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Mittra B.,University of Maryland University College | Laranjeira-Silva M.F.,University of Maryland University College | Perrone Bezerra de Menezes J.,University of Maryland University College | Perrone Bezerra de Menezes J.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2016

Iron, an essential co-factor of respiratory chain proteins, is critical for mitochondrial function and maintenance of its redox balance. We previously reported a role for iron uptake in differentiation of Leishmania amazonensis into virulent amastigotes, by a mechanism that involves reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and is independent of the classical pH and temperature cues. Iron import into mitochondria was proposed to be essential for this process, but evidence supporting this hypothesis was lacking because the Leishmania mitochondrial iron transporter was unknown. Here we describe MIT1, a homolog of the mitochondrial iron importer genes mrs3 (yeast) and mitoferrin-1 (human) that is highly conserved among trypanosomatids. MIT1 expression was essential for the survival of Trypanosoma brucei procyclic but not bloodstream forms, which lack functional respiratory complexes. L. amazonensis LMIT1 null mutants could not be generated, suggesting that this mitochondrial iron importer is essential for promastigote viability. Promastigotes lacking one LMIT1 allele (LMIT1/Δlmit1) showed growth defects and were more susceptible to ROS toxicity, consistent with the role of iron as the essential co-factor of trypanosomatid mitochondrial superoxide dismutases. LMIT1/Δlmit1 metacyclic promastigotes were unable to replicate as intracellular amastigotes after infecting macrophages or cause cutaneous lesions in mice. When induced to differentiate axenically into amastigotes, LMIT1/Δlmit1 showed strong defects in iron content and function of mitochondria, were unable to upregulate the ROS-regulatory enzyme FeSOD, and showed mitochondrial changes suggestive of redox imbalance. Our results demonstrate the importance of mitochondrial iron uptake in trypanosomatid parasites, and highlight the role of LMIT1 in the iron-regulated process that orchestrates differentiation of L. amazonensis into infective amastigotes. © 2016 Mittra et al. Source

Frank B.,University of Wurzburg | Marcu A.,University of Wurzburg | De Oliveira Almeida Petersen A.L.,University of Glasgow | De Oliveira Almeida Petersen A.L.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | And 5 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Autophagy participates in innate immunity by eliminating intracellular pathogens. Consequently, numerous microorganisms have developed strategies to impair the autophagic machinery in phagocytes. In the current study, interactions between Leishmania major (L. m.) and the autophagic machinery of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) were analyzed. Methods: BMDM were generated from BALB/c mice, and the cells were infected with L. m. promastigotes. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron tomography were used to investigate the ultrastructure of BMDM and the intracellular parasites. Affymetrix® chip analyses were conducted to identify autophagy-related messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs). The protein expression levels of autophagy related 5 (ATG5), BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), cathepsin E (CTSE), mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR), microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3B), and ubiquitin (UB) were investigated through western blot analyses. BMDM were transfected with specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against autophagy-related genes and with mimics or inhibitors of autophagy-associated miRNAs. The infection rates of BMDM were determined by light microscopy after a parasite-specific staining. Results: The experiments demonstrated autophagy induction in BMDM after in vitro infection with L. m. The results suggested a putative MTOR phosphorylation-dependent counteracting mechanism in the early infection phase and indicated that intracellular amastigotes were cleared by autophagy in BMDM in the late infection phase. Transcriptomic analyses and specific downregulation of protein expression with siRNAs suggested there is an association between the infection-specific over expression of BNIP3, as well as CTSE, and the autophagic activity of BMDM. Transfection with mimics of mmu-miR-101c and mmu-miR-129-5p, as well as with an inhibitor of mmu-miR-210-5p, demonstrated direct effects of the respective miRNAs on parasite clearance in L. m.-infected BMDM. Furthermore, Affymetrix® chip analyses revealed a complex autophagy-related RNA network consisting of differentially expressed mRNAs and miRNAs in BMDM, which indicates high glycolytic and inflammatory activity in the host macrophages. Conclusions: Autophagy in L. m.-infected host macrophages is a highly regulated cellular process at both the RNA level and the protein level. Autophagy has the potential to clear parasites from the host. The results obtained from experiments with murine host macrophages could be translated in the future to develop innovative and therapeutic antileishmanial strategies for human patients. © 2015 Frank et al. Source

Lima J.G.B.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | de Freitas Vinhas C.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | Gomes I.N.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | Azevedo C.M.,Laboratorio Of Engineering Tecidual E Imunofarmacologia | And 3 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2011

Recent studies have demonstrated that communication takes place between the autophagic and phagocytic pathways, indicating that the convergence of these two pathways plays an important role in the innate immune response against intracellular microbes. The present study investigated the effect of autophagic induction on the phagocytic capacity of murine macrophages. Autophagy induced by physiological and pharmacological means was shown to reduce the phagocytic capacity of murine macrophages, regardless of cell origin or the nature of the phagocytosed particles themselves. This autophagic inhibitory effect on phagocytosis was shown to be an early and reversible event that results in no loss of cell viability. Furthermore, the data presented herein demonstrate that the induction of autophagy does not affect a macrophage's capacity to recognize and bind to particles, indicating that autophagy does not inhibit the particle recognition process, even though particle internalization is suppressed. The findings herein support the notion that phagocytosis and autophagy may be interdependent and complementary processes. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source

Petersen A.L.O.A.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | Petersen A.L.O.A.,Federal University of Bahia | Guedes C.E.S.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | Versoza C.L.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Leishmaniasis is a neglected endemic disease with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations. Pentavalent antimonials have been the treatment of choice for the past 70 years and, due to the emergence of resistant cases, the efficacy of these drugs has come under scrutiny. Second-line drugs are less efficacious, cause a range of side effects and can be costly. The formulation of new generations of drugs, especially in developing countries, has become mandatory. Methodology/Principal Findings: We investigated the anti-leishmanial effect of 17-(allylamino)-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), an HSP90 inhibitor, in vitro. This inhibitor is currently in clinical trials for cancer treatment; however, its effects against intracellular Leishmania remain untested. Macrophages infected with L. amazonensis were treated with 17-AAG (25-500 nM) and parasite load was quantified using optical microscopy. Parasite load declined in 17-AAG-treated macrophages in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Intracellular parasite death became irreversible after 4 h of treatment with 17-AAG, and occurred independent of nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide (O2 -) production. Additionally, intracellular parasite viability was severely reduced after 48 h of treatment. Interestingly, treatment with 17-AAG reduced pro-inflammatory mediator production, including TNF-α, IL-6 and MCP-1, yet IL-12 remained unaffected. Electron microscopy revealed morphological alterations, such as double-membrane vacuoles and myelin figures at 24 and 48 h after 17-AAG treatment. Conclusions/Significance: The HSP90 inhibitor, 17-AAG, possesses high potency under low dosage and reduces both pro-inflammatory and oxidative molecule production. Therefore, further studies are warranted to investigate this inhibitor's potential in the development of new generations of anti-leishmanials. © 2012 Petersen et al. Source

De Menezes J.P.B.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | Guedes C.E.S.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | De Oliveira Almeida Petersen A.L.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | Fraga D.B.M.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao | Veras P.S.T.,Laboratorio Of Patologia E Biointervencao
BioMed Research International | Year: 2015

Leishmaniasis is a neglected infectious disease caused by several different species of protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. Current strategies to control this disease are mainly based on chemotherapy. Despite being available for the last 70 years, leishmanial chemotherapy has lack of efficiency, since its route of administration is difficult and it can cause serious side effects, which results in the emergence of resistant cases. The medical-scientific community is facing difficulties to overcome these problems with new suitable and efficient drugs, as well as the identification of new drug targets. The availability of the complete genome sequence of Leishmania has given the scientific community the possibility of large-scale analysis, which may lead to better understanding of parasite biology and consequent identification of novel drug targets. In this review we focus on how high-throughput analysis is helping us and other groups to identify novel targets for chemotherapeutic interventions. We further discuss recent data produced by our group regarding the use of the high-throughput techniques and how this helped us to identify and assess the potential of new identified targets. © 2015 Juliana Perrone Bezerra de Menezes et al. Source

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