Marina V Chuenkova

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Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas' disease, expresses a trans-sialidase at highest levels in infective trypomastigotes, where it attaches to the plasma membrane by a glycophosphoinositol linkage. Bound enzyme sheds into the extracellular milieu in a soluble form. Experiments performed in vitro suggest that the trans-sialidase participates(More)
TrkA is a receptor tyrosine kinase activated primarily by nerve growth factor (NGF) to regulate differentiation, survival, and other important functions of neurons. Given the critical role TrkA plays in neural maintenance, it may be that microbial invaders of the nervous system utilize this receptor to reduce tissue damage for maximizing host-parasite(More)
Despite the neuronal degeneration in the chronic stage of Chagas' disease, neuron counts actually increase in the preceding, asymptomatic stage, in contrast to the age-related decrease in neuron counts in age-matched normal individuals. Relevant to this observation, we found that the trans-sialidase (TS) of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas'(More)
The trans-sialidase (TS) of Trypanosoma cruzi induces survival and differentiation of neuronal and glial cells. This mechanism underlying survival is via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) but how TS promotes neuronal differentiation remained to be determined. Here we show that TS-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells is through sustained activation of(More)
The neuraminidase/trans-sialidase of Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas' disease, promotes differentiation and survival of growth factor-deprived neuronal and glial cells. To gain further insights into the possible neuroprotection of this parasite-derived counterpart of neurotrophic factors (PDNF), we sought to determine whether it mimics growth factors(More)
A parasite-derived protein, PDNF, produced by the Chagas' disease agent Trypanosoma cruzi, functionally mimics mammalian neurotrophic factors by delaying apoptotic death and promoting survival and differentiation of neurons, including dopaminergic cells, through the activation of nerve growth factor receptor TrkA. Because it is well established that(More)
A parasite-derived neurotrophic factor (PDNF) produced by the Chagas' disease parasite Trypanosoma cruzi binds nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor TrkA, increasing receptor autophosphorylation, and activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK/Erk) pathways, and transcription factor CREB. The end-result is(More)
The human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas' disease, expresses a membrane-bound neuraminidase/trans-sialidase, also known as parasite-derived neurotrophic factor, PDNF, because it binds and activates nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor TrkA in neuronal cells. Here, we identify a 21 amino acid region (425GNASQNVWEDAYRCVNASATAN445) of PDNF that(More)
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