RESEARCH ARTICLE


The trans-Sialidase from Trypanosoma cruzi a Putative Target for Trypanocidal Agents



Lucia Mendonça-Previato*, Adriane Regina Todeschini, Leonardo Freire de Lima, Jose Osvaldo Previato
Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Centro de Ciências da Saúde – Bloco G, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – 21 944 970, Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão, Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brasil.


© 2010 MendonÇa-Previato;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Centro de Ciências da Saúde – Bloco G, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – 21 944 970, Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão, Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brasil; Tel: +552125626646; Fax: +552122808193; E-mail: luciamp@biof.ufrj.br


Abstract

Trypanosomatid protozoa are parasites of considerable medical and economical importance because they are the causative agents of chronic human and livestock diseases endemic in developing countries. Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas´ disease, present in most of Latin America. The biology of this parasite presents some unusual features, one of which is the mechanism employed for the addition of sialic acid units to its own glycoproteins, the mucinlike molecules, or to exogenous glycoconjugates. This is mediated by a transglycosylase for sialic acid known as transsialidase and located on the external surface of the parasite, rather than by an intracellular CMP-sialic acid-dependent sialyltransferase. The Trypanosoma cruzi trans-sialidase is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of Chagas’ disease, and it represents a potential therapeutic target.

Keywords: Trypanosoma cruzi, Chagas´ disease, protein kinases, trans-sialidase, Mechanism of catalysis.