Special Issue "New Insights into Kinetoplastid Parasites: Molecular and Cellular Aspects"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 13372
Trypanosomatids are a group of protozoa that include Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania spp., which are the etiological agents of Chagas disease, sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis, respectively. These diseases are classified as neglected tropical diseases associated with poverty, and affect millions of people worldwide. Other non-pathogenic trypanosomatids such as Angomonas deanei and Strigomonas culicis colonize a great variety of insects, and are also very interesting models, especially due to the presence of an endosymbiotic bacterium in the cytosol, providing an essential biosynthetic pathway for the protozoa. The current treatments of these diseases are unsatisfactory, showing limited efficacy and high toxicity in many cases. Trypanosomatids and their invertebrate or vertebrate hosts present a complex relationship and the balance is based on immune response and the protozoans’ virulence. It is clear that the success of the infection depends on cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanisms which are not completely known. The better comprehension of these checkpoints could contribute to the development of alternative anti-parasitic strategies in the future. In this scenario, oxidative stress plays a paradoxical role during protozoa infection, sometimes participating in the cell signaling and regulation, or presenting cytotoxicity, culminating in the parasite death. The description of antioxidant enzymes as virulence factors reinforces the importance of these molecular processes as well as the adaptative approaches of the trypanosomatids to survive in oxidative environments in the host and the implications for the success of the infection. On the other hand, autophagy is a physiological mechanism in eukaryotic cells to regulate homeostasis by the self-digestion of nonfunctional cellular structures, reducing the presence of redundant and damaged organelles and macromolecules. The contribution of autophagic process for the trypanosomatids has been described, especially in chemotherapy, subverting drugs’ effects. The scope of this Special Issue includes the cellular, molecular and biochemical features in trypanosomatids (including redox mechanisms and autophagy) that influence protozoa–host interactions. We will accept reviews or original contributions.
Dr. Rubem F. S. Menna-Barreto
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- Trypanosoma spp.
- Leishmania spp.
- monoxenic trypanosomatids
- molecular biology
- cell biology
- oxidative stress