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FEBS Lett. 2002 Aug 28;526(1-3):111-4.

Arginine metabolism in Trypanosoma cruzi is coupled to parasite stage and replication.

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Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, INGEBI, Vuelta de Obligado 2490, Argentina.


L-Arginine plays an essential role in the energetic metabolism of Trypanosoma cruzi. In this work we propose a relationship between L-arginine uptake, arginine kinase activity and the parasite replication ability. In epimastigote cultures L-arginine uptake decreases continuously accompanying a cell replication rate reduction. The use of conditioned or fresh medium mimics uptake variations. Interestingly, in non-replicative trypomastigote cells, L-arginine uptake was undetectable. The association between L-arginine uptake and cell replication was demonstrated using the antimitotic agent hydroxyurea. Arginine kinase, the enzyme responsible for phosphoarginine and ATP synthesis, also shows a differential activity in epimastigote and trypomastigote parasite stages.

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