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Cupello M.P.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Souza C.F.D.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Buchensky C.,National University of Rosario | Soares J.B.R.C.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 5 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2011

Heme (iron protoporphyrin IX) is an important molecule involved in many biological reactions, including oxygen transport, respiration, photosynthesis and drug detoxification. Trypanosoma cruzi parasites, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease, take up heme from the environment to supply their nutritional needs because they do not synthesize this cofactor. However, the mechanisms involved in heme transport across biological membranes are poorly understood. Indeed, in T. cruzi, no heme transporter has yet been characterized. In the present work, we evaluate the heme uptake processes by T. cruzi epimastigotes using fluorescent heme-analogues. Heme uptake decreased significantly when cells were pretreated with different concentrations of SnPPIX, PdMPIX or ZnMPIX, this observed competition suggests that they are taken up by the same transport system. We studied the growth behavior of epimastigotes using the same heme-analogues and the treatments with SnPPIX or PdMPIX impaired cell growth but when heme was added to the culture medium the observed inhibition was partially reversed. In addition, we tested how the heme uptake processes are affected by the presence of different transporter inhibitors. When the cells were treated with inhibitors and then incubated with heme, heme uptake decreased significantly for all treatments. These results constitute a strong indication for the existence of a protein associated with porphyrin transport in T. cruzi, possibly ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC-transporter). © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Cupello M.P.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Souza C.F.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Menna-Barreto R.F.,Laboratorio Of Biologia Celular | Nogueira N.P.A.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | And 6 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2014

Trypanosoma cruzi, the causal agent of Chagas disease, has a complex life cycle and depends on hosts for its nutritional needs. Our group has investigated heme (Fe-protoporphyrin IX) internalization and the effects on parasite growth, following the fate of this porphyrin in the parasite. Here, we show that epimastigotes cultivated with heme yielded the compounds α-meso- hydroxyheme, verdoheme and biliverdin (as determined by HPLC), suggesting an active heme degradation pathway in this parasite. Furthermore, through immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting assays of epimastigote extracts, we observed recognition by an antibody against mammalian HO-1. We also detected the localization of the HO-1-like protein in the parasite using immunocytochemistry, with antibody staining primarily in the cytoplasm. Although HO has not been described in the parasite's genome, our results offer new insights into heme metabolism in T. cruzi, revealing potential future therapeutic targets. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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