Experimental parasitology

Trypanosoma cruzi: multiple actin isovariants are observed along different developmental stages.

PMID 20705070


The expression and biological role of actin during the Trypanosoma cruzi life cycle remains largely unknown. Polyclonal antibodies against a recombinant T. cruzi actin protein were used to confirm its expression in epimastigotes, trypomastigotes, and amastigotes. Although the overall levels of expression were similar, clear differences in the subcellular distribution of actin among the developmental stages were identified. The existence of five actin variants in each developmental stage with distinct patterns of expression were uncovered by immunoblotting of protein extracts separated 2D-SDS gels. The isoelectric points of the actin variants in epimastigotes ranged from 4.45 to 4.9, whereas they ranged from 4.9 to 5.24 in trypomastigotes and amastigotes. To determine if the actin variants found could represent previously unidentified actins, we performed a genomic survey of the T.cruzi GeneDB database and found 12 independent loci encoding for a diverse group of actins and actin-like proteins that are conserved among trypanosomatids.