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Phospholipase A1 from Trypanosoma cruzi infective stages generates lipid messengers that activate host cell protein kinase c

  • M. L. BELAUNZARÁN (a1), M. J. WAINSZELBAUM (a2), E. M. LAMMEL (a2), G. GIMENEZ (a1), M. M. ALOISE (a1), J. FLORIN-CHRISTENSEN (a1) and E. L. D. ISOLA (a1)...


Here we have studied phospholipase A1 (Plase A1) from Trypanosoma cruzi infective stages and it's possible role regarding the interaction with mammalian host cells. Plase A1 was mainly detected as a membrane-bound activity in the infective amastigote and trypomastigote stages, being remarkably higher with respect to the non-infective epimastigotes. It is noteworthy that only the infective stages secreted Plase A1. Moreover, along the differentiation process from epimastigotes into metacyclic trypomastigotes, the secreted enzyme activity increased simultaneously with the appearance of metacyclic forms, as expected. Since this enzyme is predominantly membrane-associated and secreted by the infective stages, Vero cell lipid profile modifications were analysed after interaction with either intact infective parasites or purified T. cruzi Plase A1. Significant changes in Vero cell lipid composition were observed, with the appearance of free fatty acids, diacylglycerol and lysophosphatidylcholine. Concomitantly with the generation of second lipid messengers, host cell protein kinase C activation was demonstrated. These results indicate that T. cruzi Plase A1 could play a critical role in the early events of parasite-host cell interaction that precede invasion.


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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155, Piso 13, C1121ABG Buenos Aires-Argentina. Tel: +54 11 5950 9500 ext. 2191. Fax: +54 11 5950 9577. E-mail:


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