Chagas' disease is a neglected infectious illness, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. It remains a challenging health issue in Latin America, where it is endemic, and so far there is no immunoprophylatic vaccine or satisfactory chemotherapic treatment for its chronic stage. The present work addressed the analysis of the plasma membrane (PM) subproteome from T. cruzi human-hosted life stages, trypomastigote and axenic amastigote, by two complementary PM protein enrichment techniques followed by identification using an LC-MS/MS approach. The results revealed an extensive repertoire of proteins in the PM subproteomes, including enzymes that might be suitable candidates for drug intervention. The comparison of the cell surface proteome among the life forms revealed some potentially stage-specific enzymes, although the majority was shared by both stages. Bioinformatic analysis showed that the vast majority of the identified proteins are membrane-derived and/or possess predicted transmembrane domains. They are mainly involved in host cell infection, protein adhesion, cell signaling, and the modulation of mammalian host immune response. Several virulence factors and proteins potentially capable of acting at a number of metabolic pathways of the host and also to regulate cell differentiation of the parasite itself were also found.
Journal of Proteome Research, 2014, Vol 13, Issue 8, p. 3530-41