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Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2020 Jan 20;1866(5):165692. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2020.165692. [Epub ahead of print]

Parasite-host glycan interactions during Trypanosoma cruzi infection: trans-Sialidase rides the show.

Author information

1
Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martín and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address: oscar@unsam.edu.ar.
2
Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martín and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract

Many important pathogen-host interactions rely on highly specific carbohydrate binding events. In the case of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, glycointeractions involving sialic acid (SA) residues are pivotal for parasite infectivity, escape from immune surveillance and pathogenesis. Though unable to synthesize SA de novo, T. cruzi displays a unique trans-Sialidase (TS) enzyme, which is able to cleave terminal SA residues from host donor glycoconjugates and transfer them onto parasite surface mucins, thus generating protective/adhesive structures. In addition, this parasite sheds TS into the bloodstream, as a way of modifying the surface SA signature, and thereby the signaling/functional properties of mammalian host target cells on its own advantage. Here, we discuss the pathogenic aspects of T. cruzi TS: its molecular adaptations, the multiplicity of interactions in which it is involved during infections, and the array of novel and appealing targets for intervention in Chagas disease provided by TS-remodeled sialoglycophenotypes.

KEYWORDS:

Chagas disease; Glycobiology of infection; Pathogenesis; Sialic acids; Trypanosoma cruzi; trans-Sialidase

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Competing Interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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