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1.  Predicting copper-, iron-, and zinc-binding proteins in pathogenic species of the Paracoccidioides genus 
Approximately one-third of all proteins have been estimated to contain at least one metal cofactor, and these proteins are referred to as metalloproteins. These represent one of the most diverse classes of proteins, containing metal ions that bind to specific sites to perform catalytic, regulatory and structural functions. Bioinformatic tools have been developed to predict metalloproteins encoded by an organism based only on its genome sequence. Its function and the type of metal binder can also be predicted via a bioinformatics approach. Paracoccidioides complex includes termodimorphic pathogenic fungi that are found as saprobic mycelia in the environment and as yeast, the parasitic form, in host tissues. They are the etiologic agents of Paracoccidioidomycosis, a prevalent systemic mycosis in Latin America. Many metalloproteins are important for the virulence of several pathogenic microorganisms. Accordingly, the present work aimed to predict the copper, iron and zinc proteins encoded by the genomes of three phylogenetic species of Paracoccidioides (Pb01, Pb03, and Pb18). The metalloproteins were identified using bioinformatics approaches based on structure, annotation and domains. Cu-, Fe-, and Zn-binding proteins represent 7% of the total proteins encoded by Paracoccidioides spp. genomes. Zinc proteins were the most abundant metalloproteins, representing 5.7% of the fungus proteome, whereas copper and iron proteins represent 0.3 and 1.2%, respectively. Functional classification revealed that metalloproteins are related to many cellular processes. Furthermore, it was observed that many of these metalloproteins serve as virulence factors in the biology of the fungus. Thus, it is concluded that the Cu, Fe, and Zn metalloproteomes of the Paracoccidioides spp. are of the utmost importance for the biology and virulence of these particular human pathogens.
PMCID: PMC4288321  PMID: 25620964
metalloproteome; bioinformatics; Paracoccidioidomycosis; metal homeostasis; virulence
2.  Efferent Pathways in Sodium Overload-Induced Renal Vasodilation in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109620.
Hypernatremia stimulates the secretion of oxytocin (OT), but the physiological role of OT remains unclear. The present study sought to determine the involvement of OT and renal nerves in the renal responses to an intravenous infusion of hypertonic saline. Male Wistar rats (280–350 g) were anesthetized with sodium thiopental (40 mg. kg−1, i.v.). A bladder cannula was implanted for collection of urine. Animals were also instrumented for measurement of mean arterial pressure (MAP) and renal blood flow (RBF). Renal vascular conductance (RVC) was calculated as the ratio of RBF by MAP. In anesthetized rats (n = 6), OT infusion (0.03 µg • kg−1, i.v.) induced renal vasodilation. Consistent with this result, ex vivo experiments demonstrated that OT caused renal artery relaxation. Blockade of OT receptors (OXTR) reduced these responses to OT, indicating a direct effect of this peptide on OXTR on this artery. Hypertonic saline (3 M NaCl, 1.8 ml • kg−1 b.wt., i.v.) was infused over 60 s. In sham rats (n = 6), hypertonic saline induced renal vasodilation. The OXTR antagonist (AT; atosiban, 40 µg • kg−1 • h−1, i.v.; n = 7) and renal denervation (RX) reduced the renal vasodilation induced by hypernatremia. The combination of atosiban and renal denervation (RX+AT; n = 7) completely abolished the renal vasodilation induced by sodium overload. Intact rats excreted 51% of the injected sodium within 90 min. Natriuresis was slightly blunted by atosiban and renal denervation (42% and 39% of load, respectively), whereas atosiban with renal denervation reduced sodium excretion to 16% of the load. These results suggest that OT and renal nerves are involved in renal vasodilation and natriuresis induced by acute plasma hypernatremia.
PMCID: PMC4184892  PMID: 25279805
3.  Proteomic Analysis Reveals That Iron Availability Alters the Metabolic Status of the Pathogenic Fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22810.
Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is a thermodimorphic fungus and the causative agent of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM). The ability of P. brasiliensis to uptake nutrients is fundamental for growth, but a reduction in the availability of iron and other nutrients is a host defense mechanism many pathogenic fungi must overcome. Thus, fungal mechanisms that scavenge iron from host may contribute to P. brasiliensis virulence. In order to better understand how P. brasiliensis adapts to iron starvation in the host we compared the two-dimensional (2D) gel protein profile of yeast cells during iron starvation to that of iron rich condition. Protein spots were selected for comparative analysis based on the protein staining intensity as determined by image analysis. A total of 1752 protein spots were selected for comparison, and a total of 274 out of the 1752 protein spots were determined to have changed significantly in abundance due to iron depletion. Ninety six of the 274 proteins were grouped into the following functional categories; energy, metabolism, cell rescue, virulence, cell cycle, protein synthesis, protein fate, transcription, cellular communication, and cell fate. A correlation between protein and transcript levels was also discovered using quantitative RT-PCR analysis from RNA obtained from P. brasiliensis under iron restricting conditions and from yeast cells isolated from infected mouse spleens. In addition, western blot analysis and enzyme activity assays validated the differential regulation of proteins identified by 2-D gel analysis. We observed an increase in glycolytic pathway protein regulation while tricarboxylic acid cycle, glyoxylate and methylcitrate cycles, and electron transport chain proteins decreased in abundance under iron limiting conditions. These data suggest a remodeling of P. brasiliensis metabolism by prioritizing iron independent pathways.
PMCID: PMC3145762  PMID: 21829521
4.  Swine and Poultry Pathogens: the Complete Genome Sequences of Two Strains of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a Strain of Mycoplasma synoviae†  
Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R. | Ferreira, Henrique B. | Bizarro, Cristiano V. | Bonatto, Sandro L. | Carvalho, Marcos O. | Pinto, Paulo M. | Almeida, Darcy F. | Almeida, Luiz G. P. | Almeida, Rosana | Alves-Filho, Leonardo | Assunção, Enedina N. | Azevedo, Vasco A. C. | Bogo, Maurício R. | Brigido, Marcelo M. | Brocchi, Marcelo | Burity, Helio A. | Camargo, Anamaria A. | Camargo, Sandro S. | Carepo, Marta S. | Carraro, Dirce M. | de Mattos Cascardo, Júlio C. | Castro, Luiza A. | Cavalcanti, Gisele | Chemale, Gustavo | Collevatti, Rosane G. | Cunha, Cristina W. | Dallagiovanna, Bruno | Dambrós, Bibiana P. | Dellagostin, Odir A. | Falcão, Clarissa | Fantinatti-Garboggini, Fabiana | Felipe, Maria S. S. | Fiorentin, Laurimar | Franco, Gloria R. | Freitas, Nara S. A. | Frías, Diego | Grangeiro, Thalles B. | Grisard, Edmundo C. | Guimarães, Claudia T. | Hungria, Mariangela | Jardim, Sílvia N. | Krieger, Marco A. | Laurino, Jomar P. | Lima, Lucymara F. A. | Lopes, Maryellen I. | Loreto, Élgion L. S. | Madeira, Humberto M. F. | Manfio, Gilson P. | Maranhão, Andrea Q. | Martinkovics, Christyanne T. | Medeiros, Sílvia R. B. | Moreira, Miguel A. M. | Neiva, Márcia | Ramalho-Neto, Cicero E. | Nicolás, Marisa F. | Oliveira, Sergio C. | Paixão, Roger F. C. | Pedrosa, Fábio O. | Pena, Sérgio D. J. | Pereira, Maristela | Pereira-Ferrari, Lilian | Piffer, Itamar | Pinto, Luciano S. | Potrich, Deise P. | Salim, Anna C. M. | Santos, Fabrício R. | Schmitt, Renata | Schneider, Maria P. C. | Schrank, Augusto | Schrank, Irene S. | Schuck, Adriana F. | Seuanez, Hector N. | Silva, Denise W. | Silva, Rosane | Silva, Sérgio C. | Soares, Célia M. A. | Souza, Kelly R. L. | Souza, Rangel C. | Staats, Charley C. | Steffens, Maria B. R. | Teixeira, Santuza M. R. | Urmenyi, Turan P. | Vainstein, Marilene H. | Zuccherato, Luciana W. | Simpson, Andrew J. G. | Zaha, Arnaldo
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(16):5568-5577.
This work reports the results of analyses of three complete mycoplasma genomes, a pathogenic (7448) and a nonpathogenic (J) strain of the swine pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a strain of the avian pathogen Mycoplasma synoviae; the genome sizes of the three strains were 920,079 bp, 897,405 bp, and 799,476 bp, respectively. These genomes were compared with other sequenced mycoplasma genomes reported in the literature to examine several aspects of mycoplasma evolution. Strain-specific regions, including integrative and conjugal elements, and genome rearrangements and alterations in adhesin sequences were observed in the M. hyopneumoniae strains, and all of these were potentially related to pathogenicity. Genomic comparisons revealed that reduction in genome size implied loss of redundant metabolic pathways, with maintenance of alternative routes in different species. Horizontal gene transfer was consistently observed between M. synoviae and Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Our analyses indicated a likely transfer event of hemagglutinin-coding DNA sequences from M. gallisepticum to M. synoviae.
PMCID: PMC1196056  PMID: 16077101
5.  Heterologous Expression, Purification, and Immunological Reactivity of a Recombinant HSP60 from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis 
The complete coding cDNA of HSP60 from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis was overexpressed in an Escherichia coli host to produce high levels of recombinant protein. The protein was purified by affinity chromatography. A total of 169 human serum samples were tested for reactivity by Western blot analysis with the purified HSP60 recombinant protein. Immunoblots indicated that the recombinant P. brasiliensis HSP60 was recognized by antibodies in 72 of 75 sera from paracoccidioidomycosis patients. No cross-reactivity was detected with individual sera from patients with aspergillosis, sporotrichosis, cryptococcosis, and tuberculosis. Reactivity to HSP60 was observed in sera from 9.52% of control healthy individuals and 11.5% of patients with histoplasmosis. The high sensitivity and specificity (97.3 and 92.5%, respectively) for HSP60 suggested that the recombinant protein can be used singly or in association with other recombinant antigens to detect antibody responses in P. brasiliensis-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC119943  PMID: 11874881

Results 1-5 (5)