Leishmaniasis is a neglected tropical disease that presents different clinical forms and affects de poorest populations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, especially Brazil. It is caused by a protozoan parasite belonging to the genus Leishmania, which is transmitted by the bite of a sandfly. Finding therapeutic targets for the development of new drugs is indispensable, once the anti-parasite therapies available have low efficacy, high toxicity and high cost and can induce parasite resistance. Telomerase is the enzyme responsible to replicate telomeres, the physical ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, which are key to maintain parasite's life cycle and reproduction within the hosts. TERT is the protein component of telomerase which presents at its amino-terminal portion TEN and TRBD domains, involved with enzymatic catalysis and association with the telomeric DNA and with the RNA component. Understanding these associations is pivotal for the development of new anti-parasite therapies. This project goal is to express and purify the aminoterminal fraction of the Leishmania amazonensis TERT component, to perform protein-nucleic acid interaction assays.
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