We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details for Dr Brian Suarez-Mantilla

Barisón, María Julia, Rapado, Ludmila Nakamura, Merino, Emilio F., Furusho Pral, Elizabeth Mieko, Mantilla, Brian Suarez, Marchese, Letícia, Nowicki, Cristina, Silber, Ariel Mariano & Cassera, Maria Belen (2017). Metabolomic profiling reveals a finely tuned, starvation-induced metabolic switch in Trypanosoma cruziepimastigotes. Journal of Biological Chemistry 292(21): 8964-8977.

Author(s) from Durham


Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, is
a protozoan parasite with a complex life cycle involving a triatomine
insect and mammals. Throughout its life cycle, the T. cruzi
parasite faces several alternating events of cell division and cell
differentiation in which exponential and stationary growth
phases play key biological roles. It is well accepted that arrest of
the cell division in the epimastigote stage, both in the midgut of
the triatomine insect and in vitro, is required for metacyclogenesis,
and it has been previously shown that the parasites change
the expression profile of several proteins when entering this quiescent
stage. However, little is known about the metabolic
changes that epimastigotes undergo before they develop into
the metacyclic trypomastigote stage. We applied targeted
metabolomics to measure the metabolic intermediates in the
most relevant pathways for energy metabolism and oxidative
imbalance in exponentially growing and stationary growth-arrested
epimastigote parasites. We show for the first time that
T. cruzi epimastigotes transitioning from the exponential to
the stationary phase exhibit a finely tuned adaptive metabolic
mechanism that enables switching from glucose to amino acid
consumption, which is more abundant in the stationary phase.
This metabolic plasticity appears to be crucial for survival of the
T. cruzi parasite in the myriad different environmental conditions
to which it is exposed during its life cycle.