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Molecular recognition in Chagas disease from the point of view of the parasite and the host

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André Azevedo Reis Teixeira
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Conjunto das Químicas (IQ e FCF) (CQ/DBDCQ)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Ricardo José Giordano; Sergio Verjovski de Almeida; Edecio Cunha Neto; Aparecida Sadae Tanaka
Advisor: Ricardo José Giordano; Maria Julia Manso Alves

Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, afects millions of people, most of them living in Latin America. Despite advances in medicine and biotechnology, there are still few treatment options for individuals with the disease. Thus, it is important to understand the molecular details of the parasitic infection, so that new therapeutic and diagnostic alternatives can be developed for these patients. In this work, we study this disease in two fronts, one from the point of view of the parasite, and the other, of the response of the host. Using bioinformatics, we identifed a conserved peptide (called TS9) present in the surface proteins gp85 / trans-sialidases of the parasite. This peptide is capable of promoting cell adhesion and, in its synthetic form, inhibits the entry of T. cruzi into the host cell. Analysis of the protein structure revealed that the TS9 peptide is in a laminin-G-like domain, side-by-side with the peptide FLY, another conserved peptide of this large family, previously described by our group. Together, they form an adhesion site to cytokeratins and intermediate flament proteins. In the second part, we investigated the antigens and epitopes recognized by the immunoglobulins of patients with the disease in their diferent clinical forms: asymptomatic and cardiomyopathies, mild or severe. We created a phage display library containing virtually all existing protein fragments in T. cruzi. This library was screened against immunoglobulins for the construction of a humoral response map of patients with Chagas disease. Our results show that the response of the patients is complex, and more than 2,000 epitopes have been mapped. Many of them, such as the B13, SAPA and FRA antigens have been previously described, validating our method. However, a large number of new epitopes, including many against proteins described as hypothetical or with no known function, were also found. Their roles in infection and immune response of the disease deserve, therefore, attention. In summary, the approaches and techniques used in this thesis are innovative and have allowed the identifcation of new peptides and molecules that may be useful for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for Chagas disease. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/13967-4 - Molecular recognition between Trypanosoma Cruzi and endothelial cells: phage display studies
Grantee:André Azevedo Reis Teixeira
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)