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Translation initiation has been described as a key step for the control of growth and differentiation of several protozoan parasites in response to environmental changes. This occurs by the activation of protein kinases that phosphorylate the alpha subunit of the translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α), which decreases translation, and in higher eukaryotes(More)
Acetylation of lysine is a major posttranslational modification of proteins and is catalyzed by lysine acetyltransferases, while lysine deacetylases remove acetyl groups. Among the deacetylases, the sirtuins are NAD(+)-dependent enzymes, which modulate gene silencing, DNA damage repair, and several metabolic processes. As sirtuin-specific inhibitors have(More)
Histones are well-conserved proteins that form the basic structure of chromatin in eukaryotes and undergo several post-translational modifications, which are important for the control of transcription, replication, DNA damage repair, and chromosome condensation. In early branched organisms, histones are less conserved and appear to contain alternative sites(More)
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite found worldwide that is able to chronically infect almost all vertebrate species, especially birds and mammalians. Chitinases are essential to various biological processes, and some pathogens rely on chitinases for successful parasitization. Here, we purified and characterized a chitinase(More)
Prior studies have highlighted the potential of superoxide dismutases as drug targets in eukaryotic pathogens. This report presents the structures of three iron-dependent superoxide dismutases (FeSODs) from Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania major and Babesia bovis. Comparison with existing structures from Plasmodium and other trypanosome isoforms shows a very(More)
Trypanosomatids are parasites of worldwide distribution with relevant importance in human and veterinary health, which inhabit invertebrate and vertebrate hosts, such that they are exposed to large environmental variations during their life cycle. The signalling mechanisms and molecular basis that lead these parasites to adjust to such distinct conditions(More)
Trypanosoma cruzi is exposed to oxidative stresses during its life cycle, and amongst the strategies employed by this parasite to deal with these situations sits a peculiar trypanothione-dependent antioxidant system. Remarkably, T. cruzi's antioxidant repertoire does not include catalase. In an attempt to shed light on what are the reasons by which this(More)
The phosphorylation of the carboxy-terminal heptapeptide repeats of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) controls several transcription-related events in eukaryotes. Trypanosomatids lack these typical repeats and display an unusual transcription control. RNA Pol II associates with the transcription site of the spliced leader (SL) RNA, which is(More)
The advance in biochemical and microscopy techniques has revealed the complexity and intricate nucleoplasm structure. Several subcompartments were identified in nucleus and the importance of these subcompartments in processes crucial for normal nuclear activity has been demonstrated. In this mini-review, we will give an overview about the composition,(More)
Kinetoplastids cause Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, and leishmaniases. Current treatments for these diseases are toxic and inefficient, and our limited knowledge of drug targets and inhibitors has dramatically hindered the development of new drugs. Here we used a chemogenetic approach to identify new kinetoplastid drug targets and(More)