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Trypanosoma cruzi: Characterisation of the gene encoding tyrosine aminotransferase in benznidazole-resistant and susceptible populations

Authors
Journal
Experimental Parasitology
0014-4894
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
118
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.exppara.2007.05.013
Keywords
  • Nfx
  • Bz
  • Tat
  • Tc
  • Rt-Pcr
  • Hgprt
  • Pfge
  • Iptg
  • Hsp70
  • Trypanosoma Cruzi
  • Drug Resistance
  • Tyrosine Aminotransferase (Ec 2.6.1.5)
  • Benznidazole
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Various biochemical differences exist between mammalian tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) and its analogue in Trypanosoma cruzi (TcTAT), the causative agent of Chagas disease. Moreover, TcTAT is over-expressed in strains of the parasite that are resistant to benznidazole (BZ), a drug currently used in chemotherapy. TAT has thus been indicated as a potential target for the development of new chemotherapeutic agents. In the present study, the TcTAT gene has been characterised in 14 BZ-resistant and susceptible strains and clones of T. cruzi. A unique transcript of 2.0 kb and similar levels of TcTAT mRNA were observed in all parasite populations. TcTAT gene is organized in a tandem multicopy array and is located on 8 chromosomal bands that vary from 785–2500 kb. No amplification of TcTAT was observed in the parasite genome. A 42 kDa protein expressed by TcTAT was present in all T. cruzi samples. The results suggest that TcTAT is not directly associated with the T. cruzi drug resistance phenotype. However, it may act as a general secondary compensatory mechanism or stress response factor rather than as a key component of the specific primary resistance mechanism in T. cruzi.

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