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The effect of nutritional and oxidative stress on the metabolome of Trypanosoma cruzi
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  • Sergio Schenkman,
  • Michel Augusto Silva,
  • Mario Izidoro,
  • Mirella Aricó Vietas Souto,
  • Luiz Juliano
Sergio Schenkman
Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo Escola Paulista de Medicina

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Michel Augusto Silva
Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo Escola Paulista de Medicina
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Mario Izidoro
Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo Hospital Sao Paulo
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Mirella Aricó Vietas Souto
Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo Escola Paulista de Medicina
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Luiz Juliano
Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo Escola Paulista de Medicina
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Abstract

Trypanosoma cruzi, a flagellated protozoan, is the causative agent of Chagas disease. The parasite has developed various mechanisms to get through its intricate life cycle and adapt to different evolutionary phases. T. cruzi proliferates in the insect vector’s digestive tract as an epimastigote form, encountering fluctuating nutrient availability and oxidative stress caused by the digestion of red blood cells from the mammalian host blood meal. To unravel how the parasite’s metabolism adapts to these changing conditions, we conducted an analysis of the chemical species present in epimastigote forms. This involved comparing cultured parasites with those subjected to nutritional deficiency or oxidative stress using untargeted metabolomics. We looked at twenty-one samples: seven biological copies of parasites that were actively growing, seven samples that were put in a medium without nutrients for three hours, and seven samples that were treated with glucose oxidase for thirty minutes to make H 2O 2 continuously. Importantly, in all conditions, parasite viability was maintained when the samples were collected. Upon nutrient removal, we observed a substantial decrease in amino acids and carbohydrate metabolites, accompanied by the accumulation of fatty acids and steroids, with the predominance of inositol and sphingolipid metabolism, along with a simultaneous decrease in the levels of H 2O 2. In the presence of H 2O 2, a significant rise in components of the pentose pathway and specific amino acids such as methionine and serine occurred, along with pathways related to an increase in antioxidant species metabolism such as ribulose 5-phosphate and glyceric acid. Conversely, fatty acid and steroid levels decrease. We found no common increase in metabolites or lipids. In contrast, eight species (succinic acid, glutamic acid, valine, 2-hydroxyisocaproic acid, alanine, indolelactic acid, proline, and lanosterol) were consumed under both stresses. These findings underscore the rapid and distinct enrichment responses in amino acids, lipids, and carbohydrates required to cope with each different environmental condition. This information not only enhances our understanding of T. cruzi’s metabolic flexibility but also opens avenues for studying cellular metabolism changes in diverse environments used by the parasite.