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Chip-calorimetric investigations on the energy metabolism of Trypanosoma cruzi


This proposal concerns a joint research project of the groups of Prof. Anibal Vercesi (Department of Clinical Pathology) and the research group of Prof. Pedro L.O. Volpe (Institute of Chemistry, Unicamp) with the group of Prof. Johannes Lerchner (TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany) to develop new chip calorimetry based methods for the investigation of the energy metabolism of Trypanosoma cruzi parasites. The main focus of the project is the direct determination of anaerobic processes in the energy metabolism of T. cruzi by use of microcalorimetry. It is widely common to quantify the metabolic activity of living cells by measuring of their respiration rate. On the other hand, respirometry is not sensitive to anaerobic processes as glycolysis. The latter, however, is particularly significant in T. cruzi cells. Therefore, the ability of chip-calorimetry to determine heat production rates under anoxic conditions should be used in the frame of the project to analyze specific metabolic mechanisms in T. cruzi cells in combination with other methods as for example respirometry. The new calorimetric technique should be applied for the first time to investigate the Ca2+ regulation in mitochondria of T. cruzi by measuring Ca2+ uptake and accumulation processes. The dynamics of Ca2+ uptake requires a response time of the measuring techniques in the lower minute range which can be fulfilled by adaptation of segment-fusion technique to chip calorimetry. Furthermore, it could be shown in recent preparatory work for the proposed project that this new feature of a chip calorimeter is useful for the direct determination of anaerobic heat rates of mutant T. cruzi parasites that yields additional information when compared to respirometry. Therefore, it is proposed to adapt the segment-fusion technique to chip calorimetry, which will allow the monitoring of metabolic responses in the lower minute range. The expected success of the work will come from the combination of different areas of experience of the groups involved in the project. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
SARTORI, MARINA RINCON; LERCHNER, J.; CASTILHO, R. F.; VOLPE, P. O.; MERTENS, F.; VERCESI, A. E. Chip-calorimetric assessment of heat generation during Ca2+ uptake by digitonin-permeabilized Trypanosoma cruzi. JOURNAL OF THERMAL ANALYSIS AND CALORIMETRY, MAY 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
LERCHNER, J.; SARTORI, M. R.; VOLPE, P. O.; FORSTER, S.; MAZIK, M.; VERCESI, A. E.; MERTENS, F. Segment fusion chip calorimetry: a new method for the investigation of fast reactions. JOURNAL OF THERMAL ANALYSIS AND CALORIMETRY, FEB 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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