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Fraga A.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Moraes J.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Moraes J.,Brazilian National Institute of Technology | Da Silva J.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 12 more authors.
International Journal of Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

The physiological roles of polyphosphates (poly P) recently found in arthropod mitochondria remain obscure. Here, the possible involvement of poly P with reactive oxygen species generation in mitochondria of Rhipicephalus microplus embryos was investigated. Mitochondrial hexokinase and scavenger antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione reductase were assayed during embryogenesis of R. microplus. The influence of poly P3 and poly P15 were analyzed during the period of higher enzymatic activity during embryogenesis. Both poly Ps inhibited hexokinase activity by up to 90% and, interestingly, the mitochondrial membrane exopolyphosphatase activity was stimulated by the hexokinase reaction product, glucose-6-phosphate. Poly P increased hydrogen peroxide generation in mitochondria in a situation where mitochondrial hexokinase is also active. The superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione reductase activities were higher during embryo cellularization, at the end of embryogenesis and during embryo segmentation, respectively. All of the enzymes were stimulated by poly P3. However, superoxide dismutase was not affected by poly P15, catalase activity was stimulated only at high concentrations and glutathione reductase was the only enzyme that was stimulated in the same way by both poly Ps. Altogether, our results indicate that inorganic polyphosphate and mitochondrial membrane exopolyphosphatase regulation can be correlated with the generation of reactive oxygen species in the mitochondria of R. microplus embryos. © Ivyspring International Publisher. Source


Gomes H.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Romeiro N.C.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Braz G.R.C.,Brazilian National Institute of Technology | Braz G.R.C.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are a family of serine/threonine kinases essential for cell cycle progression. Herein, we describe the participation of CDKs in the physiology of Rhipicephalus microplus, the southern cattle tick and an important disease vector. Firstly, amino acid sequences homologous with CDKs of other organisms were identified from a R. microplus transcriptome database in silico. The analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences of CDK1 and CDK10 from R. microplus showed that both have caspase-3/7 cleavage motifs despite their differences in motif position and length of encoded proteins. CDK1 has two motifs (DKRGD and SAKDA) located opposite to the ATP binding site while CDK10 has only one motif (SLLDN) for caspase 3-7 near the ATP binding site. Roscovitine (Rosco), a purine derivative that inhibits CDK/cyclin complexes by binding to the catalytic domain of the CDK molecule at the ATP binding site, which prevents the transfer of ATP's γphosphoryl group to the substrate. To determine the effect of Rosco on tick CDKs, BME26 cells derived from R. microplus embryo cells were utilized in vitro inhibition assays. Cell viability decreased in the Rosco-treated groups after 24 hours of incubation in a concentration-dependent manner and this was observed up to 48 hours following incubation. To our knowledge, this is the first report on characterization of a cell cycle protein in arachnids, and the sensitivity of BME26 tick cell line to Rosco treatment suggests that CDKs are potential targets for novel drug design to control tick infestation. © 2013 Gomes et al. Source


Fabres A.,Laboratorio Of Quimica E Funcao Of Proteinas E Peptideos | De Andrade C.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Guizzo M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Sorgine M.H.F.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 4 more authors.
Parasitology | Year: 2010

Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is classically described as a key enzyme involved in glycogen metabolism in mammals. It has been shown to be highly conserved among several organisms, mainly in the catalytic domain region. This enzyme has already been described in Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus and the ovaries of females appeared to be the major site of GSK-3 transcription. The treatment with GSK-3 specific inhibitor (alsterpaullone, bromo-indirubin-oxime 6 and indirubin-3-oxime) caused a reduction in oviposition and egg hatching in completely engorged female ticks. The effect was more pronounced in partially engorged females when alsterpaullone was administrated by artificial capillary feeding. Moreover, GSK-3 gene silencing by RNAi in partially engorged females reduced significantly both oviposition and hatching. The study of tick embryogenesis and proteins that participate in this process has been suggested as an important means for the development of novel strategies for parasite control. GSK-3 is an essential protein involved in embryonic processes and for this reason it has already been suggested as a possible antigen candidate for tick control. Copyright © 2010 Cambridge University Press. Source


Campos E.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Campos E.,Brazilian National Institute of Technology | Facanha A.R.,Brazilian National Institute of Technology | Facanha A.R.,Laboratorio Of Quimica E Funcao Of Proteinas E Peptideos | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2011

The physiological roles of polyphosphates (polyP) recently found in arthropod mitochondria remain obscure. Here, the relationship between the mitochondrial membrane exopolyphosphatase (PPX) and the energy metabolism of hard tick Rhipicephalus microplus embryos are investigated. Mitochondrial respiration was activated by adenosine diphosphate using polyP as the only source of inorganic phosphate (Pi) and this activation was much greater using polyP3 than polyP15. After mitochondrial subfractionation, most of the PPX activity was recovered in the membrane fraction and its kinetic analysis revealed that the affinity for polyP3 was 10 times stronger than that for polyP15. Membrane PPX activity was also increased in the presence of the respiratory substrate pyruvic acid and after addition of the protonophore carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone. Furthermore, these stimulatory effects disappeared upon addition of the cytochrome oxidase inhibitor potassium cyanide and the activity was completely inhibited by 20 μg/mL heparin. The activity was either increased or decreased by 50% upon addition of dithiothreitol or hydrogen peroxide, respectively, suggesting redox regulation. These results indicate a PPX activity that is regulated during mitochondrial respiration and that plays a role in adenosine-5'-triphosphate synthesis in hard tick embryos. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source


Moraes J.,Laboratorio Of Quimica E Funcao Of Proteinas E Peptideos | Moraes J.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Arreola R.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Cabrera N.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | And 9 more authors.
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

Triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) is an enzyme with a role in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis by catalyzing the interconversion between glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate. This enzyme has been used as a target in endoparasite drug development. In this work we cloned, expressed, purified and studied kinetic and structural characteristics of TIM from tick embryos, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (BmTIM). The Km and Vmax of the recombinant BmTIM with glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate as substrate, were 0.47mM and 6031μmolmin-1mgprotein-1, respectively. The resolution of the diffracted crystal was estimated to be 2.4Å and the overall data showed that BmTIM is similar to other reported dimeric TIMs. However, we found that, in comparison to other TIMs, BmTIM has the highest content of cysteine residues (nine cysteine residues per monomer). Only two cysteines could make disulfide bonds in monomers of BmTIM. Furthermore, BmTIM was highly sensitive to the action of the thiol reagents dithionitrobenzoic acid and methyl methane thiosulfonate, suggesting that there are five cysteines exposed in each dimer and that these residues could be employed in the development of species-specific inhibitors. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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