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Transcript Abundance of Putative Lipid Phosphate Phosphatases During Development of Trypanosoma brucei in the Tsetse Fly

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  • Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale University School of Public Heath, New Haven, Connecticut; National Institute of Science and Technology in Molecular Entomology, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Department of Biology, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

African trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei spp.) cause devastating diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. Trypanosomes differentiate repeatedly during development in tsetse flies before gaining mammalian infectivity in fly salivary glands. Lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPPs) are involved in diverse biological processes, such as cell differentiation and cell migration. Gene sequences encoding two putative T. brucei LPP proteins were used to search the T. brucei genome, revealing two additional putative family members. Putative structural features and transcript abundance during parasite development in tsetse fly were characterized. Three of the four LPP proteins are predicted to have six transmembrane domains, while the fourth shows only one. Semiquantitative gene expression revealed differential regulation of LPPs during parasite development. Transcript abundance for three of the four putative LPP genes was elevated in parasites infecting salivary glands, but not mammalian-infective metacyclic cells in fly saliva, indicating a potential role of this family in parasite establishment in tsetse salivary glands.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Thiago Luiz Alves e Silva, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins University, 615 North Wolfe Street, Room W4008, Baltimore, MD 21205, E-mail: tsilva3@jhu.edu or Serap Aksoy, Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College St., 626 LEPH., New Haven, CT 06510, E-mail: serap.aksoy@yale.edu.

Financial support: This work was supported by the Ambrose Monell Foundation to Serap Aksoy and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases award no. AI028798 to Elisabetta Ullu and ChristianTschudi. Thiago L. Alves e Silva's doctorate internship was sponsored by the Brazilian funding agency Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

Authors' addresses: Thiago Luiz Alves e Silva, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, E-mail: tlasbio@gmail.com. Amy F. Savage, Department of Biology, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, E-mail: asavage@bard.edu. Serap Aksoy, Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, E-mail: serap.aksoy@yale.edu.

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