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Visit of Dr. Igor de Almeida to the laboratory of immunochemistry and glycobiology in order to consolidate research on TLR activation by pathogens lectins

Grant number: 12/21247-1
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: March 31, 2013 - April 06, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Immunochemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Roque Antunes Barreira
Grantee:Maria Cristina Roque Antunes Barreira
Visiting researcher: Igor Correira de Almeida
Visiting researcher institution: University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), United States
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


A novel line of investigation developed by our group concerns the property of pathogens lectins of inducing TLRs activation by establishing interactions with N-linked glycans of the receptors molecule. This research is focused on the lectins TgMIC-1 and TgMIC-4 from Toxoplasma gondii and paracoccin of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. They recognize syalic acid, beta-galactose and GlcNAc, respectively. The lectin binding to oligosaccharides containing those sugar residues in strategically terminal positions triggers activation of different TLRs and induces inflammatory cytokines releasing. It explains the observation that lectin administration in vivo induces Th1 immunity and confers resistant to infections caused by the mentioned pathogens. Interestingly, resistance induced by each lectin was reverted in TLR KO mice. The study is being detailed by determining (1) the role played by co-receptors in the activation induced by each pathogen lectin, in collaboration with Dr. Igor de Almeida from University of Texas, El Paso, USA, and (2) the N-glycan(s) targeted by each studied lectin, in collaboration with Dr. Nicholas Gay, from the University of Cambridge, UK. We intend to create the opportunity of defining the direction of our further steps of the investigation and to involve the students in the research planning, since it will certainly include periods of students training in the collaborators' laboratories. (AU)

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