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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 752698, 13 pages
Methodology Report

An Experimental Approach for the Identification of Conserved Secreted Proteins in Trypanosomatids

1Département Sociétés et Santé, UR016 Caractérisation et contrôle des populations de vecteurs, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 911 Avenue Agropolis, 34394 Montpellier, France
2Département Sociétés et Santé, UR016 Caractérisation et contrôle des populations de vecteurs, Représentation en Bolivie, Avenue Hernando Siles 5290, Esq Calle 7, Obrajes CP 9214, La Paz, Bolivia

Received 1 August 2009; Accepted 14 October 2009

Academic Editor: Jorge Morales-Montor

Copyright © 2010 Rosa M. Corrales et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Extracellular factors produced by Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma cruzi, and Trypanosoma brucei are important in the host-parasite relationship. Here, we describe a genome-based approach to identify putative extracellular proteins conserved among trypanosomatids that are likely involved in the classical secretory pathway. Potentially secreted proteins were identified by bioinformatic analysis of the T. cruzi genome. A subset of thirteen genes encoding unknown proteins with orthologs containing a signal peptide sequence in L. infantum, L. major, and T. brucei were transfected into L. infantum. Tagged proteins detected in the extracellular medium confirmed computer predictions in about 25% of the hits. Secretion was confirmed for two L. infantum orthologs proteins using the same experimental system. Infectivity studies of transgenic Leishmania parasites suggest that one of the secreted proteins increases parasite replication inside macrophages. This methodology can identify conserved secreted proteins involved in the classical secretory pathway, and they may represent potential virulence factors in trypanosomatids.