publicado em 18/04/2010 às 14h20:00
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Genomic sequencing of Barber suggests new research path

Identification of the transcriptome of the insect may help to understand what encourages interaction with the parasite's vector of the disease

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From the genome sequence Rhodniusprolixus barber, in 2009, an international consortium of researchers identified the transcriptomes (parts of the genome that encode proteins) of the insect gut. What we found is applied as a book revealing the biology of the barber, said Lagerblad Pedro de Oliveira, a professor at the Institute of Medical Biochemistry (IBqM), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), one of the research centers involved in the project.

Through analysis of the transcriptome, the team intends to explain the interaction between the barber and Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasite that causes the disease, and the efficiency of the vector of Chagas disease. Barber has an intestinal microbiota that allows interaction between himself and the protozoan, Lagerblad explained.

It is known that T. cruzi, in its form not yet infectious, interacts with the membrane system that covers the insect gut and there it undergoes modification to an infectious form. Goal now is to identify proteins with which T. cruzi can interact.

We know that the genome is expressed in the gut which creates an environment conducive to differentiate and form of the infection. T. cruzi is a flagellate protozoan. He stuck to the membranes of the digestive tract by a Barber piece of the flagellum (filament). Then, the proteins involved in this interaction probably find themselves in these membranes, Lagerblad points.

However, if scientists already know that the parasite undergoes a change within the insect gut, it is still a mystery what causes the parasite differentiates into an infectious form. Several studies in vitro suggest that different factors may be responsible for promoting this differentiation, for example, the presence of uric acid in the hindgut (rectum) Barber.

But a second point that concerns the team of researchers from the consortium is whether these identified genes that promote interaction and differentiation of the parasite in the gut of the vector, an interference in the function of these proteins can interfere with the mechanism of infection.

Can inhibit selectively the expression of a gene and analyze the consequences for inference of gene function unknown. To do so, if we have a sequence of genes, can produce a molecule that will curl up in the RNA, suppress the gene expression and fail to encode the protein, causing it eventually will fail to appear, said Professor Walter Land , Department of Biochemistry Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo, a member of the consortium.

According to Terra, who coordinates the Thematic Project Digestion in insects: a molecular approach, cellular, physiological and evolutionary supported by FAPESP, each tissue of an insect has approximately 6,000 proteins, presenting a set of proteins that are common - most of them - and some specific.

The problem is to identify specific. They signal the differences, the characteristic properties of tissue. We find that proteins are not found elsewhere and that are on the surface of the digestive tract of the barber, and that for us is the most interesting, "said Earth.

He reports the existence of some proteins in the barbershop that the team did not expect to find, as some that are typical of the caterpillar. One of the most expressed proteins in the rectum of the barber is very similar to a gene marker for bladder cancer.

We also found foreign proteins expressed in tissues that correlate with human tumors and some enzymes typical of the interior of cells. We knew that some could run out of cells, but not in such large numbers as can be found, he noted.

One possibility is that perhaps the barber has a range of enzymes, which means that when one is inhibited, another is expressed. This explains why, in some cases, we expect that the insect will be affected by a particular insecticide and is not, "said Earth.

International effort

The identification of the transcriptome Barber - which for scientists means a guide to research tools - brings prospects for vector control, as the possibility of considering new generation of insecticides or a vaccine against Chagas disease.

"If we have enough information about the barber, we can imagine a recombinant vaccine. Draw a protein to inject into the person that generates an antibody and which, in turn, will interact with the protein criticism of the barber," said Earth.

Another difference between Chagas' disease and other illnesses transmitted by insects, the researchers note, is that the life of Trypanosoma cruzi is related to gut the barber. Since the pathogens of malaria and dengue are fast by the vector.

The consortium includes researchers from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Canada, USA and Germany. The list will be expanded soon, as groups from France and England have shown interest in the project, coordinated globally by the Canadian researcher Erwin Huebner and funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the United States. In Brazil, the initiative also has support from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).


Source: FAPESP
   Palavras-chave:   Chagas    Barber    Transcriptome    UFRJ    Pedro de Oliveira Lagerblad   
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