhibiting its cytoprotective role. This study demonstrates that T. cruzi and HIV are able to coinfect astrocytes thus altering viral replication and apoptosis.

  3. Frequent alterations of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways in hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ekstrand, Anna Isinger; Jönsson, Mats; Lindblom, Annika;

    2010-01-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases-AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin pathway (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) is central in colorectal tumors. Data on its role in hereditary cancers are, however, scarce and we therefore characterized mutations in PIK3CA and KRAS, and expression of PIK3CA, phosphorylated AKT...... and PTEN in 58 HNPCC-associated colorectal cancers. Derangements of at least one of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR components analyzed were found in 51/58 (88%) tumors. Mutations in PIK3CA and KRAS were identified in 14 and 31% of the tumors respectively. Overexpression of PIK3CA and phosphorylated AKT occurred in 59...... and 75% and were strongly associated (P = 0.005). Reduced/lost PTEN expression was found in 63% of the tumors. Though HNPCC-associated colorectal cancers show simple genetic profiles with few chromosomal alterations, we demonstrate frequent and repeated targeting of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, which...

  4. Inhibition of Host Cell Lysosome Spreading by Trypanosoma cruzi Metacyclic Stage-Specific Surface Molecule gp90 Downregulates Parasite Invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Paulo Ferreira; Sant'ana, Guilherme Hideki Takahashi; Juliano, Maria Aparecida; Yoshida, Nobuko

    2017-09-01

    Successful infection by Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas' disease, is critically dependent on host cell invasion by metacyclic trypomastigote (MT) forms. Two main metacyclic stage-specific surface molecules, gp82 and gp90, play determinant roles in target cell invasion in vitro and in oral T. cruzi infection in mice. The structure and properties of gp82, which is highly conserved among T. cruzi strains, are well known. Information on gp90 is still rather sparse. Here, we attempted to fill that gap. gp90, purified from poorly invasive G strain MT and expressing gp90 at high levels, inhibited HeLa cell lysosome spreading and the gp82-mediated internalization of a highly invasive CL strain MT expressing low levels of a diverse gp90 molecule. A recombinant protein containing the conserved C-terminal domain of gp90 exhibited the same properties as the native G strain gp90: it counteracted the host cell lysosome spreading induced by recombinant gp82 and exhibited an inhibitory effect on HeLa cell invasion by CL strain MT. Assays to identify the gp90 sequence associated with the property of downregulating MT invasion, using synthetic peptides spanning the gp90 C-terminal domain, revealed the sequence GVLYTADKEW. These data, plus the findings that lysosome spreading was induced upon HeLa cell interaction with CL strain MT, but not with G strain MT, and that in mixed infection CL strain MT internalization was inhibited by G strain MT, suggest that the inhibition of target cell lysosome spreading is the mechanism by which the gp90 molecule exerts its downregulatory role. Copyright © 2017 Rodrigues et al.

  5. Novel agents and associated toxicities of inhibitors of the pi3k/Akt/mtor pathway for the treatment of breast cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Chia, S.; Gandhi, S.; Joy, A.A.; Edwards, S.; Gorr, M.; Hopkins, S; Kondejewski, J.; Ayoub, J.P.; Califaretti, N.; Rayson, D.; Dent, S.F.

    2015-01-01

    The pi3k/Akt/mtor (phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/ Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin) signalling pathway is an established driver of oncogenic activity in human malignancies. Therapeutic targeting of this pathway holds significant promise as a treatment strategy. Everolimus, an mtor inhibitor, is the first of this class of agents approved for the treatment of hormone receptor–positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–negative advanced breast cancer. Everolimus has been associated with...

  6. Novel PI3K/Akt inhibitors screened by the cytoprotective function of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Tat.

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    Yuri Kim

    Full Text Available The PI3K/Akt pathway regulates various stress-related cellular responses such as cell survival, cell proliferation, metabolism and protein synthesis. Many cancer cell types display the activation of this pathway, and compounds inhibiting this cell survival pathway have been extensively evaluated as anti-cancer agents. In addition to cancers, several human viruses, such as HTLV, HPV, HCV and HIV-1, also modulate this pathway, presumably in order to extend the life span of the infected target cells for productive viral replication. The expression of HIV-1 Tat protein exhibited the cytoprotective effect in macrophages and a human microglial cell line by inhibiting the negative regulator of this pathway, PTEN. This cytoprotective effect of HIV-1 appears to contribute to the long-term survival and persistent HIV-1 production in human macrophage reservoirs. In this study we exploited the PI3K/Akt dependent cytoprotective effect of Tat-expressing CHME5 cells. We screened a collection of compounds known to modulate inflammation, and identified three novel compounds: Lancemaside A, Compound K and Arctigenin that abolished the cytoprotective phenotype of Tat-expressing CHME5 cells. All three compounds antagonized the kinase activity of Akt. Further detailed signaling studies revealed that each of these three compounds targeted different steps of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Arctigenin regulates the upstream PI3K enzyme from converting PIP2 to PIP3. Lancemaside A1 inhibited the movement of Akt to the plasma membrane, a critical step for Akt activation. Compound K inhibited Akt phosphorylation. This study supports that Tat-expressing CHME5 cells are an effective model system for screening novel PI3K/Akt inhibitors.

  7. Novel PI3K/Akt Inhibitors Screened by the Cytoprotective Function of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Tat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dong-Hyun; Kim, Baek

    2011-01-01

    The PI3K/Akt pathway regulates various stress-related cellular responses such as cell survival, cell proliferation, metabolism and protein synthesis. Many cancer cell types display the activation of this pathway, and compounds inhibiting this cell survival pathway have been extensively evaluated as anti-cancer agents. In addition to cancers, several human viruses, such as HTLV, HPV, HCV and HIV-1, also modulate this pathway, presumably in order to extend the life span of the infected target cells for productive viral replication. The expression of HIV-1 Tat protein exhibited the cytoprotective effect in macrophages and a human microglial cell line by inhibiting the negative regulator of this pathway, PTEN. This cytoprotective effect of HIV-1 appears to contribute to the long-term survival and persistent HIV-1 production in human macrophage reservoirs. In this study we exploited the PI3K/Akt dependent cytoprotective effect of Tat-expressing CHME5 cells. We screened a collection of compounds known to modulate inflammation, and identified three novel compounds: Lancemaside A, Compound K and Arctigenin that abolished the cytoprotective phenotype of Tat-expressing CHME5 cells. All three compounds antagonized the kinase activity of Akt. Further detailed signaling studies revealed that each of these three compounds targeted different steps of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Arctigenin regulates the upstream PI3K enzyme from converting PIP2 to PIP3. Lancemaside A1 inhibited the movement of Akt to the plasma membrane, a critical step for Akt activation. Compound K inhibited Akt phosphorylation. This study supports that Tat-expressing CHME5 cells are an effective model system for screening novel PI3K/Akt inhibitors. PMID:21765914

  8. Characterization of digestive involvement in patients with chronic T. cruzi infection in Barcelona, Spain.

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    María-Jesús Pinazo

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Digestive damage due to Chagas disease (CD occurs in 15-20% of patients diagnosed as a result of peristaltic dysfunction in some endemic areas. The symptoms of chronic digestive CD are non-specific, and there are numerous confounders. Diagnosis of CD may easily be missed if symptoms are not evaluated by a well trained physician. Regular tests, as barium contrast examinations, probably lack the necessary sensitivity to detect early digestive damage.71 individuals with T. cruzi infection (G1 and 18 without (G2 coming from Latin American countries were analyzed. They were asked for clinical and epidemiological data, changes in dietary habits, and history targeting digestive and cardiac CD symptoms. Serological tests for T. cruzi, barium swallow, barium enema, an urea breath test, and esophageal manometry were requested for all patients.G1 and G2 patients did not show differences in lifestyle and past history. Fifteen (21.1% of G1 had digestive involvement. Following Rezende criteria, esophagopathy was observed in 8 patients in G1 (11.3% and in none of those in G2. Manometry disorders were recorded in 34 G1 patients and in six in G2. Isolated hypotensive lower esophageal sphincter (LES was found in sixteen G1 patients (23.9% and four G2 patients (28.8%. Achalasia was observed in two G1 patients. Among G1 patients, ineffective esophageal motility was seen in six (five with symptoms, diffuse esophageal spasm in two (one with dysphagia and regurgitation, and nutcracker esophagus in three (all with symptoms. There were six patients with hypertonic upper esophageal sphincter (UES among G1. Following Ximenes criteria, megacolon was found in ten G1 patients (13.9%, and in none of the G2 patients.The prevalence of digestive chronic CD in our series was 21.1%. Dysphagia is a non-pathognomonic symptom of CD, but a good marker of early esophageal involvement. Manometry could be a useful diagnostic test in selected cases, mainly in patients with T. cruzi

  9. Differential infectivity by the oral route of Trypanosoma cruzi lineages derived from Y strain.

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    Cristian Cortez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diversity of T. cruzi strains is a central problem in Chagas disease research because of its correlation with the wide range of clinical manifestations and the biogeographical parasite distribution. The role played by parasite microdiversity in Chagas disease epidemiology is still debatable. Also awaits clarification whether such diversity is associated with the outcome of oral T. cruzi infection, responsible for frequent outbreaks of acute Chagas disease. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We addressed the impact of microdiversity in oral T. cruzi infection, by comparative analysis of two strains, Y30 and Y82, both derived from Y strain, a widely used experimental model. Network genealogies of four nuclear genes (SSU rDNA, actin, DHFR-TS, EF1α revealed that Y30 is closely related to Discrete Typing Unit TcII while Y82 is more closely related to TcVI, a group containing hybrid strains. Nevertheless, excepting one A-G transition at position 1463, Y30 and Y82 SSU rDNAs were identical. Y82 strain, expressing the surface molecule gp82, infected mice orally more efficiently than Y30, which expresses a related gp30 molecule. Both molecules are involved in lysosome exocytosis-dependent host cell invasion, but exhibit differential gastric mucin-binding capacity, a property critical for parasite migration toward the gastric mucosal epithelium. Upon oral infection of mice, the number of Y30 and Y82 parasites in gastric epithelial cells differed widely. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that metacyclic forms of gp82-expressing Y82 strain, closely related to TcVI, are better adapted than Y30 strain (TcII to traverse the stomach mucous layer and establish oral route infection. The efficiency to infect target cell is the same because gp82 and gp30 strains have similar invasion-promoting properties. Unknown is whether differences in Y30 and Y82 are natural parasite adaptations or a product of lab-induced evolution by differential selection along the 60 years elapsed

  10. Proteomic Analysis of Trypanosoma cruzi Epimastigotes Subjected to Heat Shock

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    Deyanira Pérez-Morales

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is exposed to sudden temperature changes during its life cycle. Adaptation to these variations is crucial for parasite survival, reproduction, and transmission. Some of these conditions may change the pattern of genetic expression of proteins involved in homeostasis in the course of stress treatment. In the present study, the proteome of T. cruzi epimastigotes subjected to heat shock and epimastigotes grow normally was compared by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry for protein identification. Twenty-four spots differing in abundance were identified. Of the twenty-four changed spots, nineteen showed a greater intensity and five a lower intensity relative to the control. Several functional categories of the identified proteins were determined: metabolism, cell defense, hypothetical proteins, protein fate, protein synthesis, cellular transport, and cell cycle. Proteins involved in the interaction with the cellular environment were also identified, and the implications of these changes are discussed.

  11. Periurban Trypanosoma cruzi-infected Triatoma infestans, Arequipa, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Michael Zachary; Bowman, Natalie M; Kawai, Vivian; Waller, Lance A; Cornejo del Carpio, Juan Geny; Cordova Benzaquen, Eleazar; Gilman, Robert H; Bern, Caryn

    2006-09-01

    In Arequipa, Peru, vectorborne transmission of Chagas disease by Triatoma infestans has become an urban problem. We conducted an entomologic survey in a periurban community of Arequipa to identify risk factors for triatomine infestation and determinants of vector population densities. Of 374 households surveyed, triatomines were collected from 194 (52%), and Trypanosoma cruzi-carrying triatomines were collected from 72 (19.3%). Guinea pig pens were more likely than other animal enclosures to be infested and harbored 2.38x as many triatomines. Stacked brick and adobe enclosures were more likely to have triatomines, while wire mesh enclosures were protected against infestation. In human dwellings, only fully stuccoed rooms were protected against infestation. Spatially, households with triatomines were scattered, while households with T. cruzi-infected triatomines were clustered. Keeping small animals in wire mesh cages could facilitate control of T. infestans in this densely populated urban environment.

  12. Electron Microscopy Analysis of the Nucleolus of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Velázquez, Gabriel; Hernández, Roberto; López-Villaseñor, Imelda; Reyes-Vivas, Horacio; Segura-Valdez, María De L.; Jiménez-García, Luis F.

    2005-08-01

    The nucleolus is the main site for synthesis and processing of ribosomal RNA in eukaryotes. In mammals, plants, and yeast the nucleolus has been extensively characterized by electron microscopy, but in the majority of the unicellular eukaryotes no such studies have been performed. Here we used ultrastructural cytochemical and immunocytochemical techniques as well as three-dimensional reconstruction to analyze the nucleolus of Trypanosoma cruzi, which is an early divergent eukaryote of medical importance. In T. cruzi epimastigotes the nucleolus is a spherical intranuclear ribonucleoprotein organelle localized in a relatively central position within the nucleus. Dense fibrillar and granular components but not fibrillar centers were observed. In addition, nuclear bodies resembling Cajal bodies were observed associated to the nucleolus in the surrounding nucleoplasm. Our results provide additional morphological data to better understand the synthesis and processing of the ribosomal RNA in kinetoplastids.

  13. Novo transmissor silvestre do "Trypanosoma (Schizotrypanum cruzi" (Chagas, 1909

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    F. Nery Guimarães

    1943-06-01

    Full Text Available In nests of opossum (Didelphis aurita, localized in palm-trees of the species Attalea indaya Dr., the authors found a new tritatoma, the description of which is being made by Dr. H. LENT. They verified that this triatoma had been naturally infected by Trypanosoma (Schizotrhypanum cruzy. Two guinea-pigs were subsequently infected by peritoneal inoculation of excrements of this new triatoma. The xenodiagnosis of these guinea-pigs, made with normal nymphas of. T. megistus and T. infestans resulted positive after 25 days. Evidence was obtained of being the opossum (Didelphis one of the sources infection of the new vector, because several specimens of them were found infected, and also a specimen of D. aurita, which contained trypanosomes with the morphology of T. (S. cruzy in the peripheral blood.

  14. Trypanosoma cruzi: single cell live imaging inside infected tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Bianca Lima; Orikaza, Cristina Mary; Cordero, Esteban Mauricio

    2016-01-01

    Summary Although imaging the live Trypanosoma cruzi parasite is a routine technique in most laboratories, identification of the parasite in infected tissues and organs has been hindered by their intrinsic opaque nature. We describe a simple method for in vivo observation of live single‐cell Trypanosoma cruzi parasites inside mammalian host tissues. BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice infected with DsRed‐CL or GFP‐G trypomastigotes had their organs removed and sectioned with surgical blades. Ex vivo organ sections were observed under confocal microscopy. For the first time, this procedure enabled imaging of individual amastigotes, intermediate forms and motile trypomastigotes within infected tissues of mammalian hosts. PMID:26639617

  15. Regulation and use of the extracellular matrix by Trypanosoma cruzi during early infection

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    Pius N. Nde

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, which was once thought to be confined to endemic regions of Latin America, has now gone global becoming a new worldwide challenge. For more than a century since its discovery, it has remained neglected with no effective drugs or vaccines. The mechanisms by which Trypanosoma cruzi regulates and uses the extracellular matrix to invade cells and cause disease are just beginning to be understood. Here we critically review and discuss the regulation of the extracellular matrix (ECM interactome by T. cruzi, the use of the ECM by T. cruzi and analyze the molecular ECM/T. cruzi interphase during the early process of infection. It has been shown that invasive trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi use and modulate components of the ECM during the initial process of infection. Infective trypomastigotes up-regulate the expression of laminin γ-1 (LAMC1 and thrombospondin (THBS1 to facilitate the recruitment of trypomastigotes to enhance cellular infection. Silencing the expression of LAMC1 and THBS1 by stable RNAi dramatically reduces trypanosome infection. T. cruzi gp83, a ligand that mediates the attachment of trypanosomes to cells to initiate infection, up-regulates LAMC1 expression to enhance cellular infection. Infective trypomastigotes use Tc85 to interact with laminin, p45 mucin to interact with LAMC1 through galectin-3 (LGALS3, a human lectin, and calreticulin (TcCRT to interact with TSB1 to enhance cellular infection. Silencing the expression of LGALS3 also reduces cellular infection. Despite the role of the ECM in T. cruzi infection, almost nothing is known about the ECM interactome networks operating in the process of T. cruzi infection and its ligands. Here, we present the first elucidation of the human ECM interactome network regulated by T. cruzi and its gp83 ligand that facilitates cellular infection. The elucidation of the human ECM interactome regulated by T. cruzi and the dissection of the molecular ECM/T. cruzi interphase using

  16. Transcriptome Remodeling in Trypanosoma cruzi and Human Cells during Intracellular Infection.

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    Yuan Li

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Intracellular colonization and persistent infection by the kinetoplastid protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, underlie the pathogenesis of human Chagas disease. To obtain global insights into the T. cruzi infective process, transcriptome dynamics were simultaneously captured in the parasite and host cells in an infection time course of human fibroblasts. Extensive remodeling of the T. cruzi transcriptome was observed during the early establishment of intracellular infection, coincident with a major developmental transition in the parasite. Contrasting this early response, few additional changes in steady state mRNA levels were detected once mature T. cruzi amastigotes were formed. Our findings suggest that transcriptome remodeling is required to establish a modified template to guide developmental transitions in the parasite, whereas homeostatic functions are regulated independently of transcriptomic changes, similar to that reported in related trypanosomatids. Despite complex mechanisms for regulation of phenotypic expression in T. cruzi, transcriptomic signatures derived from distinct developmental stages mirror known or projected characteristics of T. cruzi biology. Focusing on energy metabolism, we were able to validate predictions forecast in the mRNA expression profiles. We demonstrate measurable differences in the bioenergetic properties of the different mammalian-infective stages of T. cruzi and present additional findings that underscore the importance of mitochondrial electron transport in T. cruzi amastigote growth and survival. Consequences of T. cruzi colonization for the host include dynamic expression of immune response genes and cell cycle regulators with upregulation of host cholesterol and lipid synthesis pathways, which may serve to fuel intracellular T. cruzi growth. Thus, in addition to the biological inferences gained from gene ontology and functional enrichment analysis of differentially expressed genes in parasite and

  17. Interactions Between Trypanosoma cruzi the Chagas Disease Parasite and Naturally Infected Wild Mepraia Vectors of Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos-Soto, Ricardo; Ortiz, Sylvia; Cordova, Ivan; Bruneau, Nicole; Botto-Mahan, Carezza; Solari, Aldo

    2016-03-01

    Chagas disease, which ranks among the world's most neglected diseases, is a chronic, systemic, parasitic infection caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Mepraia species are the wild vectors of this parasite in Chile. Host-parasite interactions can occur at several levels, such as co-speciation and ecological host fitting, among others. Thus, we are exploring the interactions between T. cruzi circulating in naturally infected Mepraia species in all areas endemic of Chile. We evaluated T. cruzi infection rates of 27 different haplotypes of the wild Mepraia species and identified their parasite genotypes using minicircle PCR amplification and hybridization tests with genotype-specific DNA probes. Infection rates were lower in northern Chile where Mepraia gajardoi circulates (10-35%); in central Chile, Mepraia spinolai is most abundant, and infection rates varied in space and time (0-55%). T. cruzi discrete typing units (DTUs) TcI, TcII, TcV, and Tc VI were detected. Mixed infections with two or more DTUs are frequently found in highly infected insects. T. cruzi DTUs have distinct, but not exclusive, ecological and epidemiological associations with their hosts. T. cruzi infection rates of M. spinolai were higher than in M. gajardoi, but the presence of mixed infection with more than one T. cruzi DTU was the same. The same T. cruzi DTUs (TcI, TcII, TcV, and TcVI) were found circulating in both vector species, even though TcI was not equally distributed. These results suggest that T. cruzi DTUs are not associated with any of the two genetically related vector species nor with the geographic area. The T. cruzi vectors interactions are discussed in terms of old and recent events. By exploring T. cruzi DTUs present in Mepraia haplotypes and species from northern to central Chile, we open the analysis on these invertebrate host-parasite interactions.

  18. Surface antigens of metacyclic trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    OpenAIRE

    1983-01-01

    The surface antigen makeup of metacyclic trypomastigote forms of strain G of Trypanosoma cruzi, which produce a subpatent infection in mice, differed from those of the virulent strains Y and CL. A 100,000-molecular-weight protein, barely detectable on the Y or CL cell surface, appeared as the main surface antigen of the G metacyclic trypomastigotes. In addition, the G metacyclic forms differed from those of the virulent strains in their susceptibility to complement-mediated immunolysis.

  19. Pure paraflagellar rod protein protects mice against Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

    OpenAIRE

    1995-01-01

    The paraflagellar rod proteins (PAR) purified from Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes were shown to protect mice against an otherwise lethal challenge inoculum of 10(3) bloodstream-form trypomastigotes. The injection route used for immunization was shown to have a marked impact on the development of protective immunity. Mice receiving subcutaneous (s.c.) injections of PAR proteins had reduced bloodstream parasitemias and showed 100% survival following challenge. In contrast, mice immunized via t...

  20. Optimized multilocus sequence typing (MLST scheme for Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Patricio Diosque

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the aetiological agent of Chagas disease possess extensive genetic diversity. This has led to the development of a plethora of molecular typing methods for the identification of both the known major genetic lineages and for more fine scale characterization of different multilocus genotypes within these major lineages. Whole genome sequencing applied to large sample sizes is not currently viable and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, the previous gold standard for T. cruzi typing, is laborious and time consuming. In the present work, we present an optimized Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST scheme, based on the combined analysis of two recently proposed MLST approaches. Here, thirteen concatenated gene fragments were applied to a panel of T. cruzi reference strains encompassing all known genetic lineages. Concatenation of 13 fragments allowed assignment of all strains to the predicted Discrete Typing Units (DTUs, or near-clades, with the exception of one strain that was an outlier for TcV, due to apparent loss of heterozygosity in one fragment. Monophyly for all DTUs, along with robust bootstrap support, was restored when this fragment was subsequently excluded from the analysis. All possible combinations of loci were assessed against predefined criteria with the objective of selecting the most appropriate combination of between two and twelve fragments, for an optimized MLST scheme. The optimum combination consisted of 7 loci and discriminated between all reference strains in the panel, with the majority supported by robust bootstrap values. Additionally, a reduced panel of just 4 gene fragments displayed high bootstrap values for DTU assignment and discriminated 21 out of 25 genotypes. We propose that the seven-fragment MLST scheme could be used as a gold standard for T. cruzi typing, against which other typing approaches, particularly single locus approaches or systematic PCR assays based on amplicon size, could be compared.

  1. Protein 3-nitrotyrosine formation during Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mice

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    M. Naviliat

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (·NO is a diffusible messenger implicated in Trypanosoma cruzi resistance. Excess production of ·NO and oxidants leads to the generation of nitrogen dioxide (·NO2, a strong nitrating agent. Tyrosine nitration is a post-translational modification resulting from the addition of a nitro (-NO2 group to the ortho-position of tyrosine residues. Detection of protein 3-nitrotyrosine is regarded as a marker of nitro-oxidative stress and is observed in inflammatory processes. The formation and role of nitrating species in the control and myocardiopathy of T. cruzi infection remain to be studied. We investigated the levels of ·NO and protein 3-nitrotyrosine in the plasma of C3H and BALB/c mice and pharmacologically modulated their production during the acute phase of T. cruzi infection. We also looked for protein 3-nitrotyrosine in the hearts of infected animals. Our results demonstrated that C3H animals produced higher amounts of ·NO than BALB/c mice, but their generation of peroxynitrite was not proportionally enhanced and they had higher parasitemias. While N G-nitro-arginine methyl ester treatment abolished ·NO production and drastically augmented the parasitism, mercaptoethylguanidine and guanido-ethyl disulfide, at doses that moderately reduced the ·NO and 3-nitrotyrosine levels, paradoxically diminished the parasitemia in both strains. Nitrated proteins were also demonstrated in myocardial cells of infected mice. These data suggest that the control of T. cruzi infection depends not only on the capacity to produce ·NO, but also on its metabolic fate, including the generation of nitrating species that may constitute an important element in parasite resistance and collateral myocardial damage.

  2. Optimized multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme for Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diosque, Patricio; Tomasini, Nicolás; Lauthier, Juan José; Messenger, Louisa Alexandra; Monje Rumi, María Mercedes; Ragone, Paula Gabriela; Alberti-D'Amato, Anahí Maitén; Pérez Brandán, Cecilia; Barnabé, Christian; Tibayrenc, Michel; Lewis, Michael David; Llewellyn, Martin Stephen; Miles, Michael Alexander; Yeo, Matthew

    2014-08-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the aetiological agent of Chagas disease possess extensive genetic diversity. This has led to the development of a plethora of molecular typing methods for the identification of both the known major genetic lineages and for more fine scale characterization of different multilocus genotypes within these major lineages. Whole genome sequencing applied to large sample sizes is not currently viable and multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, the previous gold standard for T. cruzi typing, is laborious and time consuming. In the present work, we present an optimized Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) scheme, based on the combined analysis of two recently proposed MLST approaches. Here, thirteen concatenated gene fragments were applied to a panel of T. cruzi reference strains encompassing all known genetic lineages. Concatenation of 13 fragments allowed assignment of all strains to the predicted Discrete Typing Units (DTUs), or near-clades, with the exception of one strain that was an outlier for TcV, due to apparent loss of heterozygosity in one fragment. Monophyly for all DTUs, along with robust bootstrap support, was restored when this fragment was subsequently excluded from the analysis. All possible combinations of loci were assessed against predefined criteria with the objective of selecting the most appropriate combination of between two and twelve fragments, for an optimized MLST scheme. The optimum combination consisted of 7 loci and discriminated between all reference strains in the panel, with the majority supported by robust bootstrap values. Additionally, a reduced panel of just 4 gene fragments displayed high bootstrap values for DTU assignment and discriminated 21 out of 25 genotypes. We propose that the seven-fragment MLST scheme could be used as a gold standard for T. cruzi typing, against which other typing approaches, particularly single locus approaches or systematic PCR assays based on amplicon size, could be compared.

  3. Genetically attenuated Trypanosoma cruzi parasites as a potential vaccination tool

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Chagas disease is the clinical manifestation of the infection produced by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent this disease and the protection attained with vaccines containing non-replicating parasites is limited. Genetically attenuated trypanosomatid parasites can be obtained by deletion of selected genes. Gene deletion takes advantage of the fact that this parasite can undergo homologous recombination between endogenous and foreign DNA sequences artifici...

  4. Functional characterization of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase of Trypanosoma cruzi.

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    Carolina Furtado

    Full Text Available The oxidative lesion 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG is removed during base excision repair by the 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (Ogg1. This lesion can erroneously pair with adenine, and the excision of this damaged base by Ogg1 enables the insertion of a guanine and prevents DNA mutation. In this report, we identified and characterized Ogg1 from the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (TcOgg1, the causative agent of Chagas disease. Like most living organisms, T. cruzi is susceptible to oxidative stress, hence DNA repair is essential for its survival and improvement of infection. We verified that the TcOGG1 gene encodes an 8-oxoG DNA glycosylase by complementing an Ogg1-defective Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain. Heterologous expression of TcOGG1 reestablished the mutation frequency of the yeast mutant ogg1(-/- (CD138 to wild type levels. We also demonstrate that the overexpression of TcOGG1 increases T. cruzi sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide (H(2O(2. Analysis of DNA lesions using quantitative PCR suggests that the increased susceptibility to H(2O(2 of TcOGG1-overexpressor could be a consequence of uncoupled BER in abasic sites and/or strand breaks generated after TcOgg1 removes 8-oxoG, which are not rapidly repaired by the subsequent BER enzymes. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that TcOGG1-overexpressors have reduced levels of 8-oxoG both in the nucleus and in the parasite mitochondrion. The localization of TcOgg1 was examined in parasite transfected with a TcOgg1-GFP fusion, which confirmed that this enzyme is in both organelles. Taken together, our data indicate that T. cruzi has a functional Ogg1 ortholog that participates in nuclear and mitochondrial BER.

  5. Chronic experimental infection by Trypanosoma cruzi in Cebus apella monkeys

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    A. Riarte

    1995-12-01

    Full Text Available Twenty young male Cebus apella monkeys were infected with CAl Trypanosoma cruzi strain and reinfected with CA l or Tulahuen T.cruzi strains, with different doses and parasite source. Subpatent parasitemia was usually demonstrated in acute and chronic phases. Patent parasitemia was evident in one monkey in the acute phase and in four of them in the chronic phase after re-inoculations with high doses of CAl strain. Serological conversion was observed in all monkeys; titers were low, regardless of the methods used to investigate anti-T. cruzi specific antibodies. Higher titers were induced only when re-inoculations were perfomed with the virulent Tulahuén strain or high doses of CAl strain. Clinical electrocardiographic and ajmaline test evaluations did not reveal changes between infected and control monkeys. Histopathologically, cardiac lesions were always characterized by focal or multifocal mononuclear infiltrates and/or isolated fibrosis, as seen during the acute and chronic phases; neither amastigote nests nor active inflammation and fibrogenic processes characteristic of human acute and chronic myocarditis respectively, were observed. These morphological aspects more closely resemble those found in the "indeterminate phase" and contrast with the more diffuse and progressive pattern of the human chagasic myocarditis. All monkeys survived and no mortality was observed.

  6. Conservation and divergence within the clathrin interactome of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Ligia Cristina; Frederico, Yohana Camila A; Boehm, Cordula; Moreira, Claudia Maria do Nascimento; Soares, Maurilio José; Field, Mark C

    2016-08-09

    Trypanosomatids are parasitic protozoa with a significant burden on human health. African and American trypanosomes are causative agents of Nagana and Chagas disease respectively, and speciated about 300 million years ago. These parasites have highly distinct life cycles, pathologies, transmission strategies and surface proteomes, being dominated by the variant surface glycoprotein (African) or mucins (American) respectively. In African trypanosomes clathrin-mediated trafficking is responsible for endocytosis and post-Golgi transport, with several mechanistic aspects distinct from higher organisms. Using clathrin light chain (TcCLC) and EpsinR (TcEpsinR) as affinity handles, we identified candidate clathrin-associated proteins (CAPs) in Trypanosoma cruzi; the cohort includes orthologs of many proteins known to mediate vesicle trafficking, but significantly not the AP-2 adaptor complex. Several trypanosome-specific proteins common with African trypanosomes, were also identified. Fluorescence microscopy revealed localisations for TcEpsinR, TcCLC and TcCHC at the posterior region of trypomastigote cells, coincident with the flagellar pocket and Golgi apparatus. These data provide the first systematic analysis of clathrin-mediated trafficking in T. cruzi, allowing comparison between protein cohorts and other trypanosomes and also suggest that clathrin trafficking in at least some life stages of T. cruzi may be AP-2-independent.

  7. Dehydroepiandrosterone increases resistance to experimental infection by Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Carla Domingues; Toldo, Míriam Paula Alonso; Santello, Fabrícia Helena; Filipin, Marina Del Vecchio; Brazão, Vânia; do Prado Júnior, José Clóvis

    2008-05-31

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) enhances immune responses against a wide range of viral, bacterial, and parasitic pathogens. In a previous study, we reported that administration of DHEA significantly decreased the numbers of blood parasites in Trypanosoma cruzi experimental infection. The present study was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of DHEA in reducing the severity of acute phase T. cruzi infection of male and female Wistar rats. Animals were treated subcutaneously with 40 mg/kg body weight/day of DHEA. The concentration of nitric oxide (NO) was determined in spleen peritoneal cavity. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) were determined in the sera of uninfected and infected animals. DHEA treatment augments NO production for both sexes after in vitro LPS treatment for uninfected animals. Infection triggered enhanced NO levels although not significant. IL-2 and IFN-gamma were detectable in higher concentrations in treated and infected rats of both genders when compared to untreated controls. These data suggest that DHEA may have a potent immunoregulatory function that can affect the course of T. cruzi infection.

  8. Geographical Distribution of Trypanosoma cruzi Genotypes in Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Hernán J.; Segovia, Maikell; Llewellyn, Martin S.; Morocoima, Antonio; Urdaneta-Morales, Servio; Martínez, Cinda; Martínez, Clara E.; Garcia, Carlos; Rodríguez, Marlenes; Espinosa, Raul; de Noya, Belkisyolé A.; Díaz-Bello, Zoraida; Herrera, Leidi; Fitzpatrick, Sinead; Yeo, Matthew; Miles, Michael A.; Feliciangeli, M. Dora

    2012-01-01

    Chagas disease is an endemic zoonosis native to the Americas and is caused by the kinetoplastid protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The parasite is also highly genetically diverse, with six discrete typing units (DTUs) reported TcI – TcVI. These DTUs broadly correlate with several epidemiogical, ecological and pathological features of Chagas disease. In this manuscript we report the most comprehensive evaluation to date of the genetic diversity of T. cruzi in Venezuela. The dataset includes 778 samples collected and genotyped over the last twelve years from multiple hosts and vectors, including nine wild and domestic mammalian host species, and seven species of triatomine bug, as well as from human sources. Most isolates (732) can be assigned to the TcI clade (94.1%); 24 to the TcIV group (3.1%) and 22 to TcIII (2.8%). Importantly, among the 95 isolates genotyped from human disease cases, 79% belonged to TcI - a DTU common in the Americas, however, 21% belonged to TcIV- a little known genotype previously thought to be rare in humans. Furthermore, were able to assign multiple oral Chagas diseases cases to TcI in the area around the capital, Caracas. We discuss our findings in the context of T. cruzi DTU distributions elsewhere in the Americas, and evaluate the impact they have on the future of Chagas disease control in Venezuela. PMID:22745843

  9. Synthesis and Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi Activity of Diaryldiazepines

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    Júlio César L. Menezes

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease is a so-called “neglected disease” and endemic to Latin America. Nifurtimox and benznidazole are drugs that have considerable efficacy in the treatment of the acute phase of the disease but cause many significant side effects. Furthermore, in the Chronic Phase its efficiency is reduced and their therapeutic effectiveness is dependent on the type of T. cruzi strain. For this reason, the present work aims to drive basic research towards the discovery of new chemical entities to treat Chagas disease. Differently substituted 5,7-diaryl-2,3-dihydro-1,4-diazepines were synthesized by cyclocondensation of substituted flavones with ethylenediamine and tested as anti-Trypanosoma cruzi candidates. Epimastigotes of the Y strain from T. cruzi were used in this study and the number of parasites was determined in a Neubauer chamber. The most potent diaryldiazepine that reduced epimastigote proliferation exhibited an IC50 value of 0.25 μM, which is significantly more active than benznidazole.

  10. Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi/HIV coinfection in southern Brazil

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    Dulce Stauffert

    Full Text Available Abstract Chagas disease reactivation has been a defining condition for acquired immune deficiency syndrome in Brazil for individuals coinfected with Trypanosoma cruzi and HIV since 2004. Although the first coinfection case was reported in the 1980s, its prevalence has not been firmly established. In order to know coinfection prevalence, a cross-sectional study of 200 HIV patients was performed between January and July 2013 in the city of Pelotas, in southern Rio Grande do Sul, an endemic area for Chagas disease. Ten subjects were found positive for T. cruzi infection by chemiluminescence microparticle immunoassay and indirect immunofluorescence. The survey showed 5% coinfection prevalence among HIV patients (95% CI: 2.0–8.0, which was 3.8 times as high as that estimated by the Ministry of Health of Brazil. Six individuals had a viral load higher than 100,000 copies per µL, a statistically significant difference for T. cruzi presence. These findings highlight the importance of screening HIV patients from Chagas disease endemic areas.

  11. Heterogeneous infectiousness in guinea pigs experimentally infected with Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Neyra, Ricardo; Borrini Mayorí, Katty; Salazar Sánchez, Renzo; Ancca Suarez, Jenny; Xie, Sherrie; Náquira Velarde, Cesar; Levy, Michael Z

    2016-02-01

    Guinea pigs are important reservoirs of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative parasite of Chagas disease, and in the Southern Cone of South America, transmission is mediated mainly by the vector Triatoma infestans. Interestingly, colonies of Triatoma infestans captured from guinea pig corrals sporadically have infection prevalence rates above 80%. Such high values are not consistent with the relatively short 7-8 week parasitemic period that has been reported for guinea pigs in the literature. We experimentally measured the infectious periods of a group of T. cruzi-infected guinea pigs by performing xenodiagnosis and direct microscopy each week for one year. Another group of infected guinea pigs received only direct microscopy to control for the effect that inoculation by triatomine saliva may have on parasitemia in the host. We observed infectious periods longer than those previously reported in a number of guinea pigs from both the xenodiagnosis and control groups. While some guinea pigs were infectious for a short time, other "super-shedders" were parasitemic up to 22 weeks after infection, and/or positive by xenodiagnosis for a year after infection. This heterogeneity in infectiousness has strong implications for T. cruzi transmission dynamics and control, as super-shedder guinea pigs may play a disproportionate role in pathogen spread.

  12. High throughput screening for anti-Trypanosoma cruzi drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-Padilla, Julio; Rodríguez, Ana

    2014-12-01

    The discovery of new therapeutic options against Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, stands as a fundamental need. Currently, there are only two drugs available to treat this neglected disease, which represents a major public health problem in Latin America. Both available therapies, benznidazole and nifurtimox, have significant toxic side effects and their efficacy against the life-threatening symptomatic chronic stage of the disease is variable. Thus, there is an urgent need for new, improved anti-T. cruzi drugs. With the objective to reliably accelerate the drug discovery process against Chagas disease, several advances have been made in the last few years. Availability of engineered reporter gene expressing parasites triggered the development of phenotypic in vitro assays suitable for high throughput screening (HTS) as well as the establishment of new in vivo protocols that allow faster experimental outcomes. Recently, automated high content microscopy approaches have also been used to identify new parasitic inhibitors. These in vitro and in vivo early drug discovery approaches, which hopefully will contribute to bring better anti-T. cruzi drug entities in the near future, are reviewed here.

  13. High throughput screening for anti-Trypanosoma cruzi drug discovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Alonso-Padilla

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of new therapeutic options against Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, stands as a fundamental need. Currently, there are only two drugs available to treat this neglected disease, which represents a major public health problem in Latin America. Both available therapies, benznidazole and nifurtimox, have significant toxic side effects and their efficacy against the life-threatening symptomatic chronic stage of the disease is variable. Thus, there is an urgent need for new, improved anti-T. cruzi drugs. With the objective to reliably accelerate the drug discovery process against Chagas disease, several advances have been made in the last few years. Availability of engineered reporter gene expressing parasites triggered the development of phenotypic in vitro assays suitable for high throughput screening (HTS as well as the establishment of new in vivo protocols that allow faster experimental outcomes. Recently, automated high content microscopy approaches have also been used to identify new parasitic inhibitors. These in vitro and in vivo early drug discovery approaches, which hopefully will contribute to bring better anti-T. cruzi drug entities in the near future, are reviewed here.

  14. Regulation of mammary stem/progenitor cells by PTEN/Akt/beta-catenin signaling.

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    Hasan Korkaya

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that many malignancies, including breast cancer, are driven by a cellular subcomponent that displays stem cell-like properties. The protein phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN is inactivated in a wide range of human cancers, an alteration that is associated with a poor prognosis. Because PTEN has been reported to play a role in the maintenance of embryonic and tissue-specific stem cells, we investigated the role of the PTEN/Akt pathway in the regulation of normal and malignant mammary stem/progenitor cell populations. We demonstrate that activation of this pathway, via PTEN knockdown, enriches for normal and malignant human mammary stem/progenitor cells in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of PTEN in normal human mammary epithelial cells enriches for the stem/progenitor cell compartment, generating atypical hyperplastic lesions in humanized NOD/SCID mice. Akt-driven stem/progenitor cell enrichment is mediated by activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway through the phosphorylation of GSK3-beta. In contrast to chemotherapy, the Akt inhibitor perifosine is able to target the tumorigenic cell population in breast tumor xenografts. These studies demonstrate an important role for the PTEN/PI3-K/Akt/beta-catenin pathway in the regulation of normal and malignant stem/progenitor cell populations and suggest that agents that inhibit this pathway are able to effectively target tumorigenic breast cancer cells.

  15. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling in cancer: Alliance or contradiction? (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Hua-Fu; Wang, Jing; Tony To, Shing-Shun

    2015-08-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway are responsible for regulating a variety of cellular processes including cell growth, migration, invasion and apoptosis. These two pathways are essential to the development and progression of tumors. The dual roles of JNK signaling in apoptosis and tumor development determine the different interactions between the PI3K/Akt and JNK pathways. Activation of PI3K/Akt signaling can inhibit stress- and cytokine-induced JNK activation through Akt antagonizing and the formation of the JIP1-JNK module, as well as the activities of upstream kinases ASK1, MKK4/7 and MLK. On the other hand, hyperactivation of Akt and JNK is also found in cancers that harbor EGFR overexpression or loss of PTEN. Understanding the activation mechanism of PI3K/Akt and JNK pathways, as well as the interplays between these two pathways in cancer may contribute to the identification of novel therapeutic targets. In the present report, we summarized the current understanding of the PI3K/Akt and JNK signaling networks, as well as their biological roles in cancers. In addition, the interactions and regulatory network between PI3K/Akt and JNK pathways in cancer were discussed.

  16. Genetic variation and exchange in Trypanosoma cruzi isolates from the United States.

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    Dawn M Roellig

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a multiclonal parasite with high levels of genetic diversity and broad host and geographic ranges. Molecular characterization of South American isolates of T. cruzi has demonstrated homologous recombination and nuclear hybridization, as well as the presence of 6 main genetic clusters or "discrete typing units" (DTUs. Few studies have extensively investigated such exchange events and genetic diversity in North American isolates. In the current study, we genetically characterized over 50 US isolates from wildlife reservoirs (e.g., raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks, domestic dogs, humans, nonhuman primates, and reduviid vectors from nine states (TX, CA, OK, SC, FL, GA, MD, LA, TN using a multilocus sequencing method. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in sequences of the mismatch-repair class 2 (MSH2 and Tc52 genes. Typing based on the two genes often paralleled genotyping by classic methodologies using mini-exon and 18S and 24Sα rRNA genes. Evidence for genetic exchange was obtained by comparing sequence phylogenies of nuclear and mitochondrial gene targets, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS and the cytochrome oxidase subunit II- NADH dehydrogenase subunit I region (COII-ND1, respectively. We observed genetic exchange in several US isolates as demonstrated by incongruent mitochondrial and nuclear genes phylogenies, which confirms a previous finding of a single genetic exchange event in a Florida isolate. The presence of SNPs and evidence of genetic exchange illustrates that strains from the US are genetically diverse, even though only two phylogenetic lineages have been identified in this region.

  17. Trypanocidal Effect of Isotretinoin through the Inhibition of Polyamine and Amino Acid Transporters in Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reigada, Chantal; Valera-Vera, Edward A.; Sayé, Melisa; Errasti, Andrea E.; Avila, Carla C.; Miranda, Mariana R.; Pereira, Claudio A.

    2017-01-01

    Polyamines are essential compounds to all living organisms and in the specific case of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, they are exclusively obtained through transport processes since this parasite is auxotrophic for polyamines. Previous works reported that retinol acetate inhibits Leishmania growth and decreases its intracellular polyamine concentration. The present work describes a combined strategy of drug repositioning by virtual screening followed by in vitro assays to find drugs able to inhibit TcPAT12, the only polyamine transporter described in T. cruzi. After a screening of 3000 FDA-approved drugs, 7 retinoids with medical use were retrieved and used for molecular docking assays with TcPAT12. From the docked molecules, isotretinoin, a well-known drug used for acne treatment, showed the best interaction score with TcPAT12 and was selected for further in vitro studies. Isotretinoin inhibited the polyamine transport, as well as other amino acid transporters from the same protein family (TcAAAP), with calculated IC50 values in the range of 4.6–10.3 μM. It also showed a strong inhibition of trypomastigote burst from infected cells, with calculated IC50 of 130 nM (SI = 920) being significantly less effective on the epimastigote stage (IC50 = 30.6 μM). The effect of isotretinoin on the parasites plasma membrane permeability and on mammalian cell viability was tested, and no change was observed. Autophagosomes and apoptotic bodies were detected as part of the mechanisms of isotretinoin-induced death indicating that the inhibition of transporters by isotretinoin causes nutrient starvation that triggers autophagic and apoptotic processes. In conclusion, isotretinoin is a promising trypanocidal drug since it is a multi-target inhibitor of essential metabolites transporters, in addition to being an FDA-approved drug largely used in humans, which could reduce significantly the requirements for its possible application in the treatment of

  18. Genetic variation and exchange in Trypanosoma cruzi isolates from the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roellig, Dawn M; Savage, Mason Y; Fujita, A Wendy; Barnabé, Christian; Tibayrenc, Michel; Steurer, Frank J; Yabsley, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a multiclonal parasite with high levels of genetic diversity and broad host and geographic ranges. Molecular characterization of South American isolates of T. cruzi has demonstrated homologous recombination and nuclear hybridization, as well as the presence of 6 main genetic clusters or "discrete typing units" (DTUs). Few studies have extensively investigated such exchange events and genetic diversity in North American isolates. In the current study, we genetically characterized over 50 US isolates from wildlife reservoirs (e.g., raccoons, opossums, armadillos, skunks), domestic dogs, humans, nonhuman primates, and reduviid vectors from nine states (TX, CA, OK, SC, FL, GA, MD, LA, TN) using a multilocus sequencing method. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in sequences of the mismatch-repair class 2 (MSH2) and Tc52 genes. Typing based on the two genes often paralleled genotyping by classic methodologies using mini-exon and 18S and 24Sα rRNA genes. Evidence for genetic exchange was obtained by comparing sequence phylogenies of nuclear and mitochondrial gene targets, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) and the cytochrome oxidase subunit II- NADH dehydrogenase subunit I region (COII-ND1), respectively. We observed genetic exchange in several US isolates as demonstrated by incongruent mitochondrial and nuclear genes phylogenies, which confirms a previous finding of a single genetic exchange event in a Florida isolate. The presence of SNPs and evidence of genetic exchange illustrates that strains from the US are genetically diverse, even though only two phylogenetic lineages have been identified in this region.

  19. Molecular interaction of the first 3 enzymes of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nara, Takeshi, E-mail: tnara@juntendo.ac.jp [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Hashimoto, Muneaki; Hirawake, Hiroko [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Liao, Chien-Wei [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Department of Parasitology, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Xing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan, ROC (China); Fukai, Yoshihisa; Suzuki, Shigeo; Tsubouchi, Akiko; Morales, Jorge; Takamiya, Shinzaburo [Department of Molecular and Cellular Parasitology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Fujimura, Tsutomu; Taka, Hikari; Mineki, Reiko [Division of Proteomics and Biomolecular Science, Biomedical Research Center, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421 (Japan); Fan, Chia-Kwung [Department of Parasitology, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Xing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan, ROC (China); Inaoka, Daniel Ken [Department of Biomedical Chemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Inoue, Masayuki [Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Tanaka, Akiko [Systems and Structural Biology Center, RIKEN, Tsurumi, Yokohama 230-0045 (Japan); Harada, Shigeharu [Department of Applied Biology, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8585 (Japan); Kita, Kiyoshi [Department of Biomedical Chemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); and others

    2012-02-03

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer An Escherichia coli strain co-expressing CPSII, ATC, and DHO of Trypanosoma cruzi was constructed. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Molecular interactions between CPSII, ATC, and DHO of T. cruzi were demonstrated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CPSII bound with both ATC and DHO. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ATC bound with both CPSII and DHO. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A functional tri-enzyme complex might precede the establishment of the fused enzyme. -- Abstract: The first 3 reaction steps of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway are catalyzed by carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase II (CPSII), aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATC), and dihydroorotase (DHO), respectively. In eukaryotes, these enzymes are structurally classified into 2 types: (1) a CPSII-DHO-ATC fusion enzyme (CAD) found in animals, fungi, and amoebozoa, and (2) stand-alone enzymes found in plants and the protist groups. In the present study, we demonstrate direct intermolecular interactions between CPSII, ATC, and DHO of the parasitic protist Trypanosoma cruzi, which is the causative agent of Chagas disease. The 3 enzymes were expressed in a bacterial expression system and their interactions were examined. Immunoprecipitation using an antibody specific for each enzyme coupled with Western blotting-based detection using antibodies for the counterpart enzymes showed co-precipitation of all 3 enzymes. From an evolutionary viewpoint, the formation of a functional tri-enzyme complex may have preceded-and led to-gene fusion to produce the CAD protein. This is the first report to demonstrate the structural basis of these 3 enzymes as a model of CAD. Moreover, in conjunction with the essentiality of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis in the parasite, our findings provide a rationale for new strategies for developing drugs for Chagas disease, which target the intermolecular interactions of these 3 enzymes.

  20. Real-time PCR strategy for the identification of Trypanosoma cruzi discrete typing units directly in chronically infected human blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-San Martín, Catalina; Apt, Werner; Zulantay, Inés

    2017-04-01

    The protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, a major public health problem in Latin America. This parasite has a complex population structure comprised by six or seven major evolutionary lineages (discrete typing units or DTUs) TcI-TcVI and TcBat, some of which have apparently resulted from ancient hybridization events. Because of the existence of significant biological differences between these lineages, strain characterization methods have been essential to study T. cruzi in its different vectors and hosts. However, available methods can be laborious and costly, limited in resolution or sensitivity. In this study, a new genotyping strategy by real-time PCR to identify each of the six DTUs in clinical blood samples have been developed and evaluated. Two nuclear (SL-IR and 18S rDNA) and two mitochondrial genes (COII and ND1) were selected to develop original primers. The method was evaluated with eight genomic DNA of T. cruzi populations belonging to the six DTUs, one genomic DNA of Trypanosoma rangeli, and 53 blood samples from individuals with chronic Chagas disease. The assays had an analytical sensitivity of 1-25fg of DNA per reaction tube depending on the DTU analyzed. The selectivity of trials with 20fg/μL of genomic DNA identified each DTU, excluding non-targets DTUs in every test. The method was able to characterize 67.9% of the chronically infected clinical samples with high detection of TcII followed by TcI. With the proposed original genotyping methodology, each DTU was established with high sensitivity after a single real-time PCR assay. This novel protocol reduces carryover contamination, enables detection of each DTU independently and in the future, the quantification of each DTU in clinical blood samples.

  1. Molecular characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi SAP proteins with host-cell lysosome exocytosis-inducing activity required for parasite invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanforlin, Tamiris; Bayer-Santos, Ethel; Cortez, Cristian; Almeida, Igor C; Yoshida, Nobuko; da Silveira, José Franco

    2013-01-01

    To invade target cells, Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclic forms engage distinct sets of surface and secreted molecules that interact with host components. Serine-, alanine-, and proline-rich proteins (SAP) comprise a multigene family constituted of molecules with a high serine, alanine and proline residue content. SAP proteins have a central domain (SAP-CD) responsible for interaction with and invasion of mammalian cells by metacyclic forms. Using a 513 bp sequence from SAP-CD in blastn analysis, we identified 39 full-length SAP genes in the genome of T. cruzi. Although most of these genes were mapped in the T. cruzi in silico chromosome TcChr41, several SAP sequences were spread out across the genome. The level of SAP transcripts was twice as high in metacyclic forms as in epimastigotes. Monoclonal (MAb-SAP) and polyclonal (anti-SAP) antibodies produced against the recombinant protein SAP-CD were used to investigate the expression and localization of SAP proteins. MAb-SAP reacted with a 55 kDa SAP protein released by epimastigotes and metacyclic forms and with distinct sets of SAP variants expressed in amastigotes and tissue culture-derived trypomastigotes (TCTs). Anti-SAP antibodies reacted with components located in the anterior region of epimastigotes and between the nucleus and the kinetoplast in metacyclic trypomastigotes. In contrast, anti-SAP recognized surface components of amastigotes and TCTs, suggesting that SAP proteins are directed to different cellular compartments. Ten SAP peptides were identified by mass spectrometry in vesicle and soluble-protein fractions obtained from parasite conditioned medium. Using overlapping sequences from SAP-CD, we identified a 54-aa peptide (SAP-CE) that was able to induce host-cell lysosome exocytosis and inhibit parasite internalization by 52%. This study provides novel information about the genomic organization, expression and cellular localization of SAP proteins and proposes a triggering role for extracellular SAP

  2. Structure-based approach to the identification of a novel group of selective glucosamine analogue inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi glucokinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Antonio, Edward L; Deinema, Mason S; Kearns, Sean P; Frey, Tyler A; Tanghe, Scott; Perry, Kay; Roy, Timothy A; Gracz, Hanna S; Rodriguez, Ana; D'Antonio, Jennifer

    2015-12-01

    Glucokinase and hexokinase from pathogenic protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi are potential drug targets for antiparasitic chemotherapy of Chagas' disease. These glucose kinases phosphorylate d-glucose with co-substrate ATP and yield glucose 6-phosphate and are involved in essential metabolic pathways, such as glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway. An inhibitor class was conceived that is selective for T. cruzi glucokinase (TcGlcK) using structure-based drug design involving glucosamine having a linker from the C2 amino that terminates with a hydrophobic group either being phenyl, p-hydroxyphenyl, or dioxobenzo[b]thiophenyl groups. The synthesis and characterization for two of the four compounds are presented while the other two compounds were commercially available. Four high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of TcGlcK inhibitor complexes are reported along with enzyme inhibition constants (Ki) for TcGlcK and Homo sapiens hexokinase IV (HsHxKIV). These glucosamine analogue inhibitors include three strongly selective TcGlcK inhibitors and a fourth inhibitor, benzoyl glucosamine (BENZ-GlcN), which is a similar variant exhibiting a shorter linker. Carboxybenzyl glucosamine (CBZ-GlcN) was found to be the strongest glucokinase inhibitor known to date, having a Ki of 0.71±0.05μM. Also reported are two biologically active inhibitors against in vitro T. cruzi culture that were BENZ-GlcN and CBZ-GlcN, with intracellular amastigote growth inhibition IC50 values of 16.08±0.16μM and 48.73±0.69μM, respectively. These compounds revealed little to no toxicity against mammalian NIH-3T3 fibroblasts and provide a key starting point for further drug development with this class of compound.

  3. MicroRNA Transcriptome Profiling in Heart of Trypanosoma cruzi-Infected Mice: Parasitological and Cardiological Outcomes.

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    Isabela Cunha Navarro

    Full Text Available Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, and it begins with a short acute phase characterized by high parasitemia followed by a life-long chronic phase with scarce parasitism. Cardiac involvement is the most prominent manifestation, as 30% of infected subjects will develop abnormal ventricular repolarization with myocarditis, fibrosis and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy by undefined mechanisms. Nevertheless, follow-up studies in chagasic patients, as well as studies with murine models, suggest that the intensity of clinical symptoms and pathophysiological events that occur during the acute phase of disease are associated with the severity of cardiac disease observed during the chronic phase. In the present study we investigated the role of microRNAs (miRNAs in the disease progression in response to T. cruzi infection, as alterations in miRNA levels are known to be associated with many cardiovascular disorders. We screened 641 rodent miRNAs in heart samples of mice during an acute infection with the Colombiana T.cruzi strain and identified multiple miRNAs significantly altered upon infection. Seventeen miRNAs were found significantly deregulated in all three analyzed time points post infection. Among these, six miRNAs had their expression correlated with clinical parameters relevant to the disease, such as parasitemia and maximal heart rate-corrected QT (QTc interval. Computational analyses identified that the gene targets for these six miRNAs were involved in networks and signaling pathways related to increased ventricular depolarization and repolarization times, important factors for QTc interval prolongation. The data presented here will guide further studies about the contribution of microRNAs to Chagas heart disease pathogenesis.

  4. Genotyping of Trypanosoma cruzi DTUs and Trypanosoma rangeli genetic groups in experimentally infected Rhodnius prolixus by PCR-RFLP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sá, Amanda R N; Dias, Greicy B M; Kimoto, Karen Y; Steindel, Mário; Grisard, Edmundo C; Toledo, Max Jean O; Gomes, Mônica L

    2016-04-01

    The specific detection and genetic typing of trypanosomes that infect humans, mammalian reservoirs, and vectors is crucial for diagnosis and epidemiology. We utilized a PCR-RFLP assay that targeted subunit II of cytochrome oxidase and 24Sα-rDNA to simultaneously detect and discriminate six Trypanosoma cruzi discrete typing units (DTUs) and two genetic groups of Trypanosoma rangeli (KP1+/KP1-) in intestinal contents of experimentally infected Rhodnius prolixus. The PCR assays showed that in 23 of 29 (79.4%) mixed infections with the six T. cruzi DTUs and mixed infections with individual DTUs and/or groups KP1+ and KP1-, both parasites were successfully detected. In six mixed infections that involved TcIII, the TcI, TcII, TcV, and TcVI DTUs predominated to the detriment of TcIII, indicating the selection of genetic groups. Interactions between different genetic groups and vectors may lead to genetic selection over TcIII. The elimination of this DTU by the immune system of the vector appears unlikely because TcIII was present in other mixed infections (TcIII/TcIV and TcIII/KP1+). Both molecular markers used in this study were sensitive and specific, demonstrating their usefulness in a wide geographical area where distinct genotypes of these two species are sympatric. Although the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are involved in parasite-vector interactions are still poorly understood, our results indicate a dynamic selection toward specific T. cruzi DTUs in R. prolixus during mixed genotype infections.

  5. Crystal Structures of Trypanosoma cruzi UDP-Galactopyranose Mutase Implicate Flexibility of the Histidine Loop in Enzyme Activation

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    Dhatwalia, Richa; Singh, Harkewal; Oppenheimer, Michelle; Sobrado, Pablo; Tanner, John J. (Virginia Tech); (UMC)

    2012-11-01

    Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Here we report crystal structures of the galactofuranose biosynthetic enzyme UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM) from T. cruzi, which are the first structures of this enzyme from a protozoan parasite. UGM is an attractive target for drug design because galactofuranose is absent in humans but is an essential component of key glycoproteins and glycolipids in trypanosomatids. Analysis of the enzyme-UDP noncovalent interactions and sequence alignments suggests that substrate recognition is exquisitely conserved among eukaryotic UGMs and distinct from that of bacterial UGMs. This observation has implications for inhibitor design. Activation of the enzyme via reduction of the FAD induces profound conformational changes, including a 2.3 {angstrom} movement of the histidine loop (Gly60-Gly61-His62), rotation and protonation of the imidazole of His62, and cooperative movement of residues located on the si face of the FAD. Interestingly, these changes are substantially different from those described for Aspergillus fumigatus UGM, which is 45% identical to T. cruzi UGM. The importance of Gly61 and His62 for enzymatic activity was studied with the site-directed mutant enzymes G61A, G61P, and H62A. These mutations lower the catalytic efficiency by factors of 10-50, primarily by decreasing k{sub cat}. Considered together, the structural, kinetic, and sequence data suggest that the middle Gly of the histidine loop imparts flexibility that is essential for activation of eukaryotic UGMs. Our results provide new information about UGM biochemistry and suggest a unified strategy for designing inhibitors of UGMs from the eukaryotic pathogens.

  6. Akt Links Insulin Signaling to Albumin Endocytosis in Proximal Tubule Epithelial Cells.

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    Sam Coffey

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus (DM has become an epidemic, causing a significant decline in quality of life of individuals due to its multisystem involvement. Kidney is an important target organ in DM accounting for the majority of patients requiring renal replacement therapy at dialysis units. Microalbuminuria (MA has been a valuable tool to predict end-organ damage in DM but its low sensitivity has driven research efforts to seek other alternatives. Albumin is taken up by albumin receptors, megalin and cubilin in the proximal tubule epithelial cells. We demonstrated that insulin at physiological concentrations induce albumin endocytosis through activation of protein kinase B (Akt in proximal tubule epithelial cells. Inhibition of Akt by a phosphorylation deficient construct abrogated insulin induced albumin endocytosis suggesting a role for Akt in insulin-induced albumin endocytosis. Furthermore we demonstrated a novel interaction between Akt substrate 160kDa (AS160 and cytoplasmic tail of megalin. Mice with type 1 DM (T1D displayed decreased Akt, megalin, cubilin and AS160 expression in their kidneys in association with urinary cubilin shedding preceding significant MA. Patients with T1D who have developed MA in the EDC (The Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications study demonstrated urinary cubilin shedding prior to development of MA. We hypothesize that perturbed insulin-Akt cascade in DM leads to alterations in trafficking of megalin and cubilin, which results in urinary cubilin shedding as a prelude to MA in early diabetic nephropathy. We propose that utilization of urinary cubilin shedding, as a urinary biomarker, will allow us to detect and intervene in diabetic nephropathy (DN at an earlier stage.

  7. Akt Links Insulin Signaling to Albumin Endocytosis in Proximal Tubule Epithelial Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coffey, Sam; Costacou, Tina; Orchard, Trevor; Erkan, Elif

    2015-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) has become an epidemic, causing a significant decline in quality of life of individuals due to its multisystem involvement. Kidney is an important target organ in DM accounting for the majority of patients requiring renal replacement therapy at dialysis units. Microalbuminuria (MA) has been a valuable tool to predict end-organ damage in DM but its low sensitivity has driven research efforts to seek other alternatives. Albumin is taken up by albumin receptors, megalin and cubilin in the proximal tubule epithelial cells. We demonstrated that insulin at physiological concentrations induce albumin endocytosis through activation of protein kinase B (Akt) in proximal tubule epithelial cells. Inhibition of Akt by a phosphorylation deficient construct abrogated insulin induced albumin endocytosis suggesting a role for Akt in insulin-induced albumin endocytosis. Furthermore we demonstrated a novel interaction between Akt substrate 160kDa (AS160) and cytoplasmic tail of megalin. Mice with type 1 DM (T1D) displayed decreased Akt, megalin, cubilin and AS160 expression in their kidneys in association with urinary cubilin shedding preceding significant MA. Patients with T1D who have developed MA in the EDC (The Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications) study demonstrated urinary cubilin shedding prior to development of MA. We hypothesize that perturbed insulin-Akt cascade in DM leads to alterations in trafficking of megalin and cubilin, which results in urinary cubilin shedding as a prelude to MA in early diabetic nephropathy. We propose that utilization of urinary cubilin shedding, as a urinary biomarker, will allow us to detect and intervene in diabetic nephropathy (DN) at an earlier stage.

  8. PARP1 inhibitors attenuate AKT phosphorylation via the upregulation of PHLPP1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Shuai [State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Shanghai Institute of Hematology, Rui Jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025 (China); Division of Hematology and Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35205 (United States); Wang, Huibo; Davis, Ben C. [Division of Hematology and Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35205 (United States); Liang, Jiyong [Department of Systems Biology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77054 (United States); Cui, Rutao [Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118 (United States); Chen, Sai-Juan, E-mail: sjchen@stn.sh.cn [State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Shanghai Institute of Hematology, Rui Jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025 (China); Xu, Zhi-Xiang, E-mail: zhi-xiang.xu@ccc.uab.edu [Division of Hematology and Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35205 (United States)

    2011-08-26

    Highlights: {yields} PARP1 inhibitors cause a cytotoxic effect independent of DNA repair impairment. {yields} PARP1 inhibitors attenuated AKT-FOXO3A signaling by activating PHLPP1. {yields} PHLPP1 regulates the sensitivity of cancer cells to PARP1 inhibitors. -- Abstract: Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1) inhibitors are emerging as an important class of drugs for treating BRCA-deficient cancers. Recent discoveries have shown that PARP1 inhibitors may treat other cancer patients in addition to the relatively small proportion of patients carrying BRCA mutations. However, the additional targets by which PARP1 inhibitor-mediated tumor suppression remain poorly understood. In this study, we show that two PARP1 inhibitors, PJ-34 and 3-AB, attenuate AKT phosphorylation at serine 473 (S473) independent of DNA repair impairment. These inhibitors decrease the AKT-associated phosphorylation of FOXO3A, enhance the nuclear retention of FOXO3A, and activate its transcriptional activity. We further demonstrate that treatment with PJ-34 or 3-AB dramatically increases the level of PHLPP1. Overexpression of PHLPP1 enhances the PARP1 inhibitor-induced downregulation of AKT phosphorylation and increases tumor cell death. In contrast, knockdown of PHLPP1 abrogates the PARP1 inhibitor-mediated AKT inhibition and desensitizes cells to its treatment. Therefore, our findings not only show the robust role of PARP1 inhibitors in AKT inhibition but also develop a novel strategy to increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment via PARP1 inhibitor-induced PHLPP1 upregulation.

  9. Relationship between biological behaviour and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA profiles of Trypanosoma cruzi strains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martínez-Díaz Rafael A

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Once known some biological characteristics of six Trypanosoma cruzi strains, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD analysis was made. Cluster analysis by UPGMA (unweighted pair group method analysis was then applied both to biological parameters and RAPD profiles. Inspection of the UPGMA phenograms indicates identical clusters, so supporting that usefulness of biological parameters to characterization of T. cruzi strains still remains.

  10. Incidence of Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in Triatomines Collected at Indio Mountains Research Station

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is an emerging infectious disease in the United States. In our study, 24 out of 39 triatomines, from the specie Triatoma rubida, were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Additionally, only the genotype TcI was characterized among the parasite specimens. Improved knowledge of local epidemiology is needed to prevent transmission of Chagas disease.

  11. Comprehensive proteomic analysis of Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigote cell surface proteins by two complementary methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Queiroz, Rayner M L; Charneau, Sébastien; Motta, Flávia N;

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a protozoan that causes Chagas' disease, a neglected infectious illness that affects millions of people, mostly in Latin America. Here, the cell surface subproteome of the T. cruzi epimastigote life form was characterized. In order to prepare samples enriched in epimastigote...

  12. Astaxanthin Alleviates Early Brain Injury Following Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Rats: Possible Involvement of Akt/Bad Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang-Sheng Zhang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Apoptosis has been proven to play a crucial role in early brain injury pathogenesis and to represent a target for the treatment of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH. Previously, we demonstrated that astaxanthin (ATX administration markedly reduced neuronal apoptosis in the early period after SAH. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain obscure. In the present study, we tried to investigate whether ATX administration is associated with the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt (PI3K/Akt pathway, which can play an important role in the signaling of apoptosis. Our results showed that post-SAH treatment with ATX could cause a significant increase of phosphorylated Akt and Bad levels, along with a significant decrease of cleaved caspase-3 levels in the cortex after SAH. In addition to the reduced neuronal apoptosis, treatment with ATX could also significantly reduce secondary brain injury characterized by neurological dysfunction, cerebral edema and blood-brain barrier disruption. In contrast, the PI3K/Akt inhibitor, LY294002, could partially reverse the neuroprotection of ATX in the early period after SAH by downregulating ATX-induced activation of Akt/Bad and upregulating cleaved caspase-3 levels. These results provided the evidence that ATX could attenuate apoptosis in a rat SAH model, potentially, in part, through modulating the Akt/Bad pathway.

  13. The fibrotic role of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt pathway in injured skeletal muscle after acute contusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H-Y; Zhang, Q-G; Chen, J-W; Chen, S-Q; Chen, S-Y

    2013-09-01

    Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) is a multifunctional cytokine with fibrogenic properties. Previous studies demonstrated that Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3K)/Akt/ mammalian target of Ramycin (mTOR), a non-Smad TGF-β pathway, plays an important role in the fibrotic pathogenesis of different organs such as the lung, kidney, skin and liver. However, the role of PI3k-Akt pathway in fibrosis in injured skeletal muscle is still unclear. In this study, we determined the fibrotic role of PI3K-Akt pathway in injured skeletal muscle. We established a mouse model for acute muscle contusion. Western blotting analysis showed that TGF-β, phosphorylated Akt and phosphorylated mTOR were increased in muscles after acute contusion, which indicated that the PI3K-Akt- mTOR pathway was activated in skeletal muscle after acute contusion. The pathway was inhibited by a PI3K inhibitor, LY294002. Moreover, the expression of fibrosis markers vimentin, α SMA and collagen I and the area of scar decreased in injured skeletal muscle after PI3K pathway was blocked. The muscle function improved in terms of both fast-twitch and tetanic strength after PI3K/Akt pathway was inhibited in injured skeletal muscle. In conclusion, activation of PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway might promote collagen production and scar formation in the acute contused skeletal muscle. Blocking of PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway could improve the function of injured skeletal muscle.

  14. The Akt inhibitor MK-2206 enhances the cytotoxicity of paclitaxel (Taxol) and cisplatin in ovarian cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ying-Hsi; Chen, Bert Yu-Hung; Lai, Wei-Ting; Wu, Shao-Fu; Guh, Jih-Hwa; Cheng, Ann-Lii; Hsu, Lih-Ching

    2015-01-01

    Abnormalities in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway are commonly observed in human cancers and contribute to chemotherapy resistance. Combination therapy, involving the use of molecular targeted agents and traditional cytotoxic drugs, may represent a promising strategy to lower resistance and enhance cytotoxicity. Here, we demonstrate the efficacy of an Akt inhibitor, MK-2206, in increasing the cytotoxic effect of either paclitaxel (Taxol) or cisplatin against the ovarian cancer cell lines SKOV3 (with constitutively active Akt) and ES2 (with inactive Akt). Sequential treatment of Taxol or cisplatin, followed by MK-2206, induced a synergistic inhibition of cell proliferation and effectively promoted cell death, either by inhibiting the phosphorylation of Akt and its downstream effectors 4E-BP1 and p70S6K in SKOV3 cells or by restoring p53 levels, which were downregulated after Taxol or cisplatin treatment, in ES2 cells. Combination treatment also downregulated the pro-survival protein Bcl-2 in both SKOV3 and ES2 cells, which may have contributed to cell death. In addition, we discovered that Taxol/MK-2206 or cisplatin/MK-2206 combination treatment resulted in significant enhancement of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by MK-2206, in both SKOV3 and ES2 cells; however, MK-2206-induced growth inhibition was reversed by a ROS scavenger only in ES2 cells. MK-2206 also suppressed DNA repair, particularly in SKOV3 cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the Akt inhibitor MK-2206 enhances the efficacy of cytotoxic agents in both Akt-active and Akt-inactive ovarian cancer cells but through different mechanisms.

  15. An integrative genomic and proteomic analysis of PIK3CA, PTEN and AKT mutations in breast cancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stemke-Hale, Katherine; Gonzalez-Angulo, Ana Maria; Lluch, Ana; Neve, Richard M.; Kuo, Wen-Lin; Davies, Michael; Carey, Mark; Hu, Zhi; Guan, Yinghui; Sahin, Aysegul; Symmans, W. Fraser; Pusztai, Lajos; Nolden, Laura K.; Horlings, Hugo; Berns, Katrien; Hung, Mien-Chie; van de Vijver, Marc J.; Valero, Vicente; Gray, Joe W.; Bernards, Rene; Mills, Gordon B.; Hennessy, Bryan T.

    2008-05-06

    Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway aberrations are common in cancer. By applying mass spectroscopy-based sequencing and reverse phase protein arrays to 547 human breast cancers and 41 cell lines, we determined the subtype specificity and signaling effects of PIK3CA, AKT and PTEN mutations, and the effects of PIK3CA mutations on responsiveness to PI3K inhibition in-vitro and on outcome after adjuvant tamoxifen. PIK3CA mutations were more common in hormone receptor positive (33.8%) and HER2-positive (24.6%) than in basal-like tumors (8.3%). AKT1 (1.4%) and PTEN (2.3%) mutations were restricted to hormone receptor-positive cancers with PTEN protein levels also being significantly lower in hormone receptor-positive cancers. Unlike AKT1 mutations, PIK3CA (39%) and PTEN (20%) mutations were more common in cell lines than tumors, suggesting a selection for these but not AKT1 mutations during adaptation to culture. PIK3CA mutations did not have a significant impact on outcome in 166 hormone receptor-positive breast cancer patients after adjuvant tamoxifen. PIK3CA mutations, in comparison with PTEN loss and AKT1 mutations, were associated with significantly less and indeed inconsistent activation of AKT and of downstream PI3K/AKT signaling in tumors and cell lines, and PTEN loss and PIK3CA mutation were frequently concordant, suggesting different contributions to pathophysiology. PTEN loss but not PIK3CA mutations rendered cells sensitive to growth inhibition by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002. Thus, PI3K pathway aberrations likely play a distinct role in the pathogenesis of different breast cancer subtypes. The specific aberration may have implications for the selection of PI3K-targeted therapies in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

  16. AKT1 Activation is Obligatory for Spontaneous BCC Tumor Growth in a Murine Model that Mimics Some Features of Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Arianna L; Back, Jung Ho; Zhu, Yucui; Tang, Xiuwei; Yardley, Nathan P; Kim, Katherine J; Athar, Mohammad; Bickers, David R

    2016-10-01

    Patients with basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS), also known as Gorlin syndrome, develop numerous basal cell carcinomas (BCC) due to germline mutations in the tumor suppressor PTCH1 and aberrant activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. Therapies targeted at components of the Hh pathway, including the smoothened (SMO) inhibitor vismodegib, can ablate these tumors clinically, but tumors recur upon drug discontinuation. Using SKH1-Ptch1(+/-) as a model that closely mimics the spontaneous and accelerated growth pattern of BCCs in patients with BCNS, we show that AKT1, a serine/threonine protein kinase, is intrinsically activated in keratinocytes derived from the skin of newborn Ptch1(+/-) mice in the absence of carcinogenic stimuli. Introducing Akt1 haplodeficiency in Ptch1(+/-) mice (Akt1(+/-) Ptch1(+/-)) significantly abrogated BCC growth. Similarly, pharmacological inhibition of AKT with perifosine, an alkyl phospholipid AKT inhibitor, diminished the growth of spontaneous and UV-induced BCCs. Our data demonstrate an obligatory role for AKT1 in BCC growth, and targeting AKT may help reduce BCC tumor burden in BCNS patients. Cancer Prev Res; 9(10); 794-802. ©2016 AACR.

  17. Hybrid cells derived from breast epithelial cell/breast cancer cell fusion events show a differential RAF-AKT crosstalk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özel Cem

    2012-04-01

    differential active RAF-AKT crosstalk. Because PI3K/AKT signalling has been chosen as a target for anti-cancer therapies our data might point to a possible severe side effect of AKT targeted cancer therapies. Inhibition of PI3K/AKT signalling in RAF-AKT crosstalk positive cancer (hybrid cells could result in a progression of these cells. Thus, not only the receptor (activation status, but also the activation of signal transduction molecules should be analysed thoroughly prior to therapy.

  18. Trypanosoma cruzi trans-sialidase in complex with a neutralizing antibody: structure/function studies towards the rational design of inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Buschiazzo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Trans-sialidase (TS, a virulence factor from Trypanosoma cruzi, is an enzyme playing key roles in the biology of this protozoan parasite. Absent from the mammalian host, it constitutes a potential target for the development of novel chemotherapeutic drugs, an urgent need to combat Chagas' disease. TS is involved in host cell invasion and parasite survival in the bloodstream. However, TS is also actively shed by the parasite to the bloodstream, inducing systemic effects readily detected during the acute phase of the disease, in particular, hematological alterations and triggering of immune cells apoptosis, until specific neutralizing antibodies are elicited. These antibodies constitute the only known submicromolar inhibitor of TS's catalytic activity. We now report the identification and detailed characterization of a neutralizing mouse monoclonal antibody (mAb 13G9, recognizing T. cruzi TS with high specificity and subnanomolar affinity. This mAb displays undetectable association with the T. cruzi superfamily of TS-like proteins or yet with the TS-related enzymes from Trypanosoma brucei or Trypanosoma rangeli. In immunofluorescence assays, mAb 13G9 labeled 100% of the parasites from the infective trypomastigote stage. This mAb also reduces parasite invasion of cultured cells and strongly inhibits parasite surface sialylation. The crystal structure of the mAb 13G9 antigen-binding fragment in complex with the globular region of T. cruzi TS was determined, revealing detailed molecular insights of the inhibition mechanism. Not occluding the enzyme's catalytic site, the antibody performs a subtle action by inhibiting the movement of an assisting tyrosine (Y₁₁₉, whose mobility is known to play a key role in the trans-glycosidase mechanism. As an example of enzymatic inhibition involving non-catalytic residues that occupy sites distal from the substrate-binding pocket, this first near atomic characterization of a high affinity inhibitory molecule

  19. Evaluation of cancer stem cell markers CD133, CD44, CD24: association with AKT isoforms and radiation resistance in colon cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Häggblad Sahlberg

    Full Text Available The cell surface proteins CD133, CD24 and CD44 are putative markers for cancer stem cell populations in colon cancer, associated with aggressive cancer types and poor prognosis. It is important to understand how these markers may predict treatment outcomes, determined by factors such as radioresistance. The scope of this study was to assess the connection between EGFR, CD133, CD24, and CD44 (including isoforms expression levels and radiation sensitivity, and furthermore analyze the influence of AKT isoforms on the expression patterns of these markers, to better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms in the cell. Three colon cancer cell-lines were used, HT-29, DLD-1, and HCT116, together with DLD-1 isogenic AKT knock-out cell-lines. All three cell-lines (HT-29, HCT116 and DLD-1 expressed varying amounts of CD133, CD24 and CD44 and the top ten percent of CD133 and CD44 expressing cells (CD133high/CD44high were more resistant to gamma radiation than the ten percent with lowest expression (CD133low/CD44low. The AKT expression was lower in the fraction of cells with low CD133/CD44. Depletion of AKT1 or AKT2 using knock out cells showed for the first time that CD133 expression was associated with AKT1 but not AKT2, whereas the CD44 expression was influenced by the presence of either AKT1 or AKT2. There were several genes in the cell adhesion pathway which had significantly higher expression in the AKT2 KO cell-line compared to the AKT1 KO cell-line; however important genes in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition pathway (CDH1, VIM, TWIST1, SNAI1, SNAI2, ZEB1, ZEB2, FN1, FOXC2 and CDH2 did not differ. Our results demonstrate that CD133high/CD44high expressing colon cancer cells are associated with AKT and increased radiation resistance, and that different AKT isoforms have varying effects on the expression of cancer stem cell markers, which is an important consideration when targeting AKT in a clinical setting.

  20. Regulation of AKT phosphorylation at Ser473 and Thr308 by endoplasmic reticulum stress modulates substrate specificity in a severity dependent manner.

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    Hong Wa Yung

    Full Text Available Endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress is a common factor in the pathophysiology of diverse human diseases that are characterised by contrasting cellular behaviours, from proliferation in cancer to apoptosis in neurodegenerative disorders. Coincidently, dysregulation of AKT/PKB activity, which is the central regulator of cell growth, proliferation and survival, is often associated with the same diseases. Here, we demonstrate that ER stress modulates AKT substrate specificity in a severity-dependent manner, as shown by phospho-specific antibodies against known AKT targets. ER stress also reduces both total and phosphorylated AKT in a severity-dependent manner, without affecting activity of the upstream kinase PDK1. Normalisation to total AKT revealed that under ER stress phosphorylation of Thr308 is suppressed while that of Ser473 is increased. ER stress induces GRP78, and siRNA-mediated knock-down of GRP78 enhances phosphorylation at Ser473 by 3.6 fold, but not at Thr308. Substrate specificity is again altered. An in-situ proximity ligation assay revealed a physical interaction between GRP78 and AKT at the plasma membrane of cells following induction of ER stress. Staining was weak in cells with normal nuclear morphology but stronger in those displaying rounded, condensed nuclei. Co-immunoprecipitation of GRP78 and P-AKT(Ser473 confirmed the immuno-complex consists of non-phosphorylated AKT (Ser473 and Thr308. The interaction is likely specific as AKT did not bind to all molecular chaperones, and GRP78 did not bind to p70 S6 kinase. These findings provide one mechanistic explanation for how ER stress contributes to human pathologies demonstrating contrasting cell fates via modulation of AKT signalling.

  1. Expression, purification, and biochemical characterization of recombinant DNA polymerase beta of the Trypanosoma cruzi TcI lineage: requirement of additional factors and detection of phosphorylation of the native form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Edio; Rojas, Diego A; Moreira-Ramos, Sandra; Urbina, Fabiola; Miralles, Vicente J; Solari, Aldo; Venegas, Juan

    2015-04-01

    Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is a major parasitic disease that affects millions of people in America. However, despite the high impact of this disease on human health, no effective and safe treatment has been found that eliminates the infecting parasite from human patients. Among the possible chemotherapeutic targets that could be considered for study in T. cruzi are the DNA polymerases, in particular DNA polymerase beta (polß), which previous studies have shown to be involved in kinetoplast DNA replication and repair. In this paper, we describe the expression, purification, and biochemical characterization of the Miranda clone polß, corresponding to lineage T. cruzi I (TcI). The recombinant enzyme purified to homogeneity displayed specific activity in the range described for a highly purified mammalian polß. However, the trypanosome enzyme exhibited important differences in biochemical properties compared to the mammalian enzymes, specifically an almost absolute dependency on KCl, high sensitivity to N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), and low sensitivity to ddTTP. Immuno-affinity purification of T. cruzi polymerase beta (Tcpolß) from epimastigote extracts showed that the native enzyme was phosphorylated. In addition, it was demonstrated that Tcpolß interacts with some proteins in a group of about 15 proteins which are required to repair 1-6 bases of gaps of a double strand damaged DNA. It is possible that these proteins form part of a DNA repair complex, analogous to that described in mammals and some trypanosomatids.

  2. The diversity and expansion of the trans-sialidase gene family is a common feature in Trypanosoma cruzi clade members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiurillo, Miguel Angel; Cortez, Danielle R; Lima, Fábio M; Cortez, Caroline; Ramírez, José Luis; Martins, Andre G; Serrano, Myrna G; Teixeira, Marta M G; da Silveira, José Franco

    2016-01-01

    Trans-sialidase (TS) is a polymorphic protein superfamily described in members of the protozoan genus Trypanosoma. Of the eight TS groups recently described, TS group I proteins (some of which have catalytic activity) are present in the distantly related Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi phylogenetic clades, whereas other TS groups have only been described in some species belonging to the T. cruzi clade. In the present study we analyzed the repertoire, distribution and phylogenetic relationships of TS genes among species of the T. cruzi clade based on sequence similarity, multiple sequence alignment and tree-reconstruction approaches using TS sequences obtained with the aid of PCR-based strategies or retrieved from genome databases. We included the following representative isolates of the T. cruzi clade from South America: T. cruzi, T. cruzi Tcbat, Trypanosoma cruzi marinkellei, Trypanosoma dionisii, Trypanosoma rangeli and Trypanosoma conorhini. The cloned sequences encoded conserved TS protein motifs Asp-box and VTVxNVxLYNR but lacked the FRIP motif (conserved in TS group I). The T. conorhini sequences were the most divergent. The hybridization patterns of TS probes with chromosomal bands confirmed the abundance of these sequences in species in the T. cruzi clade. Divergence and relationship analysis placed most of the TS sequences in the groups defined in T. cruzi. Further examination of members of TS group II, which includes T. cruzi surface glycoproteins implicated in host cell attachment and invasion, showed that sequences of T. cruzi Tcbat grouped with those of T. cruzi genotype TcI. Our analysis indicates that different members of the T. cruzi clade, with different vertebrate hosts, vectors and pathogenicity, share the extensive expansion and sequence diversification of the TS gene family. Altogether, our results are congruent with the evolutionary history of the T. cruzi clade and represent a contribution to the understanding of the molecular

  3. A class of sulfonamides with strong inhibitory action against the α-carbonic anhydrase from Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güzel-Akdemir, Özlen; Akdemir, Atilla; Pan, Peiwen; Vermelho, Alane B; Parkkila, Seppo; Scozzafava, Andrea; Capasso, Clemente; Supuran, Claudiu T

    2013-07-25

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, encodes for an α-carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) possessing high catalytic activity (TcCA) which was recently characterized (Pan et al. J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56, 1761-1771). A new class of sulfonamides possessing low nanomolar/subnanomolar TcCA inhibitory activity is described here. Aromatic/heterocyclic sulfonamides incorporating halogeno/methoxyphenacetamido tails inhibited TcCA with KIs in the range of 0.5-12.5 nM, being less effective against the human off-target isoforms hCA I and II. A homology model of TcCA helped us to rationalize the excellent inhibition profile of these compounds against the protozoan enzyme, a putative new antitrypanosoma drug target. These compounds were ineffective antitrypanosomal agents in vivo due to penetrability problems of these highly polar molecules that possess sulfonamide moieties.

  4. Structure-activity relationships for a class of selective inhibitors of the major cysteine protease from Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guido, Rafael V C; Trossini, Gustavo H G; Castilho, Marcelo S; Oliva, Glaucius; Ferreira, Elizabeth I; Andricopulo, Adriano D

    2008-12-01

    Chagas' disease is a parasitic infection widely distributed throughout Latin America, with devastating consequences in terms of human morbidity and mortality. Cruzain, the major cysteine protease from Trypanosoma cruzi, is an attractive target for antitrypanosomal chemotherapy. In the present work, classical two-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationships (2D QSAR) and hologram QSAR (HQSAR) studies were performed on a training set of 45 thiosemicarbazone and semicarbazone derivatives as inhibitors of T. cruzi cruzain. Significant statistical models (HQSAR, q(2) = 0.75 and r(2) = 0.96; classical QSAR, q(2) = 0.72 and r(2) = 0.83) were obtained, indicating their consistency for untested compounds. The models were then used to evaluate an external test set containing 10 compounds which were not included in the training set, and the predicted values were in good agreement with the experimental results (HQSAR, r(2)(pred) = 0.95; classical QSAR, r(2)(pred) = 0.91), indicating the existence of complementary between the two ligand-based drug design techniques.

  5. Morpho-Structural Effects Caused by 660 nm Laser Diode in Epimastigotes Forms of Trypanosoma cruzi: In Vitro Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Artur F. S.; Soares, Luiz G. P.; Aciole, Jouber M. S.; Aciole, Gilberth T. S.; Pitta, Ivan R.; Galdino, Suely L.; Pinheiro, Antonio L. B.

    2011-08-01

    Parasitic diseases represent a major public health problems in Latin America, in particular, Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, infects more than 18 million people in all countries of Latin America. Visible light induces a photochemical reaction, that induces the activation of enzymes used mainly in the respiratory chain, and that light has the primary targets lysosomes and mitochondria of cells, increasing, the mitochondrial ATP production. The purpose of this study was to assess the morpho-structural generated in the epimastigote form of Trypanosoma cruzi, after irradiation with a semiconductor laser InGaAlP, at a wavelength (λ) equal to 660 nm±10 nm, 40 mW optical Power, emitting red light in the visible spectrum, with a dose of 6 J/cm2 in continuous mode. Then the parasites that have undergone irradiation were analyzed by optical microscopy and compared to untreated. It found the increase in size of the kinetoplast (structure with high concentration of extracellular DNA-kDNA, whose main function is to encode the respiratory chain enzymes such as ATPase and citocromoxidase), the cell nucleus and the cell volume of the parasite, leaving the more rounded.

  6. Induction of Apoptosis by Luteolin Involving Akt Inactivation in Human 786-O Renal Cell Carcinoma Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yen-Chuan Ou

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a growing interest in the health-promoting effects of natural substances obtained from plants. Although luteolin has been identified as a potential therapeutic and preventive agent for cancer because of its potent cancer cell-killing activity, the molecular mechanisms have not been well elucidated. This study provides evidence of an alternative target for luteolin and sheds light on the mechanism of its physiological benefits. Treatment of 786-O renal cell carcinoma (RCC cells (as well as A498 and ACHN with luteolin caused cell apoptosis and death. This cytotoxicity was caused by the downregulation of Akt and resultant upregulation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1 (Ask1, p38, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK activities, probably via protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A activation. In addition to being a concurrent substrate of caspases and event of cell death, heat shock protein-90 (HSP90 cleavage might also play a role in driving further cellular alterations and cell death, at least in part, involving an Akt-related mechanism. Due to the high expression of HSP90 and Akt-related molecules in RCC and other cancer cells, our findings suggest that PP2A activation might work in concert with HSP90 cleavage to inactivate Akt and lead to a vicious caspase-dependent apoptotic cycle in luteolin-treated 786-O cells.

  7. Omentin-1 Stimulates Human Osteoblast Proliferation through PI3K/Akt Signal Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan-Shan Wu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been presumed that adipokines deriving from adipose tissue may play important roles in bone metabolism. Omentin-1, a novel adipokine, which is selectively expressed in visceral adipose tissue, has been reported to stimulate proliferation and inhibit differentiation of mouse osteoblast. However, little information refers to the effect of omentin-1 on human osteoblast (hOB proliferation. The current study examined the potential effects of omentin-1 on proliferation in hOB and the signal pathway involved. Omentin-1 promoted hOB proliferation in a dose-dependent manner as determined by [3H]thymidine incorporation. Western blot analysis revealed that omentin-1 induced activation of Akt (phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase downstream effector and such effect was impeded by transfection of hOB with Akt-siRNA. Furthermore, LY294002 (a selective PI3K inhibitor and HIMO (a selective Akt inhibitor abolished the omentin-1-induced hOB proliferation. These findings indicate that omentin-1 induces hOB proliferation via the