WorldWideScience

Sample records for cruzi targets akt

  1. Targeted screening strategies to detect Trypanosoma cruzi infection in children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Z Levy

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Millions of people are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease in Latin America. Anti-trypanosomal drug therapy can cure infected individuals, but treatment efficacy is highest early in infection. Vector control campaigns disrupt transmission of T. cruzi, but without timely diagnosis, children infected prior to vector control often miss the window of opportunity for effective chemotherapy.We performed a serological survey in children 2-18 years old living in a peri-urban community of Arequipa, Peru, and linked the results to entomologic, spatial and census data gathered during a vector control campaign. 23 of 433 (5.3% [95% CI 3.4-7.9] children were confirmed seropositive for T. cruzi infection by two methods. Spatial analysis revealed that households with infected children were very tightly clustered within looser clusters of households with parasite-infected vectors. Bayesian hierarchical mixed models, which controlled for clustering of infection, showed that a child's risk of being seropositive increased by 20% per year of age and 4% per vector captured within the child's house. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC plots of best-fit models suggest that more than 83% of infected children could be identified while testing only 22% of eligible children.We found evidence of spatially-focal vector-borne T. cruzi transmission in peri-urban Arequipa. Ongoing vector control campaigns, in addition to preventing further parasite transmission, facilitate the collection of data essential to identifying children at high risk of T. cruzi infection. Targeted screening strategies could make integration of diagnosis and treatment of children into Chagas disease control programs feasible in lower-resource settings.

  2. Diverse inhibitor chemotypes targeting Trypanosoma cruzi CYP51.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shamila S Gunatilleke

    Full Text Available 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.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.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 CYP51 by sequence or structure. Lead compounds developed by pharmaceutical

  3. Identification of a RAC/AKT-like gene in Leishmania parasites as a putative therapeutic target in leishmaniasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela-M, Rubén E; Ochoa, Rodrigo; Muskus, Carlos E; Muro, Antonio; Mollinedo, Faustino

    2017-10-10

    Leishmaniasis is one of the world's most neglected diseases caused by at least 20 different species of the protozoan parasite Leishmania. Although new drugs have become recently available, current therapy for leishmaniasis is still unsatisfactory. A subgroup of serine/threonine protein kinases named as related to A and C protein kinases (RAC), or protein kinase B (PKB)/AKT, has been identified in several organisms including Trypanosoma cruzi parasites. PKB/AKT plays a critical role in mammalian cell signaling promoting cell survival and is a major drug target in cancer therapy. However, the role of protozoan parasitic PKB/AKT remains to be elucidated. We have found that anti-human AKT antibodies recognized a protein of about 57 kDa in Leishmania spp. parasites. Anti-human phospho-AKT(Thr308) antibodies identified a protein in extracts from Leishmania spp. that was upregulated following parasite exposure to stressful conditions, such as nutrient deprivation or heat shock. Incubation of AKT inhibitor X with Leishmania spp. promastigotes under stressful conditions or with Leishmania-infected macrophages led to parasite cell death. We have identified and cloned a novel gene from Leishmania donovani named Ld-RAC/AKT-like gene, encoding a 510-amino acid protein of approximately 57.6 kDa that shows a 26.5% identity with mammalian AKT1. Ld-RAC/AKT-like protein contains major mammalian PKB/AKT hallmarks, including the typical pleckstrin, protein kinase and AGC kinase domains. Unlike mammalian AKT that contains key phosphorylation sites at Thr308 and Ser473 in the activation loop and hydrophobic motif, respectively, Ld-RAC/AKT-like protein has a Thr residue in both motifs. By domain sequence comparison, we classified AKT proteins from different origins in four major subcategories that included different parasites. Our data suggest that Ld-RAC/AKT-like protein represents a Leishmania orthologue of mammalian AKT involved in parasite stress response and survival, and

  4. Inositol metabolism in Trypanosoma cruzi: potential target for chemotherapy against Chagas' disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MECIA M. OLIVEIRA

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available Chagas' disease is a debilitating and often fatal disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The great majority of surface molecules in trypanosomes are either inositol-containing phospholipids or glycoproteins that are anchored into the plasma membrane by glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchors. The polyalcohol myo-inositol is the precursor for the biosynthesis of these molecules. In this brief review, recent findings on some aspects of the molecular and cellular fate of inositol in T. cruzi life cycle are discussed and identified some points that could be targets for the development of parasite-specific therapeutic agents.

  5. AKT is a therapeutic target in myeloproliferative neoplasms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, I; Huang, Z; Wen, Q; Stankiewicz, M J; Gilles, L; Goldenson, B; Schultz, R; Diebold, L; Gurbuxani, S; Finke, C M; Lasho, T L; Koppikar, P; Pardanani, A; Stein, B; Altman, J K; Levine, R L; Tefferi, A; Crispino, J D

    2013-09-01

    The majority of patients with BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) harbor mutations in JAK2 or MPL, which lead to constitutive activation of the JAK/STAT, PI3K and ERK signaling pathways. JAK inhibitors by themselves are inadequate in producing selective clonal suppression in MPN and are associated with hematopoietic toxicities. MK-2206 is a potent allosteric AKT inhibitor that was well tolerated, including no evidence of myelosuppression, in a phase I study of solid tumors. Herein, we show that inhibition of PI3K/AKT signaling by MK-2206 affected the growth of both JAK2V617F- or MPLW515L-expressing cells via reduced phosphorylation of AKT and inhibition of its downstream signaling molecules. Moreover, we demonstrate that MK-2206 synergizes with ruxolitinib in suppressing the growth of JAK2V617F-mutant SET2 cells. Importantly, MK-2206 suppressed colony formation from hematopoietic progenitor cells in patients with primary myelofibrosis and alleviated hepatosplenomegaly and reduced megakaryocyte burden in the bone marrows, livers and spleens of mice with MPLW515L-induced MPN. Together, these findings establish AKT as a rational therapeutic target in the MPNs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. The adipocyte as an important target cell for Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combs, Terry P; Nagajyothi; Mukherjee, Shankar; de Almeida, Cecilia J G; Jelicks, Linda A; Schubert, William; Lin, Ying; Jayabalan, David S; Zhao, Dazhi; Braunstein, Vicki L; Landskroner-Eiger, Shira; Cordero, Aisha; Factor, Stephen M; Weiss, Louis M; Lisanti, Michael P; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Scherer, Philipp E

    2005-06-24

    Adipose tissue plays an active role in normal metabolic homeostasis as well as in the development of human disease. Beyond its obvious role as a depot for triglycerides, adipose tissue controls energy expenditure through secretion of several factors. Little attention has been given to the role of adipocytes in the pathogenesis of Chagas disease and the associated metabolic alterations. Our previous studies have indicated that hyperglycemia significantly increases parasitemia and mortality in mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. We determined the consequences of adipocyte infection in vitro and in vivo. Cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes can be infected with high efficiency. Electron micrographs of infected cells revealed a large number of intracellular parasites that cluster around lipid droplets. Furthermore, infected adipocytes exhibited changes in expression levels of a number of different adipocyte-specific or adipocyte-enriched proteins. The adipocyte is therefore an important target cell during acute Chagas disease. Infection of adipocytes by T. cruzi profoundly influences the pattern of adipokines. During chronic infection, adipocytes may represent an important long-term reservoir for parasites from which relapse of infection can occur. We have demonstrated that acute infection has a unique metabolic profile with a high degree of local inflammation in adipose tissue, hypoadiponectinemia, hypoglycemia, and hypoinsulinemia but with relatively normal glucose disposal during an oral glucose tolerance test.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 that high levels of p-AKT...

  9. MicroRNA-99 family targets AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in dermal wound healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Yi; Tymen, Stéphanie D; Chen, Dan; Fang, Zong Juan; Zhao, Yan; Dragas, Dragan; Dai, Yang; Marucha, Phillip T; Zhou, Xiaofeng

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that microRNAs play important roles in dermal wound healing and microRNA deregulation has been linked with impaired wound repair. Here, using a mouse experimental wound healing model, we identified a panel of 63 differentially expressed microRNAs during dermal wound healing, including members of miR-99 family (miR-99a, miR-99b, miR-100). We further demonstrated that miR-99 family members regulate cell proliferation, cell migration, and AKT/mTOR signaling. Combined experimental and bioinformatics analyses revealed that miR-99 family members regulate AKT/mTOR signaling by targeting multiple genes, including known target genes (e.g., IGF1R, mTOR) and a new target (AKT1). The effects of miR-99 family members on the expression of IGF1R, mTOR and AKT1 were validated at both the mRNA and protein levels. Two adjacent miR-99 family targeting sites were identified in the 3'-UTR of the AKT1 mRNA. The direct interaction of miR-100 with these targeting sites was confirmed using luciferase reporter assays. The microRNA-100-directed recruitment of AKT1 mRNA to the RNAi-induced silencing complex (RISC) was confirmed by a ribonucleoprotein-IP assay. In summary, we identified a panel of differentially expressed microRNAs which may play important roles in wound healing. We provide evidence that miR-99 family members contribute to wound healing by regulating the AKT/mTOR signaling.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Lin; Zhang, Yanan; Gao, Meng; Wang, Guangping; Fu, Yunfeng

    2016-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Fascaplysin Sensitizes Anti-Cancer Effects of Drugs Targeting AKT and AMPK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taek-In Oh

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Fascaplysin, a natural product isolated from marine sponges, is a potential candidate for the development of anti-cancer drugs. However, the mechanism underlying its therapeutic effect of strengthening anti-cancer efficacy of other drugs is poorly understood. Here, we found that fascaplysin increases phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB, also known as AKT, and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK, which are considered therapeutic targets for cancer treatment due to their anti-apoptotic or pro-survival functions in cancer. A cell viability assay revealed that pharmacological suppression of AKT using LY294002 enhanced the anti-cancer effect of fascaplysin in various cancer cells. Similarly, fascaplysin was observed to have improved anti-cancer effects in combination with compound C, a selective AMPK inhibitor. Another challenge showed that fascaplysin increased the efficacy of methotrexate (MTX-mediated cancer therapy by suppressing genes related to folate and purine metabolism. Overall, these results suggest that fascaplysin may be useful for improving the anti-cancer efficacy of targeted anti-cancer drugs, such as inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase AKT signaling, and chemotherapeutic agents, such as MTX.

  13. Irradiation promotes Akt-targeting therapeutic gene delivery to the tumor vasculature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sonveaux, Pierre; Frerart, Francoise; Bouzin, Caroline; Brouet, Agnes; Wever, Julie de; Jordan, Benedicte F.; Gallez, Bernard; Feron, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether radiation-induced increases in nitric oxide (NO) production can influence tumor blood flow and improve delivery of Akt-targeting therapeutic DNA lipocomplexes to the tumor. Methods and Materials: The contribution of NO to the endothelial response to radiation was identified using NO synthase (NOS) inhibitors and endothelial NOS (eNOS)-deficient mice. Reporter-encoding plasmids complexed with cationic lipids were used to document the tumor vascular specificity and the efficacy of in vivo lipofection after irradiation. A dominant-negative Akt gene construct was used to evaluate the facilitating effects of radiotherapy on the therapeutic transgene delivery. Results: The abundance of eNOS protein was increased in both irradiated tumor microvessels and endothelial cells, leading to a stimulation of NO release and an associated increase in tumor blood flow. Transgene expression was subsequently improved in the irradiated vs. nonirradiated tumor vasculature. This effect was not apparent in eNOS-deficient mice and could not be reproduced in irradiated cultured endothelial cells. Finally, we combined low-dose radiotherapy with a dominant-negative Akt gene construct and documented synergistic antitumor effects. Conclusions: This study offers a new rationale to combine radiotherapy with gene therapy, by directly exploiting the stimulatory effects of radiation on NO production by tumor endothelial cells. The preferential expression of the transgene in the tumor microvasculature underscores the potential of such an adjuvant strategy to limit the angiogenic response of irradiated tumors

  14. Structural modelling and comparative analysis of homologous, analogous and specific proteins from Trypanosoma cruzi versus Homo sapiens: putative drug targets for chagas' disease treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capriles, Priscila V S Z; Guimarães, Ana C R; Otto, Thomas D; Miranda, Antonio B; Dardenne, Laurent E; Degrave, Wim M

    2010-10-29

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagas' disease, an endemic infection that causes thousands of deaths every year in Latin America. Therapeutic options remain inefficient, demanding the search for new drugs and/or new molecular targets. Such efforts can focus on proteins that are specific to the parasite, but analogous enzymes and enzymes with a three-dimensional (3D) structure sufficiently different from the corresponding host proteins may represent equally interesting targets. In order to find these targets we used the workflows MHOLline and AnEnΠ obtaining 3D models from homologous, analogous and specific proteins of Trypanosoma cruzi versus Homo sapiens. We applied genome wide comparative modelling techniques to obtain 3D models for 3,286 predicted proteins of T. cruzi. In combination with comparative genome analysis to Homo sapiens, we were able to identify a subset of 397 enzyme sequences, of which 356 are homologous, 3 analogous and 38 specific to the parasite. In this work, we present a set of 397 enzyme models of T. cruzi that can constitute potential structure-based drug targets to be investigated for the development of new strategies to fight Chagas' disease. The strategies presented here support the concept of structural analysis in conjunction with protein functional analysis as an interesting computational methodology to detect potential targets for structure-based rational drug design. For example, 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase (EC 1.3.1.34) and triacylglycerol lipase (EC 3.1.1.3), classified as analogous proteins in relation to H. sapiens enzymes, were identified as new potential molecular targets.

  15. 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.

  16. Enhancing mTOR-targeted cancer therapy by preventing mTOR/raptor inhibition-initiated, mTOR/rictor-independent Akt activation

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Xuerong; Yue, Ping; Kim, Young Ae; Fu, Haian; Khuri, Fadlo R.; Sun, Shi-Yong

    2008-01-01

    It has been shown that mTOR inhibitors activate Akt while inhibiting mTOR signaling. However, the underlying mechanisms and the impact of the Akt activation on mTOR-targeted cancer therapy are unclear. The present work focused on addressing the role of mTOR/rictor in mTOR inhibitor-induced Akt activation and the impact of sustained Akt activation on mTOR-targeted cancer therapy. Thus, we have demonstrated that mTOR inhibitors increase Akt phosphorylation through a mechanism independent of mTO...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. In silico molecular docking studies of new potential 4-phthalazinyl-hydrazones on selected Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania enzyme targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Angel H; López, Simón E

    2017-09-01

    Recently, a series of 4-phthalazinyl-hydrazones under its E-configuration have exhibited excellent in vitro antichagasic and antileishmanial profiles. Preliminary assays on both parasites suggested that the most active derivatives act through oxidative and nitrosative stress mechanisms; however, their exact mode of actions as anti-trypanosomal and anti-leishmanial agents have not been completely elucidated. This motivated to perform a molecular docking study on essential trypanosomatid enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), trypanothione reductase (TryR), cysteine-protease (CP) and pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1). In addition, to understand the experimental results of nitric oxide production obtained for infected macrophages with Leishmania parasite, a molecular docking was evaluated on nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme of Rattus norvegicus. Both diastereomers (E and Z) of the 4-phthalazinyl-hydrazones were docked on the mentioned targets. In general, molecular docking on T. cruzi enzymes revealed that the E-diastereomers exhibited lower binding energies than Z-diastereomers on the Fe-SOD and CP enzymes, while Z-diastereomers showed lower docking energies than E-isomers on TryR enzyme. For the Leishmania docking studies, the Z-isomers exhibited the best binding affinities on the PTR1 and iNOS enzymes, while the TryR enzyme showed a minor dependence with the stereoselectivity of the tested phthalazines. However, either the structural information of the ligand-enzyme complexes or the experimental data suggest that the significant antitrypanosomatid activity of the most active derivatives is not associated to the inhibition of the SOD, CP and PTR1 enzymes, while the TryR inhibition and nitric oxide generation in host cells emerge as interesting antitrypanosomatid therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The role of natural selection in shaping genetic variation in a promising Chagas disease drug target: Trypanosoma cruzi trans-sialidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Joseph P; Lima-Cordón, Raquel Asunción; Justi, Silvia A; Monroy, Maria Carlota; Viola, Toni; Stevens, Lori

    2018-04-21

    Rational drug design creates innovative therapeutics based on knowledge of the biological target to provide more effective and responsible therapeutics. Chagas disease, endemic throughout Latin America, is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan parasite. Current therapeutics are problematic with widespread calls for new approaches. Researchers are using rational drug design for Chagas disease and one target receiving considerable attention is the T. cruzi trans-sialidase protein (TcTS). In T. cruzi, trans-sialidase catalyzes the transfer of sialic acid from a mammalian host to coat the parasite surface membrane and avoid immuno-detection. However, the role of TcTS in pathology variance among and within genetic variants of the parasite is not well understood despite numerous studies. Previous studies reported the crystalline structure of TcTS and the TS protein structure in other trypanosomes where the enzyme is often inactive. However, no study has examined the role of natural selection in genetic variation in TcTS. To understand the role of natural selection in TcTS DNA sequence and protein variation, we examined a 471 bp portion of the TcTS gene from 48 T. cruzi samples isolated from insect vectors. Because there may be multiple parasite genotypes infecting one insect and there are multiple copies of TcTS per parasite genome, all 48 sequences had multiple polymorphic bases. To resolve these polymorphisms, we examined cloned sequences from two insect vectors. The data are analyzed to understand the role of natural selection in shaping genetic variation in TcTS and interpreted in light of the possible role of TcTS as a drug target. The analysis highlights negative or purifying selection on three amino acids previously shown to be important in TcTS transfer activity. One amino acid in particular, Tyr342, is a strong candidate for a drug target because it is under negative selection and amino acid substitutions inactivate TcTS transfer activity. Chagas disease

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. EMT blockage strategies: Targeting Akt dependent mechanisms for breast cancer metastatic behaviour modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafael, D; Doktorovová, S; Florindo, H F; Gener, P; Abasolo, I; Schwartz, S; Videira, M A

    2015-01-01

    Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is an event where epithelial cells acquire mesenchymal-like phenotype. EMT can occur as a physiological phenomenon during tissue development and wound healing, but most importantly, EMT can confer highly invasive properties to epithelial carcinoma cells. The impairment of E-cadherin expression, an essential cell-cell adhesion protein, together with an increase in the expression of mesenchymal markers, such as N-cadherin, vimentin, and fibronectin, characterize the EMT process and are usually correlated with tumor migration, and metastization. A wide range of micro-environmental and intracellular factors regulate tumor development and progression. The dynamic cross-talk between the adhesion-related proteins such as E-cadherin and the EMT-related transcription factors, with special focus on TWIST, will be discussed here, with the aim of finding a suitable biological pathway to be used as potential target for cancer therapy. Emerging concepts such as the role of the PI3K/AKT/TWIST pathway in the regulation of the E-cadherin expression will be highlighted, since it seems to be consistently involved in cells EMT. The well-known efficacy of the RNA interference as a tool to silence the expression of specific proteins has come into focus as a strategy to control different tumor sub-populations. Despite the oligonucleotides enormous sensitivity and low in vivo stability, new (nano)technological solutions are expected to enable RNAi clinical application in cancer therapy.

  4. Inhibiting cycloxygenase and ornithine decarboxylase by diclofenac and alpha-difluoromethylornithine blocks cutaneous SCCs by targeting Akt-ERK axis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arumugam, Aadithya; Weng, Zhiping; Talwelkar, Sarang S; Chaudhary, Sandeep C; Kopelovich, Levy; Elmets, Craig A; Afaq, Farrukh; Athar, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common type of skin cancer in Caucasian populations. Its increasing incidence has been a major public health concern. Elevated expressions of ODC and COX-2 are associated with both murine and human NMSCs. Inhibition of these molecular targets singly employing their respective small molecule inhibitors showed limited success. Here, we show that combined blockade of ODC and COX-2 using their potent inhibitors, DFMO and diclofenac respectively abrogates growth of A431 epidermal xenograft tumors in nu/nu mice by more than 90%. The tumor growth inhibition was associated with a diminution in the proliferation and enhancement in apoptosis. The proliferation markers such as PCNA and cyclin D1 were reduced. TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells and cleaved caspase-3 were increased in the residual tumors. These agents also manifested direct target-unrelated effects. Reduced expression of phosphorylated MAPKAP-2, ERK, and Akt (ser(473) & thr(308)) were noticed. The mechanism by which combined inhibition of ODC/COX attenuated tumor growth and invasion involved reduction in EMT. Akt activation by ODC+COX-2 over-expression was the key player in this regard as Akt inhibition manifested effects similar to those observed by the combined inhibition of ODC+COX-2 whereas forced over-expression of Akt resisted against DFMO+diclofenac treatment. These data suggest that ODC+COX-2 over-expression together leads to pathogenesis of aggressive and invasive cutaneous carcinomas by activating Akt signaling pathway, which through augmenting EMT contributes to tumor invasion.

  5. Inhibiting cycloxygenase and ornithine decarboxylase by diclofenac and alpha-difluoromethylornithine blocks cutaneous SCCs by targeting Akt-ERK axis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aadithya Arumugam

    Full Text Available Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC is the most common type of skin cancer in Caucasian populations. Its increasing incidence has been a major public health concern. Elevated expressions of ODC and COX-2 are associated with both murine and human NMSCs. Inhibition of these molecular targets singly employing their respective small molecule inhibitors showed limited success. Here, we show that combined blockade of ODC and COX-2 using their potent inhibitors, DFMO and diclofenac respectively abrogates growth of A431 epidermal xenograft tumors in nu/nu mice by more than 90%. The tumor growth inhibition was associated with a diminution in the proliferation and enhancement in apoptosis. The proliferation markers such as PCNA and cyclin D1 were reduced. TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells and cleaved caspase-3 were increased in the residual tumors. These agents also manifested direct target-unrelated effects. Reduced expression of phosphorylated MAPKAP-2, ERK, and Akt (ser(473 & thr(308 were noticed. The mechanism by which combined inhibition of ODC/COX attenuated tumor growth and invasion involved reduction in EMT. Akt activation by ODC+COX-2 over-expression was the key player in this regard as Akt inhibition manifested effects similar to those observed by the combined inhibition of ODC+COX-2 whereas forced over-expression of Akt resisted against DFMO+diclofenac treatment. These data suggest that ODC+COX-2 over-expression together leads to pathogenesis of aggressive and invasive cutaneous carcinomas by activating Akt signaling pathway, which through augmenting EMT contributes to tumor invasion.

  6. KNK437, abrogates hypoxia-induced radioresistance by dual targeting of the AKT and HIF-1α survival pathways

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oommen, Deepu; Prise, Kevin M.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► KNK437, a benzylidene lactam compound, is a novel radiosensitizer. ► KNK437 inhibits AKT signaling and abrogates the accumulation of HIF-1α under hypoxia. ► KNK437 abrogates hypoxia induced resistance to radiation. -- Abstract: KNK437 is a benzylidene lactam compound known to inhibit stress-induced synthesis of heat shock proteins (HSPs). HSPs promote radioresistance and play a major role in stabilizing hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). HIF-1α is widely responsible for tumor resistance to radiation under hypoxic conditions. We hypothesized that KNK437 sensitizes cancer cells to radiation and overrides hypoxia-induced radioresistance via destabilizing HIF-1α. Treatment of human cancer cells MDA-MB-231 and T98G with KNK437 sensitized them to ionizing radiation (IR). Surprisingly, IR did not induce HSPs in these cell lines. As hypothesized, KNK437 abrogated the accumulation of HIF-1α in hypoxic cells. However, there was no induction of HSPs under hypoxic conditions. Moreover, the proteosome inhibitor MG132 did not restore HIF-1α levels in KNK437-treated cells. This suggested that the absence of HIF-1α in hypoxic cells was not due to the enhanced protein degradation. HIF-1α is mainly regulated at the level of post-transcription and AKT is known to modulate the translation of HIF-1α mRNA. Interestingly, pre-treatment of cells with KNK437 inhibited AKT signaling. Furthermore, down regulation of AKT by siRNA abrogated HIF-1α levels under hypoxia. Interestingly, KNK437 reduced cell survival in hypoxic conditions and inhibited hypoxia-induced resistance to radiation. Taken together, these data suggest that KNK437 is an effective radiosensitizer that targets multiple pro-survival stress response pathways.

  7. JS-III-49, a hydroquinone derivative, exerts anti-inflammatory activity by targeting Akt and p38.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Young-Su; Kim, Mi-Yeon; Cho, Jae Youl

    2017-05-01

    Since previous studies have reported that hydroquinone (HQ) exerted immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory activity, various HQ derivatives have been synthesized and their biological activities investigated. In this study, we explored the anti-inflammatory activity of JS-III-49, a novel HQ derivative, in macrophage-mediated inflammatory responses. JS-III-49 suppressed the production of the inflammatory mediators nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E 2 (PGE 2 ) and down-regulated the mRNA expression of the inflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) as well as the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-1b without cytotoxicity in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. JS-III-49 inhibited nuclear translocation of the NF-kB transcription factors p65 and p50 by directly targeting Akt, an upstream kinase of the NF-kB pathway, in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. However, JS-III-49 did not directly inhibit the kinase activities of Src and Syk, which are upstream kinases of Akt, in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Moreover, JS-III-49 suppressed the nuclear translocation of c-Fos, one of the components of AP-1, by specifically targeting p38, an upstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in the AP-1 pathway in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. These results suggest that JS-III-49 plays an anti-inflammatory role in LPS-stimulated macrophages by targeting Akt and p38 in the NF-kB and AP-1 pathways, respectively.

  8. RBL2/p130 is a direct AKT target and is required to induce apoptosis upon AKT inhibition in lung cancer and mesothelioma cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pentimalli, Francesca; Forte, Iris M; Esposito, Luca; Indovina, Paola; Iannuzzi, Carmelina A; Alfano, Luigi; Costa, Caterina; Barone, Daniela; Rocco, Gaetano; Giordano, Antonio

    2018-04-02

    The retinoblastoma (RB) protein family includes RB1/p105, RBL1/p107, and RBL2/p130, which are key factors in cell-cycle regulation and stand at the crossroads of multiple pathways dictating cell fate decisions. The role of RB proteins in apoptosis is controversial because they can inhibit or promote apoptosis depending on the context, on the apoptotic stimuli and on their intrinsic status, impacting on the response to antitumoral treatments. Here we identified RBL2/p130 as a direct substrate of the AKT kinase, a key antiapoptotic factor hyperactive in multiple cancer types. We showed that RBL2/p130 and AKT1 physically interact and AKT phosphorylates RBL2/p130 Ser941, located in the pocket domain, but not when this residue is mutated into Ala. We found that pharmacological inhibition of AKT, through the highly selective AKT inhibitor VIII (AKTiVIII), impairs RBL2/p130 Ser941 phosphorylation and increases RBL2/p130 stability, mRNA expression and nuclear levels in both lung cancer and mesothelioma cell lines, mirroring the more extensively studied effects on the p27 cell-cycle inhibitor. Consistently, AKT inhibition reduced cell viability, induced cell accumulation in G0/G1, and triggered apoptosis, which proved to be largely dependent on RBL2/p130 itself, as shown upon RBL2/p130 silencing. AKT inhibition induced RBL2/p130-dependent apoptosis also in HEK-293 cells, in which re-expression of a short hairpin-resistant RBL2/p130 was able to rescue AKTiVIII-induced apoptosis upon RBL2/p130 silencing. Our data also showed that the combination of AKT and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) inhibitors, which converge on the re-activation of RBL2/p130 antitumoral potential, could be a promising anticancer strategy.

  9. Targeting PI3K-AKT-mTOR by LY3023414 inhibits human skin squamous cell carcinoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Ying; Ge, Minggai; Wang, Xuemin

    2017-08-19

    Abnormal activation of PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling is detected in human skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). LY3023414 is a novel, potent, and orally bio-available PI3K-AKT-mTOR inhibitor. Its activity against human skin SCC cells was tested. We demonstrated that LY3023414 was cytotoxic when added to established (A431 line) and primary (patient-derived) human skin SCC cells. LY3023414 induced G0/1-S arrest and inhibited proliferation of skin SCC cells. Moreover, LY3023414 induced activation of caspase-3/-9 and apoptosis in skin SCC cells. Intriguingly, LY3023414 was yet non-cytotoxic nor pro-apoptotic to normal human skin cells (melanocytes, keratinocytes and fibroblasts). At the molecular level, LY3023414 blocked PI3K-AKT-mTOR activation in skin SCC cells, as it dephosphorylated PI3K-AKT-mTOR substrates: P85, AKT and S6K1. In vivo studies showed that oral administration of LY3023414 at well-tolerated doses inhibited A431 xenograft tumor growth in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. AKT-mTOR activation in LY3023414-treated tumors was also largely inhibited. Together, these results suggest that targeting PI3K-AKT-mTOR by LY3023414 inhibits human skin SCC cell growth in vitro and in vivo, establishing the rationale for further clinical testing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Concurrent Targeting of KRAS and AKT by MiR-4689 Is a Novel Treatment Against Mutant KRAS Colorectal Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki Hiraki

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available KRAS mutations are a major cause of drug resistance to molecular-targeted therapies. Aberrant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR signaling may cause dysregulation of microRNA (miRNA and gene regulatory networks, which leads to cancer initiation and progression. To address the functional relevance of miRNAs in mutant KRAS cancers, we transfected exogenous KRASG12V into human embryonic kidney 293 and MRC5 cells with wild-type KRAS and BRAF genes, and we comprehensively profiled the dysregulated miRNAs. The result showed that mature miRNA oligonucleotide (miR-4689, one of the significantly down-regulated miRNAs in KRASG12V overexpressed cells, was found to exhibit a potent growth-inhibitory and proapoptotic effect both in vitro and in vivo. miR-4689 expression was significantly down-regulated in cancer tissues compared to normal mucosa, and it was particularly decreased in mutant KRAS CRC tissues. miR-4689 directly targets v-ki-ras2 kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1(AKT1, key components of two major branches in EGFR pathway, suggesting KRAS overdrives this signaling pathway through inhibition of miR-4689. Overall, this study provided additional evidence that mutant KRAS functions as a broad regulator of the EGFR signaling cascade by inhibiting miR-4689, which negatively regulates both RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K/AKT pathways. These activities indicated that miR-4689 may be a promising therapeutic agent in mutant KRAS CRC.

  11. [Targeting of the AKT/m-TOR Pathway: Biomarkers of Resistance to Cancer Therapy--
AKT/m-TOR Pathway and Resistance to Cancer Therapy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spirina, Liudmila V; Kondakova, Irina V; Tarasenko, Natalia V; Slonimskaya, Elena M; Usynin, Evgeny A; Gorbunov, Alexey K; Yurmazov, Zahar A; Chigevskaya, Svetlana Yu

    2018-01-20

    Resistance to cancer therapy continues to be a major limitation for the successful treatment of cancer. There are many published studies on therapy resistance in breast and prostate cancers; however, there are currently no data on molecular markers associated with resistance. The conflicting data were reported regarding the AKT/m-TOR signaling pathway components as markers predicting resistance. The AKT/m-TOR signaling pathway is involved in the development of many human cancers; its activation is related to cell proliferation, angiogenesis, apoptosis, as well as to therapy resistance. Molecular alterations in the AKT/m-TOR signaling pathway provide a platform to identify universal markers associated with the development of resistance to cancer therapy.

  12. 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

  13. Targeting the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling pathway in B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia: An update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simioni, Carolina; Martelli, Alberto M; Zauli, Giorgio; Vitale, Marco; McCubrey, James A; Capitani, Silvano; Neri, Luca M

    2018-04-18

    Despite considerable progress in treatment protocols, B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) displays a poor prognosis in about 15-20% of pediatric cases and about 60% of adult patients. In addition, life-long irreversible late effects from chemo- and radiation therapy, including secondary malignancies, are a growing problem for leukemia survivors. Targeted therapy holds promising perspectives for cancer treatment as it may be more effective and have fewer side effects than conventional therapies. The phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is a key regulatory cascade which controls proliferation, survival and drug-resistance of cancer cells, and it is frequently upregulated in the different subtypes of B-ALL, where it plays important roles in the pathophysiology, maintenance and progression of the disease. Moreover, activation of this signaling cascade portends a poorer prognosis in both pediatric and adult B-ALL patients. Promising preclinical data on PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitors have documented their anticancer activity in B-ALL and some of these novel drugs have entered clinical trials as they could lead to a longer event-free survival and reduce therapy-associated toxicity for patients with B-ALL. This review highlights the current status of PI3K/Akt/mTOR inhibitors in B-ALL, with an emphasis on emerging evidence of the superior efficacy of synergistic combinations involving the use of traditional chemotherapeutics or other novel, targeted agents. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. A Proteomic Screen Identified Stress-Induced Chaperone Proteins as Targets of Akt Phosphorylation in Mesangial Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Barati, Michelle T.; Rane, Madhavi J.; Klein, Jon B.; McLeish, Kenneth R.

    2006-01-01

    The serine-threonine kinase Akt regulates mesangial cell apoptosis, proliferation, and hypertrophy. To define Akt signaling pathways in mesangial cells, we performed a functional proteomic screen for rat mesangial cell proteins phosphorylated by Akt. A group of chaperone proteins, heat shock protein (Hsp) 70, Hsp90α, Hsp90β, Glucose-regulated protein (Grp) Grp78, Grp94, and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) were identified as potential Akt substrates by two techniques: (a) in vitro phosphoryl...

  15. Hesperitin derivative-11 suppress hepatic stellate cell activation and proliferation by targeting PTEN/AKT pathway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Wan-xia; Chen, Xin; Yang, Yang; Huang, Hui-min; Li, Hai-di; Huang, Cheng; Meng, Xiao-ming; Li, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Hesperitin derivative (HD-11) is a monomeric compound derived from Hesperidin, which is a naturally occurring flavanone glycoside that exerts extensive clinical effects such as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-angiogenic. However, the role and fundamental mechanism of HD-11 in hepatic fibrosis are still unrevealed. In this study, HD-11 not only alleviates ECM deposition in rats with liver fibrosis, but also reduces the expression of α-SMA and col1a1 in TGF-β1-induced HSC-T6 cells. Moreover, it was demonstrated that HD-11 significantly promoted the expression of PTEN in vivo and in vitro. In order to evaluate the involvement of HD-11 in TGF-β1-induced HSC-T6 activation, a specific blocking agent of PTEN (bpv) and PTEN small interfering (si)-RNA-mediated silencing were used. Interestingly, HD-11 treatment couldn’t inhibit α-SMA and col1a1 expression on the basis of PTEN knockdown. On the contrary, over-expression of PTEN had an opposite effect on the expression of α-SMA and col1a1 in TGF-β1-induced HSC-T6 cells after treatment of HD-11. In addition, HD-11 remarkably inhibited the expression of p-AKT in vivo and in vitro. Taken together, all the above results indicate that HD-11 may play the part of an effective modulator of PTEN/AKT signaling pathway.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •Kif18A is up-regulated in CAC of mouse model. •Kif18a −/− mice are protected from CAC. •Tumor cells from Kif18a −/− 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

  20. 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.

  1. MicroRNA-29b regulates TGF-β1-mediated epithelial–mesenchymal transition of retinal pigment epithelial cells by targeting AKT2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Min; Li, Hui; Liu, Xiaoqiang; Xu, Ding; Wang, Fang, E-mail: milwang_122@msn.com

    2016-07-15

    The role of microRNA (miRNA) in proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) progression has not been studied extensively, especially in retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) which is the main reason for formation of PVR. In this study, we first investigated the miRNA expression profile in transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) mediated EMT of ARPE-19 cells. Among the five changed miRNAs, miR-29b showed the most significant downregulation. Enhanced expression of miR-29b could reverse TGF-β1 induced EMT through targeting Akt2. Akt2 downregulation could inhibit TGF-β1-induced EMT. Furthermore, inhibition of miR-29b in ARPE-19 cells directly triggered EMT process, which characterized by the phenotypic transition and the upregulation of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and downregulation of E-cadherin and zona occludin-1 (ZO-1) with increased cell migration. Akt2-shRNA also inhibited miR-29 inhibitor-induced EMT process. These data indicate that miR-29b plays an important role in TGF-β1-mediated EMT in ARPE-19 cells by targeting Akt2. - Highlights: • MiR-29b expression is decreased in TGF-β1-induced EMT of ARPE-19 cells. • MiR-29b inhibits TGF-β1-induced EMT in ARPE-19 cells. • MiR-29b inhibitor induces EMT in ARPE-19 cells. • Akt2 is the target for miR-29b. • Downregulation of Akt2 prevents TGF-β1-induced EMT of ARPE-19 cells.

  2. Targeting the AKT/GSK3β/Cyclin D1/Cdk4 Survival Signaling Pathway for Eradication of Tumor Radioresistance Acquired by Fractionated Radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimura, Tsutomu; Kakuda, Satoshi; Ochiai, Yasushi; Kuwahara, Yoshikazu; Takai, Yoshihiro; Fukumoto, Manabu

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Radioresistance is a major cause of treatment failure of radiotherapy (RT) in human cancer. We have recently revealed that acquired radioresistance of tumor cells induced by fractionated radiation is attributable to cyclin D1 overexpression as a consequence of the downregulation of GSK3β-dependent cyclin D1 proteolysis mediated by a constitutively activated serine-threonine kinase, AKT. This prompted us to hypothesize that targeting the AKT/GSK3β/cyclin D1 pathway may improve fractionated RT by suppressing acquired radioresistance of tumor cells. Methods and Materials: Two human tumor cell lines with acquired radioresistance were exposed to X-rays after incubation with either an AKT inhibitor, AKT/PKB signaling inhibitor-2 (API-2), or a Cdk4 inhibitor (Cdk4-I). Cells were then subjected to immunoblotting, clonogenic survival assay, cell growth analysis, and cell death analysis with TUNEL and annexin V staining. In vivo radiosensitivity was assessed by growth of human tumors xenografted into nude mice. Results: Treatment with API-2 resulted in downregulation of cyclin D1 expression in cells with acquired radioresistance. Cellular radioresistance disappeared completely both in vitro and in vivo with accompanying apoptosis when treated with API-2. Furthermore, inhibition of cyclin D1/Cdk4 by Cdk4-I was sufficient for abolishing radioresistance. Treatment with either API-2 or Cdk4-I was also effective in suppressing resistance to cis-platinum (II)-diamine-dichloride in the cells with acquired radioresistance. Interestingly, the radiosensitizing effect of API-2 was canceled by overexpression of cyclin D1 whereas Cdk4-I was still able to sensitize cells with cyclin D1 overexpression. Conclusion: Cyclin D1/Cdk4 is a critical target of the AKT survival signaling pathway responsible for tumor radioresistance. Targeting the AKT/GSK3β/cyclin D1/Cdk4 pathway would provide a novel approach to improve fractionated RT and would have an impact on tumor eradication in

  3. 4-aminopyridyl-based lead compounds targeting CYP51 prevent spontaneous parasite relapse in a chronic model and improve cardiac pathology in an acute model of Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvet, Claudia Magalhaes; Choi, Jun Yong; Thomas, Diane; Suzuki, Brian; Hirata, Ken; Lostracco-Johnson, Sharon; de Mesquita, Liliane Batista; Nogueira, Alanderson; Meuser-Batista, Marcelo; Silva, Tatiana Araujo; Siqueira-Neto, Jair Lage; Roush, William R; de Souza Pereira, Mirian Claudia; McKerrow, James H; Podust, Larissa M

    2017-12-01

    Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is the leading cause of heart failure in Latin America. The clinical treatment of Chagas disease is limited to two 60 year-old drugs, nifurtimox and benznidazole, that have variable efficacy against different strains of the parasite and may lead to severe side effects. CYP51 is an enzyme in the sterol biosynthesis pathway that has been exploited for the development of therapeutics for fungal and parasitic infections. In a target-based drug discovery program guided by x-ray crystallography, we identified the 4-aminopyridyl-based series of CYP51 inhibitors as being efficacious versus T.cruzi in vitro; two of the most potent leads, 9 and 12, have now been evaluated for toxicity and efficacy in mice. Both acute and chronic animal models infected with wild type or transgenic T. cruzi strains were evaluated. There was no evidence of toxicity in the 28-day dosing study of uninfected animals, as judged by the monitoring of multiple serum and histological parameters. In two acute models of Chagas disease, 9 and 12 drastically reduced parasitemia, increased survival of mice, and prevented liver and heart injury. None of the compounds produced long term sterile cure. In the less severe acute model using the transgenic CL-Brenner strain of T.cruzi, parasitemia relapsed upon drug withdrawal. In the chronic model, parasitemia fell to a background level and, as evidenced by the bioluminescence detection of T. cruzi expressing the red-shifted luciferase marker, mice remained negative for 4 weeks after drug withdrawal. Two immunosuppression cycles with cyclophosphamide were required to re-activate the parasites. Although no sterile cure was achieved, the suppression of parasitemia in acutely infected mice resulted in drastically reduced inflammation in the heart. The positive outcomes achieved in the absence of sterile cure suggest that the target product profile in anti-Chagasic drug discovery should be revised in favor of

  4. Small-Molecule ONC201/TIC10 Targets Chemotherapy-Resistant Colorectal Cancer Stem-like Cells in an Akt/Foxo3a/TRAIL-Dependent Manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhu, Varun V; Allen, Joshua E; Dicker, David T; El-Deiry, Wafik S

    2015-04-01

    Self-renewing colorectal cancer stem/progenitor cells (CSC) contribute to tumor maintenance and resistance to therapy. Therapeutic targeting of CSCs could improve treatment response and prolong patient survival. ONC201/TIC10 is a first-in-class antitumor agent that induces TRAIL pathway-mediated cell death in cancer cells without observed toxicity. We have previously described that ONC201/TIC10 exposure leads to transcriptional induction of the TRAIL gene via transcription factor Foxo3a, which is activated by dual inactivation of Akt and ERK. The Akt and ERK pathways serve as important targets in CSCs. Foxo3a is a key mediator of Akt and ERK-mediated CSC regulation. We hypothesized that the potent antitumor effect of ONC201/TIC10 in colorectal cancer involves targeting CSCs and bulk tumor cells. ONC201/TIC10 depletes CD133(+), CD44(+), and Aldefluor(+) cells in vitro and in vivo. TIC10 significantly inhibits colonosphere formation of unsorted and sorted 5-fluorouracil-resistant CSCs. ONC201/TIC10 significantly reduces CSC-initiated xenograft tumor growth in mice and prevents the passage of these tumors. ONC201/TIC10 treatment also decreased xenograft tumor initiation and was superior to 5-fluorouracil treatment. Thus, ONC201/TIC10 inhibits CSC self-renewal in vitro and in vivo. ONC201/TIC10 inhibits Akt and ERK, consequently activating Foxo3a and significantly induces cell surface TRAIL and DR5 expression in both CSCs and non-CSCs. ONC201/TIC10-mediated anti-CSC effect is significantly blocked by the TRAIL sequestering antibody RIK-2. Overexpression of Akt, DR5 knockdown, and Foxo3a knockdown rescues ONC201/TIC10-mediated depletion of CD44(+) cells and colonosphere inhibition. In conclusion, ONC201/TIC10 is a promising agent for colorectal cancer therapy that targets both non-CSCs and CSCs in an Akt-Foxo3a-TRAIL-dependent manner. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

  5. Small molecule ONC201/TIC10 targets chemotherapy-resistant colorectal cancer stem-like cells in an Akt/Foxo3a/TRAIL-dependent manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhu, Varun V.; Allen, Joshua E.; Dicker, David T.; El-Deiry, Wafik S.

    2015-01-01

    Self-renewing colorectal cancer stem/progenitor cells (CSCs) contribute to tumor maintenance and resistance to therapy. Therapeutic targeting of CSCs could improve treatment response and prolong patient survival. ONC201/TIC10 is a first-in-class anti-tumor agent that induces TRAIL pathway mediated cell death in cancer cells without observed toxicity. We have previously described that ONC201/TIC10 exposure leads to transcriptional induction of the TRAIL gene via transcription factor Foxo3a, which is activated by dual inactivation of Akt and ERK. The Akt and ERK pathways serve as important targets in CSCs. Foxo3a is a key mediator of Akt and ERK-mediated CSC regulation. We hypothesized that the potent anti-tumor effect of ONC201/TIC10 in colorectal cancer involves targeting CSCs and bulk tumor cells. ONC201/TIC10 depletes CD133(+), CD44(+) and Aldefluor(+) cells in vitro and in vivo. TIC10 significantly inhibits colonosphere formation of unsorted and sorted 5-Fluorouracil-resistant CSCs. ONC201/TIC10 significantly reduces CSC-initiated xenograft tumor growth in mice and prevents the passage of these tumors. ONC201/TIC10 treatment also decreased xenograft tumor initiation and was superior to 5-Fluorouracil treatment. Thus, ONC201/TIC10 inhibits CSC self-renewal in vitro and in vivo. ONC201/TIC10 inhibits Akt and ERK, consequently activating Foxo3a and significantly induces cell surface TRAIL and DR5 expression in both CSCs and non-CSCs. ONC201/TIC10-mediated anti-CSC effect is significantly blocked by the TRAIL sequestering antibody RIK-2. Overexpression of Akt, DR5 knockdown and Foxo3a knockdown rescues ONC201/TIC10-mediated depletion of CD44(+) cells and colonosphere inhibition. In conclusion, ONC201/TIC10 is a promising agent for colorectal cancer therapy that targets both non-CSCs and CSCs in an Akt-Foxo3a-TRAIL-dependent manner. PMID:25712124

  6. Broad patterns in domestic vector-borne Trypanosoma cruzi transmission dynamics: synanthropic animals and vector control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jennifer K; Bartsch, Sarah M; Lee, Bruce Y; Dobson, Andrew P

    2015-10-22

    Chagas disease (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi) is the most important neglected tropical disease (NTD) in Latin America, infecting an estimated 5.7 million people in the 21 countries where it is endemic. It is one of the NTDs targeted for control and elimination by the 2020 London Declaration goals, with the first goal being to interrupt intra-domiciliary vector-borne T. cruzi transmission. A key question in domestic T. cruzi transmission is the role that synanthropic animals play in T. cruzi transmission to humans. Here, we ask, (1) do synanthropic animals need to be targeted in Chagas disease prevention policies?, and (2) how does the presence of animals affect the efficacy of vector control? We developed a simple mathematical model to simulate domestic vector-borne T. cruzi transmission and to specifically examine the interaction between the presence of synanthropic animals and effects of vector control. We used the model to explore how the interactions between triatomine bugs, humans and animals impact the number and proportion of T. cruzi-infected bugs and humans. We then examined how T. cruzi dynamics change when control measures targeting vector abundance are introduced into the system. We found that the presence of synanthropic animals slows the speed of T. cruzi transmission to humans, and increases the sensitivity of T. cruzi transmission dynamics to vector control measures at comparable triatomine carrying capacities. However, T. cruzi transmission is amplified when triatomine carrying capacity increases with the abundance of syntathoropic hosts. Our results suggest that in domestic T. cruzi transmission scenarios where no vector control measures are in place, a reduction in synanthropic animals may slow T. cruzi transmission to humans, but it would not completely eliminate transmission. To reach the 2020 goal of interrupting intra-domiciliary T. cruzi transmission, it is critical to target vector populations. Additionally, where vector control measures

  7. Piperlongumine induces apoptosis and autophagy in leukemic cells through targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and p38 signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongfei; Wang, Yongqiang; Gao, Hongmei; Wang, Bing; Dou, Lin; Li, Yin

    2018-02-01

    Piperlongumine is an alkaloid compound extracted from Piper longum L. It is a chemical substance with various pharmacological effects and medicinal value, including anti-tumor, lipid metabolism regulatory, antiplatelet aggregation and analgesic properties. The present study aimed to understand whether piperlongumine induces the apoptosis and autophagy of leukemic cells, and to identify the mechanism involved. Cell viability and autophagy were detected using MTT, phenazine methyl sulfate and trypan blue exclusion assays. The apoptosis rate was calculated using flow cytometry. The protein expression levels of microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3, Akt and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) were measured using western blotting. The cell growth of leukemic cells was completely inhibited following treatment with piperlongumine, and marked apoptosis was also induced. Dead cells as a result of autophagy were stained using immunofluorescence and observed under a light microscope. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mTOR signaling was suppressed by treatment with piperlongumine, while p38 signaling and caspase-3 activity were induced by treatment with piperlongumine. It was concluded that piperlongumine induces apoptosis and autophagy in leukemic cells through targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and p38 signaling pathways.

  8. Effects of MicroRNA-206 on Osteosarcoma Cell Proliferation, Apoptosis, Migration and Invasion by Targeting ANXA2 Through the AKT Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bao-Long Pan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: This study aimed to investigate the mechanism by which microRNA-206 (miR-206 affects the proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion of osteosarcoma (OS cells by targeting ANXA2 via the AKT signaling pathway. Methods: A total of 132 OS tissues and 120 osteochondroma tissues were examined in this study. The targeting relationship between miR-206 and ANXA2 was verified with a dual-luciferase reporter assay. The miR-206 expression and ANXA2, AKT, PARP, FASN, Survivin, Bax, Mcl-1 and Bcl-1 mRNA and protein expression in the above two groups were examined by qRT-PCR and western blotting. The cultured OS cells were divided into 6 groups: a blank group, negative control (NC group, miR-206 mimic group, miR-206 inhibitor group, si-ANXA2 group and miR-206 inhibitor + si-ANXA2 group. Cell cycle and apoptosis were assessed by flow cytometry, cell migration was examined with a wound-healing assay, and cell invasion was assessed with a Transwell assay. Pearson correlation analysis was used to determine the correlation between ANXA2 mRNA expression and miR-206 expression in OS. Results: OS tissues exhibited increased mRNA and protein expression of ANXA2, AKT, PARP, FASN, Survivin, Mcl-1 and Bcl-2; decreased miR-206 expression; and decreased Bax mRNA and protein expression. ANXA2 mRNA expression was strongly negatively correlated with miR-206 expression in OS. ANXA2 was found to be a miR-206 target gene. In the miR-206 mimic group and the si-ANXA2 group, the mRNA and protein expression of ANXA2, AKT, PARP, FASN, Survivin, Mcl-1 and Bcl-1 decreased markedly, cell proliferation was inhibited, apoptosis was promoted, higher cell growth in G1 phase and decreased growth in S phase was detected, and decreased cell migration and invasion were observed compared with those in the blank group. Conclusion: The current results demonstrate that miR-206 overexpression inhibits OS cell proliferation, migration and invasion and promotes apoptosis through

  9. miR-25-3p, Positively Regulated by Transcription Factor AP-2α, Regulates the Metabolism of C2C12 Cells by Targeting Akt1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available miR-25, a member of the miR-106b-25 cluster, has been reported as playing an important role in many biological processes by numerous studies, while the role of miR-25 in metabolism and its transcriptional regulation mechanism remain unclear. In this study, gain-of-function and loss-of-function assays demonstrated that miR-25-3p positively regulated the metabolism of C2C12 cells by attenuating phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K gene expression and triglyceride (TG content, and enhancing the content of adenosine triphosphate (ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS. Furthermore, the results from bioinformatics analysis, dual luciferase assay, site-directed mutagenesis, qRT-PCR, and Western blotting demonstrated that miR-25-3p directly targeted the AKT serine/threonine kinase 1 (Akt1 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR. The core promoter of miR-25-3p was identified, and the transcription factor activator protein-2α (AP-2α significantly increased the expression of mature miR-25-3p by binding to its core promoter in vivo, as indicated by the chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP assay, and AP-2α binding also downregulated the expression of Akt1. Taken together, our findings suggest that miR-25-3p, positively regulated by the transcription factor AP-2α, enhances C2C12 cell metabolism by targeting the Akt1 gene.

  10. FOXO3a is a major target of inactivation by PI3K/AKT signaling in aggressive neuroblastoma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Santo, Evan E.; Stroeken, Peter; Sluis, Peter V.; Koster, Jan; Versteeg, Rogier; Westerhout, Ellen M.

    2013-01-01

    Neuroblastoma is a pediatric tumor of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system with a highly variable prognosis. Activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway in neuroblastoma is correlated with poor patient prognosis, but the precise downstream effectors mediating this effect have

  11. GRP1 PH Domain, Like AKT1 PH Domain, Possesses a Sentry Glutamate Residue Essential for Specific Targeting to Plasma Membrane PI(3,4,5)P3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilling, Carissa; Landgraf, Kyle E.; Falke, Joseph J.

    2011-01-01

    During the appearance of the signaling lipid PI(3,4,5)P3, an important subset of pleckstrin homology (PH) domains target signaling proteins to the plasma membrane. To ensure proper pathway regulation, such PI(3,4,5)P3-specific PH domains must exclude the more prevalant, constitutive plasma membrane lipid PI(4,5)P2 and bind the rare PI(3,4,5)P3 target lipid with sufficiently high affinity. Our previous study of the E17K mutant of protein kinase B (AKT1) PH domain, together with evidence from Carpten et al (1), revealed that the native AKT1 E17 residue serves as a sentry glutamate that excludes PI(4,5)P2, thereby playing an essential role in specific PI(3,4,5)P3 targeting (2). The sentry glutamate hypothesis proposes that an analogous sentry glutamate residue is a widespread feature of PI(3,4,5)P3-specific PH domains, and that charge reversal mutation at the sentry glutamate position will yield both increased PI(4,5)P2 affinity and constitutive plasma membrane targeting. To test this hypothesis the present study investigates the E345 residue, a putative sentry glutamate, of General Receptor for Phosphoinositides 1 (GRP1) PH domain. The results show that incorporation of the E345K charge reversal mutation into GRP1 PH domain enhances PI(4,5)P2 affinity 8-fold and yields constitutive plasma membrane targeting in cells, reminiscent of the effects of the E17K mutation in AKT1 PH domain. Hydrolysis of plasma membrane PI(4,5)P2 releases E345K GRP1 PH domain into the cytoplasm and the efficiency of this release increases when target Arf6 binding is disrupted. Overall, the findings provide strong support for the sentry glutamate hypothesis and suggest that the GRP1 E345K mutation will be linked to changes in cell physiology and human pathologies, as demonstrated for AKT1 E17K (1, 3). Analysis of available PH domain structures suggests that a lone glutamate residue (or, in some cases an aspartate) is a common, perhaps ubiquitous, feature of PI(3,4,5)P3-specific binding

  12. A protein-targeting strategy used to develop a selective inhibitor of the E17K point mutation in the PH domain of Akt1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deyle, Kaycie M.; Farrow, Blake; Qiao Hee, Ying; Work, Jeremy; Wong, Michelle; Lai, Bert; Umeda, Aiko; Millward, Steven W.; Nag, Arundhati; Das, Samir; Heath, James R.

    2015-05-01

    Ligands that can bind selectively to proteins with single amino-acid point mutations offer the potential to detect or treat an abnormal protein in the presence of the wild type (WT). However, it is difficult to develop a selective ligand if the point mutation is not associated with an addressable location, such as a binding pocket. Here we report an all-chemical synthetic epitope-targeting strategy that we used to discover a 5-mer peptide with selectivity for the E17K-transforming point mutation in the pleckstrin homology domain of the Akt1 oncoprotein. A fragment of Akt1 that contained the E17K mutation and an I19[propargylglycine] substitution was synthesized to form an addressable synthetic epitope. Azide-presenting peptides that clicked covalently onto this alkyne-presenting epitope were selected from a library using in situ screening. One peptide exhibits a 10:1 in vitro selectivity for the oncoprotein relative to the WT, with a similar selectivity in cells. This 5-mer peptide was expanded into a larger ligand that selectively blocks the E17K Akt1 interaction with its PIP3 (phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate) substrate.

  13. Cell signaling during Trypanosoma cruzi invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Yukio Maeda

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Cell signaling is an essential requirement for mammalian cell invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi. Depending on the parasite strain and the parasite developmental form, distinct signaling pathways may be induced. In this short review, we focus on the data coming from studies with metacyclic trypomastigotes (MT generated in vitro and tissue culture-derived trypomastigotes (TCT, used as counterparts of insect-borne and bloodstream parasites respectively. During invasion of host cells by MT or TCT, intracellular Ca2+ mobilization and host cell lysosomal exocytosis are triggered. Invasion mediated by MT surface molecule gp82 requires the activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K and protein kinase C (PKC in the host cell, associated with Ca2+-dependent disruption of the actin cytoskeleton. In MT, protein tyrosine kinase (PTK, PI3K, phospholipase C (PLC and PKC appear to be activated. TCT invasion, on the other hand, does not rely on mTOR activation, rather on target cell PI3K, and may involve the host cell autophagy for parasite internalization. Enzymes, such oligopeptidase B and the major T. cruzi cysteine proteinase cruzipain, have been shown to generate molecules that induce target cell Ca2+ signal. In addition, TCT may trigger host cell responses mediated by TGF-β receptor or integrin family member. Further investigations are needed for a more complete and detailed picture of T. cruzi invasion.

  14. Involvement of PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathway and Its Downstream Intracellular Targets in the Antidepressant-Like Effect of Creatine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Mauricio P; Budni, Josiane; Ludka, Fabiana K; Pazini, Francis L; Rosa, Julia Macedo; Oliveira, Ágatha; Lopes, Mark W; Tasca, Carla I; Leal, Rodrigo B; Rodrigues, Ana Lúcia S

    2016-07-01

    Creatine has been proposed to exert beneficial effects in the management of depression, but the cell signaling pathways implicated in its antidepressant effects are not well established. This study investigated the involvement of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and its downstream intracellular targets in the antidepressant-like effect of creatine. The acute treatment of mice with creatine (1 mg/kg, po) increased the Akt and P70S6K phosphorylation, and HO-1, GPx and PSD95 immunocontents. The pretreatment of mice with LY294002 (10 nmol/mouse, icv, PI3K inhibitor), wortmannin (0.1 μg/mouse, icv, PI3K inhibitor), ZnPP (10 μg/mouse, icv, HO-1 inhibitor), or rapamycin (0.2 nmol/mouse, icv, mTOR inhibitor) prevented the antidepressant-like effect of creatine (1 mg/kg, po) in the TST. In addition, the administration of subeffective dose of either the selective GSK3 inhibitor AR-A014418 (0.01 μg/mouse, icv), the nonselective GSK3 inhibitor lithium chloride (10 mg/kg, po), or the HO-1 inductor CoPP (0.01 μg/mouse, icv), in combination with a subeffective dose of creatine (0.01 mg/kg, po) reduced the immobility time in the TST as compared with either drug alone. No treatment caused significant changes in the locomotor activity of mice. These results indicate that the antidepressant-like effect of creatine in the TST depends on the activation of Akt, Nrf2/HO-1, GPx, and mTOR, and GSK3 inhibition.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells promote head and neck cancer progression through Periostin-mediated phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chuanxia; Feng, Xiaoxia; Wang, Baixiang; Wang, Xinhua; Wang, Chaowei; Yu, Mengfei; Cao, Guifen; Wang, Huiming

    2018-03-01

    Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSC) have been shown to be recruited to the tumor microenvironment and exert a tumor-promoting effect in a variety of cancers. However, the molecular mechanisms related to the tumor-promoting effect of BMMSC on head and neck cancer (HNC) are not clear. In this study, we investigated Periostin (POSTN) and its roles in the tumor-promoting effect of BMMSC on HNC. In vitro analysis of HNC cells cultured in BMMSC-conditioned media (MSC-CM) showed that MSC-CM significantly promoted cancer progression by enhancing cell proliferation, migration, epithelial-mesenchymal transformation (EMT), and altering expression of cell cycle regulatory proteins and inhibition of apoptosis. Moreover, MSC-CM promoted the expression of POSTN and POSTN promoted HNC progression through the activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. In a murine model of HNC, we found that BMMSC promoted tumor growth, invasion, metastasis and enhanced the expression of POSTN and EMT in tumor tissues. Clinical sample analysis further confirmed that the expression of POSTN and N-cadherin were correlated with pathological grade and lymph node metastasis of HNC. In conclusion, this study indicated that BMMSC promoted proliferation, invasion, survival, tumorigenicity and migration of head and neck cancer through POSTN-mediated PI3K/Akt/mTOR activation. © 2018 The Authors. Cancer Science published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Cancer Association.

  18. miR-494 up-regulates the PI3K/Akt pathway via targetting PTEN and attenuates hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury in a rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Song; Luo, De; Liu, Xiangdong; Liu, Jiang; Peng, Fangyi; Fang, Cheng; Li, Bo

    2017-10-31

    A rat HIRI model was constructed and treated with an intraperitoneal injection of agomir- miR-494 or agomir-NC (negative control) for 7 days after the surgery. The pathophysiological changes in sham-operated rats, HIRI, HIRI + agomir- miR-494 , and HIRI + agomir-NC were compared. The effect of miR-494 was also assessed in an H 2 O 2 -induced apoptosis model. Hepatic AML12 cells were transfected with mimics NC or miR-494 mimics, followed by 6-h H 2 O 2 treatment. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were detected by CCK8 assay and flow cytometry, respectively. Further, the miR-494 target gene was identified by luciferase reporter assay, and verified both in vitro and in vivo experiments. The activity of AKT pathway was further analyzed in vivo by Western blot. HIRI + agomir- miR-494 rats exhibited significantly higher miR-494 expression, lower serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH) level, lower hepatic MDA, TOA, and OSI, alleviated hepatic necrosis, reduced hepatocyte apoptosis, and decreased expression of apoptosis-related proteins, when compared with HIRI + agomir-NC rats ( P <0.05 or 0.01). After H 2 O 2 treatment, AML-12 cells transfected with miR-494 mimics had significantly higher proliferation and lower apoptosis rate compared with mimics NC group ( P <0.01). PTEN was identified as an miR-494 target gene. PTEN expression was significantly down-regulated in AML12 cells transfected with miR-494 mimics, and was up-regulated by treatment of miR-494 inhibitor ( P <0.01). Moreover, HIRI + agomir- miR-494 rats exhibited significantly lower PTEN expression, and higher p-AKT, p-mTOR, and p-p70S6K levels compared with HIRI + agomir-NC rats. Therefore, miR-494 protected rats against hepatic ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury through down-regulating its downstream target gene PTEN , leading to the activation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. © 2017 The Author(s).

  19. 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.

  20. CNTN-1 Enhances Chemoresistance in Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Through Induction of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition by Targeting the PI3K/Akt Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruijie Zhang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Chemoresistance has been a major obstacle to the effective treatment of lung cancer. Previously, we found that contactin-1 (CNTN-1 is related to cisplatin resistance in lung adenocarcinoma. Here, we aimed to investigate the underlying mechanism behind the role of CNTN-1 in cisplatin resistance in lung adenocarcinoma. Methods: EMT-associated phenotypes, including alterations in cellular morphology and marker (E-cadherin, N-cadherin and Vimentin expression, were compared between A549 cells and A549/DDP cells (a cisplatin-resistant cell line of lung adenocarcinoma with abnormal CNTN-1 expression by using real-time time PCR and Western blotting. Other methods, including CNTN-1 overexpression in A549 cells and CNTN-1 knockdown in A549/DDP cells, were also used to investigate the role of CNTN-1 in mediating the EMT phenotype and thr resulting cisplatin resistance and malignant progression of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Results: A549/DDP cells exhibited an EMT phenotype and aggravated malignant behaviors. CNTN-1 knockdown in A549/DDP cells partly reversed the EMT phenotype, increased drug sensitivity, and attenuated the malignant progression whereas CNTN-1 overexpression in A549 cells resulted in the opposite trend. Furthermore, the PI3K/Akt pathway was involved in the effects of CNTN-1 on EMT progression in A549/DDP cells, verified by the xenograft mouse model. Conclusion: CNTN-1 promotes cisplatin resistance in human cisplatin-resistant lung adenocarcinoma through inducing the EMT process by activating the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. CNTN-1 may be a potential therapeutic target to reverse chemoresistance in cisplatin-resistant lung adenocarcinoma.

  1. Ran is a potential therapeutic target for cancer cells with molecular changes associated with activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and Ras/MEK/ERK pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Hiu-Fung; Chan, Ka-Kui; Grills, Claire; Murray, James T.; Platt-Higgins, Angela; Eldin, Osama Sharaf; O’Byrne, Ken; Janne, Pasi; Fennell, Dean A.; Johnston, Patrick G.; Rudland, Philip S.; El-Tanani, Mohamed

    2011-01-01

    Purpose Cancer cells have been shown to be more susceptible to Ran knockdown compared to normal cells. We now investigate whether Ran is a potential therapeutic target of cancers with frequently found mutations that lead to higher Ras/MEK/ERK and PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 activities. Experimental Design Apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry (PI and Annexin V staining) and MTT assay in cancer cells grown under different conditions after knockdown of Ran.. The correlations between Ran expression and patient survival were examined in breast and lung cancers. Results Cancer cells with their PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and Ras/MEK/ERK pathways inhibited are less susceptible to Ran silencing-induced apoptosis. KRas mutated, c-Met amplified and Pten-deleted cancer cells are also more susceptible to Ran silencing-induced apoptosis than their wild-type counterparts and this effect is reduced by inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and MEK/ERK pathways. Overexpression of Ran in clinical specimens is significantly associated with poor patient outcome in both breast and lung cancers. This association is dramatically enhanced in cancers with increased c-Met or osteopontin expression, or with oncogenic mutations of KRas or PIK3CA, all of which are mutations that potentially correlate with activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and/or Ras/MEK/ERK pathways. Silencing Ran also results in dysregulation of nucleocytoplasmic transport of transcription factors and downregulation of Mcl-1 expression, at the transcriptional level, which are reversed by inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and MEK/ERK pathways. Conclusion Ran is a potential therapeutic target for treatment of cancers with mutations/changes of expression in protooncogenes that lead to activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and Ras/MEK/ERK pathways. PMID:22090358

  2. AKT Inhibition in Solid Tumors With AKT1 Mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyman, David M; Smyth, Lillian M; Donoghue, Mark T A; Westin, Shannon N; Bedard, Philippe L; Dean, Emma J; Bando, Hideaki; El-Khoueiry, Anthony B; Pérez-Fidalgo, José A; Mita, Alain; Schellens, Jan H M; Chang, Matthew T; Reichel, Jonathan B; Bouvier, Nancy; Selcuklu, S Duygu; Soumerai, Tara E; Torrisi, Jean; Erinjeri, Joseph P; Ambrose, Helen; Barrett, J Carl; Dougherty, Brian; Foxley, Andrew; Lindemann, Justin P O; McEwen, Robert; Pass, Martin; Schiavon, Gaia; Berger, Michael F; Chandarlapaty, Sarat; Solit, David B; Banerji, Udai; Baselga, José; Taylor, Barry S

    2017-07-10

    Purpose AKT1 E17K mutations are oncogenic and occur in many cancers at a low prevalence. We performed a multihistology basket study of AZD5363, an ATP-competitive pan-AKT kinase inhibitor, to determine the preliminary activity of AKT inhibition in AKT-mutant cancers. Patients and Methods Fifty-eight patients with advanced solid tumors were treated. The primary end point was safety; secondary end points were progression-free survival (PFS) and response according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Tumor biopsies and plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) were collected in the majority of patients to identify predictive biomarkers of response. Results In patients with AKT1 E17K-mutant tumors (n = 52) and a median of five lines of prior therapy, the median PFS was 5.5 months (95% CI, 2.9 to 6.9 months), 6.6 months (95% CI, 1.5 to 8.3 months), and 4.2 months (95% CI, 2.1 to 12.8 months) in patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast, gynecologic, and other solid tumors, respectively. In an exploratory biomarker analysis, imbalance of the AKT1 E17K-mutant allele, most frequently caused by copy-neutral loss-of-heterozygosity targeting the wild-type allele, was associated with longer PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.41; P = .04), as was the presence of coincident PI3K pathway hotspot mutations (HR, 0.21; P = .045). Persistent declines in AKT1 E17K in cfDNA were associated with improved PFS (HR, 0.18; P = .004) and response ( P = .025). Responses were not restricted to patients with detectable AKT1 E17K in pretreatment cfDNA. The most common grade ≥ 3 adverse events were hyperglycemia (24%), diarrhea (17%), and rash (15.5%). Conclusion This study provides the first clinical data that AKT1 E17K is a therapeutic target in human cancer. The genomic context of the AKT1 E17K mutation further conditioned response to AZD5363.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. miR-425 inhibits melanoma metastasis through repression of PI3K-Akt pathway by targeting IGF-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Pei; Hu, Yaotian; Ma, Ling; Du, Min; Xia, Lin; Hu, Zhensheng

    2015-10-01

    miR-425 is a potential tumor suppressor in cancer, but its role in melanoma is still unknown. We aim to investigate miR-425 expression in melanoma tissues and cell lines. Next, cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis and metastasis will be studied using lentivirus-mediated gain-of-function studies. The predicted results are stable miR-425 inhibits cell proliferation and metastasis and induced cell apoptosis. It is predicted that IGF-1 is a potential target gene of miR-495 by bioinformatics analysis. Then luciferase assay analysis identifies IGF-1 as a new direct target gene of miR-425 and miR-425 inhibits melanoma cancer progression via IGF-1. Collectively, our findings suggested that miR-425 may function as a tumor suppressor in melanoma by targeting IGF-1. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. New insights into Notch1 regulation of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR1 signaling axis: targeted therapy of γ-secretase inhibitor resistant T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hales, Eric C; Taub, Jeffrey W; Matherly, Larry H

    2014-01-01

    T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is characterized as a high-risk stratified disease associated with frequent relapse, chemotherapy resistance, and a poorer prognostic outlook than B-precursor ALL. Many of the challenges in treating T-ALL reflect the lack of prognostic cytogenetic or molecular abnormalities on which to base therapy, including targeted therapy. Notch1 activating mutations were identified in more than 50% of T-ALL cases and can be therapeutically targeted with γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs). Mutant Notch1 can activate cMyc and PI3K-AKT-mTOR1 signaling in T-ALL. In T-ALLs with wild-type phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN), Notch1 transcriptionally represses PTEN, an effect reversible by GSIs. Notch1 also promotes growth factor receptor (IGF1R and IL7Rα) signaling to PI3K-AKT. Loss of PTEN is common in primary T-ALLs due to mutation or posttranslational inactivation and results in chronic activation of PI3K-AKT-mTOR1 signaling, GSI-resistance, and repression of p53-mediated apoptosis. Notch1 itself might regulate posttranslational inactivation of PTEN. PP2A is activated by Notch1 in PTEN-null T-ALL cells, and GSIs reduce PP2A activity and increase phosphorylation of AKT, AMPK, and p70S6K. This review focuses on the central role of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR1 signaling in T-ALL, including its regulation by Notch1 and potential therapeutic interventions, with emphasis on GSI-resistant T-ALL. © 2013.

  6. 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

  7. PKI-587 and sorafenib targeting PI3K/AKT/mTOR and Ras/Raf/MAPK pathways synergistically inhibit HCC cell proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gedaly, Roberto; Angulo, Paul; Hundley, Jonathan; Daily, Michael F; Chen, Changguo; Evers, B Mark

    2012-08-01

    Deregulated Ras/Raf/MAPK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways are found in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to test the inhibitory effects of PKI-587 and sorafenib as single agents or in combination on HCC (Huh7 cell line) proliferation. (3)H-thymidine incorporation and MTT assay were used to assess Huh7 cell proliferation. Phosphorylation of the key enzymes in the Ras/Raf/MAPK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways was detected by Western blot. We found that PKI-587 is a more potent PI3K/mTOR inhibitor than PI-103. Combination of PKI-587 and sorafenib was a more effective inhibitor of Huh7 proliferation than the combination of PI-103 and sorafenib. Combination of PKI-587 and sorafenib synergistically inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated Huh7 proliferation compared with monodrug therapy. EGF increased phosphorylation of Ras/Raf downstream signaling proteins MEK and ERK; EGF-stimulated activation was inhibited by sorafenib. However, sorafenib, as a single agent, increased AKT (Ser473) phosphorylation. EGF-stimulated AKT (ser473) activation was inhibited by PKI-587. PKI-587 is a potent inhibitor of AKT (Ser473), mTOR (Ser2448), and S6K (Thr389) phosphorylation; in contrast, rapamycin stimulated mTOR complex 2 substrate AKT(Ser473) phosphorylation although it inhibited mTOR complex 1 substrate S6K phosphorylation. PKI-587, as a single agent, stimulated MEK and ERK phosphorylation. However, when PKI-587 and sorafenib were used in combination, they inhibited all the tested kinases in the Ras/Raf /MAPK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways. The combination of PKI-587 and sorafenib has the advantage over monodrug therapy on inhibition of HCC cell proliferation by blocking both PI3K/AKT/mTOR and Ras/Raf/MAPK signaling pathways. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Targeting HDAC3, a new partner protein of AKT in the reversal of chemoresistance in acute myeloid leukemia via DNA damage response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, J; Fang, W Y; Chang, L; Gao, W H; Shen, Y; Jia, M Y; Zhang, Y X; Wang, Y; Dou, H B; Zhang, W J; Zhu, J; Liang, A B; Li, J M; Hu, Jiong

    2017-12-01

    Resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs remains as the major cause of treatment failure in acute myeloid leukemia. Histone deacetylases (HDAC) are important regulators to maintain chromatin structure and control DNA damage; nevertheless, how each HDAC regulates genome stability remains unclear, especially under genome stress conditions. Here, we identified a mechanism by which HDAC3 regulates DNA damage repair and mediates resistance to chemotherapy drugs. In addition to inducing DNA damage, chemotherapy drugs trigger upregulation of HDAC3 expression in leukemia cells. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we show that HDAC3 contributes to chemotherapy resistance by regulating the activation of AKT, a well-documented factor in drug resistance development. HDAC3 binds to AKT and deacetylates it at the site Lys20, thereby promoting the phosphorylation of AKT. Chemotherapy drug exposure enhances the interaction between HDAC3 and AKT, resulting in decrease in AKT acetylation and increase in AKT phosphorylation. Whereas HDAC3 depletion or inhibition abrogates these responses and meanwhile sensitizes leukemia cells to chemotoxicity-induced apoptosis. Importantly, in vivo HDAC3 suppression reduces leukemia progression and sensitizes MLL-AF9 + leukemia to chemotherapy. Our findings suggest that combination therapy with HDAC3 inhibitor and genotoxic agents may constitute a successful strategy for overcoming chemotherapy resistance.

  9. Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors required during Trypanosoma cruzi parasitophorous vacuole development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cueto, Juan Agustín; Vanrell, María Cristina; Salassa, Betiana Nebaí; Nola, Sébastien; Galli, Thierry; Colombo, María Isabel; Romano, Patricia Silvia

    2017-06-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, is an obligate intracellular parasite that exploits different host vesicular pathways to invade the target cells. Vesicular and target soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) are key proteins of the intracellular membrane fusion machinery. During the early times of T. cruzi infection, several vesicles are attracted to the parasite contact sites in the plasma membrane. Fusion of these vesicles promotes the formation of the parasitic vacuole and parasite entry. In this work, we study the requirement and the nature of SNAREs involved in the fusion events that take place during T. cruzi infection. Our results show that inhibition of N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor protein, a protein required for SNARE complex disassembly, impairs T. cruzi infection. Both TI-VAMP/VAMP7 and cellubrevin/VAMP3, two v-SNAREs of the endocytic and exocytic pathways, are specifically recruited to the parasitophorous vacuole membrane in a synchronized manner but, although VAMP3 is acquired earlier than VAMP7, impairment of VAMP3 by tetanus neurotoxin fails to reduce T. cruzi infection. In contrast, reduction of VAMP7 activity by expression of VAMP7's longin domain, depletion by small interfering RNA or knockout, significantly decreases T. cruzi infection susceptibility as a result of a minor acquisition of lysosomal components to the parasitic vacuole. In addition, overexpression of the VAMP7 partner Vti1b increases the infection, whereas expression of a KIF5 kinesin mutant reduces VAMP7 recruitment to vacuole and, concomitantly, T. cruzi infection. Altogether, these data support a key role of TI-VAMP/VAMP7 in the fusion events that culminate in the T. cruzi parasitophorous vacuole development. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. The regulation of autophagy differentially affects Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Cristina Vanrell

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy is a cellular process required for the removal of aged organelles and cytosolic components through lysosomal degradation. All types of eukaryotic cells from yeasts to mammalian cells have the machinery to activate autophagy as a result of many physiological and pathological situations. The most frequent stimulus of autophagy is starvation and the result, in this case, is the fast generation of utilizable food (e.g. amino acids and basic nutrients to maintain the vital biological processes. In some organisms, starvation also triggers other associated processes such as differentiation. The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi undergoes a series of differentiation processes throughout its complex life cycle. Although not all autophagic genes have been identified in the T. cruzi genome, previous works have demonstrated the presence of essential autophagic-related proteins. Under starvation conditions, TcAtg8, which is the parasite homolog of Atg8/LC3 in other organisms, is located in autophagosome-like vesicles. In this work, we have characterized the autophagic pathway during T. cruzi differentiation from the epimastigote to metacyclic trypomastigote form, a process called metacyclogenesis. We demonstrated that autophagy is stimulated during metacyclogenesis and that the induction of autophagy promotes this process. Moreover, with exception of bafilomycin, other classical autophagy modulators have similar effects on T. cruzi autophagy. We also showed that spermidine and related polyamines can positively regulate parasite autophagy and differentiation. We concluded that both polyamine metabolism and autophagy are key processes during T. cruzi metacyclogenesis that could be exploited as drug targets to avoid the parasite cycle progression.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Bioenergetic profiling of Trypanosoma cruzi life stages using Seahorse extracellular flux technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah-Simpson, Sheena; Pereira, Camila F A; Dumoulin, Peter C; Caradonna, Kacey L; Burleigh, Barbara A

    2016-08-01

    Energy metabolism is an attractive target for the development of new therapeutics against protozoan pathogens, including Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of human Chagas disease. Despite emerging evidence that mitochondrial electron transport is essential for the growth of intracellular T. cruzi amastigotes in mammalian cells, fundamental knowledge of mitochondrial energy metabolism in this parasite life stage remains incomplete. The Clark-type electrode, which measures the rate of oxygen consumption, has served as the traditional tool to study mitochondrial energetics and has contributed to our understanding of it in T. cruzi. Here, we evaluate the Seahorse XF(e)24 extracellular flux platform as an alternative method to assess mitochondrial bioenergetics in isolated T. cruzi parasites. We report optimized assay conditions used to perform mitochondrial stress tests with replicative life cycle stages of T. cruzi using the XF(e)24 instrument, and discuss the advantages and potential limitations of this methodology, as applied to T. cruzi and other trypanosomatids. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The GRP1 PH domain, like the AKT1 PH domain, possesses a sentry glutamate residue essential for specific targeting to plasma membrane PI(3,4,5)P(3).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilling, Carissa; Landgraf, Kyle E; Falke, Joseph J

    2011-11-15

    During the appearance of the signaling lipid PI(3,4,5)P(3), an important subset of pleckstrin homology (PH) domains target signaling proteins to the plasma membrane. To ensure proper pathway regulation, such PI(3,4,5)P(3)-specific PH domains must exclude the more prevalant, constitutive plasma membrane lipid PI(4,5)P(2) and bind the rare PI(3,4,5)P(3) target lipid with sufficiently high affinity. Our previous study of the E17K mutant of the protein kinase B (AKT1) PH domain, together with evidence from Carpten et al. [Carpten, J. D., et al. (2007) Nature 448, 439-444], revealed that the native AKT1 E17 residue serves as a sentry glutamate that excludes PI(4,5)P(2), thereby playing an essential role in specific PI(3,4,5)P(3) targeting [Landgraf, K. E., et al. (2008) Biochemistry 47, 12260-12269]. The sentry glutamate hypothesis proposes that an analogous sentry glutamate residue is a widespread feature of PI(3,4,5)P(3)-specific PH domains, and that charge reversal mutation at the sentry glutamate position will yield both increased PI(4,5)P(2) affinity and constitutive plasma membrane targeting. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the E345 residue, a putative sentry glutamate, of the general receptor for phosphoinositides 1 (GRP1) PH domain. The results show that incorporation of the E345K charge reversal mutation into the GRP1 PH domain enhances PI(4,5)P(2) affinity 8-fold and yields constitutive plasma membrane targeting in cells, reminiscent of the effects of the E17K mutation in the AKT1 PH domain. Hydrolysis of plasma membrane PI(4,5)P(2) releases the E345K GRP1 PH domain into the cytoplasm, and the efficiency of this release increases when Arf6 binding is disrupted. Overall, the findings provide strong support for the sentry glutamate hypothesis and suggest that the GRP1 E345K mutation will be linked to changes in cell physiology and human pathologies, as demonstrated for AKT1 E17K [Carpten, J. D., et al. (2007) Nature 448, 439-444; Lindhurst, M. J., et al

  15. Lysophosphatidylcholine: A Novel Modulator of Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva-Neto, Mário A. C.; Carneiro, Alan B.; Silva-Cardoso, Livia; Atella, Georgia C.

    2012-01-01

    Lysophosphatidylcholine is a bioactive lipid that regulates a large number of cellular processes and is especially present during the deposition and infiltration of inflammatory cells and deposition of atheromatous plaque. Such molecule is also present in saliva and feces of the hematophagous organism Rhodnius prolixus, a triatominae bug vector of Chagas disease. We have recently demonstrated that LPC is a modulator of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission. It acts as a powerful chemoattractant for inflammatory cells at the site of the insect bite, which will provide a concentrated population of cells available for parasite infection. Also, LPC increases macrophage intracellular calcium concentrations that ultimately enhance parasite invasion. Finally, LPC inhibits NO production by macrophages stimulated by live T. cruzi, and thus interferes with the immune system of the vertebrate host. In the present paper, we discuss the main signaling mechanisms that are likely used by such molecule and their eventual use as targets to block parasite transmission and the pathogenesis of Chagas disease. PMID:22132309

  16. Akt phosphorylation is essential for nuclear translocation and retention in NGF-stimulated PC12 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Truong Le Xuan Nguyen; Choi, Joung Woo; Lee, Sang Bae; Ye, Keqiang; Woo, Soo-Dong; Lee, Kyung-Hoon; Ahn, Jee-Yin

    2006-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) elicits Akt translocation into the nucleus, where it phosphorylates nuclear targets. Here, we describe that Akt phosphorylation can promote the nuclear translocation of Akt and is necessary for its nuclear retention. Overexpression of Akt-K179A, T308A, S473A-mutant failed to show either nuclear translocation or nuclear Akt phosphorylation, whereas expression of wild-type counterpart elicited profound Akt phosphorylation and induced nuclear translocation under NGF stimulation. Employing the PI3K inhibitor and a variety of mutants PI3K, we showed that nuclear translocation of Akt was mediated by activation of PI3K, and Akt phosphorylation status in the nucleus required PI3K activity. Thus the activity of PI3K might contribute to the nuclear translocation of Akt, and that Akt phosphorylation is essential for its nuclear retention under NGF stimulation conditions

  17. Degradation of Akt using protein-catalyzed capture agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Ryan K; Varghese, Joseph O; Das, Samir; Nag, Arundhati; Tang, Grace; Tang, Kevin; Sutherland, Alexander M; Heath, James R

    2016-04-01

    Abnormal signaling of the protein kinase Akt has been shown to contribute to human diseases such as diabetes and cancer, but Akt has proven to be a challenging target for drugging. Using iterative in situ click chemistry, we recently developed multiple protein-catalyzed capture (PCC) agents that allosterically modulate Akt enzymatic activity in a protein-based assay. Here, we utilize similar PCCs to exploit endogenous protein degradation pathways. We use the modularity of the anti-Akt PCCs to prepare proteolysis targeting chimeric molecules that are shown to promote the rapid degradation of Akt in live cancer cells. These novel proteolysis targeting chimeric molecules demonstrate that the epitope targeting selectivity of PCCs can be coupled with non-traditional drugging moieties to inhibit challenging targets. Copyright © 2016 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Salvianolic acid A reverses cisplatin resistance in lung cancer A549 cells by targeting c-met and attenuating Akt/mTOR pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xia-Li; Yan, Li; Zhu, Ling; Jiao, De-Min; Chen, Jun; Chen, Qing-Yong

    2017-09-01

    Drug resistance is one of the leading causes of chemotherapy failure in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of c-met in human lung cancer cisplatin resistance cell line (A549/DDP) and the reversal mechanism of salvianolic acid A (SAA), a phenolic active compound extracted from Salvia miltiorrhiza. In this study, we found that A549/DDP cells exert up-regulation of c-met by activating the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. We also show that SAA could increase the chemotherapeutic efficacy of cisplatin, suggesting a synergistic effect of SAA and cisplatin. Moreover, we revealed that SAA enhanced sensitivity to cisplatin in A549/DDP cells mainly through suppression of the c-met/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Knockdown of c-met revealed similar effects as that of SAA in A549/DDP cells. In addition, SAA effectively prevented multidrug resistance associated protein1 (MDR1) up-regulation in A549/DDP cells. Taken together, our results indicated that SAA suppressed c-met expression and enhanced the sensitivity of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells to cisplatin through AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Salvianolic acid A reverses cisplatin resistance in lung cancer A549 cells by targeting c-met and attenuating Akt/mTOR pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia-li Tang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Drug resistance is one of the leading causes of chemotherapy failure in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of c-met in human lung cancer cisplatin resistance cell line (A549/DDP and the reversal mechanism of salvianolic acid A (SAA, a phenolic active compound extracted from Salvia miltiorrhiza. In this study, we found that A549/DDP cells exert up-regulation of c-met by activating the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. We also show that SAA could increase the chemotherapeutic efficacy of cisplatin, suggesting a synergistic effect of SAA and cisplatin. Moreover, we revealed that SAA enhanced sensitivity to cisplatin in A549/DDP cells mainly through suppression of the c-met/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Knockdown of c-met revealed similar effects as that of SAA in A549/DDP cells. In addition, SAA effectively prevented multidrug resistance associated protein1 (MDR1 up-regulation in A549/DDP cells. Taken together, our results indicated that SAA suppressed c-met expression and enhanced the sensitivity of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells to cisplatin through AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.

  20. 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

  1. Dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 as a promising therapeutic strategy against paclitaxel-resistant gastric cancer via targeting PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Dongshao; Lin, Xiaoting; Zhang, Cheng; Liu, Zhentao; Chen, Zuhua; Li, Zhongwu; Wang, Jingyuan; Li, Beifang; Hu, Yanting; Dong, Bin; Shen, Lin; Ji, Jiafu; Gao, Jing; Zhang, Xiaotian

    2018-01-26

    Paclitaxel (PTX) is widely used in the front-line chemotherapy for gastric cancer (GC), but resistance limits its use. Due to the lack of proper models, mechanisms underlying PTX resistance in GC were not well studied. Using established PTX-resistant GC cell sublines HGC-27R, we for the first time integrated biological traits and molecular mechanisms of PTX resistance in GC. Data revealed that PTX-resistant GC cells were characterized by microtubular disorders, an EMT phenotype, reduced responses to antimitotic drugs, and resistance to apoptosis (marked by upregulated β-tubulin III, vimentin, attenuated changes in G 2 /M molecules or pro-apoptotic factors in response to antimitotic drugs or apoptotic inducers, respectively). Activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase, the serine/threonine kinase Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways were also observed, which might be the reason for above phenotypic alternations. In vitro data suggested that targeting these pathways were sufficient to elicit antitumor responses in PTX-resistant GC, in which the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 displayed higher therapeutic efficiency than the mTOR inhibitor everolimus or the MEK inhibitor AZD6244. Antitumor effects of BEZ235 were also confirmed in mice bearing HGC-27R tumors. Thus, these data suggest that PI3K/Akt/mTOR and MAPK pathway inhibition, especially PI3K/mTOR dual blockade, might be a promising therapeutic strategy against PTX-resistant GC.

  2. miR-125b inhibits keratinocyte proliferation and promotes keratinocyte apoptosis in oral lichen planus by targeting MMP-2 expression through PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Luo, Hong; Xiao, Yan; Wang, Luyao

    2016-05-01

    Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic inflammatory mucosal disease that involves the degeneration of keratinocytes. However, the etiology and mechanisms of OLP pathogenesis have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we used keratinocytes HaCaT stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic a local OLP immune environment, and investigated the regulatory role of miR-125b in keratinocyte proliferation and apoptosis under OLP conditions. Immunohistochemical analysis and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assay showed that MMP-2 expression was up-regulated and miR-125b expression was down-regulated in both OLP mucosa tissues and LPS-incubated HaCaT cells. Western blot analysis indicated that miR-125b overexpression suppressed LPS-induced MMP-2 expression in HaCaT cells. Molecularly, our results confirmed that MMP-2 is a target gene of miR-125b in HaCaT cells. The effect of miR-125b on cell proliferation was revealed by CCK-8 assay, BrdU assay and cell cycle analysis, which illustrated that miR-125b overexpression impeded LPS-induced HaCaT cell proliferation. Flow cytometry analysis further demonstrated that miR-125b overexpression promoted HaCaT cell apoptosis. Moreover, these effects were involved in PI3K/Akt/mTOR activation, as miR-125b overexpression inhibited LPS-enhanced expression of p-Akt and p-mTOR proteins. Taken together, these data confirm that miR-125b might inhibit keratinocyte proliferation and promote keratinocyte apoptosis in OLP pathogenesis by targeting MMP-2 through PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. The Role of Akt Isoforms in Colorectal Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-13-1-0198 TITLE: The Role of Akt Isoforms in Colorectal Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Jatin Roper...CONTRACT NUMBER The Role of Akt Isoforms in Colorectal Cancer 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-13-1-0198 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER...substantially reduces colorectal tumorigenesis in our genetically engineered mouse model. We also successfully ablated novel downstream targets of Akt in our

  4. Molecular characterization and interactome analysis of Trypanosoma cruzi tryparedoxin II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, Diego G; Piñeyro, María Dolores; Iglesias, Alberto A; Guerrero, Sergio A; Robello, Carlos

    2015-04-29

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, possesses two tryparedoxins (TcTXNI and TcTXNII), belonging to the thioredoxin superfamily. TXNs are oxidoreductases which mediate electron transfer between trypanothione and peroxiredoxins. This constitutes a difference with the host cells, in which these activities are mediated by thioredoxins. These differences make TXNs an attractive target for drug development. In a previous work we characterized TcTXNI, including the redox interactome. In this work we extend the study to TcTXNII. We demonstrate that TcTXNII is a transmembrane protein anchored to the surface of the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum, with a cytoplasmatic orientation of the redox domain. It would be expressed during the metacyclogenesis process. In order to continue with the characterization of the redox interactome of T. cruzi, we designed an active site mutant TcTXNII lacking the resolving cysteine, and through the expression of this mutant protein and incubation with T. cruzi proteins, heterodisulfide complexes were isolated by affinity chromatography and identified by mass spectrometry. This allowed us to identify sixteen TcTXNII interacting proteins, which are involved in a wide range of cellular processes, indicating the relevance of TcTXNII, and contributing to our understanding of the redox interactome of T. cruzi. T. cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, constitutes a major sanitary problem in Latin America. The number of estimated infected persons is ca. 8 million, 28 million people are at risk of infection and ~20,000 deaths occur per year in endemic regions. No vaccines are available at present, and most drugs currently in use were developed decades ago and show variable efficacy with undesirable side effects. The parasite is able to live and prolipherate inside macrophage phagosomes, where it is exposed to cytotoxic reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, derived from macrophage activation. Therefore, T. cruzi

  5. Trypanosoma cruzi strain TcIV infects raccoons from Illinois

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cailey Vandermark

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND The northern limits of Trypanosoma cruzi across the territory of the United States remain unknown. The known vectors Triatoma sanguisuga and T. lecticularia find their northernmost limits in Illinois; yet, earlier screenings of those insects did not reveal the presence of the pathogen, which has not been reported in vectors or reservoir hosts in this state. OBJECTIVES Five species of medium-sized mammals were screened for the presence of T. cruzi. METHODS Genomic DNA was isolated from heart, spleen and skeletal muscle of bobcats (Lynx rufus, n = 60, raccoons (Procyon lotor, n = 37, nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus, n = 5, Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, n = 3, and a red fox (Vulpes vulpes. Infections were detected targeting DNA from the kinetoplast DNA minicircle (kDNA and satellite DNA (satDNA. The discrete typing unit (DTU was determined by amplifying two gene regions: the Spliced Leader Intergenic Region (SL, via a multiplex polymerase chain reaction, and the 24Sα ribosomal DNA via a heminested reaction. Resulting sequences were used to calculate their genetic distance against reference DTUs. FINDINGS 18.9% of raccoons were positive for strain TcIV; the rest of mammals tested negative. MAIN CONCLUSIONS These results confirm for the first time the presence of T. cruzi in wildlife from Illinois, suggesting that a sylvatic life cycle is likely to occur in the region. The analyses of sequences of SL suggest that amplicons resulting from a commonly used multiplex reaction may yield non-homologous fragments.

  6. A hexane fraction of guava Leaves (Psidium guajava L.) induces anticancer activity by suppressing AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin/ribosomal p70 S6 kinase in human prostate cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Nae Hyung; Park, Kyung-Ran; Kim, Sung-Moo; Yun, Hyung-Mun; Nam, Dongwoo; Lee, Seok-Geun; Jang, Hyeung-Jin; Ahn, Kyoo Seok; Kim, Sung-Hoon; Shim, Bum Sang; Choi, Seung-Hoon; Mosaddik, Ashik; Cho, Somi K; Ahn, Kwang Seok

    2012-03-01

    This study was carried out to evaluate the anticancer effects of guava leaf extracts and its fractions. The chemical compositions of the active extracts were also determined. In the present study, we set out to determine whether the anticancer effects of guava leaves are linked with their ability to suppress constitutive AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/ribosomal p70 S6 kinase (S6K1) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation pathways in human prostate cancer cells. We found that guava leaf hexane fraction (GHF) was the most potent inducer of cytotoxic and apoptotic effects in PC-3 cells. The molecular mechanism or mechanisms of GHF apoptotic potential were correlated with the suppression of AKT/mTOR/S6K1 and MAPK signaling pathways. This effect of GHF correlated with down-regulation of various proteins that mediate cell proliferation, cell survival, metastasis, and angiogenesis. Analysis of GHF by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry tentatively identified 60 compounds, including β-eudesmol (11.98%), α-copaene (7.97%), phytol (7.95%), α-patchoulene (3.76%), β-caryophyllene oxide (CPO) (3.63%), caryophylla-3(15),7(14)-dien-6-ol (2.68%), (E)-methyl isoeugenol (1.90%), α-terpineol (1.76%), and octadecane (1.23%). Besides GHF, CPO, but not phytol, also inhibited the AKT/mTOR/S6K1 signaling pathway and induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Overall, these findings suggest that guava leaves can interfere with multiple signaling cascades linked with tumorigenesis and provide a source of potential therapeutic compounds for both the prevention and treatment of cancer.

  7. Camel Milk Ameliorates 5-Fluorouracil-Induced Renal Injury in Rats: Targeting MAPKs, NF-κB and PI3K/Akt/eNOS Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hany H. Arab

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The clinical utility of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU is limited by its nephrotoxicity. Camel milk (CM has previously displayed beneficial effects in toxicant-induced nephropathies. The current study aimed to investigate the potential of CM to attenuate 5-FU-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Methods: Renal tissues were studied in terms of oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis. The levels of renal injury markers, inflammatory cytokines along with NOX-1, Nrf-2 and HO-1 were assessed by ELISA. The expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, NF-κBp65, p53, Bax and PCNA were detected by Immunohistochemistry. To gain an insight into the molecular signaling mechanisms, we determined the effect of CM on MAPKs, NF-κB and PI3K/Akt/eNOS pathways by Western blotting. Results: CM lowered 5-FU-triggered increase of creatinine, BUN, Kim-1 and NGAL renal injury biomarkers and attenuated the histopathological aberrations. It suppressed oxidative stress and augmented renal antioxidant armory (GSH, SOD, GPx, TAC with restoration of NOX-1, Nrf-2 and HO-1 levels. CM also suppressed renal inflammation as indicated by inhibition of MPO, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-18 and MCP-1 proinflammatory mediators and downregulation of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression with boosting of IL-10. Regarding MAPKs signaling, CM suppressed the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, JNK1/2 and ERK1/2 and inhibited NF-κB activation. For apoptosis, CM downregulated p53, Bax, CytC and caspase-3 proapoptotic signals with enhancement of Bcl-2 and PCNA. It also enhanced PI3K p110α, phospho-Akt and phospho-eNOS levels with augmentation of renal NO, favoring cell survival. Equally important, CM preconditioning enhanced 5-FU cytotoxicity in MCF-7, HepG-2, HCT-116 and PC-3 cells, thus, justifying their concomitant use. Conclusion: The current findings pinpoint, for the first time, the marked renoprotective effects of CM that were mediated via ROS scavenging, suppression of MAPKs and NF-κB along with activation of PI3K/Akt

  8. Akt1 binds focal adhesion kinase via the Akt1 kinase domain independently of the pleckstrin homology domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basson, M D; Zeng, B; Wang, S

    2015-10-01

    for developing novel inhibitors that target this specific Akt1/FAK interaction.

  9. 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.

  10. Loss of Akt1 in mice increases energy expenditure and protects against diet-induced obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Min; Easton, Rachael M; Gleason, Catherine E; Monks, Bobby R; Ueki, Kohjiro; Kahn, C Ronald; Birnbaum, Morris J

    2012-01-01

    Akt is encoded by a gene family for which each isoform serves distinct but overlapping functions. Based on the phenotypes of the germ line gene disruptions, Akt1 has been associated with control of growth, whereas Akt2 has been linked to metabolic regulation. Here we show that Akt1 serves an unexpected role in the regulation of energy metabolism, as mice deficient for Akt1 exhibit protection from diet-induced obesity and its associated insulin resistance. Although skeletal muscle contributes most of the resting and exercising energy expenditure, muscle-specific deletion of Akt1 does not recapitulate the phenotype, indicating that the role of Akt1 in skeletal muscle is cell nonautonomous. These data indicate a previously unknown function of Akt1 in energy metabolism and provide a novel target for treatment of obesity.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Structural and functional analysis of a platelet-activating lysophosphatidylcholine of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Gazos-Lopes

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of the life-threatening Chagas disease, in which increased platelet aggregation related to myocarditis is observed. Platelet-activating factor (PAF is a potent intercellular lipid mediator and second messenger that exerts its activity through a PAF-specific receptor (PAFR. Previous data from our group suggested that T. cruzi synthesizes a phospholipid with PAF-like activity. The structure of T. cruzi PAF-like molecule, however, remains elusive.Here, we have purified and structurally characterized the putative T. cruzi PAF-like molecule by electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS. Our ESI-MS/MS data demonstrated that the T. cruzi PAF-like molecule is actually a lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC, namely sn-1 C18:1(delta 9-LPC. Similar to PAF, the platelet-aggregating activity of C18:1-LPC was abrogated by the PAFR antagonist, WEB 2086. Other major LPC species, i.e., C16:0-, C18:0-, and C18:2-LPC, were also characterized in all T. cruzi stages. These LPC species, however, failed to induce platelet aggregation. Quantification of T. cruzi LPC species by ESI-MS revealed that intracellular amastigote and trypomastigote forms have much higher levels of C18:1-LPC than epimastigote and metacyclic trypomastigote forms. C18:1-LPC was also found to be secreted by the parasite in extracellular vesicles (EV and an EV-free fraction. A three-dimensional model of PAFR was constructed and a molecular docking study was performed to predict the interactions between the PAFR model and PAF, and each LPC species. Molecular docking data suggested that, contrary to other LPC species analyzed, C18:1-LPC is predicted to interact with the PAFR model in a fashion similar to PAF.Taken together, our data indicate that T. cruzi synthesizes a bioactive C18:1-LPC, which aggregates platelets via PAFR. We propose that C18:1-LPC might be an important lipid mediator in the progression of Chagas disease and its biosynthesis could

  15. Ebi3 Prevents Trypanosoma cruzi-Induced Myocarditis by Dampening IFN-γ-Driven Inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Silva Medina

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The identification of anti-inflammatory mediators can reveal important targetable molecules capable of counterbalancing Trypanosoma cruzi-induced myocarditis. Composed of Ebi3 and IL-27p28 subunits, IL-27 is produced by myeloid cells and is able to suppress inflammation by inducing IL-10-producing Tr1 cells, thus emerging as a potential candidate to ameliorate cardiac inflammation induced by T. cruzi. Although IL-27 has been extensively characterized as a suppressive cytokine that prevents liver immunopathogenesis after T. cruzi infection, the mechanisms underlying its effects on T. cruzi-induced myocarditis remain largely unknown. Here, wild-type (WT and Ebi3-deficient animals were intraperitoneally infected with trypomastigotes of T. cruzi Y strain and used to evaluate the potential anti-inflammatory properties of Ebi3 during T. cruzi infection. The survival rates of mice were daily recorded, the frequency of inflammatory cells was analyzed by flow cytometry and inflammatory mediators were measured by ELISA, real-time PCR and PCR array. We reported that T. cruzi-induced myocarditis was prevented by Ebi3. Stressors mainly recognized by TLR2 and TLR4 receptors on myeloid cells were essential to trigger IL-27p28 production. In addition, Ebi3 regulated IFN-γ-mediated myocarditis by promoting an anti-inflammatory environment through IL-10, which was most likely produced by Tr1 cells rather than classical regulatory T cells (Tregs, in the heart tissue of T. cruzi-infected animals. Furthermore, in vivo IFN-γ blockade ameliorated the host survival without compromising the parasite control in the bloodstream. In humans, IL-27p28 was correlated with cardiac protection during Chagas disease. Patients with mild clinical forms of the disease produced high levels of IL-27p28, whereas lower levels were found in those with severe forms. In addition, polymorphic sites at Ebi3 gene were associated with severe cardiomyopathy in patients with Chagas disease

  16. Ebi3 Prevents Trypanosoma cruzi-Induced Myocarditis by Dampening IFN-γ-Driven Inflammation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Tiago Silva; Oliveira, Gabriela Gonçalves; Silva, Maria Cláudia; David, Bruna Araújo; Silva, Grace Kelly; Fonseca, Denise Morais; Sesti-Costa, Renata; Frade, Amanda Farage; Baron, Monique Andrade; Ianni, Barbara; Pereira, Alexandre Costa; Chevillard, Christophe; Cunha-Neto, Edécio; Marin-Neto, José Antonio; Silva, João Santana

    2017-01-01

    The identification of anti-inflammatory mediators can reveal important targetable molecules capable of counterbalancing Trypanosoma cruzi-induced myocarditis. Composed of Ebi3 and IL-27p28 subunits, IL-27 is produced by myeloid cells and is able to suppress inflammation by inducing IL-10-producing Tr1 cells, thus emerging as a potential candidate to ameliorate cardiac inflammation induced by T. cruzi. Although IL-27 has been extensively characterized as a suppressive cytokine that prevents liver immunopathogenesis after T. cruzi infection, the mechanisms underlying its effects on T. cruzi-induced myocarditis remain largely unknown. Here, wild-type (WT) and Ebi3-deficient animals were intraperitoneally infected with trypomastigotes of T. cruzi Y strain and used to evaluate the potential anti-inflammatory properties of Ebi3 during T. cruzi infection. The survival rates of mice were daily recorded, the frequency of inflammatory cells was analyzed by flow cytometry and inflammatory mediators were measured by ELISA, real-time PCR and PCR array. We reported that T. cruzi-induced myocarditis was prevented by Ebi3. Stressors mainly recognized by TLR2 and TLR4 receptors on myeloid cells were essential to trigger IL-27p28 production. In addition, Ebi3 regulated IFN-γ-mediated myocarditis by promoting an anti-inflammatory environment through IL-10, which was most likely produced by Tr1 cells rather than classical regulatory T cells (Tregs), in the heart tissue of T. cruzi-infected animals. Furthermore, in vivo IFN-γ blockade ameliorated the host survival without compromising the parasite control in the bloodstream. In humans, IL-27p28 was correlated with cardiac protection during Chagas disease. Patients with mild clinical forms of the disease produced high levels of IL-27p28, whereas lower levels were found in those with severe forms. In addition, polymorphic sites at Ebi3 gene were associated with severe cardiomyopathy in patients with Chagas disease. Collectively, we

  17. Novel PI3K/AKT targeting anti-angiogenic activities of 4-vinylphenol, a new therapeutic potential of a well-known styrene metabolite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Grace Gar-Lee; Lee, Julia Kin-Ming; Kwok, Hin-Fai; Cheng, Ling; Wong, Eric Chun-Wai; Jiang, Lei; Yu, Hua; Leung, Hoi-Wing; Wong, Yuk-Lau; Leung, Ping-Chung; Fung, Kwok-Pui; Lau, Clara Bik-San

    2015-06-08

    The pneumo- and hepato-toxicity of 4-vinylphenol (4VP), a styrene metabolite, has been previously reported. Nevertheless, the present study reported the novel anti-angiogenic activities of 4VP which was firstly isolated from the aqueous extract of a Chinese medicinal herb Hedyotis diffusa. Our results showed that 4VP at non-toxic dose effectively suppressed migration, tube formation, adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins, as well as protein and mRNA expressions of metalloproteinase-2 of human endothelial cells (HUVEC and HMEC-1). Investigation of the signal transduction revealed that 4VP down-regulated PI3K/AKT and p38 MAPK. Besides, 4VP interfered with the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, the translocation and expression of NFkappaB. In zebrafish embryo model, the new blood vessel growth was significantly blocked by 4VP (6.25-12.5 μg/mL medium). The VEGF-induced blood vessel formation in Matrigel plugs in C57BL/6 mice was suppressed by 4VP (20-100 μg/mL matrigel). In addition, the blood vessel number and tumor size were reduced by intraperitoneal 4VP (0.2-2 mg/kg) in 4T1 breast tumor-bearing BALB/c mice, with doxorubicin as positive control. Together, the in vitro and in vivo anti-angiogenic activities of 4VP were demonstrated for the first time. These findings suggest that 4VP has great potential to be further developed as an anti-angiogenic agent.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettiol, Esther; Samanovic, Marie; Murkin, Andrew S; Raper, Jayne; Buckner, Frederick; Rodriguez, Ana

    2009-01-01

    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.

  2. Resistance of Akt kinases to dephosphorylation through ATP-dependent conformational plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Tung O; Zhang, Jin; Rodeck, Ulrich; Pascal, John M; Armen, Roger S; Spring, Maureen; Dumitru, Calin D; Myers, Valerie; Li, Xue; Cheung, Joseph Y; Feldman, Arthur M

    2011-11-15

    Phosphorylation of a threonine residue (T308 in Akt1) in the activation loop of Akt kinases is a prerequisite for deregulated Akt activity frequently observed in neoplasia. Akt phosphorylation in vivo is balanced by the opposite activities of kinases and phosphatases. Here we describe that targeting Akt kinase to the cell membrane markedly reduced sensitivity of phosphorylated Akt to dephosphorylation by protein phosphatase 2A. This effect was amplified by occupancy of the ATP binding pocket by either ATP or ATP-competitive inhibitors. Mutational analysis revealed that R273 in Akt1 and the corresponding R274 in Akt2 are essential for shielding T308 in the activation loop against dephosphorylation. Thus, occupancy of the nucleotide binding pocket of Akt kinases enables intramolecular interactions that restrict phosphatase access and sustain Akt phosphorylation. This mechanism provides an explanation for the "paradoxical" Akt hyperphosphorylation induced by ATP-competitive inhibitor, A-443654. The lack of phosphatase resistance further contributes insight into the mechanism by which the human Akt2 R274H missense mutation may cause autosomal-dominant diabetes mellitus.

  3. Lysophosphatidylcholine: A Novel Modulator of Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mário A. C. Silva-Neto

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Lysophosphatidylcholine is a bioactive lipid that regulates a large number of cellular processes and is especially present during the deposition and infiltration of inflammatory cells and deposition of atheromatous plaque. Such molecule is also present in saliva and feces of the hematophagous organism Rhodnius prolixus, a triatominae bug vector of Chagas disease. We have recently demonstrated that LPC is a modulator of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission. It acts as a powerful chemoattractant for inflammatory cells at the site of the insect bite, which will provide a concentrated population of cells available for parasite infection. Also, LPC increases macrophage intracellular calcium concentrations that ultimately enhance parasite invasion. Finally, LPC inhibits NO production by macrophages stimulated by live T. cruzi, and thus interferes with the immune system of the vertebrate host. In the present paper, we discuss the main signaling mechanisms that are likely used by such molecule and their eventual use as targets to block parasite transmission and the pathogenesis of Chagas disease.

  4. Akt kinase C-terminal modifications control activation loop dephosphorylation and enhance insulin response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Tung O; Zhang, Jin; Tiegs, Brian C; Blumhof, Brian; Yan, Linda; Keny, Nikhil; Penny, Morgan; Li, Xue; Pascal, John M; Armen, Roger S; Rodeck, Ulrich; Penn, Raymond B

    2015-10-01

    The Akt protein kinase, also known as protein kinase B, plays key roles in insulin receptor signalling and regulates cell growth, survival and metabolism. Recently, we described a mechanism to enhance Akt phosphorylation that restricts access of cellular phosphatases to the Akt activation loop (Thr(308) in Akt1 or protein kinase B isoform alpha) in an ATP-dependent manner. In the present paper, we describe a distinct mechanism to control Thr(308) dephosphorylation and thus Akt deactivation that depends on intramolecular interactions of Akt C-terminal sequences with its kinase domain. Modifications of amino acids surrounding the Akt1 C-terminal mTORC2 (mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2) phosphorylation site (Ser(473)) increased phosphatase resistance of the phosphorylated activation loop (pThr(308)) and amplified Akt phosphorylation. Furthermore, the phosphatase-resistant Akt was refractory to ceramide-dependent dephosphorylation and amplified insulin-dependent Thr(308) phosphorylation in a regulated fashion. Collectively, these results suggest that the Akt C-terminal hydrophobic groove is a target for the development of agents that enhance Akt phosphorylation by insulin. © 2015 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

  5. Ligand-based modeling of Akt3 lead to potent dual Akt1/Akt3 inhibitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Sha'er, Mahmoud A; Taha, Mutasem O

    2018-02-13

    Akt1 and Akt3 are important serine/threonine-specific protein kinases involved in G2 phase required by cancer cells to maintain cell cycle and to prevent cell death. Accordingly, inhibitors of these kinases should have potent anti-cancer properties. This prompted us to use pharmacophore/QSAR modeling to identify optimal binding models and physicochemical descriptors that explain bioactivity variation within a set of 74 diverse Akt3 inhibitors. Two successful orthogonal pharmacophores were identified and further validated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. The pharmacophoric models and associated QSAR equation were applied to screen the national cancer institute (NCI) list of compounds for new Akt3 inhibitors. Six hits showed significant experimental anti-Akt3 IC 50 values, out of which one compound exhibited dual low micromolar anti-Akt1 and anti-Akt3 inhibitory profiles. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 vi...

  8. 3-H-[1,2]Dithiole as a New Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi Chemotype: Biological and Mechanism of Action Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria P Sülsen

    Full Text Available 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

  11. BRAFV600E negatively regulates the AKT pathway in melanoma cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Brenden; Tardell, Christine; Higgins, Brian; Packman, Kathryn; Boylan, John F; Niu, Huifeng

    2012-01-01

    Cross-feedback activation of MAPK and AKT pathways is implicated as a resistance mechanism for cancer therapeutic agents targeting either RAF/MEK or PI3K/AKT/mTOR. It is thus important to have a better understanding of the molecular resistance mechanisms to improve patient survival benefit from these agents. Here we show that BRAFV600E is a negative regulator of the AKT pathway. Expression of BRAFV600E in NIH3T3 cells significantly suppresses MEK inhibitor (RG7167) or mTORC1 inhibitor (rapamycin) induced AKT phosphorylation (pAKT) and downstream signal activation. Treatment-induced pAKT elevation is found in BRAF wild type melanoma cells but not in a subset of melanoma cell lines harboring BRAFV600E. Knock-down of BRAFV600E in these melanoma cells elevates basal pAKT and downstream signals, whereas knock-down of CRAF, MEK1/2 or ERK1/2 or treatment with a BRAF inhibitor have no impact on pAKT. Mechanistically, we show that BRAFV600E interacts with rictor complex (mTORC2) and regulates pAKT through mTORC2. BRAFV600E is identified in mTORC2 after immunoprecipitation of rictor. Knock-down of rictor abrogates BRAFV600E depletion induced pAKT. Knock-down of BRAFV600E enhances cellular enzyme activity of mTORC2. Aberrant activation of AKT pathway by PTEN loss appears to override the negative impact of BRAFV600E on pAKT. Taken together, our findings suggest that in a subset of BRAFV600E melanoma cells, BRAFV600E negatively regulates AKT pathway in a rictor-dependent, MEK/ERK and BRAF kinase-independent manner. Our study reveals a novel molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of feedback loops between the MAPK and AKT pathways.

  12. BRAFV600E negatively regulates the AKT pathway in melanoma cell lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenden Chen

    Full Text Available Cross-feedback activation of MAPK and AKT pathways is implicated as a resistance mechanism for cancer therapeutic agents targeting either RAF/MEK or PI3K/AKT/mTOR. It is thus important to have a better understanding of the molecular resistance mechanisms to improve patient survival benefit from these agents. Here we show that BRAFV600E is a negative regulator of the AKT pathway. Expression of BRAFV600E in NIH3T3 cells significantly suppresses MEK inhibitor (RG7167 or mTORC1 inhibitor (rapamycin induced AKT phosphorylation (pAKT and downstream signal activation. Treatment-induced pAKT elevation is found in BRAF wild type melanoma cells but not in a subset of melanoma cell lines harboring BRAFV600E. Knock-down of BRAFV600E in these melanoma cells elevates basal pAKT and downstream signals, whereas knock-down of CRAF, MEK1/2 or ERK1/2 or treatment with a BRAF inhibitor have no impact on pAKT. Mechanistically, we show that BRAFV600E interacts with rictor complex (mTORC2 and regulates pAKT through mTORC2. BRAFV600E is identified in mTORC2 after immunoprecipitation of rictor. Knock-down of rictor abrogates BRAFV600E depletion induced pAKT. Knock-down of BRAFV600E enhances cellular enzyme activity of mTORC2. Aberrant activation of AKT pathway by PTEN loss appears to override the negative impact of BRAFV600E on pAKT. Taken together, our findings suggest that in a subset of BRAFV600E melanoma cells, BRAFV600E negatively regulates AKT pathway in a rictor-dependent, MEK/ERK and BRAF kinase-independent manner. Our study reveals a novel molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of feedback loops between the MAPK and AKT pathways.

  13. Detection of Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies in multitransfused patients in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Beltrán

    2017-09-01

    Conclusions: The results of this study showed a low frequency of T. cruzi infection in multitransfused patients, suggesting that the risk of transfusion infection in Colombia is low. Known risk factors for transfusion-related infection were not associated with the presence of anti-T. cruzi antibodies.

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitor Sueth-Santiago

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Trypanosoma cruzi response to sterol biosynthesis inhibitors: morphophysiological alterations leading to cell death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Luis Kessler

    Full Text Available The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi displays similarities to fungi in terms of its sterol lipid biosynthesis, as ergosterol and other 24-alkylated sterols are its principal endogenous sterols. The sterol pathway is thus a potential drug target for the treatment of Chagas disease. We describe here a comparative study of the growth inhibition, ultrastructural and physiological changes leading to the death of T. cruzi cells following treatment with the sterol biosynthesis inhibitors (SBIs ketoconazole and lovastatin. We first calculated the drug concentration inhibiting epimastigote growth by 50% (EC(50/72 h or killing all cells within 24 hours (EC(100/24 h. Incubation with inhibitors at the EC(50/72 h resulted in interesting morphological changes: intense proliferation of the inner mitochondrial membrane, which was corroborated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy of the parasites stained with rhodamine 123, and strong swelling of the reservosomes, which was confirmed by acridine orange staining. These changes to the mitochondria and reservosomes may reflect the involvement of these organelles in ergosterol biosynthesis or the progressive autophagic process culminating in cell lysis after 6 to 7 days of treatment with SBIs at the EC(50/72 h. By contrast, treatment with SBIs at the EC(100/24 h resulted in rapid cell death with a necrotic phenotype: time-dependent cytosolic calcium overload, mitochondrial depolarization and reservosome membrane permeabilization (RMP, culminating in cell lysis after a few hours of drug exposure. We provide the first demonstration that RMP constitutes the "point of no return" in the cell death cascade, and propose a model for the necrotic cell death of T. cruzi. Thus, SBIs trigger cell death by different mechanisms, depending on the dose used, in T. cruzi. These findings shed new light on ergosterol biosynthesis and the mechanisms of programmed cell death in this ancient protozoan parasite.

  19. 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.

  20. Decoding the anti-Trypanosoma cruzi action of HIV peptidase inhibitors using epimastigotes as a model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro S Sangenito

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Aspartic peptidase inhibitors have shown antimicrobial action against distinct microorganisms. Due to an increase in the occurrence of Chagas' disease/AIDS co-infection, we decided to explore the effects of HIV aspartic peptidase inhibitors (HIV-PIs on Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas' disease. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: HIV-PIs presented an anti-proliferative action on epimastigotes of T. cruzi clone Dm28c, with IC50 values ranging from 0.6 to 14 µM. The most effective inhibitors, ritonavir, lopinavir and nelfinavir, also had an anti-proliferative effect against different phylogenetic T. cruzi strains. The HIV-PIs induced some morphological alterations in clone Dm28c epimastigotes, as reduced cell size and swollen of the cellular body. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the flagellar membrane, mitochondrion and reservosomes are the main targets of HIV-PIs in T. cruzi epimastigotes. Curiously, an increase in the epimastigote-into-trypomastigote differentiation process of clone Dm28c was observed, with many of these parasites presenting morphological alterations including the detachment of flagellum from the cell body. The pre-treatment with the most effective HIV-PIs drastically reduced the interaction process between epimastigotes and the invertebrate vector Rhodnius prolixus. It was also noted that HIV-PIs induced an increase in the expression of gp63-like and calpain-related molecules, and decreased the cruzipain expression in epimastigotes as judged by flow cytometry and immunoblotting assays. The hydrolysis of a cathepsin D fluorogenic substrate was inhibited by all HIV-PIs in a dose-dependent manner, showing that the aspartic peptidase could be a possible target to these drugs. Additionally, we verified that ritonavir, lopinavir and nelfinavir reduced drastically the viability of clone Dm28c trypomastigotes, causing many morphological damages. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The results

  1. 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.

  2. Flagellar Motility of Trypanosoma cruzi Epimastigotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Differential gene expression during Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction performance using Mexican and Guatemalan discrete typing unit I strains of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballinas-Verdugo, Martha; Reyes, Pedro Antonio; Mejia-Dominguez, Ana; López, Ruth; Matta, Vivian; Monteón, Victor M

    2011-12-01

    Thirteen Trypanosoma cruzi isolates from different geographic regions of Mexico and Guatemala belonging to discrete typing unit (DTU) I and a reference CL-Brener (DTU VI) strain were used to perform enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A panel of 57 Mexican serum samples of patients with chronic chagasic cardiopathy and asymptomatic infected subjects (blood bank donors) were used in this study. DNA from the above 14 T. cruzi strains were extracted and analyzed by PCR using different sets of primers designed from minicircle and satellite T. cruzi DNA. The chronic chagasic cardiopathy serum samples were easily recognized with ELISA regardless of the source of antigenic extract used, even with the CL-Brener TcVI, but positive serum samples from blood bank donors in some cases were not recognized by some Mexican antigenic extracts. On the other hand, PCR showed an excellent performance despite the set of primers used, since all Mexican and Guatemalan T. cruzi strains were correctly amplified. In general terms, Mexican, Guatemalan, and CL-Brener T. cruzi strains are equally good sources of antigen when using the ELISA test to detect Mexican serum samples. However, there are some strains with poor performance. The DTU I strains are easily detected using either kinetoplast or satellite DNA target designed from DTU VI strains.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanesa Olivares-Illana

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  8. Real-Time PCR in HIV/Trypanosoma cruzi Coinfection with and without Chagas Disease Reactivation: Association with HIV Viral Load and CD4+ Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Freitas, Vera Lúcia Teixeira; da Silva, Sheila Cristina Vicente; Sartori, Ana Marli; Bezerra, Rita Cristina; Westphalen, Elizabeth Visone Nunes; Molina, Tatiane Decaris; Teixeira, Antonio R. L.; Ibrahim, Karim Yaqub; Shikanai-Yasuda, Maria Aparecida

    2011-01-01

    Background Reactivation of chronic Chagas disease, which occurs in approximately 20% of patients coinfected with HIV/Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), is commonly characterized by severe meningoencephalitis and myocarditis. The use of quantitative molecular tests to monitor Chagas disease reactivation was analyzed. Methodology Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of kDNA sequences, competitive (C-) PCR and real-time quantitative (q) PCR were compared with blood cultures and xenodiagnosis in samples from 91 patients (57 patients with chronic Chagas disease and 34 with HIV/T. cruzi coinfection), of whom 5 had reactivation of Chagas disease and 29 did not. Principal Findings qRT-PCR showed significant differences between groups; the highest parasitemia was observed in patients infected with HIV/T. cruzi with Chagas disease reactivation (median 1428.90 T. cruzi/mL), followed by patients with HIV/T. cruzi infection without reactivation (median 1.57 T. cruzi/mL) and patients with Chagas disease without HIV (median 0.00 T. cruzi/mL). Spearman's correlation coefficient showed that xenodiagnosis was correlated with blood culture, C-PCR and qRT-PCR. A stronger Spearman correlation index was found between C-PCR and qRT-PCR, the number of parasites and the HIV viral load, expressed as the number of CD4+ cells or the CD4+/CD8+ ratio. Conclusions qRT-PCR distinguished the groups of HIV/T. cruzi coinfected patients with and without reactivation. Therefore, this new method of qRT-PCR is proposed as a tool for prospective studies to analyze the importance of parasitemia (persistent and/or increased) as a criterion for recommending pre-emptive therapy in patients with chronic Chagas disease with HIV infection or immunosuppression. As seen in this study, an increase in HIV viral load and decreases in the number of CD4+ cells/mm3 and the CD4+/CD8+ ratio were identified as cofactors for increased parasitemia that can be used to target the introduction of early, pre-emptive therapy. PMID

  9. 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...

  10. Interaction of human biliverdin reductase with Akt/protein kinase B and phosphatidylinositol-dependent kinase 1 regulates glycogen synthase kinase 3 activity: a novel mechanism of Akt activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miralem, Tihomir; Lerner-Marmarosh, Nicole; Gibbs, Peter E M; Jenkins, Jermaine L; Heimiller, Chelsea; Maines, Mahin D

    2016-08-01

    Biliverdin reductase A (BVR) and Akt isozymes have overlapping pleiotropic functions in the insulin/PI3K/MAPK pathway. Human BVR (hBVR) also reduces the hemeoxygenase activity product biliverdin to bilirubin and is directly activated by insulin receptor kinase (IRK). Akt isoenzymes (Akt1-3) are downstream of IRK and are activated by phosphatidylinositol-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) phosphorylating T(308) before S(473) autophosphorylation. Akt (RxRxxSF) and PDK1 (RFxFPxFS) binding motifs are present in hBVR. Phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) isoforms α/β by Akts inhibits their activity; nonphosphorylated GSK3β inhibits activation of various genes. We examined the role of hBVR in PDK1/Akt1/GSK3 signaling and Akt1 in hBVR phosphorylation. hBVR activates phosphorylation of Akt1 at S(473) independent of hBVR's kinase competency. hBVR and Akt1 coimmunoprecipitated, and in-cell Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and glutathione S-transferase pulldown analyses identified Akt1 pleckstrin homology domain as the interactive domain. hBVR activates phosphorylation of Akt1 at S(473) independent of hBVR's kinase competency. Site-directed mutagenesis, mass spectrometry, and kinetic analyses identified S(230) in hBVR (225)RNRYLSF sequence as the Akt1 target. Underlined amino acids are the essential residues of the signaling motifs. In cells, hBVR-activated Akt1 increased both GSK3α/β and forkhead box of the O class transcription class 3 (FoxO3) phosphorylation and inhibited total GSK3 activity; depletion of hBVR released inhibition and stimulated glucose uptake. Immunoprecipitation analysis showed that PDK1 and hBVR interact through hBVR's PDK1 binding (161)RFGFPAFS motif and formation of the PDK1/hBVR/Akt1 complex. sihBVR blocked complex formation. Findings identify hBVR as a previously unknown coactivator of Akt1 and as a key mediator of Akt1/GSK3 pathway, as well as define a key role for hBVR in Akt1 activation by PDK1.-Miralem, T., Lerner

  11. AKT capture by feline leukemia virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, Maki; Umehara, Daigo; Odahara, Yuka; Miyake, Ariko; Ngo, Minh Ha; Ohsato, Yoshiharu; Hisasue, Masaharu; Nakaya, Masa-Aki; Watanabe, Shinya; Nishigaki, Kazuo

    2017-04-01

    Oncogene-containing retroviruses are generated by recombination events between viral and cellular sequences, a phenomenon called "oncogene capture". The captured cellular genes, referred to as "v-onc" genes, then acquire new oncogenic properties. We report a novel feline leukemia virus (FeLV), designated "FeLV-AKT", that has captured feline c-AKT1 in feline lymphoma. FeLV-AKT contains a gag-AKT fusion gene that encodes the myristoylated Gag matrix protein and the kinase domain of feline c-AKT1, but not its pleckstrin homology domain. Therefore, it differs structurally from the v-Akt gene of murine retrovirus AKT8. AKT may be involved in the mechanisms underlying malignant diseases in cats.

  12. Aging-associated dysfunction of Akt/protein kinase B: S-nitrosylation and acetaminophen intervention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miaozong Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Aged skeletal muscle is characterized by an increased incidence of metabolic and functional disorders, which if allowed to proceed unchecked can lead to increased morbidity and mortality. The mechanism(s underlying the development of these disorders in aging skeletal muscle are not well understood. Protein kinase B (Akt/PKB is an important regulator of cellular metabolism and survival, but it is unclear if aged muscle exhibits alterations in Akt function. Here we report a novel dysfunction of Akt in aging muscle, which may relate to S-nitrosylation and can be prevented by acetaminophen intervention. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Compared to 6- and 27-month rats, the phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473 and Thr308 was higher in soleus muscles of very aged rats (33-months. Paradoxically, these increases in Akt phosphorylation were associated with diminished mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR phosphorylation, along with decreased levels of insulin receptor beta (IR-beta, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K, phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN and phosphorylation of phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1 (Ser241. In vitro Akt kinase measurements and ex vivo muscle incubation experiments demonstrated age-related impairments of Akt kinase activity, which were associated with increases in Akt S-nitrosylation and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS. Impairments in Akt function occurred parallel to increases in myocyte apoptosis and decreases in myocyte size and the expression of myosin and actin. These age-related disorders were attenuated by treating aged (27-month animals with acetaminophen (30 mg/kg body weight/day for 6-months. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that Akt dysfunction and increased S-nitrosylation of Akt may contribute to age-associated disorders in skeletal muscle and that acetaminophen may be efficacious for the treatment of age-related muscle dysfunction.

  13. EPIDEMIOLOGÍA MOLECULAR DE TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. The Trypanosoma cruzi vitamin C dependent peroxidase confers protection against oxidative stress but is not a determinant of virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin C Taylor

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The neglected parasitic infection Chagas disease is rapidly becoming a globalised public health issue due to migration. There are only two anti-parasitic drugs available to treat this disease, benznidazole and nifurtimox. Thus it is important to identify and validate new drug targets in Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent. T. cruzi expresses an ER-localised ascorbate-dependent peroxidase (TcAPx. This parasite-specific enzyme has attracted interest from the perspective of targeted chemotherapy.To assess the importance of TcAPx in protecting T. cruzi from oxidative stress and to determine if it is essential for virulence, we generated null mutants by targeted gene disruption. Loss of activity was associated with increased sensitivity to exogenous hydrogen peroxide, but had no effect on susceptibility to the front-line Chagas disease drug benznidazole. This suggests that increased oxidative stress in the ER does not play a significant role in its mechanism of action. Homozygous knockouts could proceed through the entire life-cycle in vitro, although they exhibited a significant decrease in their ability to infect mammalian cells. To investigate virulence, we exploited a highly sensitive bioluminescence imaging system which allows parasites to be monitored in real-time in the chronic stage of murine infections. This showed that depletion of enzyme activity had no effect on T. cruzi replication, dissemination or tissue tropism in vivo.TcAPx is not essential for parasite viability within the mammalian host, does not have a significant role in establishment or maintenance of chronic infections, and should therefore not be considered a priority for drug design.

  16. Rictor and integrin-linked kinase interact and regulate Akt phosphorylation and cancer cell survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Paul C; Oloumi, Arusha; Mills, Julia; Dobreva, Iveta; Maidan, Mykola; Gray, Virginia; Wederell, Elizabeth D; Bally, Marcel B; Foster, Leonard J; Dedhar, Shoukat

    2008-03-15

    An unbiased proteomic screen to identify integrin-linked kinase (ILK) interactors revealed rictor as an ILK-binding protein. This finding was interesting because rictor, originally identified as a regulator of cytoskeletal dynamics, is also a component of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2), a complex implicated in Akt phosphorylation. These functions overlap with known ILK functions. Coimmunoprecipitation analyses confirmed this interaction, and ILK and rictor colocalized in membrane ruffles and leading edges of cancer cells. Yeast two-hybrid assays showed a direct interaction between the NH(2)- and COOH-terminal domains of rictor and the ILK kinase domain. Depletion of ILK and rictor in breast and prostate cancer cell lines resulted in inhibition of Akt Ser(473) phosphorylation and induction of apoptosis, whereas, in several cell lines, depletion of mTOR increased Akt phosphorylation. Akt and Ser(473)P-Akt were detected in ILK immunoprecipitates and small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of rictor, but not mTOR, inhibited the amount of Ser(473)P-Akt in the ILK complex. Expression of the NH(2)-terminal (1-398 amino acids) rictor domain also resulted in the inhibition of ILK-associated Akt Ser(473) phosphorylation. These data show that rictor regulates the ability of ILK to promote Akt phosphorylation and cancer cell survival.

  17. Activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway in Merkel cell carcinoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Hafner

    Full Text Available Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC is a highly aggressive skin cancer with an increasing incidence. The understanding of the molecular carcinogenesis of MCC is limited. Here, we scrutinized the PI3K/AKT pathway, one of the major pathways activated in human cancer, in MCC. Immunohistochemical analysis of 41 tumor tissues and 9 MCC cell lines revealed high levels of AKT phosphorylation at threonine 308 in 88% of samples. Notably, the AKT phosphorylation was not correlated with the presence or absence of the Merkel cell polyoma virus (MCV. Accordingly, knock-down of the large and small T antigen by shRNA in MCV positive MCC cells did not affect phosphorylation of AKT. We also analyzed 46 MCC samples for activating PIK3CA and AKT1 mutations. Oncogenic PIK3CA mutations were found in 2/46 (4% MCCs whereas mutations in exon 4 of AKT1 were absent. MCC cell lines demonstrated a high sensitivity towards the PI3K inhibitor LY-294002. This finding together with our observation that the PI3K/AKT pathway is activated in the majority of human MCCs identifies PI3K/AKT as a potential new therapeutic target for MCC patients.

  18. AKT-independent PI3-K signaling in cancer – emerging role for SGK3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bruhn, Maressa A; Pearson, Richard B; Hannan, Ross D; Sheppard, Karen E

    2013-01-01

    The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K) signaling pathway plays an important role in a wide variety of fundamental cellular processes, largely mediated via protein kinase B/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (PKB/AKT) signaling. Given the crucial role of PI3-K/AKT signaling in regulating processes such as cell growth, proliferation, and survival, it is not surprising that components of this pathway are frequently dysregulated in cancer, making the AKT kinase family members important therapeutic targets. The large number of clinical trials currently evaluating PI3-K pathway inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy further emphasizes this. The serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible protein kinase (SGK) family is made up of three isoforms, SGK1, 2, and 3, that are PI3-K-dependent, serine/threonine kinases, with similar substrate specificity to AKT. Consequently, the SGK family also regulates similar cell processes to the AKT kinases, including cell proliferation and survival. Importantly, there is emerging evidence demonstrating that SGK3 plays a critical role in AKT-independent oncogenic signaling. This review will focus on the role of SGK3 as a key effector of AKT-independent PI3-K oncogenic signaling

  19. Akt1 deficiency diminishes skeletal muscle hypertrophy by reducing satellite cell proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriya, Nobuki; Miyazaki, Mitsunori

    2018-02-14

    Skeletal muscle mass is determined by the net dynamic balance between protein synthesis and degradation. Although the Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR)-dependent pathway plays an important role in promoting protein synthesis and subsequent skeletal muscle hypertrophy, the precise molecular regulation of mTOR activity by the upstream protein kinase Akt is largely unknown. In addition, the activation of satellite cells has been indicated as a key regulator of muscle mass. However, the requirement of satellite cells for load-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy is still under intense debate. In this study, female germline Akt1 knockout (KO) mice were used to examine whether Akt1 deficiency attenuates load-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy through suppressing mTOR-dependent signaling and satellite cell proliferation. Akt1 KO mice showed a blunted hypertrophic response of skeletal muscle, with a diminished rate of satellite cell proliferation following mechanical overload. In contrast, Akt1 deficiency did not affect the load-induced activation of mTOR signaling and the subsequent enhanced rate of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. These observations suggest that the load-induced activation of mTOR signaling occurs independently of Akt1 regulation and that Akt1 plays a critical role in regulating satellite cell proliferation during load-induced muscle hypertrophy.

  20. Optimal Classes of Chemotherapeutic Agents Sensitized by Specific Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Akt In Vitro and In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Shi

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Akt is a serine/threonine kinase that transduces survival signals from survival/growth factors. Deregulation and signal imbalance in cancer cells make them prone to apoptosis. Upregulation or activation of Akt to aid the survival of cancer cells is a common theme in human malignancies. We have developed small-molecule Akt inhibitors that are potent and specific. These Akt inhibitors can inhibit Akt activity and block phosphorylation by Akt on multiple downstream targets in cells. Synergy in apoptosis induction was observed when Akt inhibitors were combined with doxorubicin or camptothecin. Akt inhibitor-induced enhancement of topoisomerase inhibitor cytotoxicity was also evident in long-term cell survival assay. Synergy with paclitaxel in apoptosis induction was evident in cells pretreated with paclitaxel, and enhancement of tumor delay by paclitaxel was demonstrated through cotreatment with Akt inhibitor Compound A (A-443654. Combination with other classes of chemotherapeutic agents did not yield any enhancement of cytotoxicity. These findings provide important guidance in selecting appropriate classes of chemotherapeutic agents for combination with Akt inhibitors in cancer treatment.

  1. Kaempferol inhibits angiogenic ability by targeting VEGF receptor-2 and downregulating the PI3K/AKT, MEK and ERK pathways in VEGF-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Hsien-Kuo; Horng, Chi-Ting; Liu, Yi-Shan; Lu, Chi-Cheng; Su, Chen-Ying; Chen, Pei-Syuan; Chiu, Hong-Yi; Tsai, Fuu-Jen; Shieh, Po-Chuen; Yang, Jai-Sing

    2018-05-01

    Anti-angiogenesis is one of the most general clinical obstacles in cancer chemotherapy. Kaempferol is a flavonoid phytochemical found in many fruits and vegetables. Our previous study revealed that kaempferol triggered apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by ROS‑mediated p53/ATM/death receptor signaling. However, the anti‑angiogenic potential of kaempferol remains unclear and its underlying mechanism warranted further exploration in VEGF‑stimulated HUVECs. In the present study, kaempferol significantly reduced VEGF‑stimulated HUVEC viability. Kaempferol treatment also inhibited cell migration, invasion, and tube formation in VEGF‑stimulated HUVECs. VEGF receptor‑2 (VEGFR‑2), and its downstream signaling cascades (such as AKT, mTOR and MEK1/2‑ERK1/2) were reduced as determined by western blotting and kinase activity assay in VEGF‑stimulated HUVECs after treatment with kaempferol. The present study revealed that kaempferol may possess angiogenic inhibition through regulation of VEGF/VEGFR‑2 and its downstream signaling cascades (PI3K/AKT, MEK and ERK) in VEGF-stimulated endothelial cells.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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 colorectal cancers linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). Sequencing was used to identify mutations in PIK3CA, a real-time PCR-based method to identify KRAS mutations, and immunohistochemical staining was used to evaluate the 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...

  4. 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)

  5. MK-2206, an AKT Inhibitor, Promotes Caspase-Independent Cell Death and Inhibits Leiomyoma Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sefton, Elizabeth C.; Qiang, Wenan; Serna, Vanida; Kurita, Takeshi; Wei, Jian-Jun; Chakravarti, Debabrata

    2013-01-01

    Uterine leiomyomas (ULs), benign tumors of the myometrium, are the number one indication for hysterectomies in the United States due to a lack of an effective alternative therapy. ULs show activation of the pro-survival AKT pathway compared with normal myometrium; however, substantial data directly linking AKT to UL cell survival are lacking. We hypothesized that AKT promotes UL cell survival and that it is a viable target for inhibiting UL growth. We used the investigational AKT inhibitor MK-2206, currently in phase II trials, on cultured primary human UL and myometrial cells, immortalized leiomyoma cells, and in leiomyoma grafts grown under the kidney capsule in mice. MK-2206 inhibited AKT and PRAS40 phosphorylation but did not regulate serum- and glucocorticoid-induced kinase and ERK1/2, demonstrating its specificity for AKT. MK-2206 reduced UL cell viability and decreased UL tumor volumes. UL cells exhibited disruption of mitochondrial structures and underwent cell death that was independent of caspases. Additionally, mammalian target of rapamycin and p70S6K phosphorylation were reduced, indicating that mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 signaling was compromised by AKT inhibition in UL cells. MK-2206 also induced autophagy in UL cells. Pretreatment of primary UL cells with 3-methyladenine enhanced MK-2206-mediated UL cell death, whereas knockdown of ATG5 and/or ATG7 did not significantly influence UL cell viability in the presence of MK-2206. Our data provide molecular evidence for the involvement of AKT in UL cell survival and suggest that AKT inhibition by MK-2206 may be a viable option to consider for the treatment of ULs. PMID:24002033

  6. Emodin negatively affects the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT signalling pathway: a study on its mechanism of action

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Birgitte B; Bjørling-Poulsen, Marina; Guerra, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    with inhibitors of protein kinase CK2, such as emodin, induces apoptosis and that the anti-apoptotic effect of CK2 is partially mediated by target phosphorylation and up-regulation of AKT by CK2. In the present study, a screening with selected CK2 inhibitors induced a variable response with respect to AKT down...

  7. Akt Inhibitor A-443654 Interferes with Mitotic Progression by Regulating Aurora A Kinase Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuesong Liu

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Both Akt and Aurora A kinase have been shown to be important targets for intervention for cancer therapy. We report here that Compound A (A-443654, a specific Akt inhibitor, interferes with mitotic progression and bipolar spindle formation. Compound A induces G2/M accumulation, defects in centrosome separation, and formation of either monopolar arrays or disorganized spindles. On the basis of gene expression array studies, we identified Aurora A as one of the genes regulated transcriptionally by Akt inhibitors including Compound A. Inhibition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K/Akt pathway, either by PI3K inhibitor LY294002 or by Compound A, dramatically inhibits the promoter activity of Aurora A, whereas the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor has little effect, suggesting that Akt might be responsible for up-regulating Aurora A for mitotic progression. Further analysis of the Aurora A promoter region indicates that the Ets element but not the Sp1 element is required for Compound A-sensitive transcriptional control of Aurora A. Overexpression of Aurora A in cells treated with Compound A attenuates the mitotic arrest and the defects in bipolar spindle formation induced by Akt inhibition. Our studies suggest that that Akt may promote mitotic progression through the transcriptional regulation of Aurora A.

  8. BRAFV600E Negatively Regulates the AKT Pathway in Melanoma Cell Lines

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Brenden; Tardell, Christine; Higgins, Brian; Packman, Kathryn; Boylan, John F.; Niu, Huifeng

    2012-01-01

    Cross-feedback activation of MAPK and AKT pathways is implicated as a resistance mechanism for cancer therapeutic agents targeting either RAF/MEK or PI3K/AKT/mTOR. It is thus important to have a better understanding of the molecular resistance mechanisms to improve patient survival benefit from these agents. Here we show that BRAFV600E is a negative regulator of the AKT pathway. Expression of BRAFV600E in NIH3T3 cells significantly suppresses MEK inhibitor (RG7167) or mTORC1 inhibitor (rapamy...

  9. Seropositivity for Trypanosoma cruzi in domestic dogs from Sonora, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arce-Fonseca, Minerva; Carrillo-Sánchez, Silvia C; Molina-Barrios, Ramón M; Martínez-Cruz, Mariana; Cedillo-Cobián, Jesús R; Henao-Díaz, Yuly A; Rodríguez-Morales, Olivia

    2017-09-05

    Chagas disease is an important health problem in Latin America due to its incapacitating effects and associated mortality. Studies on seropositivity for Trypanosoma cruzi in Mexican dogs have demonstrated a direct correlation between seropositivity in humans and dogs, which can act as sentinels for the disease in this region. The objective of this study was to determine the seropositivity for T.cruzi infection in dogs from Sonora, a northern borderstate of Mexico. Responsible pet owners were selected at random from an urban area of Empalme municipality, Sonora, Mexico, and from there, 180 dog samples were collected. Anti-T. cruzi antibodies were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. Reactive ELISA sera were processed by indirect immunofluorescence to confirm the presence of anti-T. cruzi antibodies. For the statistical analysis, chi-square tests were conducted. Dogs' sera showed a seropositivity rate of 4.44%. The rate of seropositivity was not associated with the dogs' age, sex, or socioeconomics pertaining to the geographical area. One sample (1/180, 0.55%) showed the acute state of the disease. The study found a presence of anti-T. cruzi antibodies in dogs in this area, which suggests vector transmission. There is a need for active surveillance programs throughout the state of Sonora and vector control strategies should also be implemented in endemic regions.

  10. Melatonin: Antioxidant and modulatory properties in age-related changes during Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazão, Vânia; Santello, Fabricia H; Colato, Rafaela P; Mazotti, Tamires T; Tazinafo, Lucas F; Toldo, Míriam Paula A; do Vale, Gabriel T; Tirapelli, Carlos R; do Prado, José C

    2017-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin on selected biomarkers of innate and humoral immune response as well as the antioxidant/oxidant status (superoxide dismutase-SOD and reduced glutathione levels (GSH) to understand whether age-related changes would influence the development of acute Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) infection. Young- (5 weeks) and middle-aged (18 months) Wistar rats were orally treated with melatonin (gavage) (05 mg/kg/day), 9 days after infection. A significant increase in both SOD activity and GSH levels was found in plasma from all middle-aged melatonin-treated animals. Melatonin triggered enhanced expression of major histocompatibility class II (MHC-II) antigens on antigen-presenting cell (APC) and peritoneal macrophages in all treated animals. High levels of CD4 + CD28-negative T cells (*PMelatonin induced a significant reduction (***PMelatonin also triggered an upregulation of CD80 and CD86 expression in all young-treated groups. Significant percentages of B and spleen dendritic cells in middle-aged infected and treated animals were observed. Our data reveal new features of melatonin action in inhibiting membrane lipid peroxidation, through the reduction in 8-isoprostane, upregulating the antioxidant defenses and triggering an effective balance in the antioxidant/oxidant status during acute infection. The ability of melatonin to counteract the immune alterations induced by aging added further support to its use as a potential therapeutic target not only for T. cruzi infection but also for other immunocompromised states. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Aerosol delivery of Akt controls protein translation in the lungs of dual luciferase reporter mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tehrani, A M; Hwang, S-K; Kim, T-H; Cho, C-S; Hua, J; Nah, W-S; Kwon, J-T; Kim, J-S; Chang, S-H; Yu, K-N; Park, S-J; Bhandari, D R; Lee, K-H; An, G-H; Beck, G R; Cho, M-H

    2007-03-01

    Lung cancer has emerged as a leading cause of cancer death in the world; however, most of the current conventional therapies are not sufficiently effective in altering the progression of disease. Therefore, development of novel treatment approaches is needed. Although several genes and methods have been used for cancer gene therapy, a number of problems such as specificity, efficacy and toxicity reduce their application. This has led to re-emergence of aerosol gene delivery as a noninvasive method for lung cancer treatment. In this study, nano-sized glucosylated polyethyleneimine (GPEI) was used as a gene delivery carrier to investigate the effects of Akt wild type (WT) and kinase deficient (KD) on Akt-related signaling pathways and protein translation in the lungs of CMV- LucR-cMyc-IRES-LucF dual reporter mice. These mice are a powerful tool for the discrimination between cap-dependent/-independent protein translation. Aerosols containing self-assembled nano-sized GPEI/Akt WT or GPEI/Akt KD were delivered into the lungs of reporter mice through nose-only-inhalation-chamber with the aid of nebulizer. Aerosol delivery of Akt WT caused the increase of protein expression levels of Akt-related signals, whereas aerosol delivery of Akt KD did not. Furthermore, dual luciferase activity assay showed that aerosol delivery of Akt WT enhanced cap-dependent protein translation, whereas a reduction in cap-dependent protein translation by Akt KD was observed. Our results clearly showed that targeting Akt may be a good strategy for prevention as well as treatment of lung cancer. These studies suggest that our aerosol delivery is compatible for in vivo gene delivery which could be used as a noninvasive gene therapy in the future.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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".

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashimoto, Muneaki; Morales, Jorge; Fukai, Yoshihisa; Suzuki, Shigeo; Takamiya, Shinzaburo; Tsubouchi, Akiko; Inoue, Syou; Inoue, Masayuki; Kita, Kiyoshi; Harada, Shigeharu; Tanaka, Akiko; Aoki, Takashi; Nara, Takeshi

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► We established Trypanosoma cruzi lacking the gene for carbamoyl phosphate synthetase II. ► Disruption of the cpsII gene significantly reduced the growth of epimastigotes. ► In particular, the CPSII-null mutant severely retarded intracellular growth. ► 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  15. 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.

  16. Impaired striatal Akt signaling disrupts dopamine homeostasis and increases feeding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Speed

    Full Text Available 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.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.Acquired disruption of brain insulin action may confer risk for and/or underlie "food-abuse" disorders and the recalcitrance of obesity. This molecular model, thus, explains how even short-term exposure to "the fast food

  17. The effect of Bulgarian propolis against Trypanosoma cruzi and during its interaction with host cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. AKT-independent PI3-K signaling in cancer – emerging role for SGK3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruhn MA

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Maressa A Bruhn,1,6 Richard B Pearson,1–4 Ross D Hannan,1–5 Karen E Sheppard1–3 1Division of Cancer Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 2Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, 3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; 4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; 5School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 6School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia Abstract: The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K signaling pathway plays an important role in a wide variety of fundamental cellular processes, largely mediated via protein kinase B/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (PKB/AKT signaling. Given the crucial role of PI3-K/AKT signaling in regulating processes such as cell growth, proliferation, and survival, it is not surprising that components of this pathway are frequently dysregulated in cancer, making the AKT kinase family members important therapeutic targets. The large number of clinical trials currently evaluating PI3-K pathway inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy further emphasizes this. The serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible protein kinase (SGK family is made up of three isoforms, SGK1, 2, and 3, that are PI3-K-dependent, serine/threonine kinases, with similar substrate specificity to AKT. Consequently, the SGK family also regulates similar cell processes to the AKT kinases, including cell proliferation and survival. Importantly, there is emerging evidence demonstrating that SGK3 plays a critical role in AKT-independent oncogenic signaling. This review will focus on the role of SGK3 as a key effector of AKT-independent PI3-K oncogenic signaling. Keywords: SGK3, AKT, PI3-kinase, mTOR, cancer

  19. Osteopontin induces β-catenin signaling through activation of Akt in prostate cancer cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robertson, Brian W.; Chellaiah, Meenakshi A.

    2010-01-01

    Secretion of osteopontin (OPN) by cancer cells is a known mediator of tumorigenesis and cancer progression in both experimental and clinical studies. Our work demonstrates that OPN can activate Akt, an important step in cancer progression. Both ILK and PI3K are integral proteins in the OPN/Akt pathway, as inhibition of either kinase leads to a loss of OPN-mediated Akt activation. Subsequent to OPN-induced Akt activation, we observe inactivation of GSK-3β, a regulator of β-catenin. Osteopontin stimulation leads to an overall increase in β-catenin protein levels with a resultant transfer of β-catenin to the nucleus. Through the nuclear import of β-catenin, OPN increases both the transcription and protein levels of MMP-7 and CD44, which are known TCF/LEF transcription targets. This work describes an important aspect of cancer progression induced by OPN.

  20. Early Trypanosoma cruzi Infection Reprograms Human Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Trypanosoma cruzi: avirulence of the PF strain to Callithrix marmosets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Production of amastigotes from metacyclic trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibody detection in eastern Andalusia (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín, Clotilde; Concha-Valdez, Fanny; Cañas, Rocío; Gutiérrez-Sánchez, Ramón; Sánchez-Moreno, Manuel

    2014-03-01

    Chagas disease caused by the protozoan haemoflagellate Trypanosoma cruzi is no longer found exclusively in Latin America; the disease is occurring in Europe, and Spain is the country with the highest prevalence. Our aim was to detect anti-T. cruzi antibodies in blood donors from southeast Spain, and we performed eight serological diagnostic assays on each of 550 blood samples collected in March-June 2010. Two in-house ELISA methods were used to test against a parasite lysate (ELISA-H) and the semi-purified superoxide dismutase excreted by T. cruzi (ELISA-SODe); we also used the Western blot technique against the same antigen (WB-SODe), indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) and four commercial tests. The serological test results showed a range of seroprevalence values, the lowest being 1.1%, determined by IFA and two commercial tests (Ab rapid and Chagascreen); other values were: 1.3% (commercial ELISA [Chagas ELISA IgG+IgM]); 2.1% (immunochromatographic test [Stick Chagas]); 2.7% (ELISA-H); 4.0% (WB-SODe); and 4.2%, the highest value (ELISA-SODe). The excellent specificity of SODe antigen for the detection of antibodies to T. cruzi in donors lead us to affirm that the serological test performed with this biomarker could provide a useful screening and confirmatory test method for cases of Chagas disease.

  4. Dasypus novemcinctus infestado con schizotrypanum cruzi en condiciones naturales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Augusto Corredor Arjona

    1963-04-01

    Full Text Available The present publication is the first of a series on Chagas disease in the region of Pizarreal, Municipality of Patios, department of North Santander, Colombia. The authors describe the second case in Colombia of Dasypus nouemcinctus infected in natural form by Schizotrypanum cruzi.

  5. Diterpenoids from Azorella compacta (Umbelliferae active on Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Araya Jorge E

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The anti-Trypanosoma cruzi activity of natural products isolated from Azorella compacta was evaluated, with particular emphasis on their effect against intracellular amastigotes. Five diterpenoids from A. compacta derived from mulinane and azorellane were isolated and identified. Only two products, named azorellanol (Y-2 and mulin-11,3-dien-20-oic acid (Y-5, showed trypanocidal activity against all stages of T. cruzi including intracellular amastigotes. At 10 µM, these compounds displayed a strong lytic activity. It ranged from 88.4 ± 0.6 to 99.0 ± 1 % for all strains and stages evaluate, with an IC50 /18 h values of 20-84 µM and 41-87 µM, respectively. The development of intracellular amastigotes was also inhibited by nearly 60% at 25 µM. The trypanocidal molecules Y-2 and Y-5 did show different degrees of cytotoxicity depending on the cell line tested, with an IC50 /24 h ranging from 33.2 to 161.2 µM. We evaluated the effect of diterpenoids against intracellular T. cruzi forms by immunofluorescent identification of a specific membrane molecular marker (Ssp-4 antigen of the T. cruzi amastigote forms. The accuracy and reproducibility of the measurements were found to be outstanding when examined by confocal microscopy.

  6. Transcriptome-wide analysis of the Trypanosoma cruzi proliferative cycle identifies the periodically expressed mRNAs and their multiple levels of control.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Chávez

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is the protozoan parasite causing American trypanosomiasis or Chagas disease, a neglected parasitosis with important human health impact in Latin America. The efficacy of current therapy is limited, and its toxicity is high. Since parasite proliferation is a fundamental target for rational drug design, we sought to progress into its understanding by applying a genome-wide approach. Treating a TcI linage strain with hydroxyurea, we isolated epimastigotes in late G1, S and G2/M cell cycle stages at 70% purity. The sequencing of each phase identified 305 stage-specific transcripts (1.5-fold change, p≤0.01, coding for conserved cell cycle regulated proteins and numerous proteins whose cell cycle dependence has not been recognized before. Comparisons with the parasite T. brucei and the human host reveal important differences. The meta-analysis of T. cruzi transcriptomic and ribonomic data indicates that cell cycle regulated mRNAs are subject to sub-cellular compartmentalization. Compositional and structural biases of these genes- including CAI, GC content, UTR length, and polycistron position- may contribute to their regulation. To discover nucleotide motifs responsible for the co-regulation of cell cycle regulated genes, we looked for overrepresented motifs at their UTRs and found a variant of the cell cycle sequence motif at the 3' UTR of most of the S and G2 stage genes. We additionally identified hairpin structures at the 5' UTRs of a high proportion of the transcripts, suggesting that periodic gene expression might also rely on translation initiation in T. cruzi. In summary, we report a comprehensive list of T. cruzi cell cycle regulated genes, including many previously unstudied proteins, we show evidence favoring a multi-step control of their expression, and we identify mRNA motifs that may mediate their regulation. Our results provide novel information of the T. cruzi proliferative proteins and the integrated levels of

  7. Trypanosoma cruzi infection induces a massive extrafollicular and follicular splenic B-cell response which is a high source of non-parasite-specific antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermejo, Daniela A; Amezcua Vesely, María C; Khan, Mahmood; Acosta Rodríguez, Eva V; Montes, Carolina L; Merino, Maria C; Toellner, Kai Michael; Mohr, Elodie; Taylor, Dale; Cunningham, Adam F; Gruppi, Adriana

    2011-01-01

    Acute infection with Trypanosoma cruzi, the aetiological agent of Chagas' disease, results in parasitaemia and polyclonal lymphocyte activation. It has been reported that polyclonal B-cell activation is associated with hypergammaglobulinaemia and delayed parasite-specific antibody response. In the present study we analysed the development of a B-cell response within the different microenvironments of the spleen during acute T. cruzi infection. We observed massive germinal centre (GC) and extrafollicular (EF) responses at the peak of infection. However, the EF foci were evident since day 3 post-infection (p.i.), and, early in the infection, they mainly provided IgM. The EF foci response reached its peak at 11 days p.i. and extended from the red pulp into the periarteriolar lymphatic sheath. The GCs were detected from day 8 p.i. At the peak of parasitaemia, CD138(+) B220(+) plasma cells in EF foci, red pulp and T-cell zone expressed IgM and all the IgG isotypes. Instead of the substantial B-cell response, most of the antibodies produced by splenic cells did not target the parasite, and parasite-specific IgG isotypes could be detected in sera only after 18 days p.i. We also observed that the bone marrow of infected mice presented a strong reduction in CD138(+) B220(+) cells compared with that of normal mice. Hence, in acute infection with T. cruzi, the spleen appears to be the most important lymphoid organ that lodges plasma cells and the main producer of antibodies. The development of a B-cell response during T. cruzi infection shows features that are particular to T. cruzi and other protozoan infection but different to other infections or immunization with model antigens.

  8. Multiple roles and therapeutic implications of Akt signaling in cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano Calvo

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Emiliano Calvo1, Victoria Bolós2, Enrique Grande21Centro Integral Oncológico Clara Campal (CiOCC, Madrid. Spain; 2Pfizer Oncology, Alcobendas-Madrid, SpainAbstract: The prominence of the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in several tumors indicates a relationship with tumor grade and proliferation. Critical cellular processes are driven through this pathway. More detailed knowledge of the pathogenesis of tumors would enable us to design targeted drugs to block both membrane tyrosine kinase receptors and the intracellular kinases involved in the transmission of the signal. The newly approved molecular inhibitors sunitinib (an inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and other tyrosine kinase receptors, sorafenib (a serine–threonine kinase inhibitor that acts against B-Raf and temsirolimus (an mTOR inhibitor shown clinical activity in advanced kidney cancer. Chronic myeloid leukemia has changed its natural history thanks to imatinib and dasatinib, both of which inhibit the intracellular bcr/abl protein derived from the alteration in the Philadelphia chromosome. Intracellular pathways are still important in cancer development and their blockade directly affects outcome. Cross-talk has been observed but is not well understood. Vertical and horizontal pathway blockade are promising anticancer strategies. Indeed, preclinical and early clinical data suggest that combining superficial and intracellular blocking agents can synergize and leverage single-agent activity. The implication of the Akt signaling pathway in cancer is well established and has led to the development of new anticancer agents that block its activation.Keywords: Akt, cancer, therapeutic target, Akt inhibitors

  9. Long-term effects of rapamycin treatment on insulin mediated phosphorylation of Akt/PKB and glycogen synthase activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varma, Shailly; Shrivastav, Anuraag; Changela, Sheena; Khandelwal, Ramji L.

    2008-01-01

    Protein kinase B (Akt/PKB) is a Ser/Thr kinase that is involved in the regulation of cell proliferation/survival through mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the regulation of glycogen metabolism through glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) and glycogen synthase (GS). Rapamycin is an inhibitor of mTOR. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of rapamycin pretreatment on the insulin mediated phosphorylation of Akt/PKB phosphorylation and GS activity in parental HepG2 and HepG2 cells with overexpression of constitutively active Akt1/PKB-α (HepG2-CA-Akt/PKB). Rapamycin pretreatment resulted in a decrease (20-30%) in the insulin mediated phosphorylation of Akt1 (Ser 473) in parental HepG2 cells but showed an upregulation of phosphorylation in HepG2-CA-Akt/PKB cells. Rictor levels were decreased (20-50%) in parental HepG2 cells but were not significantly altered in the HepG2-CA-Akt/PKB cells. Furthermore, rictor knockdown decreased the phosphorylation of Akt (Ser 473) by 40-60% upon rapamycin pretreatment. GS activity followed similar trends as that of phosphorylated Akt and so with rictor levels in these cells pretreated with rapamycin; parental HepG2 cells showed a decrease in GS activity, whereas as HepG2-CA-Akt/PKB cells showed an increase in GS activity. The changes in the levels of phosphorylated Akt/PKB (Ser 473) correlated with GS and protein phoshatase-1 activity

  10. Akt/FOXO3a signaling modulates the endothelial stress response through regulation of heat shock protein 70 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyo-Soo; Skurk, Carsten; Maatz, Henrike; Shiojima, Ichiro; Ivashchenko, Yuri; Yoon, Suk-Won; Park, Young-Bae; Walsh, Kenneth

    2005-06-01

    To identify new antiapoptotic targets of the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in endothelial cells, adenovirus-mediated Akt1 gene transfer and oligonucleotide microarrays were used to examine Akt-regulated transcripts. DNA microarray analysis revealed that HSP70 expression underwent the greatest fold activation of 12,532 transcripts examined in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) transduced with constitutively active Akt1. Akt1 gene transfer increased HSP70 transcript expression by 24.8-fold as determined by quantitative PCR and promoted a dose-dependent up-regulation of HSP70 protein as determined by Western immunoblot analysis. Gene transfer of FOXO3a, a downstream target of Akt in endothelial cells, significantly suppressed both basal and stress-induced HSP70 protein expression. FOXO3a induced caspase-9-dependent apoptosis in HUVEC, and cotransduction with Ad-HSP70 rescued endothelial cells from FOXO3a-induced apoptosis under basal and stress conditions. Our results identify HSP70 as a new antiapoptotic target of Akt-FOXO3a signaling in endothelial cells that controls viability through modulation of the stress-induced intrinsic cell death pathway.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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

  13. The Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) HBx Protein Activates AKT To Simultaneously Regulate HBV Replication and Hepatocyte Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawat, Siddhartha

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a risk factor for developing liver diseases such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HBx is a multifunctional protein encoded by the HBV genome; HBx stimulates HBV replication and is thought to play an important role in the development of HBV-associated HCC. HBx can activate the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway in some cell lines; however, whether HBx regulates PI3K/AKT signaling in normal hepatocytes has not been evaluated. In studies described here, we assessed HBx activation of PI3K/AKT signaling in an ex vivo model of cultured primary hepatocytes and determined how this HBx activity affects HBV replication. We report that HBx activates AKT in primary hepatocytes and that the activation of AKT decreases HBV replication and HBV mRNA and core protein levels. We show that the transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) is a target of HBx-regulated AKT, and we link HNF4α to HBx-regulated AKT modulation of HBV transcription and replication. Although we and others have shown that HBx stimulates and is likely required for HBV replication, we now report that HBx also activates signals that can diminish the overall level of HBV replication. While this may seem counterintuitive, we show that an important effect of HBx activation of AKT is inhibition of apoptosis. Consequently, our studies suggest that HBx balances HBV replication and cell survival by stimulating signaling pathways that enhance hepatocyte survival at the expense of higher levels of HBV replication. IMPORTANCE Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a common cause of the development of liver cancer. Regulation of cell signaling pathways by the HBV HBx protein is thought to influence the development of HBV-associated liver cancer. HBx stimulates, and may be essential for, HBV replication. We show that HBx activates AKT in hepatocytes to reduce HBV replication. While this seems contradictory to an

  14. Hsp27 regulates Akt activation and polymorphonuclear leukocyte apoptosis by scaffolding MK2 to Akt signal complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Rui; Kausar, Hina; Johnson, Paul; Montoya-Durango, Diego E; Merchant, Michael; Rane, Madhavi J

    2007-07-27

    We have shown previously that Akt exists in a signal complex with p38 MAPK, MAPK-activated protein kinase-2 (MK2), and heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) and MK2 phosphorylates Akt on Ser-473. Additionally, dissociation of Hsp27 from Akt, prior to Akt activation, induced polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) apoptosis. However, the role of Hsp27 in regulating Akt activation was not examined. This study tested the hypothesis that Hsp27 regulates Akt activation and promotes cell survival by scaffolding MK2 to the Akt signal complex. Here we show that loss of Akt/Hsp27 interaction by anti-Hsp27 antibody treatment resulted in loss of Akt/MK2 interaction, loss of Akt-Ser-473 phosphorylation, and induced PMN apoptosis. Transfection of myristoylated Akt (AktCA) in HK-11 cells induced Akt-Ser-473 phosphorylation, activation, and Hsp27-Ser-82 phosphorylation. Cotransfection of AktCA with Hsp27 short interfering RNA, but not scrambled short interfering RNA, silenced Hsp27 expression, without altering Akt expression in HK-11 cells. Silencing Hsp27 expression inhibited Akt/MK2 interaction, inhibited Akt phosphorylation and Akt activation, and induced HK-11 cell death. Deletion mutagenesis studies identified acidic linker region (amino acids 117-128) on Akt as an Hsp27 binding region. Deletion of amino acids 117-128 on Akt resulted in loss of its interaction with Hsp27 and MK2 but not with Hsp90 as demonstrated by immunoprecipitation and glutathione S-transferase pulldown studies. Co-transfection studies demonstrated that constitutively active MK2 (MK2EE) phosphorylated Aktwt (wild type) on Ser-473 but failed to phosphorylate Akt(Delta117-128) mutant in transfixed cells. These studies collectively define a novel role of Hsp27 in regulating Akt activation and cellular apoptosis by mediating interaction between Akt and its upstream activator MK2.

  15. Astrocyte Apoptosis and HIV Replication Are Modulated in Host Cells Coinfected with Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  17. δ-Tocopherol inhibits receptor tyrosine kinase-induced AKT activation in prostate cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hong; Hong, Jungil; Yang, Chung S

    2016-11-01

    The cancer preventive activity of vitamin E is suggested by epidemiological studies and supported by animal studies with vitamin E forms, γ-tocopherol and δ-tocopherol (δ-T). Several recent large-scale cancer prevention trials with high dose of α-tocopherol, however, yielded disappointing results. Whether vitamin E prevents or promotes cancer is a serious concern. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of action of the different forms of tocopherols would enhance our understanding of this topic. In this study, we demonstrated that δ-T was the most effective tocopherol form in inhibiting prostate cancer cell growth, by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. By profiling the effects of δ-T on the cell signaling using the phospho-kinase array, we found that the most inhibited target was the phosphorylation of AKT on T308. Further study on the activation of AKT by EGFR and IGFR revealed that δ-T attenuated the EGF/IGF-induced activation of AKT (via the phosphorylation of AKT on T308 induced by the activation of PIK3). Expression of dominant active PIK3 and AKT in prostate cancer cell line DU145 in which PIK3, AKT, and PTEN are wild type caused the cells to be reflectory to the inhibition of δ-T, supporting that δ-T inhibits the PIK3-mediated activation of AKT. Our data also suggest that δ-T interferes with the EGF-induced EGFR internalization, which leads to the inhibition of the receptor tyrosine kinase-dependent activation of AKT. In summary, our results revealed a novel mechanism of δ-T in inhibiting prostate cancer cell growth, supporting the cancer preventive activity δ-T. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Invasive Glioblastoma Cells Acquire Stemness and Increased Akt Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer R. Molina

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM is the most frequent and most aggressive brain tumor in adults. The dismal prognosis is due to postsurgery recurrences arising from escaped invasive tumor cells. The signaling pathways activated in invasive cells are under investigation, and models are currently designed in search for therapeutic targets. We developed here an in vivo model of human invasive GBM in mouse brain from a GBM cell line with moderate tumorigenicity that allowed simultaneous primary tumor growth and dispersal of tumor cells in the brain parenchyma. This strategy allowed for the first time the isolation and characterization of matched sets of tumor mass (Core and invasive (Inv cells. Both cell populations, but more markedly Inv cells, acquired stem cell markers, neurosphere renewal ability, and resistance to rapamycin-induced apoptosis relative to parental cells. The comparative phenotypic analysis between Inv and Core cells showed significantly increased tumorigenicity in vivo and increased invasion with decreased proliferation in vitro for Inv cells. Examination of a large array of signaling pathways revealed extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk down-modulation and Akt activation in Inv cells and an opposite profile in Core cells. Akt activation correlated with the increased tumorigenicity, stemness, and invasiveness, whereas Erk activation correlated with the proliferation of the cells. These results underscore complementary roles of the Erk and Akt pathways for GBM proliferation and dispersal and raise important implications for a concurrent inhibitory therapy.

  19. 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.

  20. Sea urchin akt activity is Runx-dependent and required for post-cleavage stage cell division

    KAUST Repository

    Robertson, Anthony J.; Coluccio, Alison; Jensen, Sarah; Rydlizky, Katarina; Coffman, James A.

    2013-01-01

    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.

  1. Overexpression of Akt1 enhances adipogenesis and leads to lipoma formation in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  2. The resting electrocardiogram of t. cruzi-infected rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reinaldo B. Bestetti

    1987-08-01

    Full Text Available A total of 125 rats were infected with the Colômbia strain of T. cruzi (2000 parasites/g shortly after weaning. Of these, 58 survived the acute phase and were used in the present experiment. Twenty eight similar but not infected rats served as controls. All rats were submitted to the resting ECG When they were 6 months old. Classic and 3 precordial leads were employed in order to record the ECG as completely as possible. Electrocardiographic changes similar to those found in human chronic Chagas' heart disease and not previously described in this model were found in 44% of the T. cruzi-infected rats: left axis deviation (22%, right axis deviation (7%, lengthened and bizarre QRS complex (14% and abnormal J point elevation (3%. On the basis of these results, we believe that the resting ECG constitutes a valuable tool for studying experimental chronic Chagas' heart disease in rats.

  3. 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.

  4. Protein 3-nitrotyrosine formation during Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Functional characterization of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Supervivencia de Trypanosoma cruzi en bebidas experimentalmente contaminadas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Carolina Suárez

    2012-03-01

    Conclusiones. La cepa DS de T. cruzi sobrevivió en todas las bebidas por más de 24 horas después de la contaminación y se observó un tiempo de supervivencia de 384 horas a temperatura de refrigeración en el jugo de guanábana.   DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7705/biomedica.v32i1.371

  7. Vector-borne transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi among captive Neotropical primates in a Brazilian zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minuzzi-Souza, Thaís Tâmara Castro; Nitz, Nadjar; Knox, Monique Britto; Reis, Filipe; Hagström, Luciana; Cuba, César A Cuba; Hecht, Mariana Machado; Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo

    2016-01-26

    Neotropical primates are important sylvatic hosts of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. Infection is often subclinical, but severe disease has been described in both free-ranging and captive primates. Panstrongylus megistus, a major T. cruzi vector, was found infesting a small-primate unit at Brasília zoo (ZooB), Brazil. ZooB lies close to a gallery-forest patch where T. cruzi circulates naturally. Here, we combine parasitological and molecular methods to investigate a focus of T. cruzi infection involving triatomine bugs and Neotropical primates at a zoo located in the Brazilian Savannah. We assessed T. cruzi infection in vectors using optical microscopy (n = 34) and nested PCR (n = 50). We used quantitative PCR (qPCR) to examine blood samples from 26 primates and necropsy samples from two primates that died during the study. We determined parasite lineages in five vectors and two primates by comparing glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (G6pi) gene sequences. Trypanosoma cruzi was found in 44 vectors and 17 primates (six genera and eight species); one Mico chrysoleucus and one Saguinus niger had high parasitaemias. Trypanosoma cruzi DNA was detected in three primates born to qPCR-negative mothers at ZooB and in the two dead specimens. One Callithrix geoffroyi became qPCR-positive over a two-year follow-up. All G6pi sequences matched T. cruzi lineage TcI. Our findings strongly suggest vector-borne T. cruzi transmission within a small-primate unit at ZooB - with vectors, and perhaps also parasites, presumably coming from nearby gallery forest. Periodic checks for vectors and parasites would help eliminate T. cruzi transmission foci in captive-animal facilities. This should be of special importance for captive-breeding programs involving endangered mammals, and would reduce the risk of accidental T. cruzi transmission to keepers and veterinarians.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. [Esophageal motor disorders in asymptomatic subjects with Trypanosoma cruzi infection].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Aguilera, M; Remes-Troche, J M; Roesch-Dietlen, F; Vázquez-Jiménez, J G; De la Cruz-Patiño, E; Grube-Pagola, P; Ruiz-Juárez, I

    2011-01-01

    The indeterminate chronic or "asymptomatic" phase of Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas' disease) infection is characterized by the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms, and has an estimated duration of 20 to 30 years. However, the intramural denervation that induces dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract is progressive. Recently, epidemiological studies have shown that the seroprevalence for this infection in our area ranges between 2% and 3% of the population. To detect the presence of esophageal motor disorders in asymptomatic individuals chronically infected with Trypanosoma cruzi using standard esophageal manometry. A cross sectional study in 28 asymptomatic subjects (27 men, age 40.39 ± 10.79) with serological evidence of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi was performed. In all cases demographic characteristics, gastrointestinal symptoms and esophageal motility disorders using conventional manometry were analyzed. In this study 54% (n = 15) of asymptomatic subjects had an esophageal motor disorder: 5 (18%) had nutcracker esophagus, 5 (18%) nonspecific esophageal motor disorders, 3 (11%) hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter (LES), 1 (4%) an incomplete relaxation of the LES and 1 (4%) had chagasic achalasia. More than half of patients that course with Chagas' disease in the indeterminate phase and that are apparently asymptomatic have impaired esophageal motility. Presence of hypertensive LES raises the possibility that this alteration represents an early stage in the development of chagasic achalasia.

  10. 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

  11. Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi/HIV coinfection in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dulce Stauffert

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Amelioration of carbon tetrachloride-induced cirrhosis and portal hypertension in rat using adenoviral gene transfer of Akt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Gang; Huang, Xiang-Jun; Luo, Hong-Wu; Huang, Fei-Zhou; Liu, Xun-Yang; Wang, Yong-Heng

    2013-01-01

    Van Gieson staining indicated that Akt group has better preservation of histological structure and less fibrosis than other cirrhosis groups. The percentage of apoptotic cell was greatly less in Akt cirrhosis group than in other cirrhosis groups. Akt group showed positive HA tag and an increased level of phosphorylated Akt as well as decreased levels of Fas. In contrast, Caspase-3 and Caspase-9 levels in Akt group were significantly lower than other cirrhosis groups. Noticeable decrease of DR5 and α-SMA and increase of phosphorylated eNOS were observed in the Akt group when compared to other cirrhosis groups. The NO level in liver was significantly higher in Akt group than other cirrhosis groups, which was consistent with the level of phosphorylated eNOS in these groups. This study suggest that Ad-myr-HA-Akt virus is a useful tool to prevent CCl4-induced cirrhosis in rat model and Akt pathway may be a therapeutic target for human cirrhosis.

  13. 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...

  14. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in blood donors at the National Blood Transfusion Services--Guyana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bwititi, P T; Browne, J

    2012-09-01

    Blood transfusion is an important transmission route of Trypanosoma cruzi (T cruzi), a major parasitic infection in Central and South America. The limited treatment options are most effective in acute Chagas' infection. At present, there is no current data on the prevalence of T cruzi in the blood donor population of Guyana. This information is necessary to protect the supply of the blood donation programme. This study sought to determine the prevalence of T cruzi in the blood supply at the National Blood Transfusion Services of Guyana with the hope of providing knowledge to the on-going surveillance for Chagas' disease worldwide and therefore address the risk of its spread by blood transfusion. Two commercialized ELISAs utilizing crude or recombinant T cruzi antigens were used to study 2000 blood samples voluntarily donated for the purpose of altruistic or family replacement donation retrospectively. The results showed that approximately 1 in 286 donations tested positive for antibodies to T cruzi. These results indicate that T cruzi continues to be a risk in Guyana and there is a need to continue screening donated blood. Trypanosoma cruzi is a life-long infection and infected persons may be asymptomatic chronic carriers of the disease. Education, housing improvement, and controlled use of insecticides should be introduced to contain Chagas' disease.

  15. Trypanocidal Effect of Isotretinoin through the Inhibition of Polyamine and Amino Acid Transporters in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chantal Reigada

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available 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

  16. Species-specific markers for the differential diagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli and polymorphisms detection in Trypanosoma rangeli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Keila Adriana Magalhães; Fajardo, Emanuella Francisco; Baptista, Rodrigo P; Macedo, Andrea Mara; Lages-Silva, Eliane; Ramírez, Luis Eduardo; Pedrosa, André Luiz

    2014-06-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli are kinetoplastid parasites which are able to infect humans in Central and South America. Misdiagnosis between these trypanosomes can be avoided by targeting barcoding sequences or genes of each organism. This work aims to analyze the feasibility of using species-specific markers for identification of intraspecific polymorphisms and as target for diagnostic methods by PCR. Accordingly, primers which are able to specifically detect T. cruzi or T. rangeli genomic DNA were characterized. The use of intergenic regions, generally divergent in the trypanosomatids, and the serine carboxypeptidase gene were successful. Using T. rangeli genomic sequences for the identification of group-specific polymorphisms and a polymorphic AT(n) dinucleotide repeat permitted the classification of the strains into two groups, which are entirely coincident with T. rangeli main lineages, KP1 (+) and KP1 (-), previously determined by kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) characterization. The sequences analyzed totalize 622 bp (382 bp represent a hypothetical protein sequence, and 240 bp represent an anonymous sequence), and of these, 581 (93.3%) are conserved sites and 41 bp (6.7%) are polymorphic, with 9 transitions (21.9%), 2 transversions (4.9%), and 30 (73.2%) insertion/deletion events. Taken together, the species-specific markers analyzed may be useful for the development of new strategies for the accurate diagnosis of infections. Furthermore, the identification of T. rangeli polymorphisms has a direct impact in the understanding of the population structure of this parasite.

  17. Crystal Structures of Trypanosoma cruzi UDP-Galactopyranose Mutase Implicate Flexibility of the Histidine Loop in Enzyme Activation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  18. Crystal structures of Trypanosoma cruzi UDP-galactopyranose mutase implicate flexibility of the histidine loop in enzyme activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhatwalia, Richa; Singh, Harkewal; Oppenheimer, Michelle; Sobrado, Pablo; Tanner, John J

    2012-06-19

    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 Å 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(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.

  19. 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

  20. Molecular interaction of the first 3 enzymes of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway of Trypanosoma cruzi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nara, Takeshi; Hashimoto, Muneaki; Hirawake, Hiroko; Liao, Chien-Wei; Fukai, Yoshihisa; Suzuki, Shigeo; Tsubouchi, Akiko; Morales, Jorge; Takamiya, Shinzaburo; Fujimura, Tsutomu; Taka, Hikari; Mineki, Reiko; Fan, Chia-Kwung; Inaoka, Daniel Ken; Inoue, Masayuki; Tanaka, Akiko; Harada, Shigeharu; Kita, Kiyoshi

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► An Escherichia coli strain co-expressing CPSII, ATC, and DHO of Trypanosoma cruzi was constructed. ► Molecular interactions between CPSII, ATC, and DHO of T. cruzi were demonstrated. ► CPSII bound with both ATC and DHO. ► ATC bound with both CPSII and DHO. ► 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.

  1. Selection and optimization of hits from a high-throughput phenotypic screen against Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keenan, Martine; Alexander, Paul W; Chaplin, Jason H; Abbott, Michael J; Diao, Hugo; Wang, Zhisen; Best, Wayne M; Perez, Catherine J; Cornwall, Scott M J; Keatley, Sarah K; Thompson, R C Andrew; Charman, Susan A; White, Karen L; Ryan, Eileen; Chen, Gong; Ioset, Jean-Robert; von Geldern, Thomas W; Chatelain, Eric

    2013-10-01

    Inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi with novel mechanisms of action are urgently required to diversify the current clinical and preclinical pipelines. Increasing the number and diversity of hits available for assessment at the beginning of the discovery process will help to achieve this aim. We report the evaluation of multiple hits generated from a high-throughput screen to identify inhibitors of T. cruzi and from these studies the discovery of two novel series currently in lead optimization. Lead compounds from these series potently and selectively inhibit growth of T. cruzi in vitro and the most advanced compound is orally active in a subchronic mouse model of T. cruzi infection. High-throughput screening of novel compound collections has an important role to play in diversifying the trypanosomatid drug discovery portfolio. A new T. cruzi inhibitor series with good drug-like properties and promising in vivo efficacy has been identified through this process.

  2. Vector Competence of Lutzomyia cruzi Naturally Demonstrated for Leishmania infantum and Suspected for Leishmania amazonensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Everton Falcão; Oshiro, Elisa Teruya; Fernandes, Wagner Souza; Ferreira, Alda Maria Teixeira; de Oliveira, Alessandra Gutierrez; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2017-01-11

    Corumbá city is one of the oldest visceral leishmaniasis-endemic foci in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, where the transmission of Leishmania infantum has been attributed to Lutzomyia cruzi Aiming at investigating the parameters of the vectorial capacity of Lu. cruzi for L. infantum, a project was undertaken in this city. Among these parameters, vector competence was investigated and the results obtained are reported herein. Of the 12 hamsters exposed to feed wild-caught female sandflies, two developed infection with L. infantum and surprisingly, one with Leishmania amazonensis In addition, hamsters with L. infantum infection were bitten only by females of Lu. cruzi, whereas the hamster infected with L. amazonensis was bitten by 124 Lu. cruzi females and one of Evandromyia corumbaensis Although there is a strong suspicion regarding the competence of Lu. cruzi in transmitting L. amazonensis naturally, it was not demonstrated. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  3. Administration of Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid Attenuates Early Brain Injury via Akt Pathway Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongdong Sun

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI is one of the leading causes of trauma-induced mortality and disability, and emerging studies have shown that endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress plays an important role in the pathophysiology of TBI. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA, a hydrophilic bile acid, has been reported to act as an ER stress inhibitor and chemical chaperone and to have the potential to attenuate apoptosis and inflammation. To study the effects of TUDCA on brain injury, we subjected mice to TBI with a controlled cortical impact (CCI device. Using western blotting, we first examined TBI-induced changes in the expression levels of GRP78, an ER stress marker, p-PERK, PERK, p-eIF2a, eIF2a, ATF4, p-Akt, Akt, Pten, Bax, Bcl-2, Caspase-12 and CHOP, as well as changes in the mRNA levels of Akt, GRP78, Caspase-12 and CHOP using RT-PCR. Neuronal cell death was assessed by a terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL assay, and CHOP expression in neuronal cells was detected by double-immunofluorescence staining. Neurological and motor deficits were assessed by modified neurological severity scores (mNSS and beam balance and beam walking tests, and brain water content was also assessed. Our results indicated that ER stress peaked at 72 h after TBI and that TUDCA abolished ER stress and inhibited p-PERK, p-eIF2a, ATF4, Pten, Caspase-12 and CHOP expression levels. Moreover, our results show that TUDCA also improved neurological function and alleviated brain oedema. Additionally, TUDCA increased p-Akt expression and the Bcl-2/Bax ratio. However, the administration of the Akt inhibitor MK2206 or siRNA targeting of Akt abolished the beneficial effects of TUDCA. Taken together, our results indicate that TUDCA may attenuate early brain injury via Akt pathway activation.

  4. 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

    Lipid rafts are cholesterol-rich plasma membrane domains that regulate signal transduction. Because our earlier work indicated that raft disruption inhibited proliferation and caused cell death, we investigated here the role of membrane cholesterol, the crucial raft constituent, in the regulation...... of the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. Raft disruption was achieved in normal human keratinocytes and precancerous (HaCaT) or transformed (A431) keratinocytes by cholesterol extraction or inactivation with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, filipin III, or 5-cholestene-5-beta-ol. Lipid raft disruption did not affect...... 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...

  5. Immunohistochemical Investigation of HER/AKT/mTOR Pathway and Cellular Adhesion Molecules in Urothelial Carcinomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Protect Mice Infected with Trypanosoma cruzi from Cardiac Damage through Modulation of Anti-parasite Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mello, Debora B; Ramos, Isalira P; Mesquita, Fernanda C P; Brasil, Guilherme V; Rocha, Nazareth N; Takiya, Christina M; Lima, Ana Paula C A; Campos de Carvalho, Antonio C; Goldenberg, Regina S; Carvalho, Adriana B

    2015-01-01

    Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), is a complex disease endemic in Central and South America. It has been gathering interest due to increases in non-vectorial forms of transmission, especially in developed countries. The objective of this work was to investigate if adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASC) can alter the course of the disease and attenuate pathology in a mouse model of chagasic cardiomyopathy. ASC were injected intraperitoneally at 3 days post-infection (dpi). Tracking by bioluminescence showed that cells remained in the abdominal cavity for up to 9 days after injection and most of them migrated to the abdominal or subcutaneous fat, an early parasite reservoir. ASC injection resulted in a significant reduction in blood parasitemia, which was followed by a decrease in cardiac tissue inflammation, parasitism and fibrosis at 30 dpi. At the same time point, analyses of cytokine release in cells isolated from the heart and exposed to T. cruzi antigens indicated an anti-inflammatory response in ASC-treated animals. In parallel, splenocytes exposed to the same antigens produced a pro-inflammatory response, which is important for the control of parasite replication, in placebo and ASC-treated groups. However, splenocytes from the ASC group released higher levels of IL-10. At 60 dpi, magnetic resonance imaging revealed that right ventricular (RV) dilation was prevented in ASC-treated mice. In conclusion, the injection of ASC early after T. cruzi infection prevents RV remodeling through the modulation of immune responses. Lymphoid organ response to the parasite promoted the control of parasite burden, while the heart, a target organ of Chagas disease, was protected from damage due to an improved control of inflammation in ASC-treated mice.

  7. Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Protect Mice Infected with Trypanosoma cruzi from Cardiac Damage through Modulation of Anti-parasite Immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora B Mello

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi, is a complex disease endemic in Central and South America. It has been gathering interest due to increases in non-vectorial forms of transmission, especially in developed countries. The objective of this work was to investigate if adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASC can alter the course of the disease and attenuate pathology in a mouse model of chagasic cardiomyopathy.ASC were injected intraperitoneally at 3 days post-infection (dpi. Tracking by bioluminescence showed that cells remained in the abdominal cavity for up to 9 days after injection and most of them migrated to the abdominal or subcutaneous fat, an early parasite reservoir. ASC injection resulted in a significant reduction in blood parasitemia, which was followed by a decrease in cardiac tissue inflammation, parasitism and fibrosis at 30 dpi. At the same time point, analyses of cytokine release in cells isolated from the heart and exposed to T. cruzi antigens indicated an anti-inflammatory response in ASC-treated animals. In parallel, splenocytes exposed to the same antigens produced a pro-inflammatory response, which is important for the control of parasite replication, in placebo and ASC-treated groups. However, splenocytes from the ASC group released higher levels of IL-10. At 60 dpi, magnetic resonance imaging revealed that right ventricular (RV dilation was prevented in ASC-treated mice.In conclusion, the injection of ASC early after T. cruzi infection prevents RV remodeling through the modulation of immune responses. Lymphoid organ response to the parasite promoted the control of parasite burden, while the heart, a target organ of Chagas disease, was protected from damage due to an improved control of inflammation in ASC-treated mice.

  8. Activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin pathway and response to everolimus in endocrine receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer – A retrospective pilot analysis and viewpoint

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyoti Bajpai

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Biomarkers predictive of response to mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR inhibitor, everolimus, in endocrine receptor (ER-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC are a work in progress. We evaluated the feasibility of directly measuring mTOR activity and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN expression and correlating their expression with response and survival. Materials and Methods: MBC patients who received everolimus with endocrine therapy (ET after progression on an aromatase inhibitor and had adequate tissue preservation for estimation of mTOR activity and PTEN expression were selected for analysis from a prospectively maintained database. Progression-free survival (PFS and overall survival (OS were estimated by Kaplan–Meier method, and correlation between mTOR activity and PTEN expression with survival was done by log-rank test. Results: Thirteen ER-positive MBC patients were available for analysis. PTEN expression was lost in 11/13 (84.6% patients and retained in 2/13 patients (15.4%. mTOR activity was absent in four patients (30.7%, weak in six patients (46.1%, and moderate in 3 patients (23.2%. Median PFS for the entire population was 2.5 months while median OS was not reached. Patients with an absent mTOR activity showed a longer PFS (5 vs. 1.5 vs. 2 months than those with weak and moderate activity, respectively (P = 0.043. There was no correlation between loss of PTEN expression and PFS. Conclusions: Measurement of direct mTOR activity in patients with MBC receiving everolimus/ET combination appears feasible. Absent mTOR activity may predict for longer PFS with everolimus-ET combination and requires further study.

  9. SGT1 regulates Akt signaling by promoting beta-TrCP-dependent PHLPP1 degradation in gastric cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ganglong; Kun, Tao; Sheng, Youhua; Qian, Min; Kong, Fanzhi; Liu, Xiaoguang; Yu, Zhenfeng; Zhang, Haiqin; Zhang, Qiang; Gu, Jianping; Zhang, Xueli

    2013-04-01

    SGT1 (suppressor of G2 allele of Skp1) plays a role in various cellular processes including kinetochore assembly and protein ubiquitination by interacting with Skp1, a component of SCF E3 ligase complex. However, the function of SGT1 in cancer is largely unknown. Here, we showed that SGT1 was over-expressed in gastric cancer tissues and silencing of SGT1 by siRNAs significantly inhibited the growth and colony formation of gastric cancer cells. We further showed that SGT1 could regulate Akt signaling pathway by modulating Akt ser473 phosphorylation status. Moreover, we found that SGT1 was able to regulate the stability of PHLPP1, which is the direct phosphatase for Akt ser473 phosphorylation. Immunoprecipitation assay revealed that SGT1 could enhance the binding between PHLPP1 and beta-TrCP which has been documented to be able to target PHLPP1 for destruction. Decreased PHLPP1 in SGT1 over-expressed gastric cancer cells failed to dephosphorylate Akt and resulted in increased Akt ser473 phosphorylation and amplified downstream Akt signaling. Thus, our data revealed a previously uncovered role of SGT1 in gastric cancer development, and suggested that SGT1 could be a promising anti-cancer target to against gastric cancer.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Novel PI3K/Akt inhibitors screened by the cytoprotective function of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Tat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Heme A synthesis and CcO activity are essential for Trypanosoma cruzi infectivity and replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merli, Marcelo L; Cirulli, Brenda A; Menéndez-Bravo, Simón M; Cricco, Julia A

    2017-06-27

    Trypanosoma cruzi , the causative agent of Chagas disease, presents a complex life cycle and adapts its metabolism to nutrients' availability. Although T. cruzi is an aerobic organism, it does not produce heme. This cofactor is acquired from the host and is distributed and inserted into different heme-proteins such as respiratory complexes in the parasite's mitochondrion. It has been proposed that T. cruzi's energy metabolism relies on a branched respiratory chain with a cytochrome c oxidase-type aa 3 (C c O) as the main terminal oxidase. Heme A, the cofactor for all eukaryotic C c O, is synthesized via two sequential enzymatic reactions catalyzed by heme O synthase (HOS) and heme A synthase (HAS). Previously, TcCox10 and TcCox15 ( Trypanosoma cruzi Cox10 and Cox15 proteins) were identified in T. cruzi They presented HOS and HAS activity, respectively, when they were expressed in yeast. Here, we present the first characterization of TcCox15 in T. cruzi , confirming its role as HAS. It was differentially detected in the different T. cruzi stages, being more abundant in the replicative forms. This regulation could reflect the necessity of more heme A synthesis, and therefore more C c O activity at the replicative stages. Overexpression of a non-functional mutant caused a reduction in heme A content. Moreover, our results clearly showed that this hindrance in the heme A synthesis provoked a reduction on C c O activity and, in consequence, an impairment on T. cruzi survival, proliferation and infectivity. This evidence supports that T. cruzi depends on the respiratory chain activity along its life cycle, being C c O an essential terminal oxidase. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  14. Trypanosoma cruzi, cancer and the Cold War Trypanosoma cruzi, câncer e a Guerra Fria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolai Krementsov

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.No verão de 1946, a comunidade internacional que desenvolve pesquisas sobre o câncer, inspirou-se no anúncio de que dois cientistas soviéticos, Nina Kliueva e Grigorii Roskin, descobriram propriedades anticancerígenas em cultura extraída do protozoário existente na América Latina, o Trypanosoma cruzi e produziram um preparado que foi denominado com as iniciais KR - em sua homenagem. Grupos de pesquisadores de diversos países buscaram com entusiasmo as promessas dessa nova linha de investigação. A história da ascensão e queda do interesse nas propriedades anticâncer do T. cruzzi em diferentes países sugere que durante a segunda metade do século 20, a Guerra Fria teve um papel importante na definição das agendas de pesquisas sobre o câncer.

  15. Establishment of a luciferase assay-based screening system: Fumitremorgin C selectively inhibits cellular proliferation of immortalized astrocytes expressing an active form of AKT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Lei; Sasai, Ken; Akagi, Tsuyoshi; Tanaka, Shinya

    2008-01-01

    The AKT pathway is frequently activated in glioblastoma, and as such, inhibitors of this pathway could prove very useful as anti-glioblastoma therapies. Here we established immortalized astrocytes expressing Renilla luciferase as well as those expressing both an active form of AKT and firefly luciferase. Since both luciferase activities represent the numbers of corresponding cell lines, novel inhibitors of the AKT pathway can be identified by treating co-cultures containing the two types of luciferase-expressing cells with individual compounds. Indeed, such a screening system succeeded in identifying fumitremorgin C as an efficient inhibitor of the AKT pathway, which was further confirmed by the ability of fumitremorgin C to selectively inhibit the growth of immortalized astrocytes expressing an active form of AKT. The present study proposes a broadly applicable approach for identifying therapeutic agents that target the pathways and/or molecules responsible for cancer development

  16. Drug discovery for Chagas disease should consider Trypanosoma cruzi strain diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca Zingales

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This opinion piece presents an approach to standardisation of an important aspect of Chagas disease drug discovery and development: selecting Trypanosoma cruzi strains for in vitro screening. We discuss the rationale for strain selection representing T. cruzi diversity and provide recommendations on the preferred parasite stage for drug discovery, T. cruzi discrete typing units to include in the panel of strains and the number of strains/clones for primary screens and lead compounds. We also consider experimental approaches for in vitro drug assays. The Figure illustrates the current Chagas disease drug-discovery and development landscape.

  17. Histopathologic identification of Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas' encephalitis in an AIDS patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimath Alyemni

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas' encephalitis is an uncommon manifestation of T. cruzi infection, typically seen in immunocompromised patients. Encephalitis results from the reactivation of chronic infection predominately in individuals from endemic areas. Increased awareness of this complication is essential especially with increased migration of patients from endemic areas with concomitant HIV infection. Here we report a case of Chagas' encephalitis in an AIDS patient from Mexico in which there was no evidence of acute serologic, CSF, or blood infection by T. cruzi trypomastigotes.

  18. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester suppresses melanoma tumor growth by inhibiting PI3K/AKT/XIAP pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pramanik, Kartick C; Kudugunti, Shashi K; Fofaria, Neel M; Moridani, Majid Y; Srivastava, Sanjay K

    2013-09-01

    Melanoma is highly metastatic and resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs. Our previous studies have demonstrated that caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) suppresses the growth of melanoma cells and induces reactive oxygen species generation. However, the exact mechanism of the growth suppressive effects of CAPE was not clear. Here, we determined the potential mechanism of CAPE against melanoma in vivo and in vitro. Administration of 10 mg/kg/day CAPE substantially suppressed the growth of B16F0 tumor xenografts in C57BL/6 mice. Tumors from CAPE-treated mice showed reduced phosphorylation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin and protein level of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) and enhanced the cleavage of caspase-3 and poly (ADP ribose) polymerase. In order to confirm the in vivo observations, melanoma cells were treated with CAPE. CAPE treatment suppressed the activating phosphorylation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase at Tyr 458, phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 at Ser 241, mammalian target of rapamycin at Ser 2448 and AKT at Ser 473 in B16F0 and SK-MEL-28 cells in a concentration and time-dependent study. Furthermore, the expression of XIAP, survivin and BCL-2 was downregulated by CAPE treatment in both cell lines. Significant apoptosis was observed by CAPE treatment as indicated by cleavage of caspase-3 and poly (ADP ribose) polymerase. AKT kinase activity was inhibited by CAPE in a concentration-dependent manner. CAPE treatment increased the nuclear translocation of XIAP, indicating increased apoptosis in melanoma cells. To confirm the involvement of reactive oxygen species in the inhibition of AKT/XIAP pathway, cells were treated with antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) prior to CAPE treatment. Our results indicate that NAC blocked CAPE-mediated AKT/XIAP inhibition and protected the cells from apoptosis. Because AKT regulates XIAP, their interaction was examined by immunoprecipitation studies. Our results show that CAPE

  19. Baicalein Rescues Delayed Cooling via Preservation of Akt Activation and Akt-Mediated Phospholamban Phosphorylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuohui Shao

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Cooling reduces the ischemia/reperfusion (I/R injury seen in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA by decreasing the burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Its cardioprotection is diminished when delay in reaching the target temperature occurs. Baicalein, a flavonoid derived from the root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, possesses antioxidant properties. Therefore, we hypothesized that baicalein can rescue cooling cardioprotection when cooling is delayed. Two murine cardiomyocyte models, an I/R model (90 min ischemia/3 h reperfusion and stunning model (30 min ischemia/90 min reperfusion, were used to assess cell survival and contractility, respectively. Cooling (32 °C was initiated either during ischemia or during reperfusion. Cell viability and ROS generation were measured. Cell contractility was evaluated by real-time phase-contrast imaging. Our results showed that cooling reduced cell death and ROS generation, and this effect was diminished when cooling was delayed. Baicalein (25 µM, given either at the start of reperfusion or start of cooling, resulted in a comparable reduction of cell death and ROS production. Baicalein improved phospholamban phosphorylation, contractility recovery, and cell survival. These effects were Akt-dependent. In addition, no synergistic effect was observed with the combined treatments of cooling and baicalein. Our data suggest that baicalein may serve as a novel adjunct therapeutic strategy for SCA resuscitation.

  20. Polyclonal antibodies for the detection of Trypanosoma cruzi circulating antigens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith S Málaga-Machaca

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Detection of Trypanosoma cruzi antigens in clinical samples is considered an important diagnostic tool for Chagas disease. The production and use of polyclonal antibodies may contribute to an increase in the sensitivity of immunodiagnosis of Chagas disease.Polyclonal antibodies were raised in alpacas, rabbits, and hens immunized with trypomastigote excreted-secreted antigen, membrane proteins, trypomastigote lysate antigen and recombinant 1F8 to produce polyclonal antibodies. Western blot analysis was performed to determine specificity of the developed antibodies. An antigen capture ELISA of circulating antigens in serum, plasma and urine samples was developed using IgY polyclonal antibodies against T. cruzi membrane antigens (capture antibody and IgG from alpaca raised against TESA. A total of 33 serum, 23 plasma and 9 urine samples were analyzed using the developed test. Among serum samples, compared to serology, the antigen capture ELISA tested positive in 55% of samples. All plasma samples from serology positive subjects were positive in the antigen capture ELISA. All urine positive samples had corresponding plasma samples that were also positive when tested by the antigen capture ELISA.Polyclonal antibodies are useful for detection of circulating antigens in both the plasma and urine of infected individuals. Detection of antigens is direct evidence of the presence of the parasite, and could be a better surrogate of current infection status.

  1. Antibody Maturation in Trypanosoma cruzi-Infected Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcipar, Iván S.; Risso, Marikena G.; Silber, Ariel M.; Revelli, Silvia; Marcipar, Alberto J.

    2001-01-01

    The study of antibody avidity changes during infection has improved the understanding of the pathologic processes involved in several infectious diseases. In some infections, like toxoplasmosis, this information is being used for diagnostic purposes. Results of the evolution of antibody avidity for different specific antigens in Trypanosome cruzi-infected rats are presented. A Western blotting technique, combined with avidity analysis to identify antigens that elicit high-avidity antibodies, is suggested. In this system, antibodies showed high avidity values only during the chronic phase of infection and only in relation to antibodies against 21-, 33-, 41-, 42-, 56-, 58-, 66-, and 72-kDa antigens. Finally, a 97-kDa T. cruzi antigen, which was recognized by high-avidity antibodies and occurred in noninfected rats, was identified. These results allow us to evaluate the different antigens in chagasic infection. Our results show that with the correct choice of antigen it is possible to detect differences in maturation of antibodies and to discriminate, in an experimental model, between recent (acute) and chronic infections. PMID:11427430

  2. In vitro effects of citral on Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josiane Cardoso

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Citral, the main constituent of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus essential oil, was added to Trypanosoma cruzi cultures grown in TAU3AAG medium to observe the effect on the epimastigote-to-trypomastigote differentiation process (metacyclogenesis. Our results showed that citral (20 μg/mL did not affect epimastigote viability or inhibit the differentiation process. Concentrations higher than 60 μg/mL, however, led to 100% cell death (both epimastigote and trypomastigote forms. Although epimastigotes incubated with 30 μg/mL citral were viable and able to adhere to the substrate, we observed around 50% inhibition in metacyclogenesis, with a calculated concentration that inhibited metacyclogenesis by 50% after 24 h (IC50/24 h of about 31 μg/mL. Treatment with 30 μg/mL citral did not hinder epimastigote multiplication because epimastigote growth resumed when treated cells were transferred to a drug-free liver infusion tryptose culture medium. Metacyclogenesis was almost totally abolished at 40 μg/mL after 24 h of incubation. Furthermore, the metacyclic trypomastigotes obtained in vitro were similarly susceptible to citral, with an IC50/24 h, concentration that killed 50% of the cells after 24 h, of about 24.5 μg/mL. Therefore, citral appears to be a good candidate as an inhibitory drug for further studies analyzing the T. cruzi metacyclogenesis process.

  3. Benznidazole induces in vitro anaerobic metabolism in Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Clare Vinaud

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To determine the biochemical alterations of the energetic metabolism of Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes in vitro exposed to different concentrations of benzinidazole. Methods: Biochemical analyses were performed at 3, 6 (log phase, 9 and 12 (stationary phase days of culture. Parasites were exposed to five concentrations of benzinidazole. Glycolysis, tricarboxilic acid cycle and fatty acids oxidation pathways were quantified through chromatography. Glucose, urea and creatinine were quantified through spectrophotometric analysis. Results: Anaerobic fermentation and fatty acids oxidation were increased in the stationary phase of the culture. Benzinidazole at high concentrations induced anaerobic metabolism in the log phase of the culture while the parasites exposed to the lower concentrations preferred the citric acid cycle as energy production pathway. Benzinidazole did not influence on the proteins catabolism. Conclusions: It is possible to conclude that there are metabolic differences between evolutive forms of Trypanosoma cruzi and the main drug used for its treatment induces the anaerobic metabolism in the parasite, possibly impairing the mitochondrial pathways.

  4. Comparative analysis of the kinomes of three pathogenic trypanosomatids: Leishmania major, Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Pauline N

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The trypanosomatids Leishmania major, Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi cause some of the most debilitating diseases of humankind: cutaneous leishmaniasis, African sleeping sickness, and Chagas disease. These protozoa possess complex life cycles that involve development in mammalian and insect hosts, and a tightly coordinated cell cycle ensures propagation of the highly polarized cells. However, the ways in which the parasites respond to their environment and coordinate intracellular processes are poorly understood. As a part of an effort to understand parasite signaling functions, we report the results of a genome-wide analysis of protein kinases (PKs of these three trypanosomatids. Results Bioinformatic searches of the trypanosomatid genomes for eukaryotic PKs (ePKs and atypical PKs (aPKs revealed a total of 176 PKs in T. brucei, 190 in T. cruzi and 199 in L. major, most of which are orthologous across the three species. This is approximately 30% of the number in the human host and double that of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. The representation of various groups of ePKs differs significantly as compared to humans: trypanosomatids lack receptor-linked tyrosine and tyrosine kinase-like kinases, although they do possess dual-specificity kinases. A relative expansion of the CMGC, STE and NEK groups has occurred. A large number of unique ePKs show no strong affinity to any known group. The trypanosomatids possess few ePKs with predicted transmembrane domains, suggesting that receptor ePKs are rare. Accessory Pfam domains, which are frequently present in human ePKs, are uncommon in trypanosomatid ePKs. Conclusion Trypanosomatids possess a large set of PKs, comprising approximately 2% of each genome, suggesting a key role for phosphorylation in parasite biology. Whilst it was possible to place most of the trypanosomatid ePKs into the seven established groups using bioinformatic analyses, it has not been

  5. Hepatic Proteomic Analysis Revealed Altered Metabolic Pathways in Insulin Resistant Akt1+/-/Akt2-/-Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Brian A; Wang, Weiwen; Taylor, Jared F; Khattab, Omar S; Chen, Yu-Han; Edwards, Robert A; Yazdi, Puya G; Wang, Ping H

    2015-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study was to identify liver proteome changes in a mouse model of severe insulin resistance and markedly decreased leptin levels. Methods Two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis was utilized to identify liver proteome changes in AKT1+/-/AKT2-/- mice. Proteins with altered levels were identified with tandem mass spectrometry. Ingenuity Pathway analysis was performed for the interpretation of the biological significance of the observed proteomic changes. Results 11 proteins were identified from 2 biological replicates to be differentially expressed by a ratio of at least 1.3 between age-matched insulin resistant (Akt1+/-/Akt2-/-) and wild type mice. Albumin and mitochondrial ornithine aminotransferase were detected from multiple spots, which suggest post-translational modifications. Enzymes of the urea cycle were common members of top regulated pathways. Conclusion Our results help to unveil the regulation of the liver proteome underlying altered metabolism in an animal model of severe insulin resistance. PMID:26455965

  6. Selective elimination of neuroblastoma cells by synergistic effect of Akt kinase inhibitor and tetrathiomolybdate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navrátilová, Jarmila; Karasová, Martina; Kohutková Lánová, Martina; Jiráková, Ludmila; Budková, Zuzana; Pacherník, Jiří; Šmarda, Jan; Beneš, Petr

    2017-09-01

    Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumour of infancy. Pathological activation of glucose consumption, glycolysis and glycolysis-activating Akt kinase occur frequently in neuroblastoma cells, and these changes correlate with poor prognosis of patients. Therefore, several inhibitors of glucose utilization and the Akt kinase activity are in preclinical trials as potential anti-cancer drugs. However, metabolic plasticity of cancer cells might undermine efficacy of this approach. In this work, we identified oxidative phosphorylation as compensatory mechanism preserving viability of neuroblastoma cells with inhibited glucose uptake/Akt kinase. It was oxidative phosphorylation that maintained intracellular level of ATP and proliferative capacity of these cells. The oxidative phosphorylation inhibitors (rotenone, tetrathiomolybdate) synergized with inhibitor of the Akt kinase/glucose uptake in down-regulation of both viability of neuroblastoma cells and clonogenic potential of cells forming neuroblastoma spheroids. Interestingly, tetrathiomolybdate acted as highly specific inhibitor of oxygen consumption and activator of lactate production in neuroblastoma cells, but not in normal fibroblasts and neuronal cells. Moreover, the reducing effect of tetrathiomolybdate on cell viability and the level of ATP in the cells with inhibited Akt kinase/glucose uptake was also selective for neuroblastoma cells. Therefore, efficient elimination of neuroblastoma cells requires inhibition of both glucose uptake/Akt kinase and oxidative phosphorylation activities. The use of tetrathiomolybdate as a mitochondrial inhibitor contributes to selectivity of this combined treatment, preferentially targeting neuroblastoma cells. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

  7. Absence of CD4+ T lymphocytes, CD8+ T lymphocytes, or B lymphocytes has different effects on the efficacy of posaconazole and benznidazole in treatment of experimental acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraz, Marcela L; Gazzinelli, Ricardo T; Alves, Rosana O; Urbina, Julio A; Romanha, Alvaro J

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the influence of CD4(+) T lymphocytes, CD8(+) T lymphocytes, and B lymphocytes on the efficacy of posaconazole (POS) and the reference drug benznidazole (BZ) during treatment of acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection in a murine model. Wild-type mice infected with T. cruzi and treated with POS or BZ presented no parasitemia, 100% survival, and 86 to 89% cure rates, defined as the percentages of animals with negative hemocultures at the end of the observation period. CD4(+)-T-lymphocyte-knockout (KO) mice infected with T. cruzi and treated with BZ or POS controlled parasitemia during treatment, although circulating parasites reappeared after drug pressure cessation, leading to only a 6% survival rate and no cure. CD8(+)-T-lymphocyte-KO mice infected with T. cruzi and treated with POS or BZ had intermediate results, displaying discrete parasitemia after the treatment was ended, 81 and 86% survival, and cure rates of 31 and 66%, respectively. B-lymphocyte-KO mice infected with T. cruzi and treated with BZ relapsed with parasitemia 1 week after the end of treatment and had a 67% survival rate and only a 22% cure rate. In contrast, the activity of POS was much less affected in these animals, with permanent suppression of parasitemia, 100% survival, and a 71% cure rate. Our results demonstrate that abrogation of different lymphocytes' activities has distinct effects on the efficacy of POS and BZ in this experimental model, probably reflecting different parasite stages preferentially targeted by the two drugs and distinct cooperation patterns with the host immune system.

  8. Criopreservação de formas de cultura do Trypanosoma cruzi Cryopreservation of Trypanosoma cruzi culture form

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lúcia Maria C. Galvão

    1981-09-01

    Full Text Available Formas de cultura de diferentes cepas do T.cruzi foram submetidas a vários processos de criopreservação. As percentagens de recuperação, avaliadas pela motilidade dos parasitas, foram consideradas como adequadas com algumas das técnicas empregadas, variando entre 60 a 80%. A estabilidade das características biológicas do material criopreservado foi investigada através do estudo das curvas de crescimento e diferenciação em meio acelular, infectividade para celulas de cultura de tecido ("Vero", diferenciação intracelular em cultura de tecido assim como infectividade e curso da infecção em animais de laboratório. De um modo geral essas características nao foram significativamente alteradas no material congelado e estocado por diferentes períodos de tempo.A systematic study of the cryopreservation of T. cruzi culture forms was per formed using different parasite strains and freezing methods. The recovery rates with some of the methods as evaluated by motility of the thawed parasites were fairly high (60-80%. The following aspects have been used to investigate the stability of the parasites' biological characteristics atter cryopreservation: growth and differentiation in acelular medium, infectivity to tissue culture "Vero" cells, intracellular differentiation and infectivity to animals. Those characteristics had not been significantly changed by the cryopreservation procedures.

  9. Piroxicam, a traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) causes apoptosis by ROS mediated Akt activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Neha; Sarkar, Munna; Raha, Sanghamitra

    2015-12-01

    Piroxicam (Px) belongs to the oxicam group of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and have been shown to exert chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effects in animal models and cultured animal cells. However, little is known about the mode of action of Px and its cellular targets. We explored the role of Px, in triggering apoptosis and examined the involvement of upstream cellular mechanisms in apoptosis induction by Px. Our studies with human breast cancer cells MCF-7 show that Px induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation along with apoptotic cell death. ROS release lead to Akt activation. On evaluation it became evident that ROS mediated apoptosis induction was due to Akt activation (hyper phosphorylation). Silencing the expression of Akt using siRNA and a specific Akt inhibitor, triciribine further confirmed the findings. However Px failed to cause ROS generation, cell death or Akt phosphorylation in another human breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 which is estrogen receptor negative and more aggressive compared to MCF-7 cells. This suggests that Px has cell type specific effects. Thus we revealed for the first time that Px can induce apoptosis by ROS mediated Akt hyperphosphorylation/activation. Copyright © 2015 Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Genovesio, A

    2011-05-01

    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...

  11. The Role of Heme and Reactive Oxygen Species in Proliferation and Survival of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia Cristina Paes

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan responsible for Chagas disease, has a complex life cycle comprehending two distinct hosts and a series of morphological and functional transformations. Hemoglobin degradation inside the insect vector releases high amounts of heme, and this molecule is known to exert a number of physiological functions. Moreover, the absence of its complete biosynthetic pathway in T. cruzi indicates heme as an essential molecule for this trypanosomatid survival. Within the hosts, T. cruzi has to cope with sudden environmental changes especially in the redox status and heme is able to increase the basal production of reactive oxygen species (ROS which can be also produced as byproducts of the parasite aerobic metabolism. In this regard, ROS sensing is likely to be an important mechanism for the adaptation and interaction of these organisms with their hosts. In this paper we discuss the main features of heme and ROS susceptibility in T. cruzi biology.

  12. Mechanism of Trypanosoma cruzi Placenta Invasion and Infection: The Use of Human Chorionic Villi Explants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo E. Fretes

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Congenital Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease, endemic in Latin America, is associated with premature labor and miscarriage. During vertical transmission the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi crosses the placental barrier. However, the exact mechanism of the placental infection remains unclear. We review the congenital transmission of T. cruzi, particularly the role of possible local placental factors that contribute to the vertical transmission of the parasite. Additionally, we analyze the different methods available for studying the congenital transmission of the parasite. In that context, the ex vivo infection with T. cruzi trypomastigotes of human placental chorionic villi constitutes an excellent tool for studying parasite infection strategies as well as possible local antiparasitic mechanisms.

  13. 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.

  14. Characterization of AKT independent effects of the synthetic AKT inhibitors SH-5 and SH-6 using an integrated approach combining transcriptomic profiling and signaling pathway perturbations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schäfer Reinhold

    2010-06-01

    inhibitor treated SW480 cells to PKC signaling. Using confocal laser scanning microscopy and time lapse recording we identified a specific defect in the last step of the cytokinesis as responsible for the binucleation. Conclusions The PIAs SH-5 and SH-6 impinge on additional cellular targets apart from AKT in colorectal cancer cells. The effects are mostly cell line specific and have an influence at the outcome of the treatment. In view of potential clinical trials it will be necessary to take these diverse effects into consideration to optimize patient treatment.

  15. Characterization of AKT independent effects of the synthetic AKT inhibitors SH-5 and SH-6 using an integrated approach combining transcriptomic profiling and signaling pathway perturbations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krech, Till; Thiede, Margarethe; Hilgenberg, Ellen; Schäfer, Reinhold; Jürchott, Karsten

    2010-01-01

    confocal laser scanning microscopy and time lapse recording we identified a specific defect in the last step of the cytokinesis as responsible for the binucleation. The PIAs SH-5 and SH-6 impinge on additional cellular targets apart from AKT in colorectal cancer cells. The effects are mostly cell line specific and have an influence at the outcome of the treatment. In view of potential clinical trials it will be necessary to take these diverse effects into consideration to optimize patient treatment

  16. Prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi and Other Trypanosomatids in Frequently-Hunted Wild Mammals from the Peruvian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, E Angelo; Mayor, Pedro; Bowler, Mark; Aysanoa, Esar; Pérez-Velez, Erika S; Pérez, Jocelyn; Ventocilla, Julio A; Baldeviano, G Christian; Lescano, Andrés G

    2017-11-01

    To better understand the ecology of Trypanosoma cruzi in the northeastern Peruvian Amazon, we evaluated the prevalence of T. cruzi and other trypanosomatids in four orders of wild mammals hunted and consumed by inhabitants of three remote indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Of 300 wild mammals sampled, 115 (38.3%) were infected with trypanosomatids and 15 (5.0%) with T. cruzi. The prevalence of T. cruzi within each species was as follows: large rodents ( Cuniculus paca , 5.5%; Dasyprocta spp., 2.6%), edentates ( Dasypus novemcinctus , 4.2%), and carnivores with higher prevalence ( Nasua nasua , 18.8%). The high prevalence of T. cruzi and other trypanosomatids in frequently hunted wild mammals suggests a sizeable T. cruzi sylvatic reservoir in remote Amazonian locations.

  17. DNA content analysis allows discrimination between Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma rangeli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naves, Lucila Langoni; da Silva, Marcos Vinícius; Fajardo, Emanuella Francisco; da Silva, Raíssa Bernardes; De Vito, Fernanda Bernadelli; Rodrigues, Virmondes; Lages-Silva, Eliane; Ramírez, Luis Eduardo; Pedrosa, André Luiz

    2017-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, a human protozoan parasite, is the causative agent of Chagas disease. Currently the species is divided into six taxonomic groups. The genome of the CL Brener clone has been estimated to be 106.4-110.7 Mb, and DNA content analyses revealed that it is a diploid hybrid clone. Trypanosoma rangeli is a hemoflagellate that has the same reservoirs and vectors as T. cruzi; however, it is non-pathogenic to vertebrate hosts. The haploid genome of T. rangeli was previously estimated to be 24 Mb. The parasitic strains of T. rangeli are divided into KP1(+) and KP1(-). Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the DNA content in different strains of T. cruzi and T. rangeli by flow cytometry. All T. cruzi and T. rangeli strains yielded cell cycle profiles with clearly identifiable G1-0 (2n) and G2-M (4n) peaks. T. cruzi and T. rangeli genome sizes were estimated using the clone CL Brener and the Leishmania major CC1 as reference cell lines because their genome sequences have been previously determined. The DNA content of T. cruzi strains ranged from 87,41 to 108,16 Mb, and the DNA content of T. rangeli strains ranged from 63,25 Mb to 68,66 Mb. No differences in DNA content were observed between KP1(+) and KP1(-) T. rangeli strains. Cultures containing mixtures of the epimastigote forms of T. cruzi and T. rangeli strains resulted in cell cycle profiles with distinct G1 peaks for strains of each species. These results demonstrate that DNA content analysis by flow cytometry is a reliable technique for discrimination between T. cruzi and T. rangeli isolated from different hosts.

  18. IgG subclass reactivity to Trypanosoma cruzi in chronic chagasic patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Becerril, N; Nava, A; Reyes, P A; Monteón, V M

    2001-01-01

    The anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies isotype profile in Chagas' disease has been studied in relation to different clinical manifestations. A high titer of IgG anti-T. cruzi antibodies is found in patients with cardiac involvement, while a high titer of IgA anti-T. cruzi antibodies is associated with digestive forms. The aim of this work was to analyze the IgG subclass reactivity of anti-T. cruzi antibodies in patients with chronic Chagasic cardiomyopathy. Twelve consecutive chagasic patients were analyzed for IgG subclass reactivity to a T. cruzi antigenic extract. They had a complete clinical evaluation, peripheral EKG, echocardiography, left ventriculogram, and coronariography. All patients came from rural areas of Mexico and had lived in endemic zones for over seven years. They presented left ventricular endsystolic dimension above 42 mm in 58% (7/12) and ejection fraction below 50% in 58% (7/12). We found that IgG1 and IgG2 anti-T. cruzi antibodies showed higher titer than IgG3 antibodies, with consistently low titer of IgG4 antibodies. Expression of the four IgG subclasses of anti-T. cruzi antibodies suggest a mixed Th1/Th2-like immune response under a probably continuous chronic antigenic stimulation. On the other hand, high levels of IgG2 anti-T. cruzi antibodies showed a tendency to be associated with severe cardiomegaly. Our results suggest that a mixed Th1/Th2-like immune response may take place in chronic chagasic patients under a chronic antigenic stimulation.

  19. Population genetic analysis of Colombian Trypanosoma cruzi isolates revealed by enzyme electrophoretic profiles

    OpenAIRE

    Ruiz-Garcia, Manuel; Montilla, Marleny; Nicholls, Sebastian; Alvarez, Diana

    2001-01-01

    Although Colombia presents an enormous biological diversity, few studies have been conducted on the population genetics of Trypanosoma cruzi. This study was carried out with 23 Colombian stocks of this protozoa analyzed for 13 isoenzymatic loci. The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, the genetic diversity and heterogeneity, the genetic relationships and the possible spatial structure of these 23 Colombian stocks of T. cruzi were estimated. The majority of results obtained are in agreement with a clo...

  20. New oxirane derivatives of 1,4-naphthoquinones and their evaluation against T. cruzi epimastigote forms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneiro, Paula F; do Nascimento, Samara B; Pinto, Antonio V; Pinto, Maria do Carmo F R; Lechuga, Guilherme C; Santos, Dilvani O; dos Santos Júnior, Helvécio M; Resende, Jackson A L C; Bourguignon, Saulo C; Ferreira, Vitor F

    2012-08-15

    New oxirane derivatives were synthesized using six naphthoquinones as the starting materials. Our biological results showed that these oxiranes acted as trypanocidal agents against Trypanosoma cruzi with minimal cytotoxicity in the VERO cell line compared to naphthoquinones. In particular, oxirane derivative 14 showed low cytotoxicity in a mammalian cell line and exhibited better activity against epimastigote forms of T.cruzi than the current drug used to treat Chagas disease, benznidazole. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. First Case of Natural Infection in Pigs: Review of Trypanosoma cruzi Reservoirs in Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paz María Salazar-Schettino

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available An epidemiological research project was performed in the State of Morelos including collection of samples for blood smears and culture, serological tests, and xenodiagnoses from a total of 76 domestic and peridomestic mammals. Two strains of Trypanosoma cruzi were isolated by haemocultures; one from a pig (Sus scrofa, the first case of natural infection reported in Mexico, and the other from a dog (Canis familiaris. This study summarizes current information in Mexico concerning confirmed reservoirs of T. cruzi

  2. The Ly49E receptor inhibits the immune control of acute Trypanosoma cruzi infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Filtjens

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi circulates in the blood upon infection and invades a variety of cells. Parasites intensively multiply during the acute phase of infection and persist lifelong at low levels in tissues and blood during the chronic phase. Natural killer (NK and NKT cells play an important role in the immune control of T. cruzi infection, mainly by releasing the cytokine IFN-γ that activates the microbicidal action of macrophages and other cells and shapes a protective type 1 immune response. The mechanisms by which immune cells are regulated to produce IFN-γ during T. cruzi infection are still incompletely understood. Here, we show that urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA is induced early upon T. cruzi infection, and remains elevated until day 20 post inoculation. We previously demonstrated that the inhibitory receptor Ly49E, which is expressed, among others, on NK and NKT cells, is triggered by uPA. Therefore, we compared wild type (WT to Ly49E knockout (KO mice for their control of experimental T. cruzi infection. Our results show that young, i.e. 4- and 6-week-old, Ly49E KO mice control the infection better than WT mice, indicated by a lower parasite load and less cachexia. The beneficial effect of Ly49E depletion is more obvious in 4-week-old male than in female mice and weakens in 8-week-old mice. In young mice, the lower T. cruzi parasitemia in Ly49E KO mice is paralleled by higher IFN-γ production compared to their WT controls. Our data indicate that Ly49E receptor expression inhibits the immune control of T. cruzi infection. This is the first demonstration that the inhibitory Ly49E receptor can interfere with the immune response to a pathogen in vivo.

  3. Modulation of Trypanosoma cruzi-specific T-cell responses after chemotherapy for chronic Chagas disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Cecilia Albareda

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this review is to describe the contributions of the knowledge of T-cell responses to the understanding of the physiopathology and the responsiveness to etiological treatment during the chronic phase of Chagas disease. T-helper (Th1 and interleukin (IL-10 Trypanosoma cruzi-specific T-cells have been linked to the asymptomatic phase or to severe clinical forms of the disease, respectively or vice versa, depending on the T. cruzi antigen source, the patient’s location and the performed immunological assays. Parasite-specific T-cell responses are modulated after benznidazole (BZ treatment in chronically T. cruzi-infected subjects in association with a significant decrease in T. cruzi-specific antibodies. Accumulating evidence has indicated that treatment efficacy during experimental infection with T. cruzi results from the combined action of BZ and the activation of appropriate immune responses in the host. However, strong support of this interaction in T. cruzi-infected humans remains lacking. Overall, the quality of T-cell responses might be a key factor in not only disease evolution, but also chemotherapy responsiveness. Immunological parameters are potential indicators of treatment response regardless of achievement of cure. Providing tools to monitor and provide early predictions of treatment success will allow the development of new therapeutic options.

  4. Trypanosoma cruzi: partial prevention of the natural infection of guinea pigs with a killed parasite vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basombrio, M A

    1990-07-01

    Guinea pigs are natural reservoirs of Chagas' disease. Domestic breeding and local trade of these animals are common practices among andean communities in South America. Infection by Trypanosoma cruzi occurs when the animals live in triatomine-infested houses or yards. The preventive effect of a vaccine consisting of cultured T. cruzi killed by freezing and thawing plus saponin was tested both in mice and in the guinea pig ecosystem. Resistance against T. cruzi challenge in mice was improved by increasing the trypomastigote/epimastigote ratio in live attenuated vaccines but not in killed parasite vaccines. Although the killing of attenuated parasites sharply reduced their immunogenicity for mice, a protective effect against natural T. cruzi infection was detected in guinea pigs. A total of 88 guinea pigs were vaccinated in four intradermal sites on three occasions. Eighty controls received similar inoculations of culture medium plus saponin. All animals were kept in a triatomine-infested yard. Parasitemia was studied with the capillary microhematocrit method. After an exposure time averaging 4 months, natural T. cruzi infection occurred in 55% (44/80) of the controls and in 33% (29/88) of the vaccinated group (P less than 0.01). The number of highly parasitemic guinea pigs was also significantly decreased (6/80 vs 0/88, P less than 0.01). Thus, immunizing protocols which are only partially protective against artificial callenge with T. cruzi may nevertheless constrain the exchange of parasites between natural hosts and vectors.

  5. Catalase expression impairs oxidative stress-mediated signalling in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freire, Anna Cláudia Guimarães; Alves, Ceres Luciana; Goes, Grazielle Ribeiro; Resende, Bruno Carvalho; Moretti, Nilmar Silvio; Nunes, Vinícius Santana; Aguiar, Pedro Henrique Nascimento; Tahara, Erich Birelli; Franco, Glória Regina; Macedo, Andréa Mara; Pena, Sérgio Danilo Junho; Gadelha, Fernanda Ramos; Guarneri, Alessandra Aparecida; Schenkman, Sergio; Vieira, Leda Quercia; Machado, Carlos Renato

    2017-09-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is exposed to oxidative stresses during its life cycle, and amongst the strategies employed by this parasite to deal with these situations sits a peculiar trypanothione-dependent antioxidant system. Remarkably, T. cruzi's antioxidant repertoire does not include catalase. In an attempt to shed light on what are the reasons by which this parasite lacks this enzyme, a T. cruzi cell line stably expressing catalase showed an increased resistance to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) when compared with wild-type cells. Interestingly, preconditioning carried out with low concentrations of H2O2 led untransfected parasites to be as much resistant to this oxidant as cells expressing catalase, but did not induce the same level of increased resistance in the latter ones. Also, presence of catalase decreased trypanothione reductase and increased superoxide dismutase levels in T. cruzi, resulting in higher levels of residual H2O2 after challenge with this oxidant. Although expression of catalase contributed to elevated proliferation rates of T. cruzi in Rhodnius prolixus, it failed to induce a significant increase of parasite virulence in mice. Altogether, these results indicate that the absence of a gene encoding catalase in T. cruzi has played an important role in allowing this parasite to develop a shrill capacity to sense and overcome oxidative stress.

  6. Synthesis and biological evaluation of some novel 1-indanone thiazolylhydrazone derivatives as anti-Trypanosoma cruzi agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caputto, María E; Ciccarelli, Alejandra; Frank, Fernanda; Moglioni, Albertina G; Moltrasio, Graciela Y; Vega, Daniel; Lombardo, Elisa; Finkielsztein, Liliana M

    2012-09-01

    A series of novel 4-arylthiazolylhydrazones (TZHs) derived from 1-indanones were synthesized in good yields (66-92%) in a simple procedure using microwave irradiation and then characterized by spectroscopy studies. The compounds were evaluated for their in vitro anti-Trypanosoma cruzi activity against the epimastigote, trypomastigote and amastigote forms of the parasite. Most TZHs displayed excellent activity, and were more potent and selective than the reference drug Benznidazole, used in the current chemotherapy. Analysis of the free sterols from parasite incubated with the compounds showed that inhibition of ergosterol biosynthesis is a possible target for the action of these new TZHs. In particular, TZH 9 emerged as a promising antichagasic compound to be evaluated in animal models. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. PI-103 and Quercetin Attenuate PI3K-AKT Signaling Pathway in T- Cell Lymphoma Exposed to Hydrogen Peroxide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akhilendra Kumar Maurya

    Full Text Available Phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-AKT pathway has been considered as major drug target site due to its frequent activation in cancer. AKT regulates the activity of various targets to promote tumorigenesis and metastasis. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS has been linked to oxidative stress and regulation of signaling pathways for metabolic adaptation of tumor microenvironment. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 in this context is used as ROS source for oxidative stress preconditioning. Antioxidants are commonly considered to be beneficial to reduce detrimental effects of ROS and are recommended as dietary supplements. Quercetin, a ubiquitous bioactive flavonoid is a dietary component which has attracted much of interest due to its potential health-promoting effects. Present study is aimed to analyze PI3K-AKT signaling pathway in H2O2 exposed Dalton's lymphoma ascite (DLA cells. Further, regulation of PI3K-AKT pathway by quercetin as well as PI-103, an inhibitor of PI3K was analyzed. Exposure of H2O2 (1mM H2O2 for 30min to DLA cells caused ROS accumulation and resulted in increased phosphorylation of PI3K and downstream proteins PDK1 and AKT (Ser-473 and Thr-308, cell survival factors BAD and ERK1/2, as well as TNFR1. However, level of tumor suppressor PTEN was declined. Both PI-103 & quercetin suppressed the enhanced level of ROS and significantly down-regulated phosphorylation of AKT, PDK1, BAD and level of TNFR1 as well as increased the level of PTEN in H2O2 induced lymphoma cells. The overall result suggests that quercetin and PI3K inhibitor PI-103 attenuate PI3K-AKT pathway in a similar mechanism.

  8. Isolation and Identification of 9-methylgermacrene-B as the Putative Sex Pheromone of Lutzomyia cruzi (Mangabeira, 1938 (Diptera: Psychodidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brazil Reginaldo P

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Lutzomyia (Lutzomyia cruzi has been named as a probable vector of Leishmania chagasi in Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Taxonomically L. cruzi is closely related to the L. longipalpis species complex. Females of L. cruzi and L. longipalpis are morphologically indistinguishable and associated males must be examined carefully to confirm identifications. Chemical analysis hexane extracts of male L. cruzi has revealed the presence of a 9-methylgermacrene-B (C16, a homosesquiterpene (mw 218 previously shown to be the sex pheromone of one of the members of the L. longipalpis species complex.

  9. Regulation of AKT phosphorylation at Ser473 and Thr308 by endoplasmic reticulum stress modulates substrate specificity in a severity dependent manner.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Wa Yung

    2011-03-01

    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.

  10. Regulation of AKT Phosphorylation at Ser473 and Thr308 by Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Modulates Substrate Specificity in a Severity Dependent Manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Hong Wa

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21445305

  11. Parasite Genome Projects and the Trypanosoma cruzi Genome Initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wim Degrave

    1997-11-01

    Full Text Available Since the start of the human genome project, a great number of genome projects on other "model" organism have been initiated, some of them already completed. Several initiatives have also been started on parasite genomes, mainly through support from WHO/TDR, involving North-South and South-South collaborations, and great hopes are vested in that these initiatives will lead to new tools for disease control and prevention, as well as to the establishment of genomic research technology in developing countries. The Trypanosoma cruzi genome project, using the clone CL-Brener as starting point, has made considerable progress through the concerted action of more than 20 laboratories, most of them in the South. A brief overview of the current state of the project is given

  12. Trypanosoma cruzi Evades the Complement System as an Efficient Strategy to Survive in the Mammalian Host: The Specific Roles of Host/Parasite Molecules and Trypanosoma cruzi Calreticulin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galia Ramírez-Toloza

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available American Trypanosomiasis is an important neglected reemerging tropical parasitism, infecting about 8 million people worldwide. Its agent, Trypanosoma cruzi, exhibits multiple mechanisms to evade the host immune response and infect host cells. An important immune evasion strategy of T. cruzi infective stages is its capacity to inhibit the complement system activation on the parasite surface, avoiding opsonizing, immune stimulating and lytic effects. Epimastigotes, the non-infective form of the parasite, present in triatomine arthropod vectors, are highly susceptible to complement-mediated lysis while trypomastigotes, the infective form, present in host bloodstream, are resistant. Thus T. cruzi susceptibility to complement varies depending on the parasite stage (amastigote, trypomastigotes or epimastigote and on the T. cruzi strain. To avoid complement-mediated lysis, T. cruzi trypomastigotes express on the parasite surface a variety of complement regulatory proteins, such as glycoprotein 58/68 (gp58/68, T. cruzi complement regulatory protein (TcCRP, trypomastigote decay-accelerating factor (T-DAF, C2 receptor inhibitor trispanning (CRIT and T. cruzi calreticulin (TcCRT. Alternatively, or concomitantly, the parasite captures components with complement regulatory activity from the host bloodstream, such as factor H (FH and plasma membrane-derived vesicles (PMVs. All these proteins inhibit different steps of the classical (CP, alternative (AP or lectin pathways (LP. Thus, TcCRP inhibits the CP C3 convertase assembling, gp58/68 inhibits the AP C3 convertase, T-DAF interferes with the CP and AP convertases assembling, TcCRT inhibits the CP and LP, CRIT confers ability to resist the CP and LP, FH is used by trypomastigotes to inhibit the AP convertases and PMVs inhibit the CP and LP C3 convertases. Many of these proteins have similar molecular inhibitory mechanisms. Our laboratory has contributed to elucidate the role of TcCRT in the host

  13. Immobilization of NTPDase-1 from Trypanosoma cruzi and Development of an Online Label-Free Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calil, Felipe Antunes; Lima, Juliana Maria; de Oliveira, Arthur Henrique Cavalcante; Mariotini-Moura, Christiane; Fietto, Juliana Lopes Rangel; Cardoso, Carmen Lucia

    2016-01-01

    The use of IMERs (Immobilized Enzyme Reactors) as a stationary phase coupled to high performance chromatographic systems is an interesting approach in the screening of new ligands. In addition, IMERs offer many advantages over techniques that employ enzymes in solution. The enzyme nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase-1) from Trypanosoma cruzi acts as a pathogen infection facilitator, so it is a good target in the search for inhibitors. In this paper, immobilization of NTPDase-1 afforded ICERs (Immobilized Capillary Enzyme Reactors). A liquid chromatography method was developed and validated to monitor the ICER activity. The conditions for the application of these bioreactors were investigated, and excellent results were obtained. The enzyme was successfully immobilized, as attested by the catalytic activity detected in the Tc NTPDase-1-ICER chromatographic system. Kinetic studies on the substrate ATP gave K M of 0.317 ± 0.044 mmol·L -1 , which still presented high affinity compared to in solution. Besides that, the ICER was stable for 32 days, enough time to investigate samples of possible inhibitors, including especially the compound Suramin, that inhibited 51% the enzyme activity at 100  µ mol·L -1 , which is in accordance with the data for the enzyme in solution.

  14. Immobilization of NTPDase-1 from Trypanosoma cruzi and Development of an Online Label-Free Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Antunes Calil

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of IMERs (Immobilized Enzyme Reactors as a stationary phase coupled to high performance chromatographic systems is an interesting approach in the screening of new ligands. In addition, IMERs offer many advantages over techniques that employ enzymes in solution. The enzyme nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase-1 from Trypanosoma cruzi acts as a pathogen infection facilitator, so it is a good target in the search for inhibitors. In this paper, immobilization of NTPDase-1 afforded ICERs (Immobilized Capillary Enzyme Reactors. A liquid chromatography method was developed and validated to monitor the ICER activity. The conditions for the application of these bioreactors were investigated, and excellent results were obtained. The enzyme was successfully immobilized, as attested by the catalytic activity detected in the TcNTPDase-1-ICER chromatographic system. Kinetic studies on the substrate ATP gave KM of 0.317 ± 0.044 mmol·L−1, which still presented high affinity compared to in solution. Besides that, the ICER was stable for 32 days, enough time to investigate samples of possible inhibitors, including especially the compound Suramin, that inhibited 51% the enzyme activity at 100 µmol·L−1, which is in accordance with the data for the enzyme in solution.

  15. Sialic Acid Glycobiology Unveils Trypanosoma cruzi Trypomastigote Membrane Physiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés B Lantos

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the flagellate protozoan agent of Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis, is unable to synthesize sialic acids de novo. Mucins and trans-sialidase (TS are substrate and enzyme, respectively, of the glycobiological system that scavenges sialic acid from the host in a crucial interplay for T. cruzi life cycle. The acquisition of the sialyl residue allows the parasite to avoid lysis by serum factors and to interact with the host cell. A major drawback to studying the sialylation kinetics and turnover of the trypomastigote glycoconjugates is the difficulty to identify and follow the recently acquired sialyl residues. To tackle this issue, we followed an unnatural sugar approach as bioorthogonal chemical reporters, where the use of azidosialyl residues allowed identifying the acquired sugar. Advanced microscopy techniques, together with biochemical methods, were used to study the trypomastigote membrane from its glycobiological perspective. Main sialyl acceptors were identified as mucins by biochemical procedures and protein markers. Together with determining their shedding and turnover rates, we also report that several membrane proteins, including TS and its substrates, both glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins, are separately distributed on parasite surface and contained in different and highly stable membrane microdomains. Notably, labeling for α(1,3Galactosyl residues only partially colocalize with sialylated mucins, indicating that two species of glycosylated mucins do exist, which are segregated at the parasite surface. Moreover, sialylated mucins were included in lipid-raft-domains, whereas TS molecules are not. The location of the surface-anchored TS resulted too far off as to be capable to sialylate mucins, a role played by the shed TS instead. Phosphatidylinositol-phospholipase-C activity is actually not present in trypomastigotes. Therefore, shedding of TS occurs via microvesicles instead of as a fully

  16. Discovery and preclinical pharmacology of a selective ATP-competitive Akt inhibitor (GDC-0068) for the treatment of human tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, James F; Xu, Rui; Bencsik, Josef R; Xiao, Dengming; Kallan, Nicholas C; Schlachter, Stephen; Mitchell, Ian S; Spencer, Keith L; Banka, Anna L; Wallace, Eli M; Gloor, Susan L; Martinson, Matthew; Woessner, Richard D; Vigers, Guy P A; Brandhuber, Barbara J; Liang, Jun; Safina, Brian S; Li, Jun; Zhang, Birong; Chabot, Christine; Do, Steven; Lee, Leslie; Oeh, Jason; Sampath, Deepak; Lee, Brian B; Lin, Kui; Liederer, Bianca M; Skelton, Nicholas J

    2012-09-27

    The discovery and optimization of a series of 6,7-dihydro-5H-cyclopenta[d]pyrimidine compounds that are ATP-competitive, selective inhibitors of protein kinase B/Akt is reported. The initial design and optimization was guided by the use of X-ray structures of inhibitors in complex with Akt1 and the closely related protein kinase A. The resulting compounds demonstrate potent inhibition of all three Akt isoforms in biochemical assays and poor inhibition of other members of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase G/protein kinase C extended family and block the phosphorylation of multiple downstream targets of Akt in human cancer cell lines. Biological studies with one such compound, 28 (GDC-0068), demonstrate good oral exposure resulting in dose-dependent pharmacodynamic effects on downstream biomarkers and a robust antitumor response in xenograft models in which the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin pathway is activated. 28 is currently being evaluated in human clinical trials for the treatment of cancer.

  17. Downregulation of catalase by reactive oxygen species via PI 3 kinase/Akt signaling in mesangial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatesan, Balachandar; Mahimainathan, Lenin; Das, Falguni; Ghosh-Choudhury, Nandini; Ghosh Choudhury, Goutam

    2007-05-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to many glomerular diseases by targeting mesangial cells. ROS have been shown to regulate expression of many antioxidant enzymes including catalase. The mechanism by which the expression of catalase protein is regulated by ROS is not precisely known. Here we report that increased intracellular ROS level by hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) reduced the expression of catalase. H(2)O(2) increased phosphorylation of Akt kinase in a dose-dependent and sustained manner with a concomitant increase in the phosphorylation of FoxO1 transcription factor. Further analysis revealed that H(2)O(2) promoted rapid activation of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3 kinase. The PI 3 kinase inhibitor Ly294002 and expression of tumor suppressor protein PTEN inhibited Akt kinase activity, resulting in the attenuation of FoxO1 phosphorylation and preventing the downregulating effect of H(2)O(2) on catalase protein level. Dominant negative Akt attenuated the inhibitory effect of H(2)O(2) on expression of catalase. Constitutively active FoxO1 increased the expression of catalase. However, dominant negative FoxO1 inhibited catalase protein level. Catalase transcription was reduced by H(2)O(2) treatment. Furthermore, expression of dominant negative Akt and constitutively active FoxO1 increased catalase transcription, respectively. These results demonstrate that ROS downregulate the expression of catalase in mesangial cells by PI 3 kinase/Akt signaling via FoxO1 as a target. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. AKT delays the early-activated apoptotic pathway in UVB-irradiated keratinocytes via BAD translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claerhout, Sofie; Decraene, David; Van Laethem, An; Van Kelst, Sofie; Agostinis, Patrizia; Garmyn, Marjan

    2007-02-01

    Upon irradiation with a high dose of UVB, keratinocytes undergo apoptosis as a protective mechanism. In previous work, we demonstrated the existence of an early-activated UVB-induced apoptotic pathway in growth factor-depleted human keratinocytes, which can be substantially delayed by the exclusive supplementation of IGF-1. We now show that in human keratinocytes, IGF-1 inhibits the onset of UVB-triggered apoptosis through a transcriptional independent, AKT-mediated mechanism, involving BAD serine 136 phosphorylation. Our results show that the early UVB-induced apoptosis in growth factor-depleted human keratinocytes is exclusively triggered through the mitochondrial pathway. It is accompanied by BAX translocation, cytochrome c release, and procaspase-9 cleavage, but not by procaspase-8 or BID cleavage. In human keratinocytes, IGF-1 supplementation inhibits these events in a transcription-independent manner. Both IGF-1 supplementation and the transduction of a membrane-targeted form of AKT result in a shift of the BH3-only protein BAD from the mitochondria to the cytoplasm, paralleled by an increase of AKT-specific Ser136 phospho-BAD bound to 14-3-3zeta protein. These data indicate that AKT-induced BAD phosphorylation and its subsequent cytoplasmic sequestration by 14-3-3zeta is a major mechanism responsible for the postponement of UVB-induced apoptosis in human keratinocytes.

  19. AKT-mediated enhanced aerobic glycolysis causes acquired radioresistance by human tumor cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimura, Tsutomu; Noma, Naoto; Sano, Yui; Ochiai, Yasushi; Oikawa, Toshiyuki; Fukumoto, Manabu; Kunugita, Naoki

    2014-01-01

    Background and purpose: Cellular radioresistance is a major impediment to effective radiotherapy. Here, we demonstrated that long-term exposure to fractionated radiation conferred acquired radioresistance to tumor cells due to AKT-mediated enhanced aerobic glycolysis. Material and methods: Two human tumor cell lines with acquired radioresistance were established by long-term exposure to fractionated radiation with 0.5 Gy of X-rays. Glucose uptake was inhibited using 2-deoxy-D-glucose, a non-metabolizable glucose analog. Aerobic glycolysis was assessed by measuring lactate concentrations. Cells were then used for assays of ROS generation, survival, and cell death as assessed by annexin V staining. Results: Enhanced aerobic glycolysis was shown by increased glucose transporter Glut1 expression and a high lactate production rate in acquired radioresistant cells compared with parental cells. Inhibiting the AKT pathway using the AKT inhibitor API-2 abrogated these phenomena. Moreover, we found that inhibiting glycolysis with 2-deoxy-D-glucose suppressed acquired tumor cell radioresistance. Conclusions: Long-term fractionated radiation confers acquired radioresistance to tumor cells by AKT-mediated alterations in their glucose metabolic pathway. Thus, tumor cell metabolic pathway is an attractive target to eliminate radioresistant cells and improve radiotherapy efficacy

  20. A dual-color fluorescence-based platform to identify selective inhibitors of Akt signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aranzazú Rosado

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Inhibition of Akt signaling is considered one of the most promising therapeutic strategies for many cancers. However, rational target-orientated approaches to cell based drug screens for anti-cancer agents have historically been compromised by the notorious absence of suitable control cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In order to address this fundamental problem, we have developed BaFiso, a live-cell screening platform to identify specific inhibitors of this pathway. BaFiso relies on the co-culture of isogenic cell lines that have been engineered to sustain interleukin-3 independent survival of the parental Ba/F3 cells, and that are individually tagged with different fluorescent proteins. Whilst in the first of these two lines cell survival in the absence of IL-3 is dependent on the expression of activated Akt, the cells expressing constitutively-activated Stat5 signaling display IL-3 independent growth and survival in an Akt-independent manner. Small molecules can then be screened in these lines to identify inhibitors that rescue IL-3 dependence. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: BaFiso measures differential cell survival using multiparametric live cell imaging and permits selective inhibitors of Akt signaling to be identified. BaFiso is a platform technology suitable for the identification of small molecule inhibitors of IL-3 mediated survival signaling.

  1. Akt interacts directly with Smad3 to regulate the sensitivity to TGF-beta induced apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conery, Andrew R; Cao, Yanna; Thompson, E Aubrey; Townsend, Courtney M; Ko, Tien C; Luo, Kunxin

    2004-04-01

    Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) induces both apoptosis and cell-cycle arrest in some cell lines, but only growth arrest in others. It is not clear how this differential response to TGF-beta is specified. Smad proteins are critical mediators of TGF-beta signalling. After stimulation by TGF-beta, Smad2 and Smad3 become phosphorylated by the activated TGF-beta receptor kinases, oligomerize with Smad4, translocate to the nucleus and regulate the expression of TGF-beta target genes. Here we report that the sensitivity to TGF-beta induced apoptosis is regulated by crosstalk between the Akt/PKB serine/threonine kinase and Smad3 through a mechanism that is independent of Akt kinase activity. Akt interacts directly with unphosphorylated Smad3 to sequester it outside the nucleus, preventing its phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. This results in inhibition of Smad3-mediated transcription and apoptosis. Furthermore, the ratio of Smad3 to Akt correlates with the sensitivity of cells to TGF-beta induced apoptosis. Alteration of this ratio changes the apoptotic, but not the growth-inhibitory, responses of cells to TGF-beta. These findings identify an important determinant of sensitivity to TGF-beta-induced apoptosis that involves crosstalk between the TGF-beta and phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K) pathways.

  2. Gamma-glutamylcyclotransferase promotes the growth of human glioma cells by activating Notch-Akt signaling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shen, Shang-Hang; Yu, Ning; Liu, Xi-Yao; Tan, Guo-Wei; Wang, Zhan-Xiang, E-mail: md_wzx7189@163.com

    2016-03-18

    Glioma as an aggressive type tumor is rapidly growing and has become one of the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. γ-Glutamylcyclotransferase (GGCT) has been shown as a diagnostic marker in various cancers. To reveal whether there is a correlation between GGCT and human glioma, GGCT expression in human glioma tissues and cell lines was first determined. We found that GGCT expression was up-regulated in human glioma tissues and cell lines. Further, we demonstrate that GGCT knockdown inhibits glioma cell T98G and U251 proliferation and colony formation, whereas GGCT overexpression leads to oppose effects. GGCT overexpression promotes the expression of Notch receptors and activates Akt signaling in glioma cells, and Notch-Akt signaling is activated in glioma tissues with high expression of GGCT. Finally, we show that inhibition of Notch-Akt signaling with Notch inhibitor MK-0752 blocks the effects of GGCT on glioma proliferation and colony formation. In conclusion, GGCT plays a critical role in glioma cell proliferation and may be a potential cancer therapeutic target. - Highlights: • GGCT expression is up-regulated in human glioma tissues and cell lines. • GGCT promotes glioma cell growth and colony formation. • GGCT promotes the activation of Notch-Akt signaling in glioma cells and tissues. • Notch inhibition blocks the role of GGCT in human glioma cells.

  3. 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 PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and suggest that osteoblast is a direct target of omentin-1.

  4. Akt phosphorylates Prohibitin 1 to mediate its mitochondrial localization and promote proliferation of bladder cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, L; Dong, P; Zhang, Z; Li, C; Li, Y; Liao, Y; Li, X; Wu, Z; Guo, S; Mai, S; Xie, D; Liu, Z; Zhou, F

    2015-01-01

    Bladder cancer (BC) is very common and associated with significant morbidity and mortality, though the molecular underpinnings of its origination and progression remain poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate that Prohibitin 1 (PHB) was overexpressed in human BC tissues and that PHB upregulation was associated with poor prognosis. We also found that PHB was necessary and sufficient for BC cell proliferation. Interestingly, the overexpressed PHB was primarily found within mitochondria, and we provide the first direct evidence that phosphorylation by Akt at Thr258 of PHB induces this mitochondrial localization. Inhibiton of Akt reverses these effects and inhibited the proliferation of BC cells. Finally, the phosphorylation of PHB was required for BC cell proliferation, further implicating the importance of the Akt in BC. Taken together, these findings identify the Akt/PHB signaling cascade as a novel mechanism of cancer cell proliferation and provide the scientific basis for the establishment of PHB as a new prognostic marker and treatment target for BC. PMID:25719244

  5. Triatominae-Trypanosoma cruzi/T. rangeli: Vector-parasite interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallejo, G A; Guhl, F; Schaub, G A

    2009-01-01

    Of the currently known 140 species in the family Reduviidae, subfamily Triatominae, those which are most important as vectors of the aetiologic agent of Chagas disease, Trypanosoma cruzi, belong to the tribes Triatomini and Rhodniini. The latter not only transmit T. cruzi but also Trypanosoma rangeli, which is considered apathogenic for the mammalian host but can be pathogenic for the vectors. Using different molecular methods, two main lineages of T. cruzi have been classified, T. cruzi I and T. cruzi II. Within T. cruzi II, five subdivisions are recognized, T. cruzi IIa-IIe, according to the variability of the ribosomal subunits 24Salpha rRNA and 18S rRNA. In T. rangeli, differences in the organization of the kinetoplast DNA separate two forms denoted T. rangeli KP1+ and KP1-, although differences in the intergenic mini-exon gene and of the small subunit rRNA (SSU rRNA) suggest four subpopulations denoted T. rangeli A, B, C and D. The interactions of these subpopulations of the trypanosomes with different species and populations of Triatominae determine the epidemiology of the human-infecting trypanosomes in Latin America. Often, specific subpopulations of the trypanosomes are transmitted by specific vectors in a particular geographic area. Studies centered on trypanosome-triatomine interaction may allow identification of co-evolutionary processes, which, in turn, could consolidate hypotheses of the evolution and the distribution of T. cruzi/T. rangeli-vectors in America, and they may help to identify the mechanisms that either facilitate or impede the transmission of the parasites in different vector species. Such mechanisms seem to involve intestinal bacteria, especially the symbionts which are needed by the triatomines to complete nymphal development and to produce eggs. Development of the symbionts is regulated by the vector. T. cruzi and T. rangeli interfere with this system and induce the production of antibacterial substances. Whereas T. cruzi is only

  6. AKT signaling displays multifaceted functions in neural crest development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittewelle, Méghane; Monsoro-Burq, Anne H

    2018-05-31

    AKT signaling is an essential intracellular pathway controlling cell homeostasis, cell proliferation and survival, as well as cell migration and differentiation in adults. Alterations impacting the AKT pathway are involved in many pathological conditions in human disease. Similarly, during development, multiple transmembrane molecules, such as FGF receptors, PDGF receptors or integrins, activate AKT to control embryonic cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, and also cell fate decisions. While many studies in mouse embryos have clearly implicated AKT signaling in the differentiation of several neural crest derivatives, information on AKT functions during the earliest steps of neural crest development had remained relatively scarce until recently. However, recent studies on known and novel regulators of AKT signaling demonstrate that this pathway plays critical roles throughout the development of neural crest progenitors. Non-mammalian models such as fish and frog embryos have been instrumental to our understanding of AKT functions in neural crest development, both in neural crest progenitors and in the neighboring tissues. This review combines current knowledge acquired from all these different vertebrate animal models to describe the various roles of AKT signaling related to neural crest development in vivo. We first describe the importance of AKT signaling in patterning the tissues involved in neural crest induction, namely the dorsal mesoderm and the ectoderm. We then focus on AKT signaling functions in neural crest migration and differentiation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Overcoming Resistance to Inhibitors of the Akt Protein Kinase by Modulation of the Pim Kinase Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    v e V ia b il it y Figure 8. PC3-LN4 cells in normoxia or hypoxia were treated with Pim inhibitors. Left panel shows a Western blot and the...3728-36, PMID 25241892 4. Warfel, NA, Kraft, AS. Pim kinase (and Akt) biology and signaling in tumors. Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Jul; 151: 41 - 9. doi: 10.1016...Associated Fibroblast Biology in Prostate Cancer These studies will accelerate and significantly advance the rational development of targeted agents

  8. [Seroprevalence of T. cruzi infection in Canis familiaris, state of Sucre, Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berrizbeitia, Mariolga; Concepción, Juan Luis; Carzola, Valentina; Rodríguez, Jéssicca; Cáceres, Ana; Quiñones, Wilfredo

    2013-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi infection in humans has been extensively studied in Venezuela; however, in reservoirs it has been less investigated. The objective of this study was to determine the seroepidemiology of T. cruzi in the state of Sucre, Venezuela. A cross-sectional and prospective study conducted in 95 towns and 577 dwellings in the 15 municipalies of the state of Sucre, Venezuela, from August to November, 2008. The evaluation of serum samples was performed with the CruziELISA kit and the multiple antigens binding assays (MABA). Furthermore, epidemiological surveys were applied to evaluate the risk factors. A total of dogs (average age of 2, 6 + 2.2 years, 226 males and 137 females) was evaluated. The combination of the ELISA / MABA tests detected 78 positive sera, sixty-nine negative and 10 of inconclusive results. The seroprevalence of the T. cruzi infection in dogs in the state of Sucre, was 22.1% (CI 95%: 20.58-22.4%). No significant statistic association was found between the T. cruzi infection in dogs and the evaluated epidemiological variables: hunting dogs that slept oudoors roaming freely in the populated center, sex of the animal and eating habits. The T. cruzi infection was associated to the age of canines, being significantly higher in the group of 0 to 3 years, when compared with older dogs. The high T. cruzi seroprevalence dected in dogs shows that in this región of Venezuela there prevails an important risk factor of transmissibility of this parasite to human populations.

  9. MDL28170, a calpain inhibitor, affects Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclogenesis, ultrastructure and attachment to Rhodnius prolixus midgut.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vítor Ennes-Vidal

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagas' disease. During the parasite life cycle, many molecules are involved in the differentiation process and infectivity. Peptidases are relevant for crucial steps of T. cruzi life cycle; as such, it is conceivable that they may participate in the metacyclogenesis and interaction with the invertebrate host. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this paper, we have investigated the effect of the calpain inhibitor MDL28170 on the attachment of T. cruzi epimastigotes to the luminal midgut surface of Rhodnius prolixus, as well as on the metacyclogenesis process and ultrastructure. MDL28170 treatment was capable of significantly reducing the number of bound epimastigotes to the luminal surface midgut of the insect. Once the cross-reactivity of the anti-Dm-calpain was assessed, it was possible to block calpain molecules by the antibody, leading to a significant reduction in the capacity of adhesion to the insect guts by T. cruzi. However, the antibodies were unable to interfere in metacyclogenesis, which was impaired by the calpain inhibitor presenting a significant reduction in the number of metacyclic trypomastigotes. The calpain inhibitor also promoted a direct effect against bloodstream trypomastigotes. Ultrastructural analysis of epimastigotes treated with the calpain inhibitor revealed disorganization in the reservosomes, Golgi and plasma membrane disruption. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The presence of calpain and calpain-like molecules in a wide range of organisms suggests that these proteins could be necessary for basic cellular functions. Herein, we demonstrated the effects of MDL28170 in crucial steps of the T. cruzi life cycle, such as attachment to the insect midgut and metacyclogenesis, as well as in parasite viability and morphology. Together with our previous findings, these results help to shed some light on the functions of T. cruzi calpains. Considering the potential roles of

  10. Activation of Akt is essential for the propagation of mitochondrial respiratory stress signaling and activation of the transcriptional coactivator heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein A2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guha, Manti; Fang, Ji-Kang; Monks, Robert; Birnbaum, Morris J; Avadhani, Narayan G

    2010-10-15

    Mitochondrial respiratory stress (also called mitochondrial retrograde signaling) activates a Ca(2+)/calcineurin-mediated signal that culminates in transcription activation/repression of a large number of nuclear genes. This signal is propagated through activation of the regulatory proteins NFκB c-Rel/p50, C/EBPδ, CREB, and NFAT. Additionally, the heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein A2 (hnRNPA2) functions as a coactivator in up-regulating the transcription of Cathepsin L, RyR1, and Glut-4, the target genes of stress signaling. Activation of IGF1R, which causes a metabolic switch to glycolysis, cell invasiveness, and resistance to apoptosis, is a phenotypic hallmark of C2C12 myoblasts subjected to mitochondrial stress. In this study, we report that mitochondrial stress leads to increased expression, activation, and nuclear localization of Akt1. Mitochondrial respiratory stress also activates Akt1-gene expression, which involves hnRNPA2 as a coactivator, indicating a complex interdependency of these two factors. Using Akt1(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts and Akt1 mRNA-silenced C2C12 cells, we show that Akt1-mediated phosphorylation is crucial for the activation and recruitment of hnRNPA2 to the enhanceosome complex. Akt1 mRNA silencing in mtDNA-depleted cells resulted in reversal of the invasive phenotype, accompanied by sensitivity to apoptotic stimuli. These results show that Akt1 is an important regulator of the nuclear transcriptional response to mitochondrial stress.

  11. PI3K/Akt/mTOR Intracellular Pathway and Breast Cancer: Factors, Mechanism and Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Var Ruchi; Gupta, Girish Kumar; Sharma, A K; Batra, Navneet; Sharma, Daljit K; Joshi, Amit; Sharma, Anil K

    2017-01-01

    The most recurrent and considered second most frequent cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide in women is the breast cancer. The key to diagnosis is early prediction and a curable stage but still treatment remains a great clinical challenge. Origin of the Problem: A number of studies have been carried out for the treatment of breast cancer which includes the targeted therapies and increased survival rates in women. Essential PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway activation has been observed in most breast cancers. The cell growth and tumor development in such cases involve phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex intracellular pathway. Through preclinical and clinical trials, it has been observed that there are a number of other inhibitors of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, which either alone or in combination with cytotoxic agents can be used for endocrine therapies. Structure and regulation/deregulation of mTOR provides a greater insight into the action mechanism. Also, through this review, one could easily scan first and second generation inhibitors for PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway besides targeted therapies for breast cancer and the precise role of mTOR. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  12. Atorvastatin enhances neurite outgrowth in cortical neurons in vitro via up-regulating the Akt/mTOR and Akt/GSK-3β signaling pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Ying; Sui, Hai-juan; Dong, Yan; Ding, Qi; Qu, Wen-hui; Yu, Sheng-xue; Jin, Ying-xin

    2012-01-01

    Aim: To investigate whether atorvastatin can promote formation of neurites in cultured cortical neurons and the signaling mechanisms responsible for this effect. Methods: Cultured rat cerebral cortical neurons were incubated with atorvastatin (0.05–10 μmol/L) for various lengths of time. For pharmacological experiments, inhibitors were added 30 min prior to addition of atorvastatin. Control cultures received a similar amount of DMSO. Following the treatment period, phase-contrast digital images were taken. Digital images of neurons were analyzed for total neurite branch length (TNBL), neurite number, terminal branch number, and soma area by SPOT Advanced Imaging software. After incubation with atorvastatin for 48 h, the levels of phosphorylated 3-phosphoinoside-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1), phospho-Akt, phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), phosphorylated 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), p70S6 kinase (p70S6K), and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) in the cortical neurons were evaluated using Western blotting analyses. Results: Atorvastatin (0.05–10 μmol/L) resulted in dose-dependent increase in neurite number and length in these neurons. Pretreatment of the cortical neurons with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors LY294002 (30 μmol/L) and wortmannin (5 μmol/L), Akt inhibitor tricribine (1 μmol/L) or mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (100 nmol/L) blocked the atorvastatin-induced increase in neurite outgrowth, suggesting that atorvastatin promoted neurite outgrowth via activating the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. Atorvastatin (10 μmol/L) significantly increased the levels of phosphorylated PDK1, Akt and mTOR in the cortical neurons, which were prevented by LY294002 (30 μmol/L). Moreover, atorvastatin (10 μmol/L) stimulated the phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and p70S6K, the substrates of mTOR, in the cortical neurons. In addition, atorvastatin (10 μmol/L) significantly increased the phosphorylated GSK-3β level in the cortical

  13. Cytoplasmic Skp2 expression is associated with p-Akt1 and predicts poor prognosis in human breast carcinomas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: S-phase kinase protein 2 (Skp2, an oncogenic protein, is a key regulator in different cellular and molecular processes, through ubiquitin-proteasome degradation pathway. Increased levels of Skp2 are observed in various types of cancer and associated with poor prognosis. However, in human breast carcinomas, the underlying mechanism and prognostic significance of cytoplasmic Skp2 is still undefined. METHODS: To investigate the role of cytoplasmic Skp2 expression in human breast carcinomas, we immnohistochemically assessed cytoplasmic Skp2, p-Akt1, and p27 expression in 251 patients with invasive ductal carcinomas of the breast. Association of cytoplasmic Skp2 expression with p-Akt1 and p27 was analyzed as well as correspondence with other clinicopathological parameters. Disease-free survival and overall survival were determined based on the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression models. RESULTS: Cytoplasmic of Skp2 was detected in 165 out of 251 (65.7% patients. Cytoplasmic Skp2 expression was associated with larger tumor size, more advanced histological grade, and positive HER2 expression. Increased cytoplasmic Skp2 expression correlated with p-Akt1 expression, with 54.2% (51/94 of low p-Akt1-expressing breast carcinomas, but 72.6% (114/157 of high p-Akt1-expressing breast carcinomas exhibiting cytoplasmic Skp2 expression. Elevated cytoplasmic Skp2 expression with low p-Akt1 expression was associated with poor disease-free and overall survival (DFS and OS, and Cox regression models demonstrated that cytoplasmic Skp2 expression was an independent prognostic marker for invasive breast carcinomas. CONCLUSION: Cytoplasmic Skp2 expression is associated with aggressive prognostic factors, such as larger tumor size, and advanced histological grade of the breast cancers. Results demonstrate that combined cytoplasmic Skp2 and p-Akt1 expression may be prognostic for patients with invasive breast carcinomas, and cytoplasmic Skp2 may serve as a

  14. Oxysterol-binding protein-related protein (ORP) 9 is a PDK-2 substrate and regulates Akt phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessmann, Eva; Ngo, Mike; Leitges, Michael; Minguet, Susana; Ridgway, Neale D; Huber, Michael

    2007-02-01

    The oxysterol-binding protein and oxysterol-binding protein-related protein family has been implicated in lipid transport and metabolism, vesicle trafficking and cell signaling. While investigating the phosphorylation of Akt/protein kinase B in stimulated bone marrow-derived mast cells, we observed that a monoclonal antibody directed against phospho-S473 Akt cross-reacted with oxysterol-binding protein-related protein 9 (ORP9). Further analysis revealed that mast cells exclusively express ORP9S, an N-terminal truncated version of full-length ORP9L. A PDK-2 consensus phosphorylation site in ORP9L and OPR9S at S287 (VPEFS(287)Y) was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. In contrast to Akt, increased phosphorylation of ORP9S S287 in stimulated mast cells was independent of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase but sensitive to inhibition of conventional PKC isotypes. PKC-beta dependence was confirmed by lack of ORP9S phosphorylation at S287 in PKC-beta-deficient, but not PKC-alpha-deficient, mast cells. Moreover, co-immunoprecipitation of PKC-beta and ORP9S, and in vitro phosphorylation of ORP9S in this complex, argued for direct phosphorylation of ORP9S by PKC-beta, introducing ORP9S as a novel PKC-beta substrate. Akt was also detected in a PKC-beta/ORP9S immune complex and phosphorylation of Akt on S473 was delayed in PKC-deficient mast cells. In HEK293 cells, RNAi experiments showed that depletion of ORP9L increased Akt S473 phosphorylation 3-fold without affecting T308 phosphorylation in the activation loop. Furthermore, mammalian target of rapamycin was implicated in ORP9L phosphorylation in HEK293 cells. These studies identify ORP9 as a PDK-2 substrate and negative regulator of Akt phosphorylation at the PDK-2 site.

  15. Regulation of Akt and Wnt signaling by the group II metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist LY341495 and agonist LY379268.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, Laurie P; Rushlow, Walter J

    2011-06-01

    Metabotropic glutamate receptors 2/3 (mGlu(2/3)) have been implicated in schizophrenia and as a novel treatment target for schizophrenia. The current study examined whether mGlu(2/3) regulates Akt (protein kinase B) and Wnt (Wingless/Int-1) signaling, two cascades associated with schizophrenia and modified by antipsychotics. Western blotting revealed increases in phosphorylated Akt (pAkt) and phosphorylated glycogen synthase kinase-3 (pGSK-3) following acute and repeated treatment of LY379268 (mGlu(2/3) agonist), whereas increases in dishevelled-2 (Dvl-2), dishevelled-3 (Dvl-3), GSK-3 and β-catenin were only observed following repeated treatment. LY341495 (mGlu(2/3) antagonist) induced the opposite response compared with LY379268. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed an association between the mGlu(2/3) complex and Dvl-2 providing a possible mechanism to explain how the mGlu(2/3) can mediate changes in Wnt signaling. However, there was no association between the mGlu(2/3) complex and Akt suggesting that changes in Akt signaling following LY341495 and LY379268 treatments may not be directly mediated by the mGlu(2/3) . Finally, an increase in locomotor activity induced by LY341495 treatment correlated with increased pAkt and pGSK-3 levels and was attenuated by the administration of the GSK-3 inhibitor, SB216763. Overall, the results suggest that mGlu(2/3) regulates Akt and Wnt signaling and LY379268 treatment has overlapping effects with D(2) dopamine receptor antagonists (antipsychotic drugs). © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  16. Escin activates AKT-Nrf2 signaling to protect retinal pigment epithelium cells from oxidative stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Kaijun [Eye Center, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital, Medical College of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab of Ophthalmology, Hangzhou (China); Jiang, Yiqian [The First People Hospital of Xiaoshan, Hangzhou (China); Wang, Wei; Ma, Jian [Eye Center, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital, Medical College of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab of Ophthalmology, Hangzhou (China); Chen, Min, E-mail: eyedrchenminzj@163.com [Eye Center, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital, Medical College of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (China); Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab of Ophthalmology, Hangzhou (China)

    2015-12-25

    Here we explored the anti-oxidative and cytoprotective potentials of escin, a natural triterpene-saponin, against hydrogen peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2}) in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. We showed that escin remarkably attenuated H{sub 2}O{sub 2}-induced death and apoptosis of established (ARPE-19) and primary murine RPE cells. Meanwhile, ROS production and lipid peroxidation by H{sub 2}O{sub 2} were remarkably inhibited by escin. Escin treatment in RPE cells resulted in NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling activation, evidenced by transcription of anti-oxidant-responsive element (ARE)-regulated genes, including HO-1, NQO-1 and SRXN-1. Knockdown of Nrf2 through targeted shRNAs/siRNAs alleviated escin-mediated ARE gene transcription, and almost abolished escin-mediated anti-oxidant activity and RPE cytoprotection against H{sub 2}O{sub 2}. Reversely, escin was more potent against H{sub 2}O{sub 2} damages in Nrf2-over-expressed ARPE-19 cells. Further studies showed that escin-induced Nrf2 activation in RPE cells required AKT signaling. AKT inhibitors (LY294002 and perifosine) blocked escin-induced AKT activation, and dramatically inhibited Nrf2 phosphorylation, its cytosol accumulation and nuclear translocation in RPE cells. Escin-induced RPE cytoprotection against H{sub 2}O{sub 2} was also alleviated by the AKT inhibitors. Together, these results demonstrate that escin protects RPE cells from oxidative stress possibly through activating AKT-Nrf2 signaling.

  17. Celecoxib promotes c-FLIP degradation through Akt-independent inhibition of GSK3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuzhen; Cao, Wei; Yue, Ping; Hao, Chunhai; Khuri, Fadlo R; Sun, Shi-Yong

    2011-10-01

    Celecoxib is a COX-2 inhibitor that reduces the risk of colon cancer. However, the basis for its cancer chemopreventive activity is not fully understood. In this study, we defined a mechanism of celecoxib action based on degradation of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), a major regulator of the death receptor pathway of apoptosis. c-FLIP protein levels are regulated by ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation. We found that celecoxib controlled c-FLIP ubiquitination through Akt-independent inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3), itself a candidate therapeutic target of interest in colon cancer. Celecoxib increased the levels of phosphorylated GSK3, including the α and β forms, even in cell lines, where phosphorylated Akt levels were not increased. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors abrogated Akt phosphorylation as expected but had no effect on celecoxib-induced GSK3 phosphorylation. In contrast, protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors abolished celecoxib-induced GSK3 phosphorylation, implying that celecoxib influenced GSK3 phosphorylation through a mechanism that relied upon PKC and not Akt. GSK3 blockade either by siRNA or kinase inhibitors was sufficient to attenuate c-FLIP levels. Combining celecoxib with GSK3 inhibition enhanced attenuation of c-FLIP and increased apoptosis. Proteasome inhibitor MG132 reversed the effects of GSK3 inhibition and increased c-FLIP ubiquitination, confirming that c-FLIP attenuation was mediated by proteasomal turnover as expected. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism through which the regulatory effects of c-FLIP on death receptor signaling are controlled by GSK3, which celecoxib acts at an upstream level to control independently of Akt.

  18. Trypanosoma cruzi in dogs: electrocardiographic and echocardiographic evaluation, in Malinalco, State of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    González-Vieyra SD

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Sandra Díaz González-Vieyra1, Ninfa Ramírez-Durán2, Ángel H Sandoval-Trujillo3, Juan C Vázquez-Chagoyán1, Humberto G Monroy-Salazar1, Alberto Barbabosa-Pliego11Research Center of Advanced Studies in Animal Health, Veterinary Husbandry School, 2Medical and Ambiental Microbiology, Research Center of Advanced Studies in Health Science, School of Medicine, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Toluca, Mexico; 3Department of Biological Systems, Metropolitan Autonomous University, Xochimilco, Mexico City, MexicoAbstract: Chagas disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi is an important public health problem in Latin America. Dogs are considered a risk factor for human Chagas disease, a sentinel for T. cruzi infection in endemic regions and an animal model to study pathological aspects of the disease. The potential use of dogs as indicators of human cardiac pathogenicity of local T. cruzi strains has been studied insufficiently. We studied electrocardiographic (EKG and echocardiographic (ECG alteration frequencies observed in an open population of dogs in Malinalco, Mexico, and determined if such frequencies were statistically associated with T. cruzi infection in dogs. Animals (n = 139 were clinically examined and owners were asked to answer a questionnaire about dogs’ living conditions. Two commercial serological tests (IHA, ELISA were conducted to detect anti-T. cruzi serum antibodies. Significant differences between seropositive and seronegative animals in cardiomyopathic frequencies were detected through EKG and ECG (P < 0.05. Thirty dogs (21.58% were serologically positive to anti-T. cruzi antibodies (to ELISA and IHA assays, of which nine (30% had EKG and/or ECG alterations. From the remaining 104 (78.42% seronegative animals, five (4.5% had EKG and/or ECG abnormalities. Our data support the hypothesis that most EKG and ECG alterations found in dogs from Malinalco could be associated with T. cruzi infection. Considering the dog as a

  19. Insight into the exoproteome of the tissue-derived trypomastigote form of trypanosoma cruzi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Queiroz, Rayner M L; Ricart, Carlos A O; Machado, Mara O

    2016-01-01

    The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease, one of the major neglected infectious diseases. It has the potential to infect any nucleated mammalian cell. The secreted/excreted protein repertoire released by T. cruzi trypomastigotes is crucial in host-pathogen interactions...

  20. Clinical and epidemiological features of chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infection in patients with HIV/AIDS in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benchetrit, Andrés Guillermo; Fernández, Marisa; Bava, Amadeo Javier; Corti, Marcelo; Porteiro, Norma; Martínez Peralta, Liliana

    2018-02-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi reactivation in HIV patients is considered an opportunistic infection, usually with a fatal outcome. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological and clinical features of T. cruzi infection in HIV patients and to compare these findings between patients with and without Chagas disease reactivation. The medical records of T. cruzi-HIV co-infected patients treated at the Muñiz Infectious Diseases Hospital from January 2005 to December 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. Epidemiological and clinical features were assessed and compared between patients with and without Chagas disease reactivation. The medical records of 80 T. cruzi-HIV co-infected patients were reviewed. The most likely route of T. cruzi infection was vector-borne (32/80 patients), followed by intravenous drug use (12/80). Nine of 80 patients had reactivation. Patients without reactivation had a significantly higher CD4 T-cell count at diagnosis of T. cruzi infection (144 cells/μl vs. 30 cells/μl, p=0.026). Chagas disease serology was negative in two of nine patients with reactivation. Serological assays for T. cruzi infection may be negative in severely immunocompromised patients. Direct parasitological techniques should be performed in the diagnosis of patients for whom there is a suspicion of T. cruzi reactivation. HIV patients with a lower CD4 count are at higher risk of reactivation. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. A Carbohydrate Moiety of Secreted Stage-Specific Glycoprotein 4 Participates in Host Cell Invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi Extracellular Amastigotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar T. V. Florentino

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas’ disease. It is known that amastigotes derived from trypomastigotes in the extracellular milieu are infective in vitro and in vivo. Extracellular amastigotes (EAs have a stage-specific surface antigen called Ssp-4, a GPI-anchored glycoprotein that is secreted by the parasites. By immunoprecipitation with the Ssp-4-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb 2C2 and 1D9, we isolated the glycoprotein from EAs. By mass spectrometry, we identified the core protein of Ssp-4 and evaluated mRNA expression and the presence of Ssp-4 carbohydrate epitopes recognized by mAb1D9. We demonstrated that the carbohydrate epitope recognized by mAb1D9 could promote host cell invasion by EAs. Although infectious EAs express lower amounts of Ssp-4 compared with less-infectious EAs (at the mRNA and protein levels, it is the glycosylation of Ssp-4 (identified by mAb1D9 staining only in infectious strains and recognized by galectin-3 on host cells that is the determinant of EA invasion of host cells. Furthermore, Ssp-4 is secreted by EAs, either free or associated with parasite vesicles, and can participate in host-cell interactions. The results presented here describe the possible role of a carbohydrate moiety of T. cruzi surface glycoproteins in host cell invasion by EA forms, highlighting the potential of these moieties as therapeutic and vaccine targets for the treatment of Chagas’ disease.

  2. A Carbohydrate Moiety of Secreted Stage-Specific Glycoprotein 4 Participates in Host Cell Invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi Extracellular Amastigotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florentino, Pilar T. V.; Real, Fernando; Orikaza, Cristina M.; da Cunha, Julia P. C.; Vitorino, Francisca N. L.; Cordero, Esteban M.; Sobreira, Tiago J. P.; Mortara, Renato A.

    2018-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas’ disease. It is known that amastigotes derived from trypomastigotes in the extracellular milieu are infective in vitro and in vivo. Extracellular amastigotes (EAs) have a stage-specific surface antigen called Ssp-4, a GPI-anchored glycoprotein that is secreted by the parasites. By immunoprecipitation with the Ssp-4-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) 2C2 and 1D9, we isolated the glycoprotein from EAs. By mass spectrometry, we identified the core protein of Ssp-4 and evaluated mRNA expression and the presence of Ssp-4 carbohydrate epitopes recognized by mAb1D9. We demonstrated that the carbohydrate epitope recognized by mAb1D9 could promote host cell invasion by EAs. Although infectious EAs express lower amounts of Ssp-4 compared with less-infectious EAs (at the mRNA and protein levels), it is the glycosylation of Ssp-4 (identified by mAb1D9 staining only in infectious strains and recognized by galectin-3 on host cells) that is the determinant of EA invasion of host cells. Furthermore, Ssp-4 is secreted by EAs, either free or associated with parasite vesicles, and can participate in host-cell interactions. The results presented here describe the possible role of a carbohydrate moiety of T. cruzi surface glycoproteins in host cell invasion by EA forms, highlighting the potential of these moieties as therapeutic and vaccine targets for the treatment of Chagas’ disease. PMID:29692765

  3. Usefulness of microsatellite typing in population genetic studies of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Macedo Andrea M

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Through microsatellite analysis of 53 monoclonal populations of Trypanosoma cruzi, we found a remarkable degree of genetic polymorphism with no single multilocus genotype being observed more than once. The microsatellite profile proved to be stable during 70 generations of the CL Brener clone in culture. The microsatellite profiling presented also high diagnostic sensitivity since DNA amplifications could be achieved with less than 100 fg DNA, corresponding to half parasite total DNA content. Based on these technical attributes the microsatellite assay turns out to be an important tool for direct typing T. cruzi in biological samples. By using this approach we were able to type T. cruzi in feces of artificially infected bugs and in single cells sorted by FACS. The microsatellites have shown to be excellent markers for T. cruzi phylogenetic reconstruction. We used maximum parsimony based on the minimum number of mutational steps to build an unrooted Wagner network, which confirms previous conclusions based on the analysis of the D7 domain of the LSU rDNA gene that T. cruzi is composed by two major groups. We also obtained evidence that strains belonging to rRNA group 2 are subdivided into two genetically distant clusters, and that one of these clusters is more related to rRNA group 1/2. These results suggest different origins for these strains.

  4. Trypanosoma cruzi strains from triatomine collected in Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Rimoldi Ribeiro

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE Collection of triatomines in domestic, peridomestic and sylvatic environments in states of Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul, Northeastern and Southern Brazil respectively, and isolation of Trypanosoma cruzi strains. METHODS First, the captured triatomines were identified using insect identification keys, then their intestinal content was examined by abdominal compression, and the samples containing trypanosomatid forms were inoculated in LIT medium and Swiss mice. RESULTS Six triatomine species were collected in cities in Bahia, namely Panstrongylus geniculatus (01, Triatoma melanocephala (11, T. lenti (94, T. pseudomaculata (02, T. sherlocki (26 and T. sordida (460, and two in cities in Rio Grande do Sul, namely T. circummaculata (11 and T. rubrovaria (115. Out of the specimens examined, T. cruzi was isolated from 28 triatomine divided into four different species: T. melanocephala (one, T. lenti (one, T. rubrovaria (16 and T. sordida (10. Their index of natural infection by T. cruzi was 6.4%. CONCLUSIONS The isolation of T. cruzi strains from triatomines found in domestic and peridomestic areas shows the potential risk of transmission of Chagas disease in the studied cities. The maintenance of those T. cruzi strains in laboratory is intended to promote studies that facilitate the understanding of the parasite-vector-host relationship.

  5. Risk factors associated with Trypanosoma cruzi exposure in domestic dogs from a rural community in Panama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldaña, Azael; Calzada, José E; Pineda, Vanessa; Perea, Milixa; Rigg, Chystrie; González, Kadir; Santamaria, Ana Maria; Gottdenker, Nicole L; Chaves, Luis F

    2015-11-01

    Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi infection, is a zoonosis of humans, wild and domestic mammals, including dogs. In Panama, the main T. cruzi vector is Rhodnius pallescens, a triatomine bug whose main natural habitat is the royal palm, Attalea butyracea. In this paper, we present results from three T. cruzi serological tests (immunochromatographic dipstick, indirect immunofluorescence and ELISA) performed in 51 dogs from 24 houses in Trinidad de Las Minas, western Panama. We found that nine dogs were seropositive (17.6% prevalence). Dogs were 1.6 times more likely to become T. cruzi seropositive with each year of age and 11.6 times if royal palms where present in the peridomiciliary area of the dog's household or its two nearest neighbours. Mouse-baited-adhesive traps were employed to evaluate 12 peridomestic royal palms. All palms were found infested with R. pallescens with an average of 25.50 triatomines captured per palm. Of 35 adult bugs analysed, 88.6% showed protozoa flagellates in their intestinal contents. In addition, dogs were five times more likely to be infected by the presence of an additional domestic animal species in the dog's peridomiciliary environment. Our results suggest that interventions focused on royal palms might reduce the exposure to T. cruzi infection.

  6. Effects of buthionine sulfoximine nifurtimox and benznidazole upon trypanothione and metallothionein proteins in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JUAN DIEGO MAYA

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Proteins rich in sulfhydryl groups, such as metallothionein, are present in several strains of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease. Metallothionein-like protein concentrations ranged from 5.1 to 13.2 pmol/mg protein depending on the parasite strain and growth phase. Nifurtimox and benznidazole, used in the treatment of Chagas' disease, decreased metallothionein activity by approximately 70%. T. cruzi metallothionein was induced by ZnCl2. Metallothionein from T. cruzi was partially purified and its monobromobimane derivative showed a molecular weight of approximately 10,000 Da by SDS-PAGE analysis. The concentration of trypanothione, the major glutathione conjugate in T. cruzi, ranged from 3.8 to 10.8 nmol/mg protein, depending on the culture phase. The addition of buthionine sulfoximine to the protozoal culture considerably reduced the concentration of trypanothione and had no effect upon the metallothionein concentration. The possible contribution of metallothionein-like proteins to drug resistance in T. cruzi is discussed.

  7. Investigação de anticorpos contra Sarcocystis neurona e Sarcocystis cruzi em equinos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Antonello

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTSarcocystis neurona is the primary agent for Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM, important neurological disease characterized by behavior or muscular changes, that impairs animal performance and husbandry. Sarcocystis cruzi is a pathogen related to myositis in cattle. Although related the life cycles of the parasites are distinct. S. neurona has opossums (Didelphis spp. and S. cruzi, dogs as definitive hosts. However, S. neurona and S. cruzi may undergo cross-reactivity in serological tests, interfering on results of EPM ante-mortem diagnostic tests. In the present study, serology of 189 mares was performed by indirect immunofluorescence antibody test, using antigens of S. neurona and S. cruzi in order to assess the exposure degree of animals to antigens. Analyzing the results, it was observed that most of the animals (84.13% reacted with at least one protozoal species and the number of animals which showed antibodies against S. cruzi was greater than S. neurona (80.42% and 33.86%, respectively and a third of seropositive animals reacted to antigens of both species.

  8. Trans-sialidase inhibition assay detects Trypanosoma cruzi infection in different wild mammal species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartor, Paula A; Ceballos, Leonardo A; Orozco, Marcela M; Cardinal, Marta V; Gürtler, Ricardo E; Leguizamón, María S

    2013-08-01

    The detection of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mammals is crucial for understanding the eco-epidemiological role of the different species involved in parasite transmission cycles. Xenodiagnosis (XD) and hemoculture (HC) are routinely used to detect T. cruzi in wild mammals. Serological methods are much more limited because they require the use of specific antibodies to immunoglobulins of each mammalian species susceptible to T. cruzi. In this study we detected T. cruzi infection by trans-sialidase (TS) inhibition assay (TIA). TIA is based on the antibody neutralization of a recombinant TS that avoids the use of anti-immunoglobulins. TS activity is not detected in the co-endemic protozoan parasites Leishmania spp and T. rangeli. In the current study, serum samples from 158 individuals of nine wild mammalian species, previously tested by XD, were evaluated by TIA. They were collected from two endemic areas in northern Argentina. The overall TIA versus XD co-reactivity was 98.7% (156/158). All 18 samples from XD-positive mammals were TIA-positive (co-positivity, 100%) and co-negativity was 98.5% (138/140). Two XD-negative samples from a marsupial (Didelphis albiventris) and an edentate (Dasypus novemcinctus) were detected by TIA. TIA could be used as a novel tool for serological detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in a wide variety of sylvatic reservoir hosts.

  9. The Trypanosoma cruzi Protein TcHTE Is Critical for Heme Uptake.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo L Merli

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease, presents nutritional requirements for several metabolites. It requires heme for the biosynthesis of several heme-proteins involved in essential metabolic pathways like mitochondrial cytochromes and respiratory complexes, as well as enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of sterols and unsaturated fatty acids. However, this parasite lacks a complete route for its synthesis. In view of these facts, T. cruzi has to incorporate heme from the environment during its life cycle. In other words, their hosts must supply the heme for heme-protein synthesis. Although the acquisition of heme is a fundamental issue for the parasite's replication and survival, how this cofactor is imported and distributed is poorly understood. In this work, we used different fluorescent heme analogs to explore heme uptake along the different life-cycle stages of T. cruzi, showing that this parasite imports it during its replicative stages: the epimastigote in the insect vector and the intracellular amastigote in the mammalian host. Also, we identified and characterized a T. cruzi protein (TcHTE with 55% of sequence similarity to LHR1 (protein involved in L. amazonensis heme transport, which is located in the flagellar pocket, where the transport of nutrients proceeds in trypanosomatids. We postulate TcHTE as a protein involved in improving the efficiency of the heme uptake or trafficking in T. cruzi.

  10. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Didelphis marsupialis in Santa Catarina and Arvoredo Islands, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grisard Edmundo C

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Between 1984 and 1993 the prevalence of the Trypanosoma cruzi infection in opossums (Didelphis marsupialis was studied in Santa Catarina and Arvoredo Islands, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. The association of the triatomine bug Panstrongylus megistus with opossums nests and the infection rate of these triatomines by T. cruzi was also studied. Thirteen different locations were studied in Santa Catarina Island (SCI, in which 137 D. marsupialis were collected. Sixty two opossums were collected at the Arvoredo Island (AI, located 12 miles north from SCI. All captured animals were submitted to parasitological examinations that revealed the presence of T. cruzi in 21.9% of the opossums captured in SCI and 45.2% among opossums captured in the AI. The presence of P. megistus was detected in most of the D. marsupialis nests collected in the SCI, however, in the non-inhabited AI only eight triatomines were collected during the whole study. The presence of T. cruzi-infected D. marsupialis associated with P. megistus in human dwellings in the SCI, and the high infection rate of D. marsupilais by T. cruzi in the absence of a high vector density are discussed.

  11. Albumin fibrillization induces apoptosis via integrin/FAK/Akt pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Chi-Ming

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Numerous proteins can be converted to amyloid-like fibrils to increase cytotoxicity and induce apoptosis, but the methods generally require a high concentration of protein, vigorous shaking, or fibril seed. As well, the detailed mechanism of the cytotoxic effects is not well characterized. In this study, we have developed a novel process to convert native proteins into the fibrillar form. We used globular bovine serum albumin (BSA as a model protein to verify the properties of the fibrillar protein, investigated its cellular effects and studied the signaling cascade induced by the fibrillar protein. Results We induced BSA, a non-cytotoxic globular protein, to become fibril by a novel process involving Superdex-200 column chromatography in the presence of anionic or zwittergenic detergent(s. The column pore size was more important than column matrix composite in fibril formation. The fibrillar BSA induced apoptosis in BHK-21 cell as well as breast cancer cell line T47D. Pre-treating cells with anti-integrin antibodies blocked the apoptotic effect. Fibrillar BSA, but not globular BSA, bound to integrin, dephosphorylated focal adhesion kinase (FAK, Akt and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β. Conclusion We report on a novel process for converting globular proteins into fibrillar form to cause apoptosis by modulating the integrin/FAK/Akt/GSK-3β/caspase-3 signaling pathway. Our findings may be useful for understanding the pathogenesis of amyloid-like fibrils and applicable for the development of better therapeutic agents that target the underlying mechanism(s of the etiologic agents.

  12. Aspects of resistance to experimental infection with Trypanosoma cruzi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dias, Viviane Liotti

    2010-01-01

    Chagas disease, a zoonosis caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, has a wide distribution in Latin America and extends from the southern part of the United States to Argentina. A number of 10 million of infected people is estimated and another 25 million exposed to the risk. Although discovered over a century, Chagas disease is still a serious infection that causes great socioeconomic impact, with no effective treatment at the chronic phase and in which, a lack of scientific knowledge can be observed. The main goal of this work was that obtaining and using consomic strain of mice, the resistance could be investigated. Consomic strains were produced by programmed mating, in which the animals were monitored with DNA polymorphic markers, and one of his chromosomes was replaced by his homologue from another strain. As parental, were used, the inbred strains C57BL/6/J Unib with resistant phenotype (donor) and as receiver, the A/JUnib strain, that has a susceptible phenotype. These models were used to produce five consomic strains: for the chromosomes 7 (CSs7), 11 (CSs11), 14 (CSs14), 17 (CSs17) and 19 (CSs19), described by Passos et al. (2003) as important in controlling infection caused by the Y strain of T. cruzi. In experimental testing, the consomics were inoculated intraperitoneally at doses of 10 1 , 10 2 , 10 3 and 10 4 using as control, animals from both parental lines. In all consomics, resistance was higher than that observed in the susceptible parental. In a second protocol, the consomics were mated with scheduled associations and the progenies were challenged with inocula employing increasing doses of trypomastigotes. The resistance observed in this group was also higher than that observed in the parental with susceptible phenotype. The observed results demonstrate that the use of the consomic strains that were produced order to assess the contribution of each chromosome in the resistance, as well as the effects of association between chromosomes are an

  13. Heat Stress-Induced PI3K/mTORC2-Dependent AKT Signaling Is a Central Mediator of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Survival to Thermal Ablation Induced Heat Stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott M Thompson

    Full Text Available Thermal ablative therapies are important treatment options in the multidisciplinary care of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, but lesions larger than 2-3 cm are plagued with high local recurrence rates and overall survival of these patients remains poor. Currently no adjuvant therapies exist to prevent local HCC recurrence in patients undergoing thermal ablation. The molecular mechanisms mediating HCC resistance to thermal ablation induced heat stress and local recurrence remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that the HCC cells with a poor prognostic hepatic stem cell subtype (Subtype HS are more resistant to heat stress than HCC cells with a better prognostic hepatocyte subtype (Subtype HC. Moreover, sublethal heat stress rapidly induces phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR dependent-protein kinase B (AKT survival signaling in HCC cells in vitro and at the tumor ablation margin in vivo. Conversely, inhibition of PI3K/mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2-dependent AKT phosphorylation or direct inhibition of AKT function both enhance HCC cell killing and decrease HCC cell survival to sublethal heat stress in both poor and better prognostic HCC subtypes while mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1-inhibition has no impact. Finally, we showed that AKT isoforms 1, 2 and 3 are differentially upregulated in primary human HCCs and that overexpression of AKT correlates with worse tumor biology and pathologic features (AKT3 and prognosis (AKT1. Together these findings define a novel molecular mechanism whereby heat stress induces PI3K/mTORC2-dependent AKT survival signaling in HCC cells and provide a mechanistic rationale for adjuvant AKT inhibition in combination with thermal ablation as a strategy to enhance HCC cell killing and prevent local recurrence, particularly at the ablation margin.

  14. Efficacy of 2-hydroxy-3-phenylsulfanylmethyl-[1,4]-naphthoquinone derivatives against different Trypanosoma cruzi discrete type units: Identification of a promising hit compound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, L S; Moreira, C S; Calvet, C M; Lechuga, G C; Souza, R S; Bourguignon, S C; Ferreira, V F; Rocha, D; Pereira, M C S

    2018-01-20

    The limited efficacy of benznidazole (Bz) indicated by failures of current Phase II clinical trials emphasizes the urgent need to identify new drugs with improved safety and efficacy for treatment of Chagas disease (CD). Herein, we analyzed the efficacy of a series of 2-hydroxy-3-phenylsulfanylmethyl-[1,4]-naphthoquinones against different Trypanosoma cruzi discrete type units (DTUs) of relevant clinical forms of CD. Cytotoxic and trypanocidal effect of naphthoquinone derivatives were assessed in mammalian cells, trypomastigotes and intracellular amastigotes using, luminescent assays (CellTiter-Glo and T. cruzi Dm28c-luciferase) and/or counting with a light microscope. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and intracellular targets of promising compounds were assessed with 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (H 2 DCFDA) probe and ultrastructural analysis, respectively. ADMET properties were analyzed by in silico modeling. Most of the compounds showed low cytotoxic effect. Only two compounds (Compounds 2 and 11) had IC 50 values lower than Bz, showing higher susceptibility of bloodstream trypomastigotes. Compound 2 exhibited greater efficacy against trypomastigotes from different T. cruzi DTUs, even better than Bz against Brazil and CL strains. Ultrastructural analysis revealed changes in intracellular compartments, suggesting autophagy as one possible mechanism of action. Oxidative stress, induced by Compound 2, resulted in elevated level of ROS, leading to parasite death. Compound 2 was also effective against intracellular amastigotes, showing high selectivity index. ADMET analysis predicted good oral bioavailability, reduced drug metabolism and no carcinogenic potential for Compound 2. The data highlight Compound 2 as a hit compound and stimulate further structural and pharmacological optimization to potentiate its trypanocidal activity and selectivity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  15. Deep sequencing of the Trypanosoma cruzi GP63 surface proteases reveals diversity and diversifying selection among chronic and congenital Chagas disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llewellyn, Martin S; Messenger, Louisa A; Luquetti, Alejandro O; Garcia, Lineth; Torrico, Faustino; Tavares, Suelene B N; Cheaib, Bachar; Derome, Nicolas; Delepine, Marc; Baulard, Céline; Deleuze, Jean-Francois; Sauer, Sascha; Miles, Michael A

    2015-04-01

    Chagas disease results from infection with the diploid protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. T. cruzi is highly genetically diverse, and multiclonal infections in individual hosts are common, but little studied. In this study, we explore T. cruzi infection multiclonality in the context of age, sex and clinical profile among a cohort of chronic patients, as well as paired congenital cases from Cochabamba, Bolivia and Goias, Brazil using amplicon deep sequencing technology. A 450bp fragment of the trypomastigote TcGP63I surface protease gene was amplified and sequenced across 70 chronic and 22 congenital cases on the Illumina MiSeq platform. In addition, a second, mitochondrial target--ND5--was sequenced across the same cohort of cases. Several million reads were generated, and sequencing read depths were normalized within patient cohorts (Goias chronic, n = 43, Goias congenital n = 2, Bolivia chronic, n = 27; Bolivia congenital, n = 20), Among chronic cases, analyses of variance indicated no clear correlation between intra-host sequence diversity and age, sex or symptoms, while principal coordinate analyses showed no clustering by symptoms between patients. Between congenital pairs, we found evidence for the transmission of multiple sequence types from mother to infant, as well as widespread instances of novel genotypes in infants. Finally, non-synonymous to synonymous (dn:ds) nucleotide substitution ratios among sequences of TcGP63Ia and TcGP63Ib subfamilies within each cohort provided powerful evidence of strong diversifying selection at this locus. Our results shed light on the diversity of parasite DTUs within each patient, as well as the extent to which parasite strains pass between mother and foetus in congenital cases. Although we were unable to find any evidence that parasite diversity accumulates with age in our study cohorts, putative diversifying selection within members of the TcGP63I gene family suggests a link between genetic diversity within this gene

  16. Early double-negative thymocyte export in Trypanosoma cruzi infection is restricted by sphingosine receptors and associated with human chagas disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ailin Lepletier

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is able to target the thymus and induce alterations of the thymic microenvironmental and lymphoid compartments. Acute infection results in severe atrophy of the organ and early release of immature thymocytes into the periphery. To date, the pathophysiological effects of thymic changes promoted by parasite-inducing premature release of thymocytes to the periphery has remained elusive. Herein, we show that sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P, a potent mediator of T cell chemotaxis, plays a role in the exit of immature double-negative thymocytes in experimental Chagas disease. In thymuses from T. cruzi-infected mice we detected reduced transcription of the S1P kinase 1 and 2 genes related to S1P biosynthesis, together with increased transcription of the SGPL1 sphingosine-1-lyase gene, whose product inactivates S1P. These changes were associated with reduced intrathymic levels of S1P kinase activity. Interestingly, double-negative thymocytes from infected animals expressed high levels of the S1P receptor during infection, and migrated to lower levels of S1P. Moreover, during T. cruzi infection, this thymocyte subset expresses high levels of IL-17 and TNF-α cytokines upon polyclonal stimulation. In vivo treatment with the S1P receptor antagonist FTY720 resulted in recovery the numbers of double-negative thymocytes in infected thymuses to physiological levels. Finally, we showed increased numbers of double-negative T cells in the peripheral blood in severe cardiac forms of human Chagas disease.

  17. Uhrf1 Controls iNKT Cell Survival and Differentiation through the Akt-mTOR Axis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Cui

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Uhrf1 (also known as Np95 is a regulator of DNA methylation and histone ubiquitination and plays an important role in embryogenesis and tumorigenesis. Here, we report that Uhrf1 is essential for invariant natural killer T (iNKT cell development. We found that Uhrf1 was significantly upregulated in stage 1 iNKT cells. Targeted disruption of Uhrf1 resulted in stage 1-specific transition defects as observed by not only increased apoptosis, but also aberrant effector differentiation, which eventually led to the impaired generation of iNKT cells in Uhrf1-deficient mice. Notably, Uhrf1 deficiency resulted in attenuated activation of Akt-mTOR signaling in stage 1 iNKT cells and overexpression of active Akt rescued iNKT cell developmental defects. Collectively, our results suggest that Uhrf1 regulation of the Akt-mTOR signaling pathway is required for iNKT cell development.

  18. Control of fibroblast fibronectin expression and alternative splicing via the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Eric S.; Sagana, Rommel L.; Booth, Adam J.; Yan, Mei; Cornett, Ashley M.; Bloomheart, Christopher A.; Tsui, Jessica L.; Wilke, Carol A.; Moore, Bethany B.; Ritzenthaler, Jeffrey D.; Roman, Jesse; Muro, Andres F.

    2010-01-01

    Fibronectin (FN), a ubiquitous glycoprotein that plays critical roles in physiologic and pathologic conditions, undergoes alternative splicing which distinguishes plasma FN (pFN) from cellular FN (cFN). Although both pFN and cFN can be incorporated into the extracellular matrix, a distinguishing feature of cFN is the inclusion of an alternatively spliced exon termed EDA (for extra type III domain A). The molecular steps involved in EDA splicing are well-characterized, but pathways influencing EDA splicing are less clear. We have previously found an obligate role for inhibition of the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homologue on chromosome 10 (PTEN), the primary regulator of the PI3K/Akt pathway, in fibroblast activation. Here we show TGF-β, a potent inducer of both EDA splicing and fibroblast activation, inhibits PTEN expression and activity in mesenchymal cells, corresponding with enhanced PI3K/Akt signaling. In pten -/- fibroblasts, which resemble activated fibroblasts, inhibition of Akt attenuated FN production and decreased EDA alternative splicing. Moreover, inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in pten -/- cells also blocked FN production and EDA splicing. This effect was due to inhibition of Akt-mediated phosphorylation of the primary EDA splicing regulatory protein SF2/ASF. Importantly, FN silencing in pten -/- cells resulted in attenuated proliferation and migration. Thus, our results demonstrate that the PI3K/Akt/mTOR axis is instrumental in FN transcription and alternative splicing, which regulates cell behavior.

  19. Inflammation induced mTORC2-Akt-mTORC1 signaling promotes macrophage foam cell formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Dipanjan; Sinha, Archana; Saikia, Sudeshna; Gogoi, Bhaskarjyoti; Rathore, Arvind K; Das, Anindhya Sundar; Pal, Durba; Buragohain, Alak K; Dasgupta, Suman

    2018-06-05

    The transformation of macrophages into lipid loaded foam cells is a critical and early event in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Several recent reports highlighted that induction of TLR4 signaling promotes macrophage foam cell formation; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been clearly elucidated. Here, we found that the TLR4 mediated inflammatory signaling communicated with mTORC2-Akt-mTORC1 metabolic cascade in macrophage and thereby promoting lipid uptake and foam cell formation. Mechanistically, LPS treatment markedly upregulates TLR4 mediated inflammatory pathway which by activating mTORC2 induces Akt phosphorylation at serine 473 and that aggravate mTORC1 dependent scavenger receptors expression and consequent lipid accumulation in THP-1 macrophages. Inhibition of mTORC2 either by silencing Rictor expression or inhibiting its association with mTOR notably prevents LPS induced Akt activation, scavenger receptors expression and macrophage lipid accumulation. Although suppression of mTORC1 expression by genetic knockdown of Raptor did not produce any significant change in Akt S473 phosphorylation, however, incubation with Akt activator in Rictor silenced cells failed to promote scavenger receptors expression and macrophage foam cell formation. Thus, present research explored the signaling pathway involved in inflammation induced macrophage foam cells formation and therefore, targeting this pathway might be useful for preventing macrophage foam cell formation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  20. Aurora kinase A revives dormant laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma cells via FAK/PI3K/Akt pathway activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Li-yun; He, Chang-yu; Chen, Xue-hua; Su, Li-ping; Liu, Bing-ya; Zhang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Revival of dormant tumor cells may be an important tumor metastasis mechanism. We hypothesized that aurora kinase A (AURKA), a cell cycle control kinase, promotes the transition of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) cells from G0 phase to active division. We therefore investigated whether AURKA could revive dormant tumor cells to promote metastasis. Western blotting revealed that AURKA expression was persistently low in dormant laryngeal cancer Hep2 (D-Hep2) cells and high in non-dormant (T-Hep2) cells. Decreasing AURKA expression in T-Hep2 cells induced dormancy and reduced FAK/PI3K/Akt pathway activity. Increasing AURKA expression in D-Hep2 cells increased FAK/PI3K/Akt pathway activity and enhanced cellular proliferation, migration, invasion and metastasis. In addition, FAK/PI3K/Akt pathway inhibition caused dormancy-like behavior and reduced cellular mobility, migration and invasion. We conclude that AURKA may revive dormant tumor cells via FAK/PI3K/Akt pathway activation, thereby promoting migration and invasion in laryngeal cancer. AURKA/FAK/PI3K/Akt inhibitors may thus represent potential targets for clinical LSCC treatment. PMID:27356739

  1. Extracellular Trap Formation in Response to Trypanosoma cruzi Infection in Granulocytes Isolated From Dogs and Common Opossums, Natural Reservoir Hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole de Buhr

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Granulocytes mediate the first line of defense against infectious diseases in humans as well as animals and they are well known as multitasking cells. They can mediate antimicrobial activity by different strategies depending on the pathogen they encounter. Besides phagocytosis, a key strategy against extracellular pathogens is the formation of extracellular traps (ETs. Those ETs mainly consist of DNA decorated with antimicrobial components and mediate entrapment of various pathogens. In the last years, various studies described ET formation as response to bacteria, viruses and parasites e.g., Trypanosma (T. cruzi. Nevertheless, it is not fully understood, if ET formation helps the immune system to eliminate intracellular parasites. The goal of this study was to analyze ET formation in response to the intracellular parasite Trypanosma (T. cruzi by granulocytes derived from animals that serve as natural reservoir. Thus, we investigated the ET formation in two T. cruzi reservoirs, namely dogs as domestic animal and common opossums (Didelphis marsupialis as wild animal. Granulocytes were harvested from fresh blood by density gradient centrifugation and afterwards incubated with T. cruzi. We conducted the analysis by determination of free DNA and immunofluorescence microscopy. Using both methods, we show that T. cruzi efficiently induces ET formation in granulocytes derived from common opossum as well as dog blood. Most ETs from both animal species as response to T. cruzi are decorated with the protease neutrophil elastase. Since T. cruzi is well known to circulate over years in both analyzed animals as reservoirs, it may be assumed that T. cruzi efficiently evades ET-mediated killing in those animals. Therefore, ETs may not play a major role in efficient elimination of the pathogen from the blood of dogs or common opossums as T. cruzi survives in niches of their body. The characterization of granulocytes in various animals and humans may be helpful

  2. EGFR and AKT1 overexpression are mutually exclusive and associated with a poor survival in resected gastric adenocarcinomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrini, Iacopo; Lencioni, Monica; Vasile, Enrico; Fornaro, Lorenzo; Belluomini, Lorenzo; Pasquini, Giulia; Ginocchi, Laura; Caparello, Chiara; Musettini, Gianna; Vivaldi, Caterina; Caponi, Sara; Ricci, Sergio; Proietti, Agenese; Fontanini, Gabriella; Naccarato, Antonio Giuseppe; Nardini, Vincenzo; Santi, Stefano; Falcone, Alfredo

    2018-02-14

    The evaluation of molecular targets in gastric cancer has demonstrated the predictive role of HER2 amplification for trastuzumab treatment in metastatic gastric cancer. Besides HER2, other molecular targets are under evaluation in metastatic gastric tumors. However, very little is known about their role in resected tumors. We evaluated the expression of HER2, EGFR, MET, AKT1 and phospho-mTOR in resected stage II-III adenocarcinomas. Ninety-two patients with resected stomach (63%) or gastro-esophageal adenocarcinomas (27%) were evaluated. Antibodies anti-HER2, EGFR, MET, AKT1 and phospho-mTOR were used for immunostaining of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded slides. Using FISH, HER2 amplification was evaluated in cases with an intermediate (+2) staining. EGFR overexpression (11%) was a poor prognostic factor for overall survival (3-year OS: 47% vs 77%; Log-Rank p= 0.033). MET overexpression (36%) was associated with a trend for a worse survival (3-year OS: 65% vs 77%; Log-Rank p= 0.084). HER2 amplification/overexpression and mTOR hyper-phosphorylation were observed in 13% and 48% of tumors, respectively. AKT1 overexpression (8%) was not a prognostic factor by itself (p= 0.234). AKT1 and EGFR overexpression was mutually exclusive and patients with EGFR or AKT1 overexpression experienced a poor prognosis (3-year OS: 52% vs. 79%, Log-Rank p= 0.005). EGFR is confirmed a poor prognostic factor in resected gastric cancers. We firstly describe a mutually exclusive overexpression of EGFR and AKT1 with potential prognostic implications, suggesting the relevance of this pathway for the growth of gastric cancers.

  3. COX-2 activation is associated with Akt phosphorylation and poor survival in ER-negative, HER2-positive breast cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glynn, Sharon A; Ambs, Stefan; Prueitt, Robyn L; Ridnour, Lisa A; Boersma, Brenda J; Dorsey, Tiffany M; Wink, David A; Goodman, Julie E; Yfantis, Harris G; Lee, Dong H

    2010-01-01

    Inducible cyclooxgenase-2 (COX-2) is commonly overexpressed in breast tumors and is a target for cancer therapy. Here, we studied the association of COX-2 with breast cancer survival and how this association is influenced by tumor estrogen and HER2 receptor status and Akt pathway activation. Tumor COX-2, HER2 and estrogen receptor α (ER) expression and phosphorylation of Akt, BAD, and caspase-9 were analyzed immunohistochemically in 248 cases of breast cancer. Spearman's correlation and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between COX-2 and tumor characteristics. Kaplan-Meier survival and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between COX-2 and disease-specific survival. COX-2 was significantly associated with breast cancer outcome in ER-negative [Hazard ratio (HR) = 2.72; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.36-5.41; comparing high versus low COX-2] and HER2 overexpressing breast cancer (HR = 2.84; 95% CI, 1.07-7.52). However, the hazard of poor survival associated with increased COX-2 was highest among patients who were both ER-negative and HER2-positive (HR = 5.95; 95% CI, 1.01-34.9). Notably, COX-2 expression in the ER-negative and HER2-positive tumors correlated significantly with increased phosphorylation of Akt and of the two Akt targets, BAD at Ser136 and caspase-9 at Ser196. Up-regulation of COX-2 in ER-negative and HER2-positive breast tumors is associated with Akt pathway activation and is a marker of poor outcome. The findings suggest that COX-2-specific inhibitors and inhibitors of the Akt pathway may act synergistically as anticancer drugs in the ER-negative and HER2-positive breast cancer subtype

  4. Akt1 Controls the Timing and Amplitude of Vascular Circadian Gene Expression

    OpenAIRE

    Luciano, Amelia K.; Santana, Jeans M.; Velazquez, Heino; Sessa, William C.

    2017-01-01

    The AKT signaling pathway is important for circadian rhythms in mammals and flies (Drosophila). However, AKT signaling in mammals is more complicated since there are 3 isoforms of AKT, each performing slightly different functions. Here we study the most ubiquitous AKT isoform, Akt1, and its role at the organismal level in the central and vascular peripheral clocks. Akt1−/− mice exhibit relatively normal behavioral rhythms with only minor differences in circadian gene expression in the liver a...

  5. Aspects of resistance to experimental infection with Trypanosoma cruzi; Aspectos da resistencia a infecao experimental com Trypanosoma cruzi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dias, Viviane Liotti

    2010-07-01

    Chagas disease, a zoonosis caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, has a wide distribution in Latin America and extends from the southern part of the United States to Argentina. A number of 10 million of infected people is estimated and another 25 million exposed to the risk. Although discovered over a century, Chagas disease is still a serious infection that causes great socioeconomic impact, with no effective treatment at the chronic phase and in which, a lack of scientific knowledge can be observed. The main goal of this work was that obtaining and using consomic strain of mice, the resistance could be investigated. Consomic strains were produced by programmed mating, in which the animals were monitored with DNA polymorphic markers, and one of his chromosomes was replaced by his homologue from another strain. As parental, were used, the inbred strains C57BL/6/J Unib with resistant phenotype (donor) and as receiver, the A/JUnib strain, that has a susceptible phenotype. These models were used to produce five consomic strains: for the chromosomes 7 (CSs7), 11 (CSs11), 14 (CSs14), 17 (CSs17) and 19 (CSs19), described by Passos et al. (2003) as important in controlling infection caused by the Y strain of T. cruzi. In experimental testing, the consomics were inoculated intraperitoneally at doses of 10{sup 1}, 10{sup 2}, 10{sup 3} and 10{sup 4} using as control, animals from both parental lines. In all consomics, resistance was higher than that observed in the susceptible parental. In a second protocol, the consomics were mated with scheduled associations and the progenies were challenged with inocula employing increasing doses of trypomastigotes. The resistance observed in this group was also higher than that observed in the parental with susceptible phenotype. The observed results demonstrate that the use of the consomic strains that were produced order to assess the contribution of each chromosome in the resistance, as well as the effects of association between

  6. Genetic characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi natural clones from the state of Paraíba, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Barnabé

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Eighteen Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from the state of Paraíba, Brazil, isolated from man, wild mammals, and triatomine bugs were studied by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and random primed amplified polymorphic DNA. Despite the low number of stocks, a notable genetic, genotypic, and phylogenetic diversity was recorded. The presence of the two main phylogenetic subdivisions, T. cruzi I and II, was recorded. The strong linkage disequilibrium observed in the population under survey suggests that T. cruzi undergoes predominant clonal evolution in this area too, although this result should be confirmed by a broader sample. The pattern of clonal variation does not suggests a recent origin by founder effect with a limited number of different genotypes.

  7. [Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in the rural population of Sucre State, Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Jordán, Noris; Berrizbeitia, Mariolga; Rodríguez, Jessicca; Concepción, Juan Luis; Cáceres, Ana; Quiñones, Wilfredo

    2017-10-26

    The current study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in Sucre State, Venezuela, and its association with epidemiological risk factors. The cluster sampling design allowed selecting 96 villages and 576 dwellings in the State's 15 municipalities. A total of 2,212 serum samples were analyzed by ELISA, HAI, and IFI. Seroprevalence in Sucre State was 3.12%. Risk factors associated with T. cruzi infection were: accumulated garbage, flooring and wall materials, type of dwelling, living in a house with wattle and daub walls and/or straw roofing, living in a house with risky walls and roofing, risky buildings and wattle and daub outbuildings, poultry inside the human dwelling, and presence of firewood. Infection was associated with individual age, and three seropositive cases were found in individuals less than 15 years of age. Sucre State has epidemiological factors that favor the risk of acquiring T. cruzi infection.

  8. Population genetic analysis of Colombian Trypanosoma cruzi isolates revealed by enzyme electrophoretic profiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ruiz-Garcia

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Although Colombia presents an enormous biological diversity, few studies have been conducted on the population genetics of Trypanosoma cruzi. This study was carried out with 23 Colombian stocks of this protozoa analyzed for 13 isoenzymatic loci. The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, the genetic diversity and heterogeneity, the genetic relationships and the possible spatial structure of these 23 Colombian stocks of T. cruzi were estimated. The majority of results obtained are in agreement with a clonal population structure. Nevertheless, two aspects expected in a clonal structure were not discovered in the Colombian T. cruzi stocks. There was an absence of given zymodemes over-represented from a geographical point of view and the presumed temporal stabilizing selective phenomena was not observed either in the Colombian stocks sampled several times through the years of the study. Some hypotheses are discussed in order to explain the results found.

  9. Vaccination with Trypanosoma rangeli induces resistance of guinea pigs to virulent Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, B; Moretti, E; Fretes, R

    2014-01-15

    Chagas' disease, endemic in Latin America, is spread in natural environments through animal reservoirs, including marsupials, mice and guinea pigs. Farms breeding guinea pigs for food are located in some Latin-American countries with consequent risk of digestive infection. The aim of this work was to study the effect of vaccination with Trypanosoma rangeli in guinea pigs challenged with Trypanosoma cruzi. Animals were vaccinated with fixated epimastigotes of T. rangeli, emulsified with saponin. Controls received only PBS. Before being challenged with T. cruzi, parasitemia, survival rates and histological studies were performed. The vaccinated guinea pigs revealed significantly lower parasitemia than controls (pguinea pigs and dogs. The development of vaccines for use in animals, like domestic dogs and guinea pigs in captivity, opens up new opportunities for preventive tools, and could reduce the risk of infection with T. cruzi in the community. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. The isolation and identification of Trypanosoma cruzi from raccoons in Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, B.C.; Bauman, P.M.; Diamond, L.S.; Herman, C.M.

    1958-01-01

    Five raccoons trapped at Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland, were found to have trypanosomes in the blood which were morphologically indistinguishable from Trypanosoma cruzi on stained smears. The organism grew well in culture. It developed and reproduced in Triatoma protracta, T. infestans, T. phyllosoma, and Rhodnius prolixus. Experimental infections were produced in raccoons, opossums, mice, rats, and monkeys by inoculation of blood, culture, and triatome forms. Typical leishmaniform bodies were found in tissue sections of cardiac muscle fibers from naturally and experimentally infected animals. Cross agglutinations carried out with Iiving cultural forms and rabbit antisera demonstrated a close antigenic relationship between the raccoon trypanosome and T. cruzi (Brazil strain). On the basis of (1) morphology, (2) presence of leishmaniform tissue stages, (3) development in triatomes, (4) infectivity to a variety of mammals, (5) culture characteristics, and (6) cross reactions in serological tests, this parasite is considered conspecific with Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas, 1909), the causative agent of American human trypanosomiasis.

  11. [Trypanosoma cruzi in triatomines from Nuevo Leon, Mexico].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Garza, Zinnia Judith; Rosales-Encina, José Luis; Galaviz-Silva, Lucio; Molina-Garza, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    To determine the prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in triatomines from Nuevo León using the standardization of an improved enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. From July to September 2005, 52 triatomines were captured in General Terán, a municipality located in Nuevo León. They were analyzed using optical microscopy (OM) and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), as standards of reference, to develop a technique for detecting the parasite using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Using OM and PCR, 31 triatomines were found to be positive and 21 negative. Using ELISA, 27 samples were identified as positive and 25 negative (specificity 100%, sensitivity 87%, negative predictive value 84%, and positive predictive value 100%). The prevalence of infected triatomines was 59.61% with OM and PCR, and 51.92% with ELISA. Our data confirm that the ELISA assay in triatomines is a fast, reliable and useful tool. Since it was possible to simultaneously analyze a large number of samples with high sensibility and specificity values, the ELISA test proves to be useful for new epidemiologic studies having a high number of vectors. It is also less expensive than PCR. It is therefore recommended for epidemiological and preventive surveillance programs as a first screening test before conducting a confirmatory test using PCR.

  12. mRNA localization mechanisms in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lysangela R Alves

    Full Text Available Asymmetric mRNA localization is a sophisticated tool for regulating and optimizing protein synthesis and maintaining cell polarity. Molecular mechanisms involved in the regulated localization of transcripts are widespread in higher eukaryotes and fungi, but not in protozoa. Trypanosomes are ancient eukaryotes that branched off early in eukaryote evolution. We hypothesized that these organisms would have basic mechanisms of mRNA localization. FISH assays with probes against transcripts coding for proteins with restricted distributions showed a discrete localization of the mRNAs in the cytoplasm. Moreover, cruzipain mRNA was found inside reservosomes suggesting new unexpected functions for this vacuolar organelle. Individual mRNAs were also mobilized to RNA granules in response to nutritional stress. The cytoplasmic distribution of these transcripts changed with cell differentiation, suggesting that localization mechanisms might be involved in the regulation of stage-specific protein expression. Transfection assays with reporter genes showed that, as in higher eukaryotes, 3'UTRs were responsible for guiding mRNAs to their final location. Our results strongly suggest that Trypanosoma cruzi have a core, basic mechanism of mRNA localization. This kind of controlled mRNA transport is ancient, dating back to early eukaryote evolution.

  13. Trypanosoma cruzi. Surface antigens of blood and culture forms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nogueira, N.; Chaplan, S.; Tydings, J.D.; Unkeless, J.; Cohn, Z.

    1981-01-01

    The surface polypeptides of both cultured and blood forms of Trypanosoma cruzi were iodinated by the glucose oxidase-lactoperoxidase technique. Blood-form trypomastigotes (BFT) isolated form infected mice displayed a major 90,000-Mr component. In contrast, both epimastigotes and trypomastigotes obtained form acellular cultures expressed a smaller 75,000-Mr peptide. Both major surface components were presumably glycoproteins in terms of their binding to concanavalin A-Sepharose 4B. Within a 3-h period, both blood and culture forms synthesized their respective surface glycoproteins (90,000 Mr and 75,000 Mr, respectively in vitro. [/sub 35/S]methionine-labeled surface peptides were immunoprecipitated with immune sera of both human and murine origin. A panel of sera form patients with chronic Chagas' disease and hyperimmunized mice recognized similar surface peptides. These immunogens were the same components as the major iodinated species. The major BFT surface peptide was readily removed by trypsin treatment of the parasites, although the procedure did not affect the 75,000-Mr peptide from the culture forms. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that the 90,000-Mr peptide found on BFT was an acidic protein of isoelectric point (pI) 5.0, whereas, the 75,000-Mr peptide form culture-form trypomastigotes has a pI of 7.2. The 90,000-Mr component is thought to be responsible for the anti-phagocytic properties of the BFT

  14. AKTivation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway by KSHV

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aadra P Bhatt

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available As an obligate intracellular parasite, the Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV relies on host cell machinery to meet its needs for survival, viral replication, production, and dissemination of progeny virions. KSHV is a ɣ-herpesvirus that is associated with three different malignancies: Kaposi sarcoma (KS, and two B cell lymphoproliferative disorders, primary effusion lymphoma (PEL and multicentric Castleman disease (MCD. KSHV viral proteins modulate cellular phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling pathway, which is a ubiquitous pathway that also controls B lymphocyte proliferation and development. We review the mechanisms by which KSHV manipulates the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, with a specific focus on B cells.

  15. Leukoreduction by centrifugation does not eliminate Trypanosoma cruzi from infected blood units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzib, Doris; Hernández, Virginia Peña; Ake, Baldemar Canche; López, Ruth Alacantara; Monteón, Victor Manuel

    2009-06-01

    Current strategies to prevent transfusion-associated Chagas disease include the identification of Trypanosoma cruzi-infected blood donors through questionnaires and serologic tests. There are other procedures such as leukoreduction that prevent the transmission of infectious agents associated to white cells. The objective of the present work was to estimate the seroprevalence, evaluate the efficacy of leukoreduction by centrifugation to eliminate T. cruzi in infected blood units, and the correlation of immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses of seropositive blood donors with chronic chagasic cardiopathy. Over a period of 14 months, 33 out of 6600 blood donors (0.5%) at Centro Estatal de la Transfusión Sanguínea in Campeche State, México were seropositive for T. cruzi. Twenty seropositive blood units were submitted through leukoreduction by centrifugation, and in the fractions generated (red cell fraction, platelets, and the buffy-coat), we searched for the presence of T. cruzi using specific polymerase chain reaction. We detected parasite DNA in 50% to 60% of the fractions tested, suggesting that leukoreduction by centrifugation does not eliminate the microorganisms in the infected blood unit. We also observed that the level of IgG2 and IgG4 subclasses specific for T. cruzi in seropositive blood donors was lower than in chronic cardiopathic chagasic patients. In conclusion, leukoreduction by centrifugation has a limited role in eliminating T. cruzi in infected blood supply, and the low level of specific IgG2 and IgG4 could be a marker in the indeterminate phase of infection.

  16. Trypanosoma cruzi Detection in Colombian Patients with a Diagnosis of Esophageal Achalasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panesso-Gómez, Santiago; Pavia, Paula; Rodríguez-Mantilla, Iván Enrique; Lasso, Paola; Orozco, Luis A; Cuellar, Adriana; Puerta, Concepción J; Mendoza de Molano, Belén; González, John M

    2018-03-01

    Achalasia is a motility disorder of the esophagus that might be secondary to a chronic Trypanosoma cruzi infection. Several studies have investigated esophageal achalasia in patients with Chagas disease (CD) in Latin America, but no related studies have been performed in Colombia. The goals of the present study were to determine the presence of anti- T. cruzi antibodies in patients with esophageal achalasia who visited a referral hospital in Bogotá, Colombia, and to detect the presence of the parasite and its discrete typing units (DTUs). This cross-sectional study was conducted in adult patients (18-65 years old) who were previously diagnosed with esophageal achalasia and from whom blood was drawn to assess antibodies against T. cruzi using four different serological tests. Trypanosoma cruzi DNA was detected by conventional polymerase chain reaction (cPCR) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). In total, 38 patients, with an average age of 46.6 years (standard deviation of ±16.2) and comprising 16 men and 22 women, were enrolled. Five (13.15%) patients were found to be positive for anti- T. cruzi antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), and two patients who were negative according to IFA were reactive by both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblot (5.3%). Parasite DNA was detected in two of these seven patients by cPCR and in one of these by qPCR. The parasite DTU obtained was TcI. In summary, this study identified T. cruzi in Colombian patients with esophageal achalasia, indicating that digestive compromise could also be present in patients with chronic CD.

  17. Evasion of the Immune Response by Trypanosoma cruzi during Acute Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Mariana S.; Reis-Cunha, João Luís; Bartholomeu, Daniella C.

    2016-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease that affects millions of people mainly in Latin America. To establish a life-long infection, T. cruzi must subvert the vertebrate host’s immune system, using strategies that can be traced to the parasite’s life cycle. Once inside the vertebrate host, metacyclic trypomastigotes rapidly invade a wide variety of nucleated host cells in a membrane-bound compartment known as the parasitophorous vacuole, which fuses to lysosomes, originating the phagolysosome. In this compartment, the parasite relies on a complex network of antioxidant enzymes to shield itself from lysosomal oxygen and nitrogen reactive species. Lysosomal acidification of the parasitophorous vacuole is an important factor that allows trypomastigote escape from the extremely oxidative environment of the phagolysosome to the cytoplasm, where it differentiates into amastigote forms. In the cytosol of infected macrophages, oxidative stress instead of being detrimental to the parasite, favors amastigote burden, which then differentiates into bloodstream trypomastigotes. Trypomastigotes released in the bloodstream upon the rupture of the host cell membrane express surface molecules, such as calreticulin and GP160 proteins, which disrupt initial and key components of the complement pathway, while others such as glycosylphosphatidylinositol-mucins stimulate immunoregulatory receptors, delaying the progression of a protective immune response. After an immunologically silent entry at the early phase of infection, T. cruzi elicits polyclonal B cell activation, hypergammaglobulinemia, and unspecific anti-T. cruzi antibodies, which are inefficient in controlling the infection. Additionally, the coexpression of several related, but not identical, epitopes derived from trypomastigote surface proteins delays the generation of T. cruzi-specific neutralizing antibodies. Later in the infection, the establishment of an anti-T. cruzi

  18. Congenital transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in Argentina, Honduras, and Mexico: study protocol

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Trypanosoma cruzi has been divided into Discrete Typing Units I and non-I (II-VI). T. cruzi I is predominant in Mexico and Central America, while non-I is predominant in most of South America, including Argentina. Little is known about congenital transmission of T. cruzi I. The specific aim of this study is to determine the rate of congenital transmission of T. cruzi I compared to non-I. Methods/design We are conducting a prospective study to enroll at delivery, 10,000 women in Argentina, 7,500 women in Honduras, and 13,000 women in Mexico. We are measuring transmitted maternal T. cruzi antibodies by performing two rapid tests in cord blood (Stat-Pak, Chembio, Medford, New York, and Trypanosoma Detect, InBios, Seattle, Washington). If at least one of the results is positive, we are identifying infants who are congenitally infected by performing parasitological examinations on cord blood and at 4–8 weeks, and serological follow-up at 10 months. Serological confirmation by ELISA (Wiener, Rosario, Argentina) is performed in cord and maternal blood, and at 10 months. We also are performing T. cruzi standard PCR, real-time quantitative PCR and genotyping on maternal venous blood and on cord blood, and serological examinations on siblings. Data are managed by a Data Center in Montevideo, Uruguay. Data are entered online at the sites in an OpenClinica data management system, and digital pictures of data forms are sent to the Data Center for quality control. Weekly reports allow for rapid feedback to the sites. Trial registration Observational study with ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01787968 PMID:24119247

  19. Combined inhibition of p38 and Akt signaling pathways abrogates cyclosporine A-mediated pathogenesis of aggressive skin SCCs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arumugam, Aadithya; Walsh, Stephanie B.; Xu, Jianmin; Afaq, Farrukh [Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0019 (United States); Elmets, Craig A. [Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0019 (United States); Skin Diseases Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States); Athar, Mohammad, E-mail: mathar@uab.edu [Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0019 (United States); Skin Diseases Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294 (United States)

    2012-08-24

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer p38 and Akt are the crucial molecular targets in the pathogenesis of SCCs in OTRs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Combined inhibition of these targets diminished tumor growth by 90%. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Inhibition of these targets act through downregulating mTOR signaling pathway. -- Abstract: Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most common neoplasm in organ transplant recipients (OTRs). These cancers are more invasive and metastatic as compared to those developed in normal cohorts. Previously, we have shown that immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine A (CsA) directly alters tumor phenotype of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) by activating TGF-{beta} and TAK1/TAB1 signaling pathways. Here, we identified novel molecular targets for the therapeutic intervention of these SCCs. We observed that combined blockade of Akt and p38 kinases-dependent signaling pathways in CsA-promoted human epidermoid carcinoma A431 xenograft tumors abrogated their growth by more than 90%. This diminution in tumor growth was accompanied by a significant decrease in proliferation and an increase in apoptosis. The residual tumors following the combined treatment with Akt inhibitor triciribine and p38 inhibitors SB-203580 showed significantly diminished expression of phosphorylated Akt and p38 and these tumors were less invasive and highly differentiated. Diminished tumor invasiveness was associated with the reduced epithelial-mesenchymal transition as ascertained by the enhanced E-cadherin and reduced vimentin and N-cadherin expression. Consistently, these tumors also manifested reduced MMP-2/9. The decreased p-Akt expression was accompanied by a significant reduction in p-mTOR. These data provide first important combinatorial pharmacological approach to block the pathogenesis of CsA-induced highly aggressive cutaneous neoplasm in OTRs.

  20. First description of Trypanosoma cruzi human infection in Esmeraldas province, Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guevara, Ángel; Moreira, Juan; Criollo, Hipatia; Vivero, Sandra; Racines, Marcia; Cevallos, Varsovia; Prandi, Rosanna; Caicedo, Cynthia; Robinzon, Francisco; Anselmi, Mariella

    2014-08-06

    Chagas disease was described in Ecuador in 1930 in the province of Guayas and thereafter in various provinces. Triatomine were reported in the province of Esmeraldas but no human infection has been described. Here we report the first evidence that the disease does exist in the province of Esmeraldas. In indigenous Awá communities located in the northwest jungle of the Esmeraldas province, 144 individuals were tested using ELISA and PCR for T.cruzi of which 5 (3.47%) were positive. Twenty eight triatomine were collected, 27 were Triatoma dispar and 1 Pastrongylus rufotuberculatus, T.cruzi was detected in 11 (42.3%) of 26 insects.

  1. Trypanosoma cruzi alkaline 2-DE: Optimization and application to comparative proteome analysis of flagellate life stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santana Jaime M

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trypanosoma cruzi, a flagellate protozoan, is the etiological agent of Chagas disease, a chronic illness that causes irreversible damage to heart and digestive tract in humans. Previous 2-DE analyses of T. cruzi proteome have not focused on basic proteins, possibly because of inherent difficulties for optimizing 2-DE in the alkaline pH range. However, T. cruzi wide pH range 2-DE gels have shown few visible spots in the alkaline region, indicating that the parasite either did not have an appreciable amount of alkaline proteins or that these proteins were underrepresented in the 2-DE gels. Results Different IEF conditions using 6–11 pH gradient strips were tested for separation of T. cruzi alkaline proteins. The optimized methodology described here was performed using anodic "paper bridge" sample loading supplemented by increased concentration of DTT and Triton X-100 on Multiphor II (GE Healthcare equipment and an electrode pad embedded in DTT- containing solution near the cathode in order to avoid depletion of reducing agent during IEF. Landmark proteins were identified by peptide mass fingerprinting allowing the production of an epimastigote 2-DE map. Most identified proteins corresponded to metabolic enzymes, especially those related to amino acid metabolism. The optimized 2-DE protocol was applied in combination with the "two-in-one gel" method to verify the relative expression of the identified proteins between samples from epimastigote and trypomastigote life stages. Conclusion High resolution 2-DE gels of T. cruzi life forms were achieved using the optimized methodology and a partial epimastigote alkaline 2-DE map was built. Among 700 protein spots detected, 422 were alkaline with a pI above 7.0. The "two-in-one gel" method simplified the comparative analysis between T. cruzi life stages since it minimized variations in spot migration and silver-stained spot volumes. The comparative data were in agreement with

  2. Trypanosoma cruzi: vertebrate and invertebrate cycles in the same mammal host, the opossum Didelphis marsupialis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria P. Deane

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available Epimastigotes multiplying extracellularly and metacyclic trypomastigotes, stages that correspond to the cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi in the intestinal lumen of its insect vector, were consistently found in the lumen of the anal glands of opossums Didelphis marsupialis inoculated subcutaneously with infective feces of triatomid bugs.No gambá (Didelphis marsupialis foi observado um ciclo extracelular do Trypanosoma cruzi: o parasita crescia abundantemente no material de secreção acumulado no lumen das glandulas anais de animais criados em cativeiro e infectados por via subcutanea com fezes de triatomineos.

  3. Hypoxia-induced p53 modulates both apoptosis and radiosensitivity via AKT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leszczynska, Katarzyna B.; Foskolou, Iosifina P.; Abraham, Aswin G.; Anbalagan, Selvakumar; Tellier, Céline; Haider, Syed; Span, Paul N.; O’Neill, Eric E.; Buffa, Francesca M.; Hammond, Ester M.

    2015-01-01

    Restoration of hypoxia-induced apoptosis in tumors harboring p53 mutations has been proposed as a potential therapeutic strategy; however, the transcriptional targets that mediate hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis remain elusive. Here, we demonstrated that hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis is reliant on the DNA-binding and transactivation domains of p53 but not on the acetylation sites K120 and K164, which, in contrast, are essential for DNA damage–induced, p53-dependent apoptosis. Evaluation of hypoxia-induced transcripts in multiple cell lines identified a group of genes that are hypoxia-inducible proapoptotic targets of p53, including inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase (INPP5D), pleckstrin domain–containing A3 (PHLDA3), sulfatase 2 (SULF2), B cell translocation gene 2 (BTG2), cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting protein 2 (CYFIP2), and KN motif and ankyrin repeat domains 3 (KANK3). These targets were also regulated by p53 in human cancers, including breast, brain, colorectal, kidney, bladder, and melanoma cancers. Downregulation of these hypoxia-inducible targets associated with poor prognosis, suggesting that hypoxia-induced apoptosis contributes to p53-mediated tumor suppression and treatment response. Induction of p53 targets, PHLDA3, and a specific INPP5D transcript mediated apoptosis in response to hypoxia through AKT inhibition. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of AKT led to apoptosis in the hypoxic regions of p53-deficient tumors and consequently increased radiosensitivity. Together, these results identify mediators of hypoxia-induced p53-dependent apoptosis and suggest AKT inhibition may improve radiotherapy response in p53-deficient tumors. PMID:25961455

  4. Inositol Hexaphosphate Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis of Colon Cancer Cells by Suppressing the AKT/mTOR Signaling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Kapral

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: AKT, a serine/threonine protein kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR plays a critical role in the proliferation and resistance to apoptosis that are essential to the development and progression of colon cancer. Therefore, AKT/mTOR signaling pathway has been recognized as an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Inositol hexaphosphate (InsP6, a natural occurring phytochemical, has been shown to have both preventive and therapeutic effects against various cancers, however, its exact molecular mechanisms of action are not fully understood. The aim of the in vitro study was to investigate the anticancer activity of InsP6 on colon cancer with the focus on inhibiting the AKT1 kinase and p70S6K1 as mTOR effector, in relation to proliferation and apoptosis of cells. The colon cancer Caco-2 cells were cultured using standard techniques and exposed to InsP6 at different concentrations (1 mM, 2.5 mM and 5 mM. Cellular proliferative activity was monitored by 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU incorporation into cellular DNA. Flow cytometric analysis was performed for cell cycle progression and apoptosis studies. Real-time RT-qPCR was used to validate mRNA levels of CDNK1A, CDNK1B, CASP3, CASP9, AKT1 and S6K1 genes. The concentration of p21 protein as well as the activities of caspase 3, AKT1 and p70S6K1 were determined by the ELISA method. The results revealed that IP6 inhibited proliferation and stimulated apoptosis of colon cancer cells. This effect was mediated by an increase in the expression of genes encoding p21, p27, caspase 3, caspase 9 as well a decrease in transcription of AKT1 and S6K1. InsP6 suppressed phosphorylation of AKT1 and p70S6K1, downstream effector of mTOR. Based on these studies it may be concluded that InsP6 can reduce proliferation and induce apoptosis through inhibition of the AKT/mTOR pathway and mTOR effector followed by modulation of the expression and activity of several key components of these pathways in

  5. Prevalence and Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in People of Rural Communities of the High Jungle of Northern Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, Karen A; Huang, Christine; Gilman, Robert H; Quispe-Machaca, Victor R; Marks, Morgan A; Ancca-Juarez, Jenny; Hillyard, Miranda; Verastegui, Manuela; Sanchez, Gerardo; Cabrera, Lilia; Vidal, Elisa; Billig, Erica M W; Cama, Vitaliano A; Náquira, César; Bern, Caryn; Levy, Michael Z

    2015-05-01

    Vector-borne transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi is seen exclusively in the Americas where an estimated 8 million people are infected with the parasite. Significant research in southern Peru has been conducted to understand T. cruzi infection and vector control, however, much less is known about the burden of infection and epidemiology in northern Peru. A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the seroprevalence of T. cruzi infection in humans (n=611) and domestic animals [dogs (n=106) and guinea pigs (n=206)] in communities of Cutervo Province, Peru. Sampling and diagnostic strategies differed according to species. An entomological household study (n=208) was conducted to identify the triatomine burden and species composition, as well as the prevalence of T. cruzi in vectors. Electrocardiograms (EKG) were performed on a subset of participants (n=90 T. cruzi infected participants and 170 age and sex-matched controls). The seroprevalence of T. cruzi among humans, dogs, and guinea pigs was 14.9% (95% CI: 12.2-18.0%), 19.8% (95% CI: 12.7-28.7%) and 3.3% (95% CI: 1.4-6.9%) respectively. In one community, the prevalence of T. cruzi infection was 17.2% (95% CI: 9.6-24.7%) among participants Peru.

  6. Prevalence and Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in People of Rural Communities of the High Jungle of Northern Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, Karen A.; Huang, Christine; Gilman, Robert H.; Quispe-Machaca, Victor R.; Marks, Morgan A.; Ancca-Juarez, Jenny; Hillyard, Miranda; Verastegui, Manuela; Sanchez, Gerardo; Cabrera, Lilia; Vidal, Elisa; Billig, Erica M. W.; Cama, Vitaliano A.; Náquira, César; Bern, Caryn; Levy, Michael Z.

    2015-01-01

    Background Vector-borne transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi is seen exclusively in the Americas where an estimated 8 million people are infected with the parasite. Significant research in southern Peru has been conducted to understand T. cruzi infection and vector control, however, much less is known about the burden of infection and epidemiology in northern Peru. Methodology A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the seroprevalence of T. cruzi infection in humans (n=611) and domestic animals [dogs (n=106) and guinea pigs (n=206)] in communities of Cutervo Province, Peru. Sampling and diagnostic strategies differed according to species. An entomological household study (n=208) was conducted to identify the triatomine burden and species composition, as well as the prevalence of T. cruzi in vectors. Electrocardiograms (EKG) were performed on a subset of participants (n=90 T. cruzi infected participants and 170 age and sex-matched controls). The seroprevalence of T. cruzi among humans, dogs, and guinea pigs was 14.9% (95% CI: 12.2 – 18.0%), 19.8% (95% CI: 12.7- 28.7%) and 3.3% (95% CI: 1.4 – 6.9%) respectively. In one community, the prevalence of T. cruzi infection was 17.2% (95% CI: 9.6 - 24.7%) among participants Peru. PMID:26000770

  7. Clinical prognostic significance and pro-metastatic activity of RANK/RANKL via the AKT pathway in endometrial cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Liu, Yao; Wang, Lihua; Sun, Xiao; Wang, Yudong

    2016-02-02

    RANK/RANKL plays a key role in metastasis of certain malignant tumors, which makes it a promising target for developing novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. However, the prognostic value and pro-metastatic activity of RANK in endometrial cancer (EC) remain to be determined. Thus, the present study investigated the effect of RANK on the prognosis of EC patients, as well as the pro-metastatic activity of EC cells. The results indicated that those with high expression of RANK showed decreased overall survival and progression-free survival. Statistical analysis revealed the positive correlations between RANK/RANKL expression and metastasis-related factors. Additionally, RANK/RANKL significantly promoted cell migration/invasion via activating AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway in vitro. However, RANK/RANKL-induced AKT activation could be suppressed after osteoprotegerin (OPG) treatment. Furthermore, the combination of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and RANKL could in turn attenuate the effect of RANKL alone. Similarly, MPA could partially inhibit the RANK-induced metastasis in an orthotopic mouse model via suppressing AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway. Therefore, therapeutic inhibition of MPA in RANK/RANKL-induced metastasis was mediated by AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a potential target of RANK for gene-based therapy for EC.

  8. Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Loss of Synaptic Akt1 Signaling Leads to Deficient Activity-Dependent Protein Translation Early in Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Faraz; Singh, Kunal; Das, Debajyoti; Gowaikar, Ruturaj; Shaw, Eisha; Ramachandran, Arathy; Rupanagudi, Khader Valli; Kommaddi, Reddy Peera; Bennett, David A; Ravindranath, Vijayalakshmi

    2017-12-01

    Synaptic deficits are known to underlie the cognitive dysfunction seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by β-amyloid has also been implicated in AD pathogenesis. However, it is unclear whether ROS contributes to synaptic dysfunction seen in AD pathogenesis and, therefore, we examined whether altered redox signaling could contribute to synaptic deficits in AD. Activity dependent but not basal translation was impaired in synaptoneurosomes from 1-month old presymptomatic APP Swe /PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) mice, and this deficit was sustained till middle age (MA, 9-10 months). ROS generation leads to oxidative modification of Akt1 in the synapse and consequent reduction in Akt1-mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, leading to deficiency in activity-dependent protein translation. Moreover, we found a similar loss of activity-dependent protein translation in synaptoneurosomes from postmortem AD brains. Loss of activity-dependent protein translation occurs presymptomatically early in the pathogenesis of AD. This is caused by ROS-mediated loss of pAkt1, leading to reduced synaptic Akt1-mTOR signaling and is rescued by overexpression of Akt1. ROS-mediated damage is restricted to the synaptosomes, indicating selectivity. We demonstrate that ROS-mediated oxidative modification of Akt1 contributes to synaptic dysfunction in AD, seen as loss of activity-dependent protein translation that is essential for synaptic plasticity and maintenance. Therapeutic strategies promoting Akt1-mTOR signaling at synapses may provide novel target(s) for disease-modifying therapy in AD. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 27, 1269-1280.

  9. Active transcription and ultrastructural changes during Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludmila R.P. Ferreira

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The differentiation of proliferating epimastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi , the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas’ disease, into the infective and non-proliferating metacyclic forms can be reproduced in the laboratory by incubating the cells in a chemically-defined medium that mimics the urine of the insect vector. Epimastigotes have a spherical nucleus, a flagellum protruding from the middle of the protozoan cell, and a disk-shaped kinetoplast - an organelle that corresponds to the mitochondrial DNA. Metacyclic trypomastigotes have an elongated shape with the flagellum protruding from the posterior portion of the cell and associated with a spherical kinetoplast. Here we describe the morphological events of this transformation and characterize a novel intermediate stage by three-dimensional reconstruction of electron microscope serial sections. This new intermediate stage is characterized by a kinetoplast compressing an already elongated nucleus, indicating that metacyclogenesis involves active movements of the flagellar structure relative to the cell body. As transcription occurs more intensely in proliferating epimastigotes than in metacyclics, we also examined the presence of RNA polymerase II and measured transcriptional activity during the differentiation process. Both the presence of the enzyme and transcriptional activity remain unchanged during all steps of metacyclogenesis. RNA polymerase II levels and transcriptional activity only decrease after metacyclics are formed. We suggest that transcription is required during the epimastigote-to-metacyclic trypomastigote differentiation process, until the kinetoplast and flagellum reach the posterior position of the parasites in the infective form.A diferenciação de formas epimastigotas (proliferativas do Trypanosoma cruzi, parasita protozoário causador da doença de Chagas, em formas metacíclicas tripomastigotas (infectivas e não proliferativas, pode ser reproduzida em laborat

  10. Antagonist effect of triptolide on AKT activation by truncated retinoid X receptor-alpha.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Lu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Retinoid X receptor-alpha (RXRα is a key member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. We recently demonstrated that proteolytic cleavage of RXRα resulted in production of a truncated product, tRXRα, which promotes cancer cell survival by activating phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K/AKT pathway. However, how the tRXRα-mediated signaling pathway in cancer cells is regulated remains elusive. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We screened a natural product library for tRXRα targeting leads and identified that triptolide, an active component isolated from traditional Chinese herb Trypterygium wilfordii Hook F, could modulate tRXRα-mediated cancer cell survival pathway in vitro and in animals. Our results reveal that triptolide strongly induces cancer cell apoptosis dependent on intracellular tRXRα expression levels, demonstrating that tRXRα serves as an important intracellular target of triptolide. We show that triptolide selectively induces tRXRα degradation and inhibits tRXRα-dependent AKT activity without affecting the full-length RXRα. Interestingly, such effects of triptolide are due to its activation of p38. Although triptolide also activates Erk1/2 and MAPK pathways, the effects of triptolide on tRXRα degradation and AKT activity are only reversed by p38 siRNA and p38 inhibitor. In addition, the p38 inhibitor potently inhibits tRXRα interaction with p85α leading to AKT inactivation. Our results demonstrate an interesting novel signaling interplay between p38 and AKT through tRXRα mediation. We finally show that targeting tRXRα by triptolide strongly activates TNFα death signaling and enhances the anticancer activity of other chemotherapies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results identify triptolide as a new xenobiotic regulator of the tRXRα-dependent survival pathway and provide new insight into the mechanism by which triptolide acts to induce apoptosis of cancer cells. Triptolide represents one of the most

  11. SG2NA enhances cancer cell survival by stabilizing DJ-1 and thus activating Akt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tanti, Goutam Kumar, E-mail: goutamjnu@hotmail.com; Pandey, Shweta; Goswami, Shyamal K.

    2015-08-07

    SG2NA in association with striatin and zinedin forms a striatin family of WD-40 repeat proteins. This family of proteins functions as scaffold in different signal transduction pathways. They also act as a regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. We have shown that SG2NA which evolved first in the metazoan evolution among the striatin family members expresses different isoforms generated out of alternative splicing. We have also shown that SG2NA protects cells from oxidative stress by recruiting DJ-1 and Akt to mitochondria and membrane in the post-mitotic neuronal cells. DJ-1 is both cancer and Parkinson's disease related protein. In the present study we have shown that SG2NA protects DJ-1 from proteasomal degradation in cancer cells. Hence, downregulation of SG2NA reduces DJ-1/Akt colocalization in cancer cells resulting in the reduction of anchorage dependent and independent growth. Thus SG2NA enhances cancer cell survival. Reactive oxygen species enhances SG2NA, DJ-1 and Akt trimerization. Removal of the reactive oxygen species by N-acetyl-cysteine thus reduces cancer cell growth. - Highlights: • Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play potential role in cancer cell proliferation. • It enhances the association between DJ-1 and Akt mediated by SG2NA. • In cancer cells SG2NA stabilizes DJ-1 by inhibiting it from proteosomal degradation. • DJ-1 then activates Akt and cancer cells get their property of enhanced proliferation by sustained activation of Akt. • Further study on this field could lead to new target for cancer therapy.

  12. SG2NA enhances cancer cell survival by stabilizing DJ-1 and thus activating Akt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanti, Goutam Kumar; Pandey, Shweta; Goswami, Shyamal K.

    2015-01-01

    SG2NA in association with striatin and zinedin forms a striatin family of WD-40 repeat proteins. This family of proteins functions as scaffold in different signal transduction pathways. They also act as a regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. We have shown that SG2NA which evolved first in the metazoan evolution among the striatin family members expresses different isoforms generated out of alternative splicing. We have also shown that SG2NA protects cells from oxidative stress by recruiting DJ-1 and Akt to mitochondria and membrane in the post-mitotic neuronal cells. DJ-1 is both cancer and Parkinson's disease related protein. In the present study we have shown that SG2NA protects DJ-1 from proteasomal degradation in cancer cells. Hence, downregulation of SG2NA reduces DJ-1/Akt colocalization in cancer cells resulting in the reduction of anchorage dependent and independent growth. Thus SG2NA enhances cancer cell survival. Reactive oxygen species enhances SG2NA, DJ-1 and Akt trimerization. Removal of the reactive oxygen species by N-acetyl-cysteine thus reduces cancer cell growth. - Highlights: • Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play potential role in cancer cell proliferation. • It enhances the association between DJ-1 and Akt mediated by SG2NA. • In cancer cells SG2NA stabilizes DJ-1 by inhibiting it from proteosomal degradation. • DJ-1 then activates Akt and cancer cells get their property of enhanced proliferation by sustained activation of Akt. • Further study on this field could lead to new target for cancer therapy

  13. Inhibition of AKT signaling by supercritical CO2 extract of mango ginger (Curcuma amada Roxb.) in human glioblastoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, Cheppail; Portalatin, Gilda; Quirin, Karl-W; Escalon, Enrique; Khatib, Ziad; Melnick, Steven J

    2015-12-01

    Mango ginger (Curcuma amada Roxb.) is a less-investigated herb for anticancer properties than other related Curcuma species. AKT (a serine/threonine protein kinase B, originally identified as an oncogene in the transforming retrovirus AKT8) plays a central role in the development and promotion of cancer. In this investigation, we have analyzed the effect of supercritical CO2 extract of mango ginger (CA) on the genetic pathways associated with AKT signaling in human glioblastoma cells. The inhibitory effect of supercritical CO2 extract of mango ginger (Curcuma amada) on AKT signaling was investigated in U-87MG glioblastoma cells. CA was highly cytotoxic to glioblastoma cell line (IC50=4.92±0.81 µg/mL) compared to mHypoE-N1 normal mouse hypothalamus cell line (IC50=40.57±0.06 µg/mL). CA inhibits AKT (protein Kinase B) and adenosine monophophate -activated protein kinase α (AMPKα) phosphorylation significantly in a dose-dependent manner. The cell migration which is necessary for invasion and metastasis was also inhibited by CA treatment, with about 43% reduction at 20 µg/mL concentration. Analysis of mRNA and protein expression of genes associated with apoptosis, cell proliferation and angiogenesis showed that CA modulates expression of genes associated with apoptosis (Bax, Bcl-2, Bcl-X, BNIP3, caspase-3, mutant p53 and p21), cell proliferation (Ki67) and angiogenesis vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Additionally, heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and AMPKα genes interacting with the AKT signaling pathway were also downregulated by CA treatment. These results indicate the molecular targets and mechanisms underlying the anticancer effect of CA in human glioblastoma cells.

  14. Single Cell Chemical Cytometry of Akt Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Normal Fibroblast-like Synoviocytes in Response to Tumor Necrosis Factor α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainz, Emilie R; Serafin, D Stephen; Nguyen, Tuong T; Tarrant, Teresa K; Sims, Christopher E; Allbritton, Nancy L

    2016-08-02

    The etiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is poorly understood, and 30% of patients are unresponsive to established treatments targeting tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Akt kinase is implicated in TNFα signaling and may act as a barometer of patient responses to biologic therapies. Fluorescent peptide sensors and chemical cytometry were employed to directly measure Akt activity as well as proteolytic activity in individual fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from RA and normal subjects. The specificity of the peptide reporter was evaluated and shown to be a valid measure of Akt activity in single cells. The effect of TNFα treatment on Akt activity was highly heterogeneous between normal and RA subjects, which was not observable in bulk analyses. In 2 RA subjects, a bimodal distribution of Akt activity was observed, primarily due to a subpopulation (21.7%: RA Subject 5; 23.8%: RA Subject 6) of cells in which >60% of the reporter was phosphorylated. These subjects also possessed statistically elevated proteolytic cleavage of the reporter relative to normal subjects, suggesting heterogeneity in Akt and protease activity that may play a role in the RA-affected joint. We expect that chemical cytometry studies pairing peptide reporters with capillary electrophoresis will provide valuable data regarding aberrant kinase activity from small samples of clinical interest.

  15. Inhibition of oxidative stress-elicited AKT activation facilitates PPARγ agonist-mediated inhibition of stem cell character and tumor growth of liver cancer cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lanlan Liu

    Full Text Available Emerging evidence suggests that tumor-initiating cells (TICs are the most malignant cell subpopulation in tumors because of their resistance to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Targeting TICs may be a key innovation for cancer treatment. In this study, we found that PPARγ agonists inhibited the cancer stem cell-like phenotype and attenuated tumor growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC cells. Reactive oxygen species (ROS initiated by NOX2 upregulation were partially responsible for the inhibitory effects mediated by PPARγ agonists. However, PPARγ agonist-mediated ROS production significantly activated AKT, which in turn promoted TIC survival by limiting ROS generation. Inhibition of AKT, by either pharmacological inhibitors or AKT siRNA, significantly enhanced PPARγ agonist-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation and stem cell-like properties in HCC cells. Importantly, in nude mice inoculated with HCC Huh7 cells, we demonstrated a synergistic inhibitory effect of the PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone and the AKT inhibitor triciribine on tumor growth. In conclusion, we observed a negative feedback loop between oxidative stress and AKT hyperactivation in PPARγ agonist-mediated suppressive effects on HCCs. Combinatory application of an AKT inhibitor and a PPARγ agonist may provide a new strategy for inhibition of stem cell-like properties in HCCs and treatment of liver cancer.

  16. Down-regulation of Akt by methanol extracts of Impatiens balsamina L. promotes apoptosis in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Ji-Ae; Ryu, Mi Heon; Kwon, Ki-Han; Choi, BuYoung; Cho, Sung-Dae

    2015-07-01

    The apoptotic activity of methanol extracts of Impatiens balsamina L. (MEIB) and related mechanisms in human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells have been systematically investigated. The effects of MEIB on human OSCC cell lines were investigated using trypan blue exclusion assay, MTS assay, Western blot, 4'-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, Live/Dead assay, Immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and promoter assay. MEIB decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis in HSC-4 cells. Higher levels of p-Akt expression were observed in OSCC than in normal oral mucosa (NOM), and it correlated with poor survival of the patients. MEIB dephosphorylated p-Akt and decreased Akt expression through proteasome-dependent degradation. LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor) decreased p-Akt and Akt, resulting in enhancing MEIB-induced apoptosis. MEIB down-regulated the expression level of survivin protein at the transcriptional level and YM155 (survivin inhibitor) decreased survivin, which facilitated MEIB-induced apoptosis. MEIB and LY294002 significantly increased Bax, thereby inducing the conformational change, mitochondrial translocation, and oligomerization. In addition, MEIB-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis in OSC-20, another human OSCC cells were mediated by regulating Akt and it downstream targets, survivin and Bax. These results suggest that MEIB may serve as a potential drug candidate for the treatment of human OSCC. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Phosphorylated AKT and MAPK expression in primary tumours and in corresponding metastases and clinical outcome in colorectal cancer patients receiving irinotecan-cetuximab

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scartozzi Mario

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clinical observations suggested that a non negligible proportion of patients, ranging from 40% to 70%, does not seem to benefit from the use of anti-EGFR targeted antibodies even in the absence of a mutation of the K- RAS gene. The EGFR pathway activation via the Ras-Raf-MAP-kinase and the protein-serine/threonine kinase AKT could determine resistance to anti-EGFR treatment. Methods We tested the interaction between phosphorylated AKT and MAPK expression in colorectal tumours and corresponding metastases and global outcome in K-RAS wild type patients receiving irinotecan-cetuximab. Results Seventy-two patients with histologically proven metastatic colorectal cancer, treated with Irinotecan and Cetuximab based chemotherapy, were eligible for our analysis. In metastases pAKT correlated with RR (9% vs. 58%, p = 0.004, PFS (2.3 months vs.9.2 months p  Discussion pAKT and pMAPK expression in metastases may modulate the activity of EGFR-targeted antibodies. We could speculate that in patients with pAKT and pMAPK metastases expression targeting these factors may be crucial.

  18. ROLE OF PI3K-AKT-mTOR AND Wnt SIGNALING PATHWAYS IN G1-S TRANSITION OF CELL CYCLE IN CANCER CELLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LAKSHMIPATHI eVADLAKONDA

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The PI3K–Akt pathway together with one of its downstream targets, the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR is a highly deregulated pathway in cancers. There is a reciprocal relation between the Akt phosphorylation and mTOR complexes. Akt phosphorylated at T308 activates mTORC1 by inhibition of the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC1/2, where as mTORC2 is recognized as the kinase that phosphorylates Akt at S473. Recent developments in the research on regulatory mechanisms of autophagy places mTORC1 mediated inhibition of autophagy at the central position in activation of proliferation and survival pathways in cells. Autophagy is a negative regulator of Wnt signaling pathway and the downstream effectors of Wnt signaling pathway, cyclin D1 and the c-Myc, are the key players in initiation of cell cycle and regulation of the G1-S transition in cancer cells. Production of reaction oxygen species (ROS, a common feature of a cancer cell metabolism, activates several downstream targets like the transcription factors FoxO, which play key roles in promoting the progression of cell cycle. A model is presented on the role of PI3K -Akt - mTOR and Wnt pathways in regulation of the progression of cell cycle through Go-G1-and S phases.

  19. Utilización de Lepidium Peruvianum Maca, como medio de cultivo para el crecimiento de Trypanosoma Cruzi

    OpenAIRE

    Saldaña C, Charles; Córdova P, Ofelia; Vargas V¹, Franklin

    2006-01-01

    Por sus características nutritivas de alto valor, se ensayó la posible utilidad del Lepidium peruvianum maca, como un medio para cultivar Trypanosoma cruzi. Bajo condiciones experimentales se procedió a incubar epimastigotes de T. cruzi en cuatro medios de cultivo bifásicos diferentes, a base de Lepidium peruvianum maca, los cuales fueron comparados con el medio de cultivo BHI como control. La incorporación de maca como medio de cultivo permitió el crecimiento de Trypanosoma cruzi; se determi...

  20. oxLDL induces endothelial cell proliferation via Rho/ROCK/Akt/p27kip1 signaling: opposite effects of oxLDL and cholesterol loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chongxu; Adamos, Crystal; Oh, Myung-Jin; Baruah, Jugajyoti; Ayee, Manuela A A; Mehta, Dolly; Wary, Kishore K; Levitan, Irena

    2017-09-01

    Oxidized modifications of LDL (oxLDL) play a key role in the development of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. However, the underlying mechanisms of oxLDL-mediated cellular behavior are not completely understood. Here, we compared the effects of two major types of oxLDL, copper-oxidized LDL (Cu 2+ -oxLDL) and lipoxygenase-oxidized LDL (LPO-oxLDL), on proliferation of human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs). Cu 2+ -oxLDL enhanced HAECs' proliferation in a dose- and degree of oxidation-dependent manner. Similarly, LPO-oxLDL also enhanced HAEC proliferation. Mechanistically, both Cu 2+ -oxLDL and LPO-oxLDL enhance HAEC proliferation via activation of Rho, Akt phosphorylation, and a decrease in the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (p27 kip1 ). Both Cu 2+ -oxLDL or LPO-oxLDL significantly increased Akt phosphorylation, whereas an Akt inhibitor, MK2206, blocked oxLDL-induced increase in HAEC proliferation. Blocking Rho with C3 or its downstream target ROCK with Y27632 significantly inhibited oxLDL-induced Akt phosphorylation and proliferation mediated by both Cu 2+ - and LPO-oxLDL. Activation of RhoA was blocked by Rho-GDI-1, which also abrogated oxLDL-induced Akt phosphorylation and HAEC proliferation. In contrast, blocking Rac1 in these cells had no effect on oxLDL-induced Akt phosphorylation or cell proliferation. Moreover, oxLDL-induced Rho/Akt signaling downregulated cell cycle inhibitor p27 kip1 Preloading these cells with cholesterol, however, prevented oxLDL-induced Akt phosphorylation and HAEC proliferation. These findings provide a new understanding of the effects of oxLDL on endothelial proliferation, which is essential for developing new treatments against neovascularization and progression of atherosclerosis. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Acetylcholine and bradykinin trigger preconditioning in the heart through a pathway that includes Akt and NOS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krieg, Thomas; Qin, Qining; Philipp, Sebastian; Alexeyev, Mikhail F; Cohen, Michael V; Downey, James M

    2004-12-01

    In the rabbit heart, bradykinin and ACh trigger preconditioning by a mechanism involving ATP-sensitive potassium channel-dependent production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Recent evidence indicates that the pathway by which bradykinin causes ROS generation includes nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and protein kinase G (PKG). On the other hand, Akt was shown to be essential for ACh to generate ROS. This study determines whether these two G-coupled receptor agonists indeed have similar signaling targets, i.e., whether Akt is involved in bradykinin's pathway and whether NOS is involved in ACh's pathway. Isolated adult rabbit cardiomyocytes were incubated for 15 min in reduced MitoTracker red, which becomes fluorescent only after exposure to ROS. Bradykinin (400 nM) and ACh (250 microM) caused a 51.4 +/- 14.8% and 39.8 +/- 11.7% increase, respectively, in ROS production (P hydrochloride (L-NIO, 5 microM). L-NIO also blocked the anti-infarct effect of ACh (550 microM) in isolated rabbit hearts exposed to 30 min of regional ischemia. We conclude that both bradykinin and ACh trigger ROS generation by sequentially activating Akt and NOS.

  2. Neurofilament heavy polypeptide regulates the Akt-beta-catenin pathway in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myoung Sook Kim

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Aerobic glycolysis and mitochondrial dysfunction are common features of aggressive cancer growth. We observed promoter methylation and loss of expression in neurofilament heavy polypeptide (NEFH in a significant proportion of primary esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC samples that were of a high tumor grade and advanced stage. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of NEFH accelerated ESCC cell growth in culture and increased tumorigenicity in vivo, whereas forced expression of NEFH significantly inhibited cell growth and colony formation. Loss of NEFH caused up-regulation of pyruvate kinase-M2 type and down-regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase, via activation of the Akt/beta-catenin pathway, resulting in enhanced aerobic glycolysis and mitochondrial dysfunction. The acceleration of glycolysis and mitochondrial dysfunction in NEFH-knockdown cells was suppressed in the absence of beta-catenin expression, and was decreased by the treatment of 2-Deoxyglucose, a glycolytic inhibitor, or API-2, an Akt inhibitor. Loss of NEFH activates the Akt/beta-catenin pathway and increases glycolysis and mitochondrial dysfunction. Cancer cells with methylated NEFH can be targeted for destruction with specific inhibitors of deregulated downstream pathways.

  3. Cell surface proteome analysis of human-hosted Trypanosoma cruzi life stages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Queiroz, Rayner M L; Charneau, Sébastien; Bastos, Izabela M D

    2014-01-01

    Chagas' disease is a neglected infectious illness, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. It remains a challenging health issue in Latin America, where it is endemic, and so far there is no immunoprophylatic vaccine or satisfactory chemotherapic treatment for its chronic stage. The present work...

  4. Novel DNA coding regions and protein arginylation reveal unexplored T. cruzi proteome and PTMs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Oliveira, Gilberto Santos; Kawahara, Rebeca; Rosa-Fernandes, Livia

    2017-01-01

    Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a neglected tropical disease caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite. In order to develop diagnostic and therapeutic solutions, there has been an intense investigation on the parasite biology using omics technologies such as genomics...

  5. Kinetic properties and inhibition of Trypanosoma cruzi 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hurtado-Guerrrero, Ramón; Pena Diaz, Javier; Montalvetti, Andrea

    2002-01-01

    A detailed kinetic analysis of the recombinant soluble enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase (HMGR) from Trypanosoma cruzi has been performed. The enzyme catalyzes the normal anabolic reaction and the reductant is NADPH. It also catalyzes the oxidation of mevalonate but at a lower propo...

  6. Enhancing effects of gamma interferon on phagocytic cell association with and killing of Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, J. J.; Kierszenbaum, F.; Sonnenfeld, G.; Zlotnik, A.

    1985-01-01

    Results are reported from a study of the influence gamma interferon (GIFN) and interleukin 2 (IL2) have on the capability of P388D1 cells and mouse resident peritoneal macrophages (MPM) to attach to the blood-resident parasites Trypanosoma cruzi and kill them. Cultures of trypomastigote forms of the Tulahuen strain of T. cruzi grown in bovine serum were introduced into peritoneal cells of mice, along with P388D1 cells incubated with GIFN, IL2 and both. Control cells were also maintained. Statistical analysis were then performed on data on counts of the number of dead T. Cruzi cells. The GIFN enhanced the interaction of MPM and P388D1 cells with the surface of T. Cruzi, provided the interaction was given over 12 hr to take place. A depression of the cytotoxicity of P388D1 cells was attributed to mediation by H2O2, an effect partially offset by incubation with the lymphokine GIFN.

  7. Trypanosoma cruzi: strain selection by diferent schedules of mouse passage of an initially mixed infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria P. Deane

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available From an initial double infection in mice, established by simultaneous and equivalent inocula of bloodstream forms of strains Y and F of Trypanosoma cruzi, two lines were derived by subinoculations: one (W passaged every week, the other (M every month. Through biological and biochemical methods only the Y strain was identified at the end of the 10th and 16th passages of line W and only the F strain at the 2nd and 4th passages of line M. The results illustrate strain selection through laboratory manipulation of initially mixed populations of T. cruzi.De uma infecção inicialmente dupla em camundongo, estabelecida por inóculo simultaneo e equivalente de formas sanguíneas das cepas Y e F de Trypanosoma cruzi, duas linhagens foram originadas por subinoculações: uma (W passada casa semana, a outra (M cada mês. Por métodos biológicos e bioquímicos apenas a cepa Y foi identificada ao fim a 10a. e 16a. passagens da linhagem W e apenas a cepa F na 2a. e 4a.passagens de linhagem M. Os resultados demonstram a seleção de cepas através de manipulação em laboratorio de populações inicialmente mistas de T. cruzi.

  8. Moderate physical exercise protects myenteric metabolically more active neurons in mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Neide Martins; de Moraes, Solange Marta Franzói; Dalálio, M M O; Gomes, Mônica Lúcia; Sant'ana, D M G; de Araújo, Silvana Marques

    2014-02-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi causes neuronal myenteric depopulation compromising intestinal function. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of moderate physical exercise on NADH diaphorase (NADH-d)-positive neurons in the myenteric plexus and intestinal wall of the colon in mice infected with T. cruzi. Forty 30-day-old male Swiss mice were divided into the following groups: trained infected (TI), sedentary infected (SI), trained control (TC), and sedentary control. The TC and TI groups were subjected to a moderate physical exercise program on a treadmill for 8 weeks. Three days after finishing physical exercise, the TI and SI groups were intraperitoneally inoculated with 1,300 blood trypomastigotes of the Y strain of Trypanosoma cruzi. Parasitemia was evaluated from days 4 to 61 after inoculation. On day 75 of infection, myenteric neurons in the colon were quantified (NADH-d), and inflammatory foci were counted. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) levels were evaluated in plasma. The results were compared using analysis of variance and the Kruskal-Wallis test at a 5 % significance level. Moderate physical exercise reduced the parasite peak on day 8 of infection (p = 0.0132) and total parasitemia (p = 0.0307). It also prevented neuronal depopulation (p  0.05). These results reinforce the therapeutic benefits of moderate physical exercise for T. cruzi infection.

  9. The effect of the diterpene 5-epi-icetexone on the cell cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lozano, E.; Barrera, P.; Tonn, C.; Nieto, M.; Sartor, T.; Sosa, M.A.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous natural compounds have been used against Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease. Here, we studied the effect of the diterpene 5-epi-icetexone on growth and morphology of parasites synchronized with hydroxyurea, at different periods of time after removal of the nucleotide.

  10. Lack of evidence for integration of Trypanosoma cruzi minicircle DNA in South American human genomes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Flegontova, Olga; Lukeš, Julius; Flegontov, Pavel

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 42, č. 5 (2012), s. 437-441 ISSN 0020-7519 Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) LM2010005 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Trypanosoma cruzi * Kinetoplast minicircle * Chagas disease * Horizontal gene transfer * Human genome Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.637, year: 2012 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020751912000781

  11. Electrocardiographic alteration among first degree relatives with serologic evidence of Trypanosoma cruzi infection: a sibship study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio C. Morini

    1994-09-01

    Full Text Available To analyze whether electrocardiographic alterations (ECGA in patients with antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi showed a patttern of familial aggregation, a sample of 379 young adults (166 men and 213 women distributed in sibships, were assessed for the presence of anti-T.cruzi antibodies, and subjected to a complete clinical examination and a standard resting electrocardiogram (ECG. Positive T. cruzi serology was detected in 165 individuals, 48 of them showing an abnormal ECG (overall prevalence 29 por cento. One hundred and eleven seropositive individuals were distributed in 45 sibships, each of them constituted by more than one seropositive sib, with ECGA being present in 34 out of these patients. Seropositive subjects with ECGA were detected in 27 sibships. Since the index case within each sibship is counted exactly once, affected individuals selected at random as propositi were extracted to calculate the prevalence of ECGA among first degree relatives of probands. Abnormal ECGs were recorded in 7 out of 45 sibs yielding a prevalence that did not differ from estimations registered in the general population or seropositive sibs. Data from the present sample show no familial aggregation for the occurrence of ECGA in patients with T.cruzi infection.

  12. Efficacy of some essential oils in mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of orally administered Cymbopogon citratus, Zingiber officinale and Syzygium aromaticum essential oils (EOs) in mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Methods: Three experiments were conducted with 48 Swiss mice each. The animals were inoculated with 2 x 106 metacyclic ...

  13. Limited antigenic variation in the Trypanosoma cruzi candidate vaccine antigen TSA-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, J M; Zingales, B; Bottazzi, M E; Hotez, P; Zhan, B

    2014-12-01

    Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma cruzi) is one of the most important neglected tropical diseases in the Western Hemisphere. The toxicities and limited efficacies of current antitrypanosomal drugs have prompted a search for alternative technologies such as a therapeutic vaccine comprised of T. cruzi antigens, including a recombinant antigen encoding the N-terminal 65 kDa portion of Trypomastigote surface antigen-1 (TSA-1). With at least six known genetically distinct T. cruzi lineages, variability between the different lineages poses a unique challenge for the development of broadly effective therapeutic vaccine. The variability across the major lineages in the current vaccine candidate antigen TSA-1 has not previously been addressed. To assess the variation in TSA-1, we cloned and sequenced TSA-1 from several different T. cruzi strains representing three of the most clinically relevant lineages. Analysis of the different alleles showed limited variation in TSA-1 across the different strains and fit with the current theory for the evolution of the different lineages. Additionally, minimal variation in known antigenic epitopes for the HLA-A 02 allele suggests that interlineage variation in TSA-1 would not impair the range and efficacy of a vaccine containing TSA-1. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. The Trypanosoma cruzi nucleolus: a morphometrical analysis of cultured epimastigotes in the exponential and stationary phases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nepomuceno-Mejía, Tomás; Lara-Martínez, Reyna; Cevallos, Ana María; López-Villaseñor, Imelda; Jiménez-García, Luis Felipe; Hernández, Roberto

    2010-12-01

    Our group is interested in rRNA and ribosome biogenesis in the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Epimastigotes represent an extracellular replicative stage of T. cruzi and can be cultured in axenic media. The growth curve of epimastigotes allows assessment of potential differences in the nucleoli of cells undergoing growth-rate transitions. To establish cellular parameters for studying ribosome biogenesis in T. cruzi, a morphometric analysis of the nucleoli of cultured cells in the exponential and stationary phases was conducted. Electron micrograph-based measurements of nuclear sections from independent cells demonstrated that the nucleolar area is over twofold higher in exponentially growing cells, as compared with epimastigotes in the stationary phase. The granular component of the nucleoli of actively growing cells was the main structural element. Cycloheximide moderately reduced the apparent size of the nucleoli without an apparent disruption of their architecture. Our results provide a firm basis for the establishment of an experimental model to study the organization of the nucleolus during the growth and development of T. cruzi. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibody detection in blood donors in the Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.B. Araújo

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas' Disease, is a widely spread protozoa in America. Blood transfusion is the secondly most important way of acquiring the infection. In blood banks, tests are performed to eliminate potentially infected blood. This study aimed to evaluate the positivity for T. cruzi in blood samples of donor's candidates in Southern Brazil. The study was based on a sampling containing all blood donors of Hemopel - a Pelotas City Blood Center, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, from 2004 to 2005. Serological study was performed using ELISA Chagatest. Sampling containing values ± 20% cut off were evaluated using ELISA Chagatek, ELISA Alka/Adaltis, IHA Chagatest and IIF Imunocruzi. TESA-Blot was used as a confirmatory procedure in situations where blood samples showed conflicting results. From 4,482 samples collected in 2004 and 2005, the reactivity for anti-T. cruzi was 0.96% (43. Among those, 21 cases (0.47% were confirmed as positive - most of them were female, with low school level and averaging 47.2% years old. Interestingly, the blood donors are not aware of being contaminated and this fact makes it difficult for controlling the disease. Chagas' Disease was one of the main reasons for discarding blood bags through serological control in Southern Brazil. Sampling reactivity showed variation among the different techniques used for anti-T. cruzi research. In order to obtaining more secure and conclusive results, more than one diagnostic technique must be used.

  16. Genetic immunization based on the ubiquitin-fusion degradation pathway against Trypanosoma cruzi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chou, Bin [Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, 7-45-1 Nanakuma, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka 814-0180 (Japan); Department of Parasitology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582 (Japan); Hiromatsu, Kenji, E-mail: khiromatsu@fukuoka-u.ac.jp [Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Fukuoka University, 7-45-1 Nanakuma, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka 814-0180 (Japan); Hisaeda, Hajime; Duan, Xuefeng; Imai, Takashi [Department of Parasitology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582 (Japan); Murata, Shigeo; Tanaka, Keiji [Department of Molecular Oncology, The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo 113-8613 (Japan); Himeno, Kunisuke [Department of Parasitology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582 (Japan)

    2010-02-12

    Cytotoxic CD8{sup +} T cells are particularly important to the development of protective immunity against the intracellular protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. We have developed a new effective strategy of genetic immunization by activating CD8{sup +} T cells through the ubiquitin-fusion degradation (UFD) pathway. We constructed expression plasmids encoding the amastigote surface protein-2 (ASP-2) of T. cruzi. To induce the UFD pathway, a chimeric gene encoding ubiquitin fused to ASP-2 (pUB-ASP-2) was constructed. Mice immunized with pUB-ASP-2 presented lower parasitemia and longer survival period, compared with mice immunized with pASP-2 alone. Depletion of CD8{sup +} T cells abolished protection against T. cruzi in mice immunized with pUB-ASP-2 while depletion of CD4{sup +} T cells did not influence the effective immunity. Mice deficient in LMP2 or LMP7, subunits of immunoproteasomes, were not able to develop protective immunity induced. These results suggest that ubiquitin-fused antigens expressed in antigen-presenting cells were effectively degraded via the UFD pathway, and subsequently activated CD8{sup +} T cells. Consequently, immunization with pUB-ASP-2 was able to induce potent protective immunity against infection of T. cruzi.

  17. Natural populations of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, have a complex multiclonal structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tibayrenc, M.; Ward, P.; Moya, A.; Ayala, F.J.

    1986-01-01

    The authors have studied 15 gene loci coding for enzymes in 121 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from a wide geographic range - from the US and Mexico to Chile and southern Brazil. T.cruzi is diploid but reproduction is basically clonal, with very little if any sexuality remaining at present. They have identified 43 different clones by their genetic composition; the same genetic clone is often found in very distant places and in diverse hosts. There is much genetic heterogeneity among the different clones, and they cannot be readily classified into a few discrete groups that might represent natural taxa. These findings imply that the biological and medical characteristics need to be ascertained separately for each natural clone. The evidence indicates that clonal evolution is very ancient in T.cruzi. The authors propose two alternative hypotheses concerning the relationship between the biochemical diversity and the heterogeneity in other biological and medical characteristics of T. cruzi. One hypothesis is that the degree of diversity between strains simply reflects the time elapsed since their last common ancestor. The second hypothesis is that biological and medical heterogeneity is recent and reflects adaptation to different transmission cycles. A decision between the two hypotheses can be reached with appropriate studies, with important medical consequences.

  18. Biochemical behavior of Trypanosoma cruzi strains isolated from mice submitted to specific chemotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesila Pinto M. Marretto

    1994-12-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the influence of chemotherapy on the biochemical beha vior of Trypanosoma cruzi strains, three groups of mice were infected with one of three strains of T. cruzi of different biological and isoenzymic patterns (Peruvian, 21 SF and Colombian strains. Each group was subdivided into subgroups: 1 - treated with nifurtimox; 2 - treated with benznidazole and 3 - untreated infected controls. At the end of treatment, that lasted for 90 days, xenodiagnosis, sub inoculation of blood into new born mice and haemoculture were performed as tests of cure. From the positive tests, 22 samples of T. cruzi were isolated from all subgroups. Electrophoretic analysis of the isoenzymes PGM, GP1, ALAT and AS AT failed to show any difference between parasite strains isolated from treated and untreated mice, which indicates that no detectable clonal selection or parasite genetic markers alterations concerning the isoenzymes analysed have been determined by treatment with drugs of recognized antiparasitic effect, suggesting stability of the phenotypic characteristics of the three biological types of T. cruzi strains.

  19. Trypanosoma cruzi in the chicken model: Chagas-like heart disease in the absence of parasitism

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Teixeira, A.R.L.; Gomes, C.; Nitz, N.; Sousa, A.O.; Alvez, R.M.; Guimaro, M.C.; Cordeiro, C.; Bernal, F.M.; Rosa, A.C.; Hejnar, Jiří; Leonardecz, E.; Hecht, M.M.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 3 (2011), e1000 ISSN 1935-2735 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : Chagas disease * Trypanosoma cruzi * kDNA minicircles * inbred chicken Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.716, year: 2011

  20. Molecular epidemiology of Trypanosoma cruzi and Triatoma dimidiata in costal Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Yim Yan; Sornosa Macias, Karen Jeniffer; Guale Martínez, Doris; Solorzano, Luis F; Ramirez-Sierra, Maria Jesus; Herrera, Claudia; Dumonteil, Eric

    2016-07-01

    Chagas disease is a neglected tropical disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. In Ecuador, Triatoma dimidiata and Rhodnius ecuadoriensis are the main vector species, responsible for over half of the cases of T. cruzi infection in the country. T. dimidiata is believed to have been introduced in Ecuador during colonial times, and its elimination from the country is thus believed to be feasible. We investigated here the molecular ecology of T. dimidiata and T. cruzi in costal Ecuador to further guide control efforts. Analysis of the Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS-2) of 23 specimens from Progreso, Guayas, unambiguously supported the likely importation of T. dimidiata from Central America to Ecuador. The observation of a very high parasite infection rate (54%) and frequent feeding on humans (3/5) confirmed a continued risk of transmission to humans. All genotyped parasites corresponded to TcI DTU and Trypanosoma rangeli was not detected in T. dimidiata. TcI subgroups corresponded to TcIa (25%), and mixed infections with TcIa and TcId (75%). Further studies should help clarify T. cruzi genetic structure in the country, and the possible impact of the introduction of T. dimidiata on the circulating parasite strains. The elevated risk posed by this species warrants continuing efforts for its control, but its apparent mobility between peridomestic and domestic habitats may favor reinfestation following insecticide spraying. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Inhibition of PTEN and activation of Akt by menadione.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshikawa, Kyoko; Nigorikawa, Kiyomi; Tsukamoto, Mariko; Tamura, Namiko; Hazeki, Kaoru; Hazeki, Osamu

    2007-04-01

    Menadione (vitamin K(3)) has been shown to activate Erk in several cell lines. This effect has been shown to be due to the activation of EGF receptors (EGFR) as a result of inhibition of some protein tyrosine phosphatases. In the present study, we examined the effects of menadione on Akt in Chinese hamster ovary cells. The phosphorylation of Akt by menadione was not inhibited by AG1478, an inhibitor of EGFR. Menadione inhibited the lipid phosphatase activity of PTEN in a cell-free system. In an intact cell system, menadione inhibited the effect of transfected PTEN on Akt. Thus, one mechanism of its action was considered the accelerated activation of Akt through inhibition of PTEN. This was not the sole mechanism responsible for the EGFR-independent activation of Akt, because menadione attenuated the rate of Akt dephosphorylation even in PTEN-null PC3 cells. The decelerated inactivation of Akt, probably through inhibition of some tyrosine phosphatases, was considered another mechanism of its action.

  2. Utilizing Chemical Genomics to Identify Cytochrome b as a Novel Drug Target for Chagas Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shilpi Khare

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Unbiased phenotypic screens enable identification of small molecules that inhibit pathogen growth by unanticipated mechanisms. These small molecules can be used as starting points for drug discovery programs that target such mechanisms. A major challenge of the approach is the identification of the cellular targets. Here we report GNF7686, a small molecule inhibitor of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, and identification of cytochrome b as its target. Following discovery of GNF7686 in a parasite growth inhibition high throughput screen, we were able to evolve a GNF7686-resistant culture of T. cruzi epimastigotes. Clones from this culture bore a mutation coding for a substitution of leucine by phenylalanine at amino acid position 197 in cytochrome b. Cytochrome b is a component of complex III (cytochrome bc1 in the mitochondrial electron transport chain and catalyzes the transfer of electrons from ubiquinol to cytochrome c by a mechanism that utilizes two distinct catalytic sites, QN and QP. The L197F mutation is located in the QN site and confers resistance to GNF7686 in both parasite cell growth and biochemical cytochrome b assays. Additionally, the mutant cytochrome b confers resistance to antimycin A, another QN site inhibitor, but not to strobilurin or myxothiazol, which target the QP site. GNF7686 represents a promising starting point for Chagas disease drug discovery as it potently inhibits growth of intracellular T. cruzi amastigotes with a half maximal effective concentration (EC50 of 0.15 µM, and is highly specific for T. cruzi cytochrome b. No effect on the mammalian respiratory chain or mammalian cell proliferation was observed with up to 25 µM of GNF7686. Our approach, which combines T. cruzi chemical genetics with biochemical target validation, can be broadly applied to the discovery of additional novel drug targets and drug leads for Chagas disease.

  3. Biochemical behavior of Trypanosoma cruzi strains isolated from mice submitted to specific chemotherapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesila Pinto M. Marretto

    1994-12-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the influence of chemotherapy on the biochemical beha vior of Trypanosoma cruzi strains, three groups of mice were infected with one of three strains of T. cruzi of different biological and isoenzymic patterns (Peruvian, 21 SF and Colombian strains. Each group was subdivided into subgroups: 1 - treated with nifurtimox; 2 - treated with benznidazole and 3 - untreated infected controls. At the end of treatment, that lasted for 90 days, xenodiagnosis, sub inoculation of blood into new born mice and haemoculture were performed as tests of cure. From the positive tests, 22 samples of T. cruzi were isolated from all subgroups. Electrophoretic analysis of the isoenzymes PGM, GP1, ALAT and AS AT failed to show any difference between parasite strains isolated from treated and untreated mice, which indicates that no detectable clonal selection or parasite genetic markers alterations concerning the isoenzymes analysed have been determined by treatment with drugs of recognized antiparasitic effect, suggesting stability of the phenotypic characteristics of the three biological types of T. cruzi strains.Com o objetivo de investigar a influência da quimioterapia no padrão bioquímico de diferentes cepas do Trypanosoma cruzi, três grupos de camundongos foram infectados respectivamente com as cepas Peruana, 21 SF e Colombiana, que correspondem a diferentes padrões biológicos e isoenzimáticos. Cada grupo foi subdividido em subgrupos: 1 - tratados com nifurtimox; 2 - tratados com benzonidazol; 3- controles infectados não tratados. Ao final do tratamento que durou 90 dias, os animais foram submetidos a testes parasitológicos de cura: xenodiagnóstico, subinoculação do sangue em camundongos recém-nascidos e hemocultura em meio Warren. A partir da positivação destes testes, foram isoladas 22 amostras do T. cruzi dos três subgrupos. A análise eletroforética dos extratos enzimáticos obtidos após cultura para as enzimas PGM, GPI, ALAT e

  4. KIF14 Promotes AKT Phosphorylation and Contributes to Chemoresistance in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stina M. Singel

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite evidence that kinesin family member 14 (KIF14 can serve as a prognostic biomarker in various solid tumors, how it contributes to tumorigenesis remains unclear. We observed that experimental decrease in KIF14 expression increases docetaxel chemosensitivity in estrogen receptor–negative/progesterone receptor–negative/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, “triple-negative” breast cancers (TNBC. To investigate the oncogenic role of KIF14, we used noncancerous human mammary epithelial cells and ectopically expressed KIF14 and found increased proliferative capacity, increased anchorage-independent grown in vitro, and increased resistance to docetaxel but not to doxorubicin, carboplatin, or gemcitabine. Seventeen benign breast biopsies of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers showed increased KIF14 mRNA expression by fluorescence in situ hybridization compared to controls with no known mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, suggesting increased KIF14 expression as a biomarker of high-risk breast tissue. Evaluation of 34 cases of locally advanced TNBC showed that KIF14 expression significantly correlates with chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer. KIF14 knockdown also correlates with decreased AKT phosphorylation and activity. Live-cell imaging confirmed an insulin-induced temporal colocalization of KIF14 and AKT at the plasma membrane, suggesting a potential role of KIF14 in promoting activation of AKT. An experimental small-molecule inhibitor of KIF14 was then used to evaluate the potential anticancer benefits of downregulating KIF14 activity. Inhibition of KIF14 shows a chemosensitizing effect and correlates with decreasing activation of AKT. Together, these findings show an early and critical role for KIF14 in the tumorigenic potential of TNBC, and therapeutic targeting of KIF14 is feasible and effective for TNBC.

  5. Akt/PKB activation in gastric carcinomas correlates with clinicopathologic variables and prognosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Seon Young; Lee, Hye Seung; Jung, Gyung-Ah; Choi, Jimi; Cho, Sung Jin; Kim, Min Kyu; Kim, Woo Ho; Lee, Byung Lan

    2003-12-01

    Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) plays an important role in cell survival. However, the role of Akt in the biology of gastric cancer has not been well studied. We sought to investigate the expression of Akt or phosphorylated Akt (pAkt) in human gastric carcinomas and to analyze the relationship between Akt or pAkt and the clinicopathologic parameters. The expressions of Akt and pAkt were evaluated immunohistochemically in 311 gastric carcinomas using the tissue array method. Akt expression was detected in 74% of the tumors and pAkt expression in 78%. pAkt was highly expressed in the early stage of pTNM (p=0.011). We also found an inverse association between pAkt and lymphatic invasion (p=0.01) or lymph node metastasis (p=0.008). pAkt expression was significantly correlated with a higher survival in patients with stage I carcinomas (p=0.0003). Interestingly, combined evaluation revealed that the group with pAkt-positive and lymph node-negative carcinomas showed a better prognosis than the other groups (pSmad4 (p<0.0001) expression. These findings suggest that pAkt expression may help to predict the clinical outcome of gastric cancer patients.

  6. Sarcocystis cruzi (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae no cachorro-do-mato (Cerdocyon thous Sarcocystis cruzi (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae in the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janaina S. Rodrigues

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Esporocistos de Sarcocystis foram identificados nas amostras fecais de um cachorro-do-mato. Eles foram dados por via oral para um bezerro em aleitamento, sendo observados cistos com morfologia compatível com os de Sarcocystis cruzi na musculatura cardíaca e esquelética, três meses após a infecção. Musculatura cardíaca deste bezerro foi dada para um segundo cão doméstico livre de coccídios, que eliminou esporocistos compatíveis com os de Sarcocystis em suas fezes, tendo com períodos pré-patente e patente 11 e 12 dias após a infecção respectivamente. Para comparar a morfologia dos esporocistos e cistos, um segundo cão, também livre de coccídios, foi alimentado com musculatura cardíaca de um bovino infectando naturalmente e positivo para cistos de S. cruzi. Esporocistos compatíveis com os eliminados pelo primeiro cão foram encontrados nas fezes. Apesar dos esporocistos eliminados pelo cachorro-do-mato serem significativamente diferentes dos eliminados pelos cães infectados experimentalmente, pode se considerar com base na morfologia dos esporocistos, cistos e na transmissão biológica que a espécie encontrada nas fezes do cachorro-do-mato é Sarcocystis cruzi.Sporocysts of Sarcocystis were identified in feces samples of a crab-eating fox, and were orally given to a suckling calf; after 3 months of infection, sarcocysts morphologically similar to Sarcocystis cruzi were observed in cardiac and skeletal striated muscles. The cardiac muscles of this calf were orally given to a puppy free of coccidia, that shed sporocysts in its feces.with a prepatent and patent period of 11 and 12 days after infection, respectively. To compare the morphology of the sporocysts and cysts, a second puppy was fed on bovine cardiac muscles infected naturally, and sporocysts identical to those shed by the first dog were recovered from its feces. In spite of the significant difference between sporocysts found in the mucosa of the crab-eating fox and

  7. The Prevalence of Chagas Heart Disease in a Central Bolivian Community Endemic for Trypanosoma Cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yager, Jessica E.; Lozano Beltran, Daniel F.; Torrico, Faustino; Gilman, Robert H.; Bern, Caryn

    2015-01-01

    Background Though the incidence of new Trypanosoma cruzi infections has decreased significantly in endemic regions in the Americas, medical professionals continue to encounter a high burden of resulting Chagas disease among infected adults. The current prevalence of Chagas heart disease in a community setting is not known; nor is it known how recent insecticide vector control measures may have impacted the progression of cardiac disease in an infected population. Objectives and Methods Nested within a community serosurvey in rural and periurban communities in central Bolivia, we performed a cross-sectional cardiac substudy to evaluate adults for historical, clinical, and electrocardiographic evidence of cardiac disease. All adults between the ages of 20 and 60 years old with T. cruzi infection and those with a clinical history, physical exam, or ECG consistent with cardiac abnormalities were also scheduled for echocardiography. Results and conclusions Of the 604 cardiac substudy participants with definitive serology results, 183 were seropositive for infection with T. cruzi (30.3%). Participants who were seropositive for T. cruzi infection were more likely to have conduction system defects (1.6% versus 0 for complete right bundle branch block and 10.4% versus 1.9% for any bundle branch block; p=0.008 and p<0.001, respectively). However, there was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of bradycardia among seropositive versus seronegative participants. Echocardiogram findings were not consistent with a high burden of Chagas cardiomyopathy: valvulopathies were the most common abnormality, and few participants were found to have low ejection fraction or left ventricular dilatation. No participants had significant heart failure. Though almost one third of adults in the community were seropositive for T. cruzi infection, few had evidence of Chagas heart disease. PMID:26407509

  8. Association of Trypanosoma cruzi infection with risk factors and electrocardiographic abnormalities in northeast Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background American trypanosomiasis is a major disease and public health issue, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. The prevalence of T. cruzi has not been fully documented, and there are few reports of this issue in Nuevo Leon. The aim of this study was to update the seroprevalence rate of T. cruzi infection, including an epidemiological analysis of the risk factors associated with this infection and an electrocardiographic (ECG) evaluation of those infected. Methods Sera from 2,688 individuals from 10 municipalities in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, were evaluated using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and an indirect hemagglutination assay. An ECG case–control study was performed in subjects seropositive for T. cruzi and the results were matched by sex and age to seronegative residents of the same localities. A univariate analysis with χ2 and Fisher’s exact tests was used to determine the association between seropositivity and age (years), sex, and ECG changes. A multivariate analysis was then performed to calculate the odd ratios between T. cruzi seropositivity and the risk factors. Results The seropositive rate was 1.93% (52/2,688). In the ECG study, 22.85% (8/35) of the infected individuals exhibited ECG abnormalities. Triatoma gerstaeckeri was the only vector reported. The main risk factors were ceiling construction material (P ≤ 0.0024), domestic animals (P ≤ 0.0001), and living in rural municipalities (P ≤ 0.0025). Conclusions These findings demonstrate a 10-fold higher prevalence of Chagas disease than previously reported (0.2%), which implies a serious public health threat in northeastern Mexico. The epidemiological profile established in this study differs from that found in the rest of Mexico, where human populations live in close proximity to domiciliary triatomines. PMID:24580840

  9. Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor Contributes to Host Defense against Acute Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, José L.; Terrazas, Luis I.; Espinoza, Bertha; Cruz-Robles, David; Soto, Virgilia; Rivera-Montoya, Irma; Gómez-García, Lorena; Snider, Heidi; Satoskar, Abhay R.; Rodríguez-Sosa, Miriam

    2006-01-01

    Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a proinflammatory cytokine that is involved in the host defense against several pathogens. Here we used MIF−/− mice to determine the role of endogenous MIF in the regulation of the host immune response against Trypanosoma cruzi infection. MIF−/− mice displayed high levels of blood and tissue parasitemia, developed severe heart and skeletal muscle immunopathology, and succumbed to T. cruzi infection faster than MIF+/+ mice. The enhanced susceptibility of MIF−/− mice to T. cruzi was associated with reduced levels of proinflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-18, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), and IL-1β, in their sera and reduced production of IL-12, IFN-γ, and IL-4 by spleen cells during the early phase of infection. At all time points, antigen-stimulated splenocytes from MIF+/+ and MIF−/− mice produced comparable levels of IL-10. MIF−/− mice also produced significantly less Th1-associated antigen-specific immunoglobulin G2a (IgG2a) throughout the infection, but both groups produced comparable levels of Th2-associated IgG1. Lastly, inflamed hearts from T. cruzi-infected MIF−/− mice expressed increased transcripts for IFN-γ, but fewer for IL-12 p35, IL-12 p40, IL-23, and inducible nitric oxide synthase, compared to MIF+/+ mice. Taken together, our findings show that MIF plays a role in controlling acute T. cruzi infection. PMID:16714544

  10. Parasitic loads in tissues of mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi and treated with AmBisome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Cencig

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chagas disease is one of the most important public health problems and a leading cause of cardiac failure in Latin America. The currently available drugs to treat T. cruzi infection (benznidazole and nifurtimox are effective in humans when administered during months. AmBisome (liposomal amphotericin B, already shown efficient after administration for some days in human and experimental infection with Leishmania, has been scarcely studied in T. cruzi infection. AIMS: This work investigates the effect of AmBisome treatment, administered in 6 intraperitoneal injections at various times during acute and/or chronic phases of mouse T. cruzi infection, comparing survival rates and parasitic loads in several tissues. METHODOLOGY: Quantitative PCR was used to determine parasitic DNA amounts in tissues. Immunosuppressive treatment with cyclophosphamide was used to investigate residual infection in tissues. FINDINGS: Administration of AmBisome during the acute phase of infection prevented mice from fatal issue. Parasitaemias (microscopic examination were reduced in acute phase and undetectable in chronic infection. Quantitative PCR analyses showed significant parasite load reductions in heart, liver, spleen, skeletal muscle and adipose tissues in acute as well as in chronic infection. An earlier administration of AmBisome (one day after parasite inoculation had a better effect in reducing parasite loads in spleen and liver, whereas repetition of treatment in chronic phase enhanced the parasite load reduction in heart and liver. However, whatever the treatment schedule, cyclophosphamide injections boosted infection to parasite amounts comparable to those observed in acutely infected and untreated mice. CONCLUSIONS: Though AmBisome treatment fails to completely cure mice from T. cruzi infection, it impedes mortality and reduces significantly the parasitic loads in most tissues. Such a beneficial effect, obtained by administrating it over a short

  11. Assessing anti-T. cruzi candidates in vitro for sterile cidality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Cal

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Total clearance of the T. cruzi infection – referred to herein as “sterile cure” – seems to be a critical prerequisite for new drug candidates for Chagas disease, ensuring long-term beneficial effects for patients in the chronic indeterminate stage. This requirement is notably supported by the recent findings of clinical studies involving posaconazole and fosravuconazole, where the majority of patients treated eventually relapsed after an apparent clearance of parasitaemia at the end of treatment. We have adapted an in vitro system to predict the ability of a compound to deliver sterile cure. It relies on mouse peritoneal macrophages as host cells for Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes. The macrophages do not proliferate, allowing for long-term testing and wash-out experiments. Giemsa staining followed by microscopy provides a highly sensitive and specific tool to quantify the numbers of infected host cells. Combining macrophages as host cells and Giemsa staining as the read-out, we demonstrate that posaconazole and other CYP51 inhibitors are unable to achieve complete clearance of an established T. cruzi infection in vitro in spite of the fact that these compounds are active at significantly lower concentrations than the reference drugs benznidazole and nifurtimox. Indeed, a few macrophages remained infected after 96 h of drug incubation in the presence of CYP51 inhibitors–albeit at a very low parasite load. These residual T. cruzi amastigotes were shown to be viable and infective, as demonstrated by wash-out experiments. We advocate characterizing any new anti-T. cruzi early stage candidates for sterile cidality early in the discovery cascade, as a surrogate for delivery of sterile cure in vivo.

  12. High Trypanosoma cruzi infection prevalence associated with minimal cardiac pathology among wild carnivores in central Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Curtis-Robles

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Infection with the zoonotic vector-borne protozoal parasite Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease in humans and dogs throughout the Americas. Despite the recognized importance of various wildlife species for perpetuating Trypanosoma cruzi in nature, relatively little is known about the development of cardiac disease in infected wildlife. Using a cross-sectional study design, we collected cardiac tissue and blood from hunter-donated wildlife carcasses- including raccoon (Procyon lotor, coyote (Canis latrans, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus, and bobcat (Lynx rufus – from central Texas, a region with established populations of infected triatomine vectors and increasing diagnoses of Chagas disease in domestic dogs. Based on PCR analysis, we found that 2 bobcats (14.3%, 12 coyotes (14.3%, 8 foxes (13.8%, and 49 raccoons (70.0% were positive for T. cruzi in at least one sample (right ventricle, apex, and/or blood clot. Although a histologic survey of right ventricles showed that 21.1% of 19 PCR-positive hearts were characterized by mild lymphoplasmocytic infiltration, no other lesions and no amastigotes were observed in any histologic section. DNA sequencing of the TcSC5D gene revealed that raccoons were infected with T. cruzi strain TcIV, and a single racoon harbored a TcI/TcIV mixed infection. Relative to other wildlife species tested here, our data suggest that raccoons may be important reservoirs of TcIV in Texas and a source of infection for indigenous triatomine bugs. The overall high level of infection in this wildlife community likely reflects high levels of vector contact, including ingestion of bugs. Although the relationship between the sylvatic cycle of T. cruzi transmission and human disease risk in the United States has yet to be defined, our data suggest that hunters and wildlife professionals should take precautions to avoid direct contact with potentially infected wildlife tissues.

  13. Vorinostat synergizes with ridaforolimus and abrogates the ridaforolimus-induced activation of AKT in synovial sarcoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Sherif S; Cranmer, Lee D

    2014-11-18

    Curative treatments for patients with metastatic synovial sarcoma (SS) do not exist, and such patients have a poor prognosis. We explored combinations of molecularly-targeted and cytotoxic agents to identify synergistic treatment combinations in SS cells. Two SS cell lines (HS-SY-II and SYO-I) were treated with single agents or combinations of molecularly targeted therapies (HDAC inhibitor, vorinostat; mTOR inhibitor, ridaforolimus) and cytotoxic agents. After 72 hours, cell viability was measured using the MTS cell proliferation assay. Combination Indices (CI) were calculated to determine whether each combination was synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. Western Blot analysis assessed alterations in total and phospho-AKT protein levels in response to drug treatment. We determined the single-agent IC50 for ridaforolimus, vorinostat, doxorubicin, and melphalan in HS-SY-II and SYO-I. Synergism was apparent in cells co-treated with ridaforolimus and vorinostat: CI was 0.28 and 0.63 in HS-SY-II and SYO-I, respectively. Ridaforolimus/doxorubicin and ridaforolimus/melphalan exhibited synergism in both cell lines. An additive effect was observed with combination of vorinostat/doxorubicin in both cell lines. Vorinostat/melphalan was synergistic in HS-SY-II and additive in SYO-I. Western blot analysis demonstrated that ridaforolimus increased pAKT-ser473 levels; this effect was abrogated by vorinostat co-treatment. The combination of ridaforolimus and vorinostat demonstrates in vitro synergism in SS. Addition of vorinostat abrogated ridaforolimus-induced AKT activation. Since AKT activation is a possible mechanism of resistance to mTOR inhibitors, adding vorinostat (or another HDAC inhibitor) may be a route to circumvent AKT-mediated resistance to mTOR inhibitors.

  14. The importance of the opossum (Didelphis albiventris as a reservoir for Trypanosoma cruzi in Bambuí, Minas Gerais state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre José Fernandes

    1991-03-01

    Full Text Available In a survey realized on the sylvatic and peridomestic environment at Bambuí county, Minas Gerais State, 44 (37.9% out of 116 opossums (Didelphis albiventris captured were found to be naturally infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. One handred and forty three parasite samples were obtanied from 43 infected opossums using simultaneously hemoculture, xenodiagnosis (Triatoma infestans, Panstrongylus megistus and Rhodnius neglectus and examination of anal glands contents. The parasite samples were characterized according to six isoenzyme patterns. All samples, independently of the method of isolation, presented an isoenzyme pattern similar to the standard T. cruzi Z1, showing that either xenodiagnosis or hemoculture can used without selecting parasite subpopulation from naturally infected opossums. Preveous isoenzyme patterns reported for human T.cruzi isolates from same region were completely different. This isoenzyme dissimilarity between sylvatic and domiciliar environments suggests the existence of two independent T. cruzi transmission cycles in Bambuí. The epidemiological implicatinos of these results are discussed.

  15. Susceptibilidad in vitro a hexadecilfosfocolina (miltefosina, nifurtimox y benznidazole de cepas de Trypanosoma cruzi aisladas en Santander, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Escobar

    2009-09-01

    Conclusiones. Los resultados obtenidos de la actividad in vitro de miltefosina y de los medicamentos de referencia contra aislamientos de T. cruzi son satisfactorios y serán considerados en estudios posteriores in vivo.

  16. Performance of TcI/TcVI/TcII Chagas-Flow ATE-IgG2a for universal and genotype-specific serodiagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucia Diniz Alessio

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Distinct Trypanosoma cruzi genotypes have been considered relevant for patient management and therapeutic response of Chagas disease. However, typing strategies for genotype-specific serodiagnosis of Chagas disease are still unavailable and requires standardization for practical application. In this study, an innovative TcI/TcVI/TcII Chagas Flow ATE-IgG2a technique was developed with applicability for universal and genotype-specific diagnosis of T. cruzi infection. For this purpose, the reactivity of serum samples (percentage of positive fluorescent parasites-PPFP obtained from mice chronically infected with TcI/Colombiana, TcVI/CL or TcII/Y strain as well as non-infected controls were determined using amastigote-AMA, trypomastigote-TRYPO and epimastigote-EPI in parallel batches of TcI, TcVI and TcII target antigens. Data demonstrated that "α-TcII-TRYPO/1:500, cut-off/PPFP = 20%" presented an excellent performance for universal diagnosis of T. cruzi infection (AUC = 1.0, Se and Sp = 100%. The combined set of attributes "α-TcI-TRYPO/1:4,000, cut-off/PPFP = 50%", "α-TcII-AMA/1:1,000, cut-off/PPFP = 40%" and "α-TcVI-EPI/1:1,000, cut-off/PPFP = 45%" showed good performance to segregate infections with TcI/Colombiana, TcVI/CL or TcII/Y strain. Overall, hosts infected with TcI/Colombiana and TcII/Y strains displayed opposite patterns of reactivity with "α-TcI TRYPO" and "α-TcII AMA". Hosts infected with TcVI/CL strain showed a typical interweaved distribution pattern. The method presented a good performance for genotype-specific diagnosis, with global accuracy of 69% when the population/prototype scenario include TcI, TcVI and TcII infections and 94% when comprise only TcI and TcII infections. This study also proposes a receiver operating reactivity panel, providing a feasible tool to classify serum samples from hosts infected with distinct T. cruzi genotypes, supporting the potential of this method for universal and genotype-specific diagnosis

  17. Akt1/protein kinase Bα is critical for ischemic and VEGF-mediated angiogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Ackah, Eric; Yu, Jun; Zoellner, Stefan; Iwakiri, Yasuko; Skurk, Carsten; Shibata, Rei; Ouchi, Noriyuki; Easton, Rachael M.; Galasso, Gennaro; Birnbaum, Morris J.; Walsh, Kenneth; Sessa, William C.

    2005-01-01

    Akt, or protein kinase B, is a multifunctional serine-threonine protein kinase implicated in a diverse range of cellular functions including cell metabolism, survival, migration, and gene expression. However, the in vivo roles and effectors of individual Akt isoforms in signaling are not explicitly clear. Here we show that the genetic loss of Akt1, but not Akt2, in mice results in defective ischemia and VEGF-induced angiogenesis as well as severe peripheral vascular disease. Akt1 knockout (Ak...

  18. Prevalence and Transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in People of Rural Communities of the High Jungle of Northern Peru.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen A Alroy

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Vector-borne transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi is seen exclusively in the Americas where an estimated 8 million people are infected with the parasite. Significant research in southern Peru has been conducted to understand T. cruzi infection and vector control, however, much less is known about the burden of infection and epidemiology in northern Peru.A cross-sectional study was conducted to estimate the seroprevalence of T. cruzi infection in humans (n=611 and domestic animals [dogs (n=106 and guinea pigs (n=206] in communities of Cutervo Province, Peru. Sampling and diagnostic strategies differed according to species. An entomological household study (n=208 was conducted to identify the triatomine burden and species composition, as well as the prevalence of T. cruzi in vectors. Electrocardiograms (EKG were performed on a subset of participants (n=90 T. cruzi infected participants and 170 age and sex-matched controls. The seroprevalence of T. cruzi among humans, dogs, and guinea pigs was 14.9% (95% CI: 12.2-18.0%, 19.8% (95% CI: 12.7-28.7% and 3.3% (95% CI: 1.4-6.9% respectively. In one community, the prevalence of T. cruzi infection was 17.2% (95% CI: 9.6-24.7% among participants < 15 years, suggesting recent transmission. Increasing age, positive triatomines in a participant's house, and ownership of a T. cruzi positive guinea pig were independent correlates of T. cruzi infection. Only one species of triatomine was found, Panstrongylus lignarius, formerly P. herreri. Approximately forty percent (39.9%, 95% CI: 33.2-46.9% of surveyed households were infested with this vector and 14.9% (95% CI: 10.4-20.5% had at least one triatomine positive for T. cruzi. The cardiac abnormality of right bundle branch block was rare, but only identified in seropositive individuals.Our research documents a substantial prevalence of T. cruzi infection in Cutervo and highlights a need for greater attention and vector control efforts in northern Peru.

  19. Chloroquine increases phosphorylation of AMPK and Akt in myotubes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry D. Spears

    2016-03-01

    Significance: These ATM-independent effects of chloroquine on AMPK and Akt and the additional effect to decrease intracellular calcium are likely to partially underlie the positive metabolic effects of chloroquine that have been reported in the literature.

  20. Membrane Heterogeneity in Akt Activation in Prostate Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hager, Martin H

    2008-01-01

    This project focuses on the novel finding from our group that the serine-threonine kinase Akt1 partitions into specialized membrane microdomains, termed lipid rafts, and that this localization event...

  1. The Role of AKT2 in Human Breast Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yuan, Zeng-Qiang

    2003-01-01

    .... However, the underlying mechanisms have not been well documented. We demonstrated that Akt protects stress-induced programmed cell death by inhibition of stress kinase JNK/p38 through activation of NFkB pathway...

  2. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi Among Eleven Potential Reservoir Species from Six States Across the Southern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Emily L.; Roellig, Dawn M.; Gompper, Matthew E.; Monello, Ryan J.; Wenning, Krista M.; Gabriel, Mourad W.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is a substantial public health concern in Latin America. Although rare in humans and domestic animals in the United States, T. cruzi is commonly detected in some wildlife species, most commonly raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). To increase our understanding of the reservoir host species range and geographic distribution, 11 species of mammals from six states spanning the known range of T. cruzi (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Virginia) were tested for antibodies to T. cruzi using indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing. In addition, culture isolation attempts were conducted on a limited number of animals from Georgia and Florida. Evidence of T. cruzi was found in every state except California; however, low numbers of known reservoirs were tested in California. In general, the highest seroprevalence rates were found in raccoons (0–68%) and opossums (17–52%), but antibodies to T. cruzi were also detected in small numbers of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) from Arizona and Georgia, bobcats (Lynx rufus) from Georgia, two coyotes (Canis latrans) from Georgia and Virginia, and a ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) from Arizona. Culture-based prevalence rates for raccoons were significantly greater than those for opossums; however, seroprevalences of raccoons and opossums from several geographic locations in Georgia and Florida were not different, indicating that exposure rates of these two species are similar within these areas. For both raccoons and opossums, seroprevalence was significantly higher in females than in males. No difference was detected in seroprevalence between adults and juveniles and between animals caught in urban and rural locations. Our results indicate that T. cruzi prevalence varies by host species, host characteristics, and geographic region and provides data to guide future studies on the natural history of T. cruzi

  3. Use of Full-Length Recombinant Calflagin and Its C Fragment for Improvement of Diagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi Infection†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcipar, Iván S.; Roodveldt, Cintia; Corradi, Gerardo; Cabeza, María L.; Brito, Maria Edileuza F.; Winter, Lucile M. Floeter; Marcipar, Alberto J.; Silber, Ariel M.

    2005-01-01

    Serological diagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi infection is hampered by issues related to test specificity due to the cross-reactivity of most antigens with proteins of related parasites such as Leishmania spp. The recombinant calflagins are considered relevant antigens for the diagnosis of infection by Trypanosoma cruzi. In the present work, we describe two genes coding for putative calflagins in Leishmania major with the N-terminal moieties presenting high similarity with T. cruzi genes. This fact raised questions about their role in some cross-recognition of this antigen by sera from Leishmania spp.-infected individuals. The complete T. cruzi calflagin and two fragments of the protein, consisting of 146 amino acids of the N-terminal and 65 amino acids of the C-terminal regions, were expressed and evaluated against a panel of sera, which included well-characterized samples from T. cruzi, and Leishmania-infected patients. We were able to show that sera from Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis-infected individuals recognized the recombinant full-length calflagin. Both the N-terminal and the complete protein presented the same high sensitivity (98.5% of sera from T. cruzi-infected patients was detected) but different specificities (94% and 98%, respectively, when evaluated against sera from people not infected by T. cruzi, including 15 sera from people infected with L. braziliensis). The C-terminal fragment presented low sensitivity (70%) but 100% specificity. We propose the use of these antigens in two sequential assays to optimize the serological diagnosis of T. cruzi infection in humans in geographic areas where Leishmania spp. infection is coendemic. PMID:16272476

  4. The early implementation of Trypanosoma cruzi antibody screening of donors and donations within England: preempting a problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchen, Alan D; Hewitt, Patricia E; Chiodini, Peter L

    2012-09-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a parasitic infection endemic in Central and Southern America, but is spreading into nonendemic countries with migration of infected individuals from endemic countries. The parasite is transmitted by transfusion or transplantation and donation screening is performed routinely in endemic countries to prevent transmission. In situations where migrants from endemic countries have settled in nonendemic countries and present as donors (blood or other cellular products), intervention is required to prevent transfusion or transplantation transmission. A screening program for T. cruzi was developed and has been used successfully for over 10 years that includes donor selection and donation screening. Donor selection criteria to identify specific risk of T. cruzi infection were developed together with laboratory screening of donations for T. cruzi antibodies and the subsequent confirmation of screen reactivity. Since the introduction of T. cruzi screening in England in 1998, a total of 38,585 donors and donations have been screened for T. cruzi antibodies, of which 223 were repeat reactive on screening and referred for confirmation: 206 confirmed negative, 14 inconclusive, and three positive. Since the move in 2005 from donor qualification to donation release testing, 15,536 donations were collected and screened, of which 15,499 (99.8%) were T. cruzi antibody negative and released to inventory. An effective program to minimize risk of the transmission of T. cruzi infection via donations has been developed and implemented. Not only does the program minimize risk of transmission, it also minimizes the cumulative, and needless, loss of donors and donations that would ensue if permanent donor deferral alone was adopted. © 2012 American Association of Blood Banks.

  5. Hosts and vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi discrete typing units in the Chagas disease endemic region of the Paraguayan Chaco

    OpenAIRE

    ACOSTA, NIDIA; L?PEZ, ELSA; LEWIS, MICHAEL D.; LLEWELLYN, MARTIN S.; G?MEZ, ANA; ROM?N, FABIOLA; MILES, MICHAEL A.; YEO, MATTHEW

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARY Active Trypanosoma cruzi transmission persists in the Gran Chaco region, which is considered hyperendemic for Chagas disease. Understanding domestic and sylvatic transmission cycles and therefore the relationship between vectors and mammalian hosts is crucial to designing and implementing improved effective control strategies. Here we describe the species of triatomine vectors and the sylvatic mammal reservoirs of T. cruzi, in different localities of the Paraguayan and Bolivian Chaco....

  6. B Cell Receptor Activation Predominantly Regulates AKT-mTORC1/2 Substrates Functionally Related to RNA Processing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara K Mohammad

    Full Text Available Protein kinase B (AKT phosphorylates numerous substrates on the consensus motif RXRXXpS/T, a docking site for 14-3-3 interactions. To identify novel AKT-induced phosphorylation events following B cell receptor (BCR activation, we performed proteomics, biochemical and bioinformatics analyses. Phosphorylated consensus motif-specific antibody enrichment, followed by tandem mass spectrometry, identified 446 proteins, containing 186 novel phosphorylation events. Moreover, we found 85 proteins with up regulated phosphorylation, while in 277 it was down regulated following stimulation. Up regulation was mainly in proteins involved in ribosomal and translational regulation, DNA binding and transcription regulation. Conversely, down regulation was preferentially in RNA binding, mRNA splicing and mRNP export proteins. Immunoblotting of two identified RNA regulatory proteins, RBM25 and MEF-2D, confirmed the proteomics data. Consistent with these findings, the AKT-inhibitor (MK-2206 dramatically reduced, while the mTORC-inhibitor PP242 totally blocked phosphorylation on the RXRXXpS/T motif. This demonstrates that this motif, previously suggested as an AKT target sequence, also is a substrate for mTORC1/2. Proteins with PDZ, PH and/or SH3 domains contained the consensus motif, whereas in those with an HMG-box, H15 domains and/or NF-X1-zinc-fingers, the motif was absent. Proteins carrying the consensus motif were found in all eukaryotic clades indicating that they regulate a phylogenetically conserved set of proteins.

  7. Curcumin Suppresses Proliferation and Migration of MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells through Autophagy-Dependent Akt Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yemin; Zhou, Yu; Li, Mingxin; Wang, Changhua

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have evidenced that the anticancer potential of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a main yellow bioactive compound from plant turmeric was mediated by interfering with PI3K/Akt signaling. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is still poorly understood. This study experimentally revealed that curcumin treatment reduced Akt protein expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, along with an activation of autophagy and suppression of ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) function. The curcumin-reduced Akt expression, cell proliferation, and migration were prevented by genetic and pharmacological inhibition of autophagy but not by UPS inhibition. Additionally, inactivation of AMPK by its specific inhibitor compound C or by target shRNA-mediated silencing attenuated curcumin-activated autophagy. Thus, these results indicate that curcumin-stimulated AMPK activity induces activation of the autophagy-lysosomal protein degradation pathway leading to Akt degradation and the subsequent suppression of proliferation and migration in breast cancer cell. PMID:26752181

  8. Genetically different isolates of Trypanosoma cruzi elicit different infection dynamics in raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roellig, Dawn M; Ellis, Angela E; Yabsley, Michael J

    2009-12-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is a genetically and biologically diverse species. In the current study we determined T. cruzi infection dynamics in two common North American reservoirs, Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) and raccoons (Procyon lotor). Based on previous molecular and culture data from naturally-exposed animals, we hypothesised that raccoons would have a longer patent period than opossums, and raccoons would be competent reservoirs for both genotypes T. cruzi I (TcI) and TcIIa, while opossums would only serve as hosts for TcI. Individuals (n=2 or 3) of each species were inoculated with 1x10(6) culture-derived T. cruzi trypomastigotes of TcIIa (North American (NA) - raccoon), TcI (NA - opossum), TcIIb (South American - human), or both TcI and TcIIa. Parasitemias in opossums gradually increased and declined rapidly, whereas parasitemias peaked sooner in raccoons and they maintained relatively high parasitemia for 5weeks. Raccoons became infected with all three T. cruzi strains, while opossums only became infected with TcI and TcIIb. Although opossums were susceptible to TcIIb, infection dynamics were dramatically different compared with TcI. Opossums inoculated with TcIIb seroconverted, but parasitemia duration was short and only detectable by PCR. In addition, raccoons seroconverted sooner (3-7days post inoculation) than opossums (10days post inoculation). These data suggest that infection dynamics of various T. cruzi strains can differ considerably in different wildlife hosts.

  9. Performance Assessment of Four Chimeric Trypanosoma cruzi Antigens Based on Antigen-Antibody Detection for Diagnosis of Chronic Chagas Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fred Luciano Neves Santos

    Full Text Available The performance of serologic tests in chronic Chagas disease diagnosis largely depends on the type and quality of the antigen preparations that are used for detection of anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies. Whole-cell T. cruzi extracts or recombinant proteins have shown variation in the performance and cross-reactivity. Synthetic chimeric proteins comprising fragments of repetitive amino acids of several different proteins have been shown to improve assay performances to detect Chagasic infections. Here, we describe the production of four chimeric T. cruzi proteins and the assessment of their performance for diagnostic purposes. Circular Dichroism spectra indicated the absence of well-defined secondary structures, while polydispersity evaluated by Dynamic Light Scattering revealed only minor aggregates in 50 mM carbonate-bicarbonate (pH 9.6, demonstrating that it is an appropriate buffering system for sensitizing microplates. Serum samples from T. cruzi-infected and non-infected individuals were used to assess the performance of these antigens for detecting antibodies against T. cruzi, using both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a liquid bead array platform. Performance parameters (AUC, sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and J index showed high diagnostic accuracy for all chimeric proteins for detection of specific anti-T. cruzi antibodies and differentiated seropositive individuals from those who were seronegative. Our data suggest that these four chimeric proteins are eligible for phase II studies.

  10. The effectiveness of riboflavin and ultraviolet light pathogen reduction technology in eliminating Trypanosoma cruzi from leukoreduced whole blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez-Marco, Teresa; Cancino-Faure, Beatriz; Girona-Llobera, Enrique; Alcover, M Magdalena; Riera, Cristina; Fisa, Roser

    2017-06-01

    The parasitic Chagas disease is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, which is mainly transmitted by insect vectors. Other infection routes, both in endemic and in nonendemic areas, include organ and marrow transplantation, congenital transmission, and blood transfusion. Asymptomatic chronic chagasic individuals may have a low and transient parasitemia in peripheral blood and, consequently, they can unknowingly transmit the disease via blood transfusion. Riboflavin and ultraviolet (UV) light pathogen reduction is a method to reduce pathogen transfusion transmission risk based on damage to the pathogen nucleic acids. In this study, we tested the effectiveness of this technology for the elimination of T. cruzi parasites in artificially contaminated whole blood units (WBUs) and thus for decreasing the risk of T. cruzi transfusion transmission. The contaminated WBUs were leukoreduced by filtration and treated with riboflavin and UV light. The level of pathogen reduction was quantified by a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) as a viability assay. The RNA (cDNA) quantification of the parasites showed a more than 99% reduction of viable T. cruzi parasites after leukoreduction and a complete reduction (100%) after the riboflavin and UV light treatment. Riboflavin and UV light treatment and leukoreduction used in conjunction appears to eliminate significant amounts of viable T. cruzi in whole blood. Both strategies could complement other blood bank measures already implemented to prevent the transmission of T. cruzi via blood transfusion. © 2017 AABB.

  11. Phlebotomine fauna, natural infection rate and feeding habits of Lutzomyia cruzi in Jaciara, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veruska Nogueira de Brito

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Visceral leishmaniasis (VL in Brazil is transmitted by the phlebotomine Lutzomyia longipalpis and in some midwestern regions by Lutzomyia cruzi. Studies of the phlebotomine fauna, feeding habits and natural infection rate by Leishmania contribute to increased understanding of the epidemiological chain of leishmaniases and their vectorial capacity. Collections were performed in Jaciara, state of Mato Grosso from 2010-2013, during which time 2,011 phlebotomines (23 species were captured (68.70% Lu. cruzi and 20.52% Lutzomyia whitmani. Lu. cruzi females were identified by observing the shapes of the cibarium (a portion of the mouthpart and spermatheca, from which samples were obtained for polymerase chain reaction to determine the rates of natural infection. Engorged phlebotomines were assessed to identify the blood-meal host by ELISA. A moderate correlation was discovered between the number of Lu. cruzi and the temperature and the minimum rate of infection was 6.10%. Twenty-two females were reactive to the antisera of bird (28%, dog (3.30% and skunk (1.60%. We conclude that Lu. cruzi and Lu. whitmani have adapted to the urban environment in this region and that Lu. cruzi is the most likely vector of VL in Jaciara. Moreover, maintenance of Leishmania in the environment is likely aided by the presence of birds and domestic and synanthropic animals.

  12. WDR26 in Advanced Breast Cancer: A Novel Regulator of the P13K/AKT Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    5 2 1. Introduction: Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women in the US. Despite recent advances in the...breakthrough both in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive TNBC progression and in our effort to eliminate suffering and death caused by...that contribute to breast cancer growth and metastasis. Yet, it is not yet clear how to specifically target the PI3Kβ/AKT2 without causing wide

  13. New insights into Trypanosoma cruzi evolution, genotyping and molecular diagnostics from satellite DNA sequence analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan C Ramírez

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi has been subdivided into seven Discrete Typing Units (DTUs, TcI-TcVI and Tcbat. Two major evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the origin of hybrid lineages, but while it is widely accepted that TcV and TcVI are the result of genetic exchange between TcII and TcIII strains, the origin of TcIII and TcIV is still a matter of debate. T. cruzi satellite DNA (SatDNA, comprised of 195 bp units organized in tandem repeats, from both TcV and TcVI stocks were found to have SatDNA copies type TcI and TcII; whereas contradictory results were observed for TcIII stocks and no TcIV sequence has been analyzed yet. Herein, we have gone deeper into this matter analyzing 335 distinct SatDNA sequences from 19 T. cruzi stocks representative of DTUs TcI-TcVI for phylogenetic inference. Bayesian phylogenetic tree showed that all sequences were grouped in three major clusters, which corresponded to sequences from DTUs TcI/III, TcII and TcIV; whereas TcV and TcVI stocks had two sets of sequences distributed into TcI/III and TcII clusters. As expected, the lowest genetic distances were found between TcI and TcIII, and between TcV and TcVI sequences; whereas the highest ones were observed between TcII and TcI/III, and among TcIV sequences and those from the remaining DTUs. In addition, signature patterns associated to specific T. cruzi lineages were identified and new primers that improved SatDNA-based qPCR sensitivity were designed. Our findings support the theory that TcIII is not the result of a hybridization event between TcI and TcII, and that TcIV had an independent origin from the other DTUs, contributing to clarifying the evolutionary history of T. cruzi lineages. Moreover, this work opens the possibility of typing samples from Chagas disease patients with low parasitic loads and improving molecular diagnostic methods of T. cruzi infection based on SatDNA sequence amplification.

  14. New insights into Trypanosoma cruzi evolution, genotyping and molecular diagnostics from satellite DNA sequence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Juan C; Torres, Carolina; Curto, María de Los A; Schijman, Alejandro G

    2017-12-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi has been subdivided into seven Discrete Typing Units (DTUs), TcI-TcVI and Tcbat. Two major evolutionary models have been proposed to explain the origin of hybrid lineages, but while it is widely accepted that TcV and TcVI are the result of genetic exchange between TcII and TcIII strains, the origin of TcIII and TcIV is still a matter of debate. T. cruzi satellite DNA (SatDNA), comprised of 195 bp units organized in tandem repeats, from both TcV and TcVI stocks were found to have SatDNA copies type TcI and TcII; whereas contradictory results were observed for TcIII stocks and no TcIV sequence has been analyzed yet. Herein, we have gone deeper into this matter analyzing 335 distinct SatDNA sequences from 19 T. cruzi stocks representative of DTUs TcI-TcVI for phylogenetic inference. Bayesian phylogenetic tree showed that all sequences were grouped in three major clusters, which corresponded to sequences from DTUs TcI/III, TcII and TcIV; whereas TcV and TcVI stocks had two sets of sequences distributed into TcI/III and TcII clusters. As expected, the lowest genetic distances were found between TcI and TcIII, and between TcV and TcVI sequences; whereas the highest ones were observed between TcII and TcI/III, and among TcIV sequences and those from the remaining DTUs. In addition, signature patterns associated to specific T. cruzi lineages were identified and new primers that improved SatDNA-based qPCR sensitivity were designed. Our findings support the theory that TcIII is not the result of a hybridization event between TcI and TcII, and that TcIV had an independent origin from the other DTUs, contributing to clarifying the evolutionary history of T. cruzi lineages. Moreover, this work opens the possibility of typing samples from Chagas disease patients with low parasitic loads and improving molecular diagnostic methods of T. cruzi infection based on SatDNA sequence amplification.

  15. Cost-Effectiveness of Blood Donation Screening for Trypanosoma cruzi in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-González, Gilberto; Figueroa-Lara, Alejandro; Elizondo-Cano, Miguel; Wilson, Leslie; Novelo-Garza, Barbara; Valiente-Banuet, Leopoldo; Ramsey, Janine M.

    2016-01-01

    An estimated 2 million inhabitants are infected with Chagas disease in Mexico, with highest prevalence coinciding with highest demographic density in the southern half of the country. After vector-borne transmission, Trypanosoma cruzi is principally transmitted to humans via blood transfusion. Despite initiation of serological screening of blood donations or donors for T. cruzi since 1990 in most Latin American countries, Mexico only finally included mandatory serological screening nationwide in official Norms in 2012. Most recent regulatory changes and segmented blood services in Mexico may affect compliance of mandatory screening guidelines. The objective of this study was to calculate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for total compliance of current guidelines from both Mexican primary healthcare and regular salaried worker health service institutions: the Secretary of Health and the Mexican Institute for Social Security. We developed a bi-modular model to analyze compliance using a decision tree for the most common screening algorithms for each health institution, and a Markov transition model for the natural history of illness and care. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio based on life-years gained is US$ 383 for the Secretary of Health, while the cost for an additional life-year gained is US$ 463 for the Social Security Institute. The results of the present study suggest that due to incomplete compliance of Mexico’s national legislation during 2013 and 2014, the MoH has failed to confirm 15,162 T. cruzi infections, has not prevented 2,347 avoidable infections, and has lost 333,483 life-years. Although there is a vast difference in T. cruzi prevalence between Bolivia and Mexico, Bolivia established mandatory blood screening for T.cruzi in 1996 and until 2002 detected and discarded 11,489 T. cruzi -infected blood units and prevented 2,879 potential infections with their transfusion blood screening program. In the first two years of Mexico

  16. Evasion of the immune response by Trypanosoma cruzi during acute infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Santos Cardoso

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease that affects millions of people mainly in Latin America. To establish a life-long infection, T. cruzi must subvert the vertebrate host’s immune system, using strategies that can be traced to the parasite’s life cycle. Once inside the vertebrate host, metacyclic trypomastigotes rapidly invade a wide variety of nucleated host cells in a membrane-bound compartment known as the parasitophorous vacuole, which fuses to lysosomes, originating the phagolysosome. In this compartment, the parasite relies on a complex network of antioxidant enzymes to shield itself from lysosomal oxygen and nitrogen reactive species. Lysosomal acidification of the parasitophorous vacuole is an important factor that allows trypomastigote escape from the extremely oxidative environment of the phagolysosome to the cytoplasm, where it differentiates into amastigote forms. In the cytosol of infected macrophages, oxidative stress instead of being detrimental to the parasite, favors amastigote burden, which then differentiates into bloodstream trypomastigotes. Trypomastigotes released in the bloodstream upon the rupture of the host cell membrane express surface molecules, such as calreticulin and GP160 proteins, which disrupt initial and key components of the complement pathway, while others such as GPI-mucins stimulate immunoregulatory receptors, delaying the progression of a protective immune response. After an immunologically silent entry at the early phase of infection, T. cruzi elicits polyclonal B cell activation, hypergammaglobulinemia, and unspecific anti-T. cruzi antibodies, which are inefficient in controlling the infection. Additionally, the co-expression of several related but not identical epitopes derived from trypomastigote surface proteins delays the generation of T. cruzi-specific neutralizing antibodies. Later in the infection, the establishment of an anti-T. cruzi CD8

  17. Cost-Effectiveness of Blood Donation Screening for Trypanosoma cruzi in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-González, Gilberto; Figueroa-Lara, Alejandro; Elizondo-Cano, Miguel; Wilson, Leslie; Novelo-Garza, Barbara; Valiente-Banuet, Leopoldo; Ramsey, Janine M

    2016-03-01

    An estimated 2 million inhabitants are infected with Chagas disease in Mexico, with highest prevalence coinciding with highest demographic density in the southern half of the country. After vector-borne transmission, Trypanosoma cruzi is principally transmitted to humans via blood transfusion. Despite initiation of serological screening of blood donations or donors for T. cruzi since 1990 in most Latin American countries, Mexico only finally included mandatory serological screening nationwide in official Norms in 2012. Most recent regulatory changes and segmented blood services in Mexico may affect compliance of mandatory screening guidelines. The objective of this study was to calculate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for total compliance of current guidelines from both Mexican primary healthcare and regular salaried worker health service institutions: the Secretary of Health and the Mexican Institute for Social Security. We developed a bi-modular model to analyze compliance using a decision tree for the most common screening algorithms for each health institution, and a Markov transition model for the natural history of illness and care. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio based on life-years gained is US$ 383 for the Secretary of Health, while the cost for an additional life-year gained is US$ 463 for the Social Security Institute. The results of the present study suggest that due to incomplete compliance of Mexico's national legislation during 2013 and 2014, the MoH has failed to confirm 15,162 T. cruzi infections, has not prevented 2,347 avoidable infections, and has lost 333,483 life-years. Although there is a vast difference in T. cruzi prevalence between Bolivia and Mexico, Bolivia established mandatory blood screening for T.cruzi in 1996 and until 2002 detected and discarded 11,489 T. cruzi -infected blood units and prevented 2,879 potential infections with their transfusion blood screening program. In the first two years of Mexico's mandated

  18. Cost-Effectiveness of Blood Donation Screening for Trypanosoma cruzi in Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Sánchez-González

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available An estimated 2 million inhabitants are infected with Chagas disease in Mexico, with highest prevalence coinciding with highest demographic density in the southern half of the country. After vector-borne transmission, Trypanosoma cruzi is principally transmitted to humans via blood transfusion. Despite initiation of serological screening of blood donations or donors for T. cruzi since 1990 in most Latin American countries, Mexico only finally included mandatory serological screening nationwide in official Norms in 2012. Most recent regulatory changes and segmented blood services in Mexico may affect compliance of mandatory screening guidelines. The objective of this study was to calculate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for total compliance of current guidelines from both Mexican primary healthcare and regular salaried worker health service institutions: the Secretary of Health and the Mexican Institute for Social Security. We developed a bi-modular model to analyze compliance using a decision tree for the most common screening algorithms for each health institution, and a Markov transition model for the natural history of illness and care. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio based on life-years gained is US$ 383 for the Secretary of Health, while the cost for an additional life-year gained is US$ 463 for the Social Security Institute. The results of the present study suggest that due to incomplete compliance of Mexico's national legislation during 2013 and 2014, the MoH has failed to confirm 15,162 T. cruzi infections, has not prevented 2,347 avoidable infections, and has lost 333,483 life-years. Although there is a vast difference in T. cruzi prevalence between Bolivia and Mexico, Bolivia established mandatory blood screening for T.cruzi in 1996 and until 2002 detected and discarded 11,489 T. cruzi -infected blood units and prevented 2,879 potential infections with their transfusion blood screening program. In the first two years

  19. Dual Inhibition of PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK Pathways Induces Synergistic Antitumor Effects in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Linda Wu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG is a devastating disease with an extremely poor prognosis. Recent studies have shown that platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR and its downstream effector pathway, PI3K/AKT/mTOR, are frequently amplified in DIPG, and potential therapies targeting this pathway have emerged. However, the addition of targeted single agents has not been found to improve clinical outcomes in DIPG, and targeting this pathway alone has produced insufficient clinical responses in multiple malignancies investigated, including lung, endometrial, and bladder cancers. Acquired resistance also seems inevitable. Activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway, which shares many nodes of cross talk with the PI3K/AKT pathway, has been implicated in the development of resistance. In the present study, perifosine, a PI3K/AKT pathway inhibitor, and trametinib, a MEK inhibitor, were combined, and their therapeutic efficacy on DIPG cells was assessed. Growth delay assays were performed with each drug individually or in combination. Here, we show that dual inhibition of PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK pathways synergistically reduced cell viability. We also reveal that trametinib induced AKT phosphorylation in DIPG cells that could not be effectively attenuated by the addition of perifosine, likely due to the activation of other compensatory mechanisms. The synergistic reduction in cell viability was through the pronounced induction of apoptosis, with some effect from cell cycle arrest. We conclude that the concurrent inhibition of the PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK pathways may be a potential therapeutic strategy for DIPG.

  20. Mechanical Stimulation and IGF-1 Enhance mRNA Translation Rate in Osteoblasts via Activation of the AKT-mTOR Pathway.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, A.D.; Gakes, T.; Hogervorst, J.M.; de Wit, G.M.J.; Klein-Nulend, J.; Jaspers, R.T.

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is anabolic for muscle by enhancing the rate of mRNA translation via activation of AKT and subsequent activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTOR), thereby increasing cellular protein production. IGF-1 is also anabolic for bone, but whether

  1. Mechanical stimulation and IGF-1 enhance mRNA translation rate in osteoblasts via activation of the AKT-mTOR pathway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, A.D.; Gakes, T.; Hogervorst, J.M.A.; de Wit, G.M.J.; Klein-Nulend, J.; Jaspers, R.T.

    2016-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is anabolic for muscle by enhancing the rate of mRNA translation via activation of AKT and subsequent activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTOR), thereby increasing cellular protein production. IGF-1 is also anabolic for bone, but whether

  2. Anti-apoptotic effect of heat shock protein 90 on hypoxia-mediated cardiomyocyte damage is mediated via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Peng, Yizhi; Wang, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Xiaohui; Yuan, Zhiqiang

    2009-09-01

    1. Hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis contributes significantly to cardiac dysfunction following trauma, shock and burn injury. There is evidence that heat shock protein (HSP) 90 is anti-apoptotic in cardiomyocytes subjected to a variety of apoptotic stimuli. Because HSP90 acts as an upstream regulator of the serine/threonine protein kinase Akt survival pathway during cellular stress, we hypothesized that HSP90 exerts a cardioprotective effect via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt pathway. 2. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were subjected to normoxia or hypoxia in the absence or presence of the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin (1 μg/mL). Cardiomyocyte apoptosis was assessed by release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-digoxigenin nick end-labelling (TUNEL) staining and caspase 3 activity. Expression of HSP90, Akt, Bad and cytochrome c release was determined by western blot analysis. 3. Following exposure of cells to hypoxia, HSP90 was markedly elevated in a time-dependent manner, reaching a peak at 6 h (eightfold increase). Geldanamycin significantly increased hypoxia-induced release of LDH by 114%, the percentage of apoptotic cardiomyocytes by 102% and caspase 3 activity by 78%. Pretreatment of cells with geldanamycin also suppressed phosphorylation of both Akt and its downstream target Bad, but promoted the mitochondrial release of cytochrome c. 4. In conclusion, HSP90 activity is enhanced in cardiomyocytes following hypoxic insult. The anti-apoptotic effect of HSP90 on cardiomyocytes subjected to hypoxia is mediated, at least in part, by the PI3-K/Akt pathway. Key words: apoptosis, cardiomyocyte, heart failure, heat shock protein 90, hypoxia, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signalling pathway, serine/threonine protein kinase Akt.

  3. Development of a Trypanosoma cruzi strain typing assay using MS2 peptide spectral libraries (Tc-STAMS2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Gilberto Santos; Kawahara, Rebeca; Rosa-Fernandes, Livia; Mule, Simon Ngao; Avila, Carla Cristi; Teixeira, Marta M G; Larsen, Martin R; Palmisano, Giuseppe

    2018-04-01

    Chagas disease also known as American trypanosomiasis is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Over the last 30 years, Chagas disease has expanded from a neglected parasitic infection of the rural population to an urbanized chronic disease, becoming a potentially emergent global health problem. T. cruzi strains were assigned to seven genetic groups (TcI-TcVI and TcBat), named discrete typing units (DTUs), which represent a set of isolates that differ in virulence, pathogenicity and immunological features. Indeed, diverse clinical manifestations (from asymptomatic to highly severe disease) have been attempted to be related to T.cruzi genetic variability. Due to that, several DTU typing methods have been introduced. Each method has its own advantages and drawbacks such as high complexity and analysis time and all of them are based on genetic signatures. Recently, a novel method discriminated bacterial strains using a peptide identification-free, genome sequence-independent shotgun proteomics workflow. Here, we aimed to develop a Trypanosoma cruzi Strain Typing Assay using MS/MS peptide spectral libraries, named Tc-STAMS2. The Tc-STAMS2 method uses shotgun proteomics combined with spectral library search to assign and discriminate T. cruzi strains independently on the genome knowledge. The method is based on the construction of a library of MS/MS peptide spectra built using genotyped T. cruzi reference strains. For identification, the MS/MS peptide spectra of unknown T. cruzi cells are identified using the spectral matching algorithm SpectraST. The Tc-STAMS2 method allowed correct identification of all DTUs with high confidence. The method was robust towards different sample preparations, length of chromatographic gradients and fragmentation techniques. Moreover, a pilot inter-laboratory study showed the applicability to different MS platforms. This is the first study that develops a MS-based platform for T. cruzi strain typing. Indeed, the Tc-STAMS2 method

  4. Genotype diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi in small rodents and Triatoma sanguisuga from a rural area in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Claudia P; Licon, Meredith H; Nation, Catherine S; Jameson, Samuel B; Wesson, Dawn M

    2015-02-24

    Chagas disease is an anthropozoonosis caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that represents a major public health problem in Latin America. Although the United States is defined as non-endemic for Chagas disease due to the rarity of human cases, the presence of T. cruzi has now been amply demonstrated as enzootic in different regions of the south of the country from Georgia to California. In southeastern Louisiana, a high T. cruzi infection rate has been demonstrated in Triatoma sanguisuga, the local vector in this area. However, little is known about the role of small mammals in the wild and peridomestic transmission cycles. This study focused on the molecular identification and genotyping of T. cruzi in both small rodents and T. sanguisuga from a rural area of New Orleans, Louisiana. DNA extractions were prepared from rodent heart, liver, spleen and skeletal muscle tissues and from cultures established from vector feces. T. cruzi infection was determined by standard PCR using primers specific for the minicircle variable region of the kinetoplastid DNA (kDNA) and the highly repetitive genomic satellite DNA (satDNA). Genotyping of discrete typing units (DTUs) was performed by amplification of mini-exon and 18S and 24Sα rRNA genes and subsequent sequence analysis. The DTUs TcI, TcIV and, for the first time, TcII, were identified in tissues of mice and rats naturally infected with T. cruzi captured in an area of New Orleans, close to the house where the first human case of Chagas disease was reported in Louisiana. The T. cruzi infection rate in 59 captured rodents was 76%. The frequencies of the detected DTUs in such mammals were TcI 82%, TcII 22% and TcIV 9%; 13% of all infections contained more than one DTU. Our results indicate a probable presence of a considerably greater diversity in T. cruzi DTUs circulating in the southeastern United States than previously reported. Understanding T. cruzi transmission dynamics in sylvatic and peridomestic cycles

  5. A novel signaling pathway associated with Lyn, PI 3-kinase and Akt supports the proliferation of myeloma cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iqbal, Mohd S. [Department of Bio-Signal Analysis, Applied Medical Engineering Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505 (Japan); Enteric and Food Microbiology Laboratory, Laboratory Sciences Division, International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, P.O. Box 128, Dhaka 1000 (Bangladesh); Tsuyama, Naohiro [Department of Analytical Molecular Medicine and Devices, Division of Frontier Medical Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Hiroshima 734-8553 (Japan); Obata, Masanori [Department of Bio-Signal Analysis, Applied Medical Engineering Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505 (Japan); Ishikawa, Hideaki, E-mail: hishika@yamaguchi-u.ac.jp [Department of Bio-Signal Analysis, Applied Medical Engineering Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505 (Japan)

    2010-02-12

    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a growth factor for human myeloma cells. We have recently found that in myeloma cells the activation of both signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 is not sufficient for the IL-6-induced proliferation, which further requires the activation of the src family kinases, such as Lyn. Here we showed that the Lyn-overexpressed myeloma cell lines had the higher proliferative rate with IL-6 and the enhanced activation of the phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase and Akt. The IL-6-induced phosphorylation of STAT3 and ERK1/2 was not up-regulated in the Lyn-overexpressed cells, indicating that the Lyn-PI 3-kinase-Akt pathway is independent of these pathways. The PI 3-kinase was co-precipitated with Lyn in the Lyn-overexpressed cells of which proliferation with IL-6 was abrogated by the specific inhibitors for PI 3-kinase or Akt, suggesting that the activation of the PI 3-kinase-Akt pathway associated with Lyn is indeed related to the concomitant augmentation of myeloma cell growth. Furthermore, the decreased expression of p53 and p21{sup Cip1} proteins was observed in the Lyn-overexpressed cells, implicating a possible downstream target of Akt. This study identifies a novel IL-6-mediated signaling pathway that certainly plays a role in the proliferation of myeloma cells and this novel mechanism of MM tumor cell growth associated with Lyn would eventually contribute to the development of MM treatment.

  6. Somatic mutations in PIK3CA and activation of AKT in intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasms of the pancreas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Kuboki, Yuko; Hatori, Takashi; Yamamoto, Masakazu; Shiratori, Keiko; Kawamura, Shunji; Kobayashi, Makio; Shimizu, Michio; Ban, Shinichi; Koyama, Isamu; Higashi, Morihiro; Shin, Nobuhiro; Ishida, Kazuyuki; Morikawa, Takanori; Motoi, Fuyuhiko; Unno, Michiaki; Kanno, Atsushi; Satoh, Kennichi; Shimosegawa, Tooru; Orikasa, Hideki; Watanabe, Tomoo; Nishimura, Kazuhiko; Harada, Youji; Furukawa, Toru

    2011-12-01

    Intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasm (ITPN) is a recently recognized rare variant of intraductal neoplasms of the pancreas. Molecular aberrations underlying the neoplasm remain unknown. We investigated somatic mutations in PIK3CA, PTEN, AKT1, KRAS, and BRAF. We also investigated aberrant expressions of phosphorylated AKT, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), tumor protein 53 (TP53), SMAD4, and CTNNB1 in 11 cases of ITPNs and compared these data with those of 50 cases of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), another distinct variant of pancreatic intraductal neoplasms. Mutations in PIK3CA were found in 3 of 11 ITPNs but not in IPMNs (P = 0.005; Fisher exact test). In contrast, mutations in KRAS were found in none of the ITPNs but were found in 26 of the 50 IPMNs (P = 0.001; Fisher exact test). PIK3CA mutations were associated with strong expression of phosphorylated AKT (P AKT was apparent in most ITPNs but only in a few IPMNs (P SMAD4, and CTNNB1 were not statistically different between these neoplasms. Mutations in PIK3CA and the expression of phosphorylated AKT were not associated with age, sex, tissue invasion, and patients' prognosis in ITPNs. These results indicate that activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway may play a crucial role in ITPNs but not in IPMNs. In contrast, the mutation in KRAS seems to play a major role in IPMNs but not in ITPNs. The activated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway may be a potential target for molecular diagnosis and therapy of ITPNs.

  7. Hydrogels preserve native phenotypes of valvular fibroblasts through an elasticity-regulated PI3K/AKT pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Huan; Tibbitt, Mark W; Langer, Stephen J; Leinwand, Leslie A; Anseth, Kristi S

    2013-11-26

    Matrix elasticity regulates proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation of many cell types across various tissues. In particular, stiffened matrix in fibrotic lesions has been shown to promote pathogenic myofibroblast activation. To better understand the underlying pathways by which fibroblasts mechano-sense matrix elasticity, we cultured primary valvular interstitial cells (VICs) isolated from porcine aortic valves on poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogels with physiologically relevant and tunable elasticities. We show that soft hydrogels preserve the quiescent fibroblast phenotype of VICs much better than stiff plastic plates. We demonstrate that the PI3K/AKT pathway is significantly up-regulated when VICs are cultured on stiff gels or tissue culture polystyrene compared with freshly isolated VICs. In contrast, myofibroblasts de-activate and pAKT/AKT decreases as early as 2 h after reducing the substrate modulus. When PI3K or AKT is inhibited on stiff substrates, myofibroblast activation is blocked. When constitutively active PI3K is overexpressed, the myofibroblast phenotype is promoted even on soft substrates. These data suggest that valvular fibroblasts are sensing the changes in matrix elasticity through the PI3K/AKT pathway. This mechanism may be used by other mechano-sensitive cells in response to substrate modulus, and this pathway may be a worthwhile target for treating matrix stiffness-associated diseases. Furthermore, hydrogels can be designed to recapitulate important mechanical cues in native tissues to preserve aspects of the native phenotype of primary cells for understanding basic cellular responses to biophysical and biochemical signals, and for tissue-engineering applications.

  8. Mining SNPs in extracellular vesicular transcriptome of Trypanosoma cruzi: a step closer to early diagnosis of neglected Chagas disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaur, Pallavi; Chaturvedi, Anoop

    2016-01-01

    One of the newest and strongest members of intercellular communicators, the Extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their enclosed RNAs; Extracellular RNAs (exRNAs) have been acknowledged as putative biomarkers and therapeutic targets for various diseases. Although a very deep insight has not been possible into the physiology of these vesicles, they are believed to be involved in cell-to-cell communication and host-pathogen interactions. EVs might be significantly helpful in discovering biomarkers for possible target identification as well as prognostics, diagnostics and developing vaccines. In recent studies, highly bioactive EVs have drawn attention of parasitologists for being able to communicate between different cells and having likeliness of reflecting both source and target environments. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has eased the way to have a deeper insight into these vesicles and their roles in various diseases. This article arises from bioinformatics-based analysis and predictive data mining of transcriptomic (RNA-Seq) data of EVs, derived from different life stages of Trypanosoma cruzi ; a causing agent of neglected Chagas disease. Variants (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)) were mined from Extracellular vesicular transcriptomic data and functionally analyzed using different bioinformatics based approaches. Functional analysis showed the association of these variants with various important factors like Trans-Sialidase (TS), Alpha Tubulin, P-Type H+-ATPase, etc. which, in turn, are associated with disease in different ways. Some of the 'candidate SNPs' were found to be stage-specific, which strengthens the probability of finding stage-specific biomarkers. These results may lead to a better understanding of Chagas disease, and improved knowledge may provide further development of the biomarkers for prognosis, diagnosis and drug development for treating Chagas disease.

  9. Mining SNPs in extracellular vesicular transcriptome of Trypanosoma cruzi: a step closer to early diagnosis of neglected Chagas disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pallavi Gaur

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available One of the newest and strongest members of intercellular communicators, the Extracellular vesicles (EVs and their enclosed RNAs; Extracellular RNAs (exRNAs have been acknowledged as putative biomarkers and therapeutic targets for various diseases. Although a very deep insight has not been possible into the physiology of these vesicles, they are believed to be involved in cell-to-cell communication and host-pathogen interactions. EVs might be significantly helpful in discovering biomarkers for possible target identification as well as prognostics, diagnostics and developing vaccines. In recent studies, highly bioactive EVs have drawn attention of parasitologists for being able to communicate between different cells and having likeliness of reflecting both source and target environments. Next-generation sequencing (NGS has eased the way to have a deeper insight into these vesicles and their roles in various diseases. This article arises from bioinformatics-based analysis and predictive data mining of transcriptomic (RNA-Seq data of EVs, derived from different life stages of Trypanosoma cruzi; a causing agent of neglected Chagas disease. Variants (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs were mined from Extracellular vesicular transcriptomic data and functionally analyzed using different bioinformatics based approaches. Functional analysis showed the association of these variants with various important factors like Trans-Sialidase (TS, Alpha Tubulin, P-Type H+-ATPase, etc. which, in turn, are associated with disease in different ways. Some of the ‘candidate SNPs’ were found to be stage-specific, which strengthens the probability of finding stage-specific biomarkers. These results may lead to a better understanding of Chagas disease, and improved knowledge may provide further development of the biomarkers for prognosis, diagnosis and drug development for treating Chagas disease.

  10. A new bianthron glycoside as inhibitor of Trypanosoma cruzi glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macedo, Edangelo M.S. de; Silva, Maria G.V.; Wiggers, Helton J.; Montanari, Carlos A.; Braz-Filho, Raimundo; Andricopulo, Adriano D.

    2009-01-01

    A phytochemical investigation of the ethanolic extract of stalks of Senna martiana Benth. (Leguminoseae), native specie of northeast Brazil, resulted in the isolation and spectroscopic characterization of a new bianthrone glycoside, martianine 1 (10,10'-il-chrysophanol-10-oxi- 10,10'-bi-glucosyl). Its identification was established by HRMS, IR and 2D NMR experiments. The evaluation of martianine trypanocidal activity was carried out against gliceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme from Trypanosoma cruzi. Its inhibitory constant (K i ) is in the low micromolar concentration and it was determined by isothermal titration calorimetry to be 27.3 +-2.47 μmol L -1 . The non-competitive mechanism is asserted to be putative of the mode of action martianine displays against T. cruzi GAPDH. Results show that martianine has a great potential to become new lead molecule by inhibiting this key enzyme and for the development of new drugs against Chagas disease. (author)

  11. A Highly Sensitive Rapid Diagnostic Test for Chagas Disease That Utilizes a Recombinant Trypanosoma cruzi Antigen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barfield, C. A.; Barney, R. S.; Crudder, C. H.; Wilmoth, J. L.; Stevens, D. S.; Mora-Garcia, S.; Yanovsky, M. J.; Weigl, B. H.; Yanovsky, J.

    2011-01-01

    Improved diagnostic tests for Chagas disease are urgently needed. A new lateral flow rapid test for Chagas disease is under development at PATH, in collaboration with Laboratorio Lemos of Argentina, which utilizes a recombinant antigen for detection of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi. To evaluate the performance of this test, 375 earlier characterized serum specimens from a region where Chagas is endemic were tested using a reference test (the Ortho T. cruzi ELISA, Johnson & Johnson), a commercially available rapid test (Chagas STAT-PAK, Chembio), and the PATH–Lemos rapid test. Compared to the composite reference tests, the PATH–Lemos rapid test demonstrated an optimal sensitivity of 99.5% and specificity of 96.8%, while the Chagas STAT-PAK demonstrated a sensitivity of 95.3% and specificity of 99.5%. These results indicate that the PATH–Lemos rapid test shows promise as an improved and reliable tool for screening and diagnosis of Chagas disease. PMID:21342808

  12. Prevalencia de infeccion a Trypanosoma cruzi en donadores de sangre en el Estado de Jalisco, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Trujillo Contreras

    1993-06-01

    Full Text Available Durante el periodo de Octubre de 1991 a Marzo de 1992, se tomaron 3419 muestras de donadores de sangre de 12 localidades rurales y de 8 hospitales urbanos a los que se les realizo un estúdio serológico mediante la reacción de hemaglutinación indirecta encontrándose anticuerpos contra Trypanosoma cruzi en 44 indivíduos 39 masculinosy 5 femininos. El 90,9% de donantes fueron masculinos. De acuerdo a su procedencia, el 73,5% fué del área urbana y el 26,5% del área rural. De acuerdo a los resultados el riesgo de transmisión de T. cruzi por transfusión sanguinea está latente por la creciente urbanización de la enfermedad de Chagas.

  13. Genómica del Trypanosoma cruzi. Nuevas oportunidades para tratar el mal de Chagas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge A. Huete-Pérez

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available LA SECUENCIACIÓN DEL GENOMA HUMANO PUBLICADA EN FEBRERO de 2001 ha sido considerada como el hito científico más importante del siglo XX. La secuenciación, cuatro años más tarde, de tres parásitos tripanosmatidas, entre ellos el Trypanosoma cruzi, podría ser también catalogada como uno de los acontecimientos científicos más importantes para la salud publica del continente americano. Aquí se presenta un panorama general sobre los resultados más significativos del estudio geonómico del T. cruzi, se abordan los trabajos realizados por nuestro laboratorio en la Universidad Centroamericana, finalizando con una discusión sobre las perspectivas del uso de la genómica en Nicaragua.

  14. Nutritional Status Driving Infection by Trypanosoma cruzi: Lessons from Experimental Animals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme Malafaia

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the scientific knowledge about protein-energy and micronutrient malnutrition in the context of Chagas disease, especially in experimental models. The search of articles was conducted using the electronic databases of SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online, PubMed and MEDLINE published between 1960 and March 2010. It was possible to verify that nutritional deficiencies (protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient malnutrition exert a direct effect on the infection by T. cruzi. However, little is known about the immunological mechanisms involved in the relationship “nutritional deficiencies and infection by T. cruzi”. A hundred years after the discovery of Chagas disease many aspects of this illness still require clarification, including the effects of nutritional deficiencies on immune and pathological mechanisms of T. cruzi infection.

  15. The role of adaptations in two-strain competition for sylvatic Trypanosoma cruzi transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kribs-Zaleta, Christopher M; Mubayi, Anuj

    2012-01-01

    This study presents a continuous-time model for the sylvatic transmission dynamics of two strains of Trypanosoma cruzi enzootic in North America, in order to study the role that adaptations of each strain to distinct modes of transmission (classical stercorarian transmission on the one hand, and vertical and oral transmission on the other) may play in the competition between the two strains. A deterministic model incorporating contact process saturation predicts competitive exclusion, and reproductive numbers for the infection provide a framework for evaluating the competition in terms of adaptive trade-off between distinct transmission modes. Results highlight the importance of oral transmission in mediating the competition between horizontal (stercorarian) and vertical transmission; its presence as a competing contact process advantages vertical transmission even without adaptation to oral transmission, but such adaptation appears necessary to explain the persistence of (vertically-adapted) T. cruzi IV in raccoons and woodrats in the southeastern United States.

  16. Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in rural Ecuador and clustering of seropositivity within households.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Carla L; Ocaña-Mayorga, Sofía; Riner, Diana K; Costales, Jaime A; Lascano, Mauricio S; Arcos-Terán, Laura; Preisser, John S; Seed, J Richard; Grijalva, Mario J

    2009-12-01

    We performed a cross-sectional study of Trypanosoma cruzi seroprevalence in 14 communities in three provinces of Ecuador and estimated the magnitude of the association of seropositive individuals within households. A total of 3,286 subjects from 997 households were included. Seroprevalence was 5.7%, 1.0%, and 3.6% in subjects in the Manabí, Guayas, and Loja provinces, respectively. Seroprevalence increased with increasing age in Manabí and Guayas, whereas in Loja, the highest prevalence occurred in children Loja, the odds of seropositivity were more than two times greater for an individual living in a household with another seropositive person. Our results indicate that transmission of T. cruzi is ongoing in Ecuador, although intensity of transmission and mechanisms of interaction between humans and the insect vectors of disease vary between geographic regions.

  17. Trypanosoma cruzi in the anal glands of urban opossums: I- isolation and experimental infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Urdaneta-Morales

    1996-08-01

    Full Text Available Opossums (Didelphis marsupialis captured in intensely urbanized areas of the city of Caracas, Venezuela, were found infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. The developmental cycle of trypomastigote-epimastigote-metacyclic infective trypomastigote, usually occurring in the intestine of the triatomine vector, was taking place in the anal odoriferous glands of the opossums. Material from the glands, inoculated in young, healthy opossums and white mice by different routes, subcutaneously, intraperitoneally, orally, and into the eye, induced T. cruzi infections in all animals. Parasitemia, invasion of cardiac and skeletal muscle, and intracellular multiplication of amastigotes were observed. Inoculation of metacyclics from anal glands, cultured in LIT medium, gave equivalent results. All opossums survived; all mice died. Excreta of opossums may thus transmit Chagas' disease by contamination, even in urban areas where insect vectors are not present.

  18. Genome and transcriptome studies of the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma cruzi and Giardia intestinalis

    OpenAIRE

    Franzén, Oscar

    2012-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi and Giardia intestinalis are two human pathogens and protozoan parasites responsible for the diseases Chagas disease and giardiasis, respectively. Both diseases cause su ering and illness in several million individuals. The former disease occurs primarily in South America and Central America, and the latter disease occurs worldwide. Current therapeutics are toxic and lack e cacy, and potential vaccines are far from the market. Increased knowledge about the bio...

  19. Performance Assessment of a Trypanosoma cruzi Chimeric Antigen in Multiplex Liquid Microarray Assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Fred Luciano Neves; Celedon, Paola Alejandra Fiorani; Zanchin, Nilson Ivo Tonin; Leitolis, Amanda; Crestani, Sandra; Foti, Leonardo; de Souza, Wayner Vieira; Gomes, Yara de Miranda; Krieger, Marco Aurélio

    2017-10-01

    Diagnosing chronic Chagas disease (CD) requires antibody-antigen detection methods, which are traditionally based on enzymatic assay techniques whose performance depend on the type and quality of antigen used. Previously, 4 recombinant chimeric proteins from the Instituto de Biologia Molecular do Paraná (IBMP-8.1 to 8.4) comprising immuno-dominant regions of diverse Trypanosoma cruzi antigens showed excellent diagnostic performance in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Considering that next-generation platforms offer improved CD diagnostic accuracy with different T. cruzi -specific recombinant antigens, we assessed the performance of these chimeras in liquid microarrays (LMAs). The chimeric proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by chromatography. Sera from 653 chagasic and 680 healthy individuals were used to assess the performance of these chimeras in detecting specific anti- T. cruzi antibodies. Accuracies ranged from 98.1 to 99.3%, and diagnostic odds ratio values were 3,548 for IBMP-8.3, 4,826 for IBMP-8.1, 7,882 for IBMP-8.2, and 25,000 for IBMP-8.4. A separate sera bank (851 samples) was employed to assess cross-reactivity with other tropical diseases. Leishmania , a pathogen with high similarity to T. cruzi , showed cross-reactivity rates ranging from 0 to 2.17%. Inconclusive results were negligible (0 to 0.71%). Bland-Altman and Deming regression analysis based on 200 randomly selected CD-positive and negative samples demonstrated interchangeability with respect to CD diagnostic performance in both singleplex and multiplex assays. Our results suggested that these chimeras can potentially replace antigens currently used in commercially available assay kits. Moreover, the use of multiplex platforms, such as LMA assays employing 2 or more IBMP antigens, would abrogate the need for 2 different testing techniques when diagnosing CD. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  20. Effect of ionizing radiation exposure on Trypanosoma cruzi ubiquitin-proteasome system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerqueira, Paula G; Passos-Silva, Danielle G; Vieira-da-Rocha, João P; Mendes, Isabela Cecilia; de Oliveira, Karla A; Oliveira, Camila F B; Vilela, Liza F F; Nagem, Ronaldo A P; Cardoso, Joseane; Nardelli, Sheila C; Krieger, Marco A; Franco, Glória R; Macedo, Andrea M; Pena, Sérgio D J; Schenkman, Sérgio; Gomes, Dawidson A; Guerra-Sá, Renata; Machado, Carlos R

    2017-03-01

    In recent years, proteasome involvement in the damage response induced by ionizing radiation (IR) became evident. However, whether proteasome plays a direct or indirect role in IR-induced damage response still unclear. Trypanosoma cruzi is a human parasite capable of remarkable high tolerance to IR, suggesting a highly efficient damage response system. Here, we investigate the role of T. cruzi proteasome in the damage response induced by IR. We exposed epimastigotes to high doses of gamma ray and we analyzed the expression and subcellular localization of several components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. We show that proteasome inhibition increases IR-induced cell growth arrest and proteasome-mediated proteolysis is altered after parasite exposure. We observed nuclear accumulation of 19S and 20S proteasome subunits in response to IR treatments. Intriguingly, the dynamic of 19S particle nuclear accumulation was more similar to the dynamic observed for Rad51 nuclear translocation than the observed for 20S. In the other hand, 20S increase and nuclear translocation could be related with an increase of its regulator PA26 and high levels of proteasome-mediated proteolysis in vitro. The intersection between the opposed peaks of 19S and 20S protein levels was marked by nuclear accumulation of both 20S and 19S together with Ubiquitin, suggesting a role of ubiquitin-proteasome system in the nuclear protein turnover at the time. Our results revealed the importance of proteasome-mediated proteolysis in T. cruzi IR-induced damage response suggesting that proteasome is also involved in T. cruzi IR tolerance. Moreover, our data support the possible direct/signaling role of 19S in DNA damage repair. Based on these results, we speculate that spatial and temporal differences between the 19S particle and 20S proteasome controls proteasome multiple roles in IR damage response. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Distinct Trypanosoma cruzi isolates induce activation and apoptosis of human neutrophils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luísa M D Magalhães

    Full Text Available Neutrophils are critical players in the first line of defense against pathogens and in the activation of subsequent cellular responses. We aimed to determine the effects of the interaction of Trypanosoma cruzi with human neutrophils, using isolates of the two major discrete type units (DTUs associated with Chagas' disease in Latin America (clone Col1.7G2 and Y strain, DTU I and II, respectively. Thus, we used CFSE-stained trypomastigotes to measure neutrophil-T. cruzi interaction, neutrophil activation, cytokine expression and death, after infection with Col1.7G2 and Y strain. Our results show that the frequency of CFSE+ neutrophils, indicative of interaction, and CFSE intensity on a cell-per-cell basis were similar when comparing Col1.7G2 and Y strains. Interaction with T. cruzi increased neutrophil activation, as measured by CD282, CD284, TNF and IL-12 expression, although at different levels between the two strains. No change in IL-10 expression was observed after interaction of neutrophils with either strain. We observed that exposure to Y and Col1.7G2 caused marked neutrophil death. This was specific to neutrophils, since interaction of either strain with monocytes did not cause death. Our further analysis showed that neutrophil death was a result of apoptosis, which was associated with an upregulation of TNF-receptor, TNF and FasLigand, but not of Fas. Induction of TNF-associated neutrophil apoptosis by the different T. cruzi isolates may act as an effective common mechanism to decrease the host's immune response and favor parasite survival.

  2. La enfermedad del adyuvante en ratas infectadas experimentalmente con Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Revelli

    1986-06-01

    Full Text Available Se estudió la evolución de la artritis por adyuvante en ratas que habían sido infectadas previamente con Trypanosoma cruzi, con el objeto de evaluar su competencia inmunológica a través de la respuesta artrítica. La artritis por adyuvante se indujo en ratas adultas, endocriadas de ambos sexos, con 0.1 mi de adyuvante completo de Freund en la almohadilla plantar, en 2 lotes: a inyectadas 90 días antes con 1 x 10(6 T. cruzi y b testigos normales simultáneos. Se midieron, la lesión artrítica macroscópicamente con una escala semicuantitativa, y con microscopía óptica la histopatología de la lesión local y la del corazón, a los 180 días post-infecoión. La magnitud de las lesiones artríticas en las ratas con T. cruzi fue significativamente menor (p < 0.001 que la de los testigos, en todo el período. El infiltrado inflamatorio local, formado por linfocitos, plasmocitos y macrófagos fue significativamente menor (p < 0.001 en las ratas chagásicas, con respecto al de los testigos. Se postula que en las ratas que recibieron T. cruzi la respuesta artrítica menor podría deberse a una competición antigénica con los determinantes del parásito o a mecanismos inmunosupresores que interfieren en la producción de la entidad experimental.

  3. The Role of AKT in Androgen-Independent Progression of Human Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-02-01

    myristoylated rapamycin-binding reversibly protecting tissue from apoptosis due to ischemic domain from FRAP/mTOR, called M-FRB, binds to lipid per- injury or...V[0__AAFX, BAD, GSK30 * Apoptosis M-FRB,2 - oT308 [ T3 NFP8B, FRAP, Rat - Apoptosls M-Akt v ,$473 M-APH.Akt F3-Akt L L ___ F3-APH.Akt :,,• , Akt-F3...vector. Twenty-four hours after transfection, cells were divided into aliquots 0 that were stimulated with sub-optimal levels (5 ng/ml) Vector M-Akt

  4. Activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway mediates bone morphogenetic protein 2-induced invasion of pancreatic cancer cells Panc-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiong; Liao, Jie; Lu, YeBin; Duan, XiaoHui; Sun, WeiJia

    2011-06-01

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) signaling has an emerging role in pancreatic cancer. However, because of the multiple effects of different BMPs, no final conclusions have been made as to the role of BMPs in pancreatic cancer. In our studies, we have focused on bone morphogenetic protein 2(BMP-2) because it induces an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and accelerates invasion in the human pancreatic cancer cell line Panc-1. It has been reported that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway mediates invasion of gastric and colon cancer cells, which is unrevealed in pancreatic cancer cells. The objective of our study was to investigate whether BMP-2 mediated invasion might pass through the PI3K/Akt pathway. Our results show that expression of phosphorylation of Akt was increased by treatment with BMP-2, but not Noggin, a BMP-2 antagonist. Then pretreatment of Panc-1 cells with LY294002, an inhibitor of the PI3K/AKT pathway, significantly inhibited BMP-2-induced EMT and invasiveness. The data suggest that BMP-2 accelerates invasion of panc-1 cells via the PI3K/AKT pathway in panc-1 cells, which gives clues to searching new therapy targets in advanced pancreatic cancer.

  5. Experimental infection and transmission of Leishmania by Lutzomyia cruzi (Diptera: Psychodidae: Aspects of the ecology of parasite-vector interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Everton Falcão de Oliveira

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Several parameters should be addressed before incriminating a vector for Leishmania transmission. Those may include its ability to become infected by the same Leishmania species found in humans, the degree of attractiveness for reservoirs and humans and capacity to sustain parasite infection under laboratory conditions. This study evaluated the vectorial capacity of Lutzomyia cruzi for Leishmania infantum and gathered information on its ability to harbor L. amazonensis. Laboratory-reared Lu. cruzi were infected experimentally by feeding them on dogs infected naturally with L. infantum and hamsters infected with L. amazonensis. Sand fly attractiveness to dogs and humans was determined using wild caught insects. The expected daily survival of infected Lu. cruzi, the duration of the gonotrophic cycle, and the extrinsic incubation period were also investigated for both parasites. Vector competence was investigated for both Leishmania species. The mean proportion of female sand flies that fed on hosts was 0.40. For L. infantum and L. amazonensis, Lu. cruzi had experimental infection rates of 10.55% and 41.56%, respectively. The extrinsic incubation period was 3 days for both Leishmania species, regardless of the host. Survival expectancy of females infected with L. infantum and L. amazonensis after completing the gonotrophic cycle was 1.32 and 0.43, respectively. There was no association between L. infantum infection and sand fly longevity, but L. amazonensis-infected flies had significantly greater survival probabilities. Furthermore, egg-laying was significantly detrimental to survival. Lu. cruzi was found to be highly attracted to both dogs and humans. After a bloodmeal on experimentally infected hosts, both parasites were able to survive and develop late-stage infections in Lu. cruzi. However, transmission was demonstrated only for L. amazonensis-infected sand flies. In conclusion, Lu. cruzi fulfilled several of the requirements of vectorial

  6. Captopril increases the intensity of monocyte infection by Trypanosoma cruzi and induces human T helper type 17 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho dos Santos, J S; Menezes, C A S; Villani, F N A; Magalhães, L M D; Scharfstein, J; Gollob, K J; Dutra, W O

    2010-12-01

    The anti-hypertensive drug captopril is used commonly to reduce blood pressure of patients with severe forms of Chagas disease, a cardiomyopathy caused by chronic infection with the intracellular protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. Captopril acts by inhibiting angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), the vasopressor metallopeptidase that generates angiotensin II and promotes the degradation of bradykinin (BK). Recent studies in mice models of Chagas disease indicated that captopril can potentiate the T helper type 1 (Th1)-directing natural adjuvant property of BK. Equipped with kinin-releasing cysteine proteases, T. cruzi trypomastigotes were shown previously to invade non-professional phagocytic cells, such as human endothelial cells and murine cardiomyocytes, through the signalling of G protein-coupled bradykinin receptors (B(2) KR). Monocytes are also parasitized by T. cruzi and these cells are known to be important for the host immune response during infection. Here we showed that captopril increases the intensity of T. cruzi infection of human monocytes in vitro. The increased parasitism was accompanied by up-regulated expression of ACE in human monocytes. While T. cruzi infection increased the expression of interleukin (IL)-10 by monocytes significantly, compared to uninfected cells, T. cruzi infection in association with captopril down-modulated IL-10 expression by the monocytes. Surprisingly, studies with peripheral blood mononuclear cells revealed that addition of the ACE inhibitor in association with T. cruzi increased expression of IL-17 by CD4(+) T cells in a B(2) KR-dependent manner. Collectively, our results suggest that captopril might interfere with host-parasite equilibrium by enhancing infection of monocytes, decreasing the expression of the modulatory cytokine IL-10, while guiding development of the proinflammatory Th17 subset. © 2010 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Immunology © 2010 British Society for Immunology.

  7. Experimental infection and transmission of Leishmania by Lutzomyia cruzi (Diptera: Psychodidae): Aspects of the ecology of parasite-vector interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcão de Oliveira, Everton; Oshiro, Elisa Teruya; Fernandes, Wagner de Souza; Murat, Paula Guerra; Medeiros, Márcio José de; Souza, Alda Izabel; Oliveira, Alessandra Gutierrez de; Galati, Eunice Aparecida Bianchi

    2017-02-01

    Several parameters should be addressed before incriminating a vector for Leishmania transmission. Those may include its ability to become infected by the same Leishmania species found in humans, the degree of attractiveness for reservoirs and humans and capacity to sustain parasite infection under laboratory conditions. This study evaluated the vectorial capacity of Lutzomyia cruzi for Leishmania infantum and gathered information on its ability to harbor L. amazonensis. Laboratory-reared Lu. cruzi were infected experimentally by feeding them on dogs infected naturally with L. infantum and hamsters infected with L. amazonensis. Sand fly attractiveness to dogs and humans was determined using wild caught insects. The expected daily survival of infected Lu. cruzi, the duration of the gonotrophic cycle, and the extrinsic incubation period were also investigated for both parasites. Vector competence was investigated for both Leishmania species. The mean proportion of female sand flies that fed on hosts was 0.40. For L. infantum and L. amazonensis, Lu. cruzi had experimental infection rates of 10.55% and 41.56%, respectively. The extrinsic incubation period was 3 days for both Leishmania species, regardless of the host. Survival expectancy of females infected with L. infantum and L. amazonensis after completing the gonotrophic cycle was 1.32 and 0.43, respectively. There was no association between L. infantum infection and sand fly longevity, but L. amazonensis-infected flies had significantly greater survival probabilities. Furthermore, egg-laying was significantly detrimental to survival. Lu. cruzi was found to be highly attracted to both dogs and humans. After a bloodmeal on experimentally infected hosts, both parasites were able to survive and develop late-stage infections in Lu. cruzi. However, transmission was demonstrated only for L. amazonensis-infected sand flies. In conclusion, Lu. cruzi fulfilled several of the requirements of vectorial capacity for L. infantum

  8. Protein preparation, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of Trypanosoma cruzi nucleoside diphosphate kinase 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gómez Barroso, J. A.; Pereira, H.; Miranda, M.; Pereira, C.; Garratt, R. C.; Aguilar, C. F.

    2010-01-01

    T. cruzi TcNDPK1 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli as an N-terminally poly-His-tagged fusion protein and crystallized. The flagellated protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the aetiological agent of Chagas disease. Nucleoside diphosphate kinases (NDPKs) are enzymes that are involved in energy management and nucleoside balance in the cell. T. cruzi TcNDPK1, a canonical isoform, was overexpressed in Escherichia coli as an N-terminally poly-His-tagged fusion protein and crystallized. Crystals grew after 72 h in 0.2 M MgCl 2 , 20% PEG 3350. Data were collected to 3.5 Å resolution using synchrotron X-ray radiation at the National Synchrotron Light Laboratory (Campinas, Brazil). The crystals belonged to the trigonal space group P3, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 127.84, c = 275.49 Å. Structure determination is under way and will provide relevant information that may lead to the first step in rational drug design for the treatment of Chagas disease

  9. Natural Trypanosoma cruzi infection in dogs of endemic areas of the Argentine Republic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta A. Lauricella

    1989-04-01

    Full Text Available The population dynamics and the prevalence of chagasic infection of 352 dogs living in 108 rural houses infested by triatomines were studied. The region was divided into three sections according to increasing distances to an urban area. Each animal was identified by means of its particular characteristics and built, and its owners gave information about its habits. By means of xenodiagnosis, serology and ECG studies, prevalences of infection, parasitological-serological correlation, percentage of altered electrocardiographic outlines and percentage of houses with parasitemic dogs, were determined. The rural area showed a characteristic T. cruzi infection pattern and differences in the canine population parameters with respect to the other areas were observed: a higher proportion of puppies than adult dogs, a more sedentary population, higher prevalences of infection, as measured by xenodiagnosis, in dogs, and the highest proportion of bedroom insects infected with T. cruzi. It is assumed that the sedentary characteristics of the human population in that rural area impinge in the blood offer to the triatomine population, and the high percentage of parasitemic dogs of the area, contribute to the rise of "kissing ougs" infected with T. cruzi found in bedrooms.

  10. Studying nanotoxic effects of CdTe quantum dots in Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Stahl Vieira

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Semiconductor nanoparticles, such as quantum dots (QDs, were used to carry out experiments in vivo and ex vivo with Trypanosoma cruzi. However, questions have been raised regarding the nanotoxicity of QDs in living cells, microorganisms, tissues and whole animals. The objective of this paper was to conduct a QD nanotoxicity study on living T. cruzi protozoa using analytical methods. This was accomplished using in vitro experiments to test the interference of the QDs on parasite development, morphology and viability. Our results show that after 72 h, a 200 μM cadmium telluride (CdTe QD solution induced important morphological alterations in T. cruzi, such as DNA damage, plasma membrane blebbing and mitochondrial swelling. Flow cytometry assays showed no damage to the plasma membrane when incubated with 200 μM CdTe QDs for up to 72 h (propidium iodide cells, giving no evidence of classical necrosis. Parasites incubated with 2 μM CdTe QDs still proliferated after seven days. In summary, a low concentration of CdTe QDs (2 μM is optimal for bioimaging, whereas a high concentration (200 μM CdTe could be toxic to cells. Taken together, our data indicate that 2 μM QD can be used for the successful long-term study of the parasite-vector interaction in real time.

  11. Domestic Pig (Sus scrofa) as an Animal Model for Experimental Trypanosoma cruzi Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yauri, Verónica; Castro-Sesquen, Yagahira E.; Verastegui, Manuela; Angulo, Noelia; Recuenco, Fernando; Cabello, Ines; Malaga, Edith; Bern, Caryn; Gavidia, Cesar M.; Gilman, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    Pigs were infected with a Bolivian strain of Trypanosoma cruzi (genotype I) and evaluated up to 150 days postinoculation (dpi) to determine the use of pigs as an animal model of Chagas disease. Parasitemia was observed in the infected pigs during the acute phase (15–40 dpi). Anti-T.cruzi immunoglobulin M was detected during 15–75 dpi; high levels of anti-T.cruzi immunoglobulin G were detected in all infected pigs from 75 to 150 dpi. Parasitic DNA was observed by western blot (58%, 28/48) and polymerase chain reaction (27%, 13/48) in urine samples, and in the brain (75%, 3/4), spleen (50%, 2/4), and duodenum (25%, 1/4), but no parasitic DNA was found in the heart, colon, and kidney. Parasites were not observed microscopically in tissues samples, but mild inflammation, vasculitis, and congestion was observed in heart, brain, kidney, and spleen. This pig model was useful for the standardization of the urine test because of the higher volume that can be obtained as compared with other small animal models. However, further experiments are required to observe pathological changes characteristic of Chagas disease in humans. PMID:26928841

  12. Potential Role of Carvedilol in the Cardiac Immune Response Induced by Experimental Infection with Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Luciano Horta

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosoma cruzi causes a cardiac infection characterized by an inflammatory imbalance that could become the inciting factor of the illness. To this end, we evaluated the role of carvedilol, a beta-blocker with potential immunomodulatory properties, on the immune response in C57BL/6 mice infected with VL-10 strain of T. cruzi in the acute phase. Animals (n=40 were grouped: (i not infected, (ii infected, (iii infected + carvedilol, and (iv not infected + carvedilol. We analyzed parameters related to parasitemia, plasma levels of TNF, IL-10, and CCL2, and cardiac histopathology after the administration of carvedilol for 30 days. We did not observe differences in the maximum peaks of parasitemia in the day of their detection among the groups. The plasma TNF was elevated at 60 days of infection in mice treated or not with carvedilol. However, we observed a decreased CCL2 level and increased IL-10 levels in those infected animals treated with carvedilol, which impacted the reduction of the inflammatory infiltration in cardiac tissue. For this experimental model, carvedilol therapy was not able to alter the levels of circulating parasites but modulates the pattern of CCL2 and IL-10 mediators when the VL10 strain of T. cruzi was used in C57BL6 mice.

  13. Occurrence and Probability Maps of Lutzomyia longipalpis and Lutzomyia cruzi (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade-Filho, J D; Scholte, R G C; Amaral, A L G; Shimabukuro, P H F; Carvalho, O S; Caldeira, R L

    2017-09-01

    Leishmaniases are serious diseases caused by trypanosomatid protozoans of the genus Leishmania transmitted by the bite of phlebotomine sand flies. We analyzed records pertaining to Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva, 1912) and Lutzomyia cruzi (Mangabeira, 1938) in Brazil from the following sources: the collection of phlebotomine sand flies of the Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou/Fiocruz (FIOCRUZ-COLFLEB), the "SpeciesLink" (CRIA) database, from systematic surveys of scientific articles and gray literature (dissertations, theses, and communications), and disease data obtained from the Information System for Notifiable Diseases/Ministry of Health (SINAN/MS). Environmental data and ecological niche modeling (ESMS) using the approach of MaxEnt algorithm produced maps of occurrence probability for both Lu. longipalpis and Lu. cruzi. Lutzomyia longipalpis was found in 229 Brazilian municipalities and Lu. cruzi in 27. The species were sympatric in 16 municipalities of the Central-West region of Brazil. Our results show that Lu. longipalpis is widely distributed and associated with the high number of cases of visceral leishmaniasis reported in Brazil. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Trypanosoma cruzi benznidazole susceptibility in vitro does not predict the therapeutic outcome of human Chagas disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margoth Moreno

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Therapeutic failure of benznidazole (BZ is widely documented in Chagas disease and has been primarily associated with variations in the drug susceptibility of Trypanosoma cruzi strains. In humans, therapeutic success has been assessed by the negativation of anti-T. cruzi antibodies, a process that may take up to 10 years. A protocol for early screening of the drug resistance of infective strains would be valuable for orienting physicians towards alternative therapies, with a combination of existing drugs or new anti-T. cruzi agents. We developed a procedure that couples the isolation of parasites by haemoculture with quantification of BZ susceptibility in the resultant epimastigote forms. BZ activity was standardized with reference strains, which showed IC50 to BZ between 7.6-32 µM. The assay was then applied to isolates from seven chronic patients prior to administration of BZ therapy. The IC50 of the strains varied from 15.6 ± 3-51.4 ± 1 µM. Comparison of BZ susceptibility of the pre-treatment isolates of patients considered cured by several criteria and of non-cured patients indicates that the assay does not predict therapeutic outcome. A two-fold increase in BZ resistance in the post-treatment isolates of two patients was verified. Based on the profile of nine microsatellite loci, sub-population selection in non-cured patients was ruled out.

  15. Trypanosoma cruzi: effects of azadirachtin and ecdysone on the dynamic development in Rhodnius prolixus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortez, M R; Provençano, A; Silva, C E; Mello, C B; Zimmermann, L T; Schaub, G A; Garcia, E S; Azambuja, P; Gonzalez, M S

    2012-07-01

    The effects of azadirachtin and ecdysone on the Trypanosoma cruzi population in the Rhodnius prolixus gut were investigated. T. cruzi were rarely found in the gut compartments of azadirachtin-treated larvae. High parasite numbers were observed in the stomach of the control and ecdysone groups until 10 days after treatment and in the small intestine and rectum until 25 days after treatment. High percentages of round forms developed in the stomachs of all groups, whereas azadirachtin blocked the development of protozoan intermediate forms. This effect was counteracted by ecdysone therapy. In the small intestine and rectum, epimastigotes predominated for all groups, but more of their intermediates developed in the control and ecdysone groups. Azadirachtin supported the development of round forms and their intermediates into trypomastigotes. In the rectum, trypomastigotes did not develop in the azadirachtin group and developed much later after ecdysone therapy. The parallel between the effects of azadirachtin and ecdysone on the host and parasite development is discussed on the basis of the present results because ecdysone appears to act directly or indirectly in determining the synchronic development of T. cruzi forms from round to epimastigotes, but not metacyclic trypomastigotes, in the invertebrate vector. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Aldo-keto reductase and alcohol dehydrogenase contribute to benznidazole natural resistance in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Laura; García-Huertas, Paola; Triana-Chávez, Omar; García, Gabriela Andrea; Murta, Silvane Maria Fonseca; Mejía-Jaramillo, Ana M

    2017-12-01

    The improvement of Chagas disease treatment is focused not only on the development of new drugs but also in understanding mechanisms of action and resistance to drugs conventionally used. Thus, some strategies aim to detect specific changes in proteins between sensitive and resistant parasites and to evaluate the role played in these processes by functional genomics. In this work, we used a natural Trypanosoma cruzi population resistant to benznidazole, which has clones with different susceptibilities to this drug without alterations in the NTR I gene. Using 2DE-gel electrophoresis, the aldo-keto reductase and the alcohol dehydrogenase proteins were found up regulated in the natural resistant clone and therefore their possible role in the resistance to benznidazole and glyoxal was investigated. Both genes were overexpressed in a drug sensitive T. cruzi clone and the biological changes in response to these compounds were evaluated. The results showed that the overexpression of these proteins enhances resistance to benznidazole and glyoxal in T. cruzi. Moreover, a decrease in mitochondrial and cell membrane damage was observed, accompanied by a drop in the intracellular concentration of reactive oxygen species after treatment. Our results suggest that these proteins are involved in the mechanism of action of benznidazole. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. The active transport of histidine and its role in ATP production in Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barisón, M J; Damasceno, F S; Mantilla, B S; Silber, A M

    2016-08-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi, the aetiological agent of Chagas's disease, metabolizes glucose, and after its exhaustion, degrades amino acids as energy source. Here, we investigate histidine uptake and