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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2013 Jan;12(1):172-9. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M112.019224. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Comparative proteomics of two life cycle stages of stable isotope-labeled Trypanosoma brucei reveals novel components of the parasite's host adaptation machinery.

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  • 1Department of Proteomics, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.


Trypanosoma brucei developed a sophisticated life cycle to adapt to different host environments. Although developmental differentiation of T. brucei has been the topic of intensive research for decades, the mechanisms responsible for adaptation to different host environments are not well understood. We developed stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture in trypanosomes to compare the proteomes of two different life cycle stages. Quantitative comparison of 4364 protein groups identified many proteins previously not known to be stage-specifically expressed. The identification of stage-specific proteins helps to understand how parasites adapt to different hosts and provides new insights into differences in metabolism, gene regulation, and cell architecture. A DEAD-box RNA helicase, which is highly up-regulated in the bloodstream form of this parasite and which is essential for viability and proper cell cycle progression in this stage is described as an example.

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