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J Mass Spectrom. 2007 Nov;42(11):1422-32.

Proteomic analysis of metacyclic trypomastigotes undergoing Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclogenesis.

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Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Uruguay.


Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of the Chagas disease, has a complex life cycle alternating between replicative and noninfective forms with nonreplicative and infective forms of the parasite. Metacyclogenesis is a process that takes place in the invertebrate host, comprising morphogenetic transformation from a noninfective form to an infective form, such that parasites acquire the ability to invade human cells. We analyze here the metacyclogenesis process by 2D electrophoresis coupled to MALDI-TOF MS. A large proportion of unique proteins expressed during metacyclogenesis were observed. Interestingly, 50% of the spots were found to differ between epimastigotes and trypomastigotes. We provide a 2D map of the infective metacyclic trypomastigotes. Sixty six protein spots were successfully identified corresponding to 43 different proteins. We analyzed the expression profiles for the identified proteins along metacyclogenesis and classified them into three groups according to their maximal level of expression. We detected several isoforms for a number of proteins, some displaying differential expression during metacyclogenesis. These results suggest that posttranslational modifications may be a fundamental part of the parasite's strategy for regulating gene expression during differentiation. This study contributes to the identification of relevant proteins involved in the metacyclogenesis process. The identification and molecular characterization of these proteins will render vital information about the steps of the parasite differentiation into the infective form.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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