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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A monoclonal antibody to alpha tubulin recognizes host cell and Trypanosoma cruzi tubulins.

A mouse monoclonal anti-alpha-tubulin antibody was used to investigate the disposition of the cytoskeletal microtubules of three tissue culture cell lines--J774 macrophages, BSC-1, and Vero cells--infected with the Brazil strain of Trypanosoma cruzi. Indirect immunofluorescence light microscopy was used to demonstrate the antigenic response in host cells and parasites, simultaneously. In all morphotypes of T. cruzi, the monoclonal antibody reacted with all subpopulations of microtubules, inclusively, the subpellicular, flagellar, cytopharyngeal, and mitotic. The host cell cytoskeletal microtubule framework was revealed and the redistribution and destruction of the microtubular lattice in response to parasite infection over a 120 h period recorded. Our results show that after the initial inoculation of tissue cultures with trypomastigotes, the parasites penetrate the cells and locate in the perinuclear region of the cell where they multiply. The number and distribution of host cell microtubules were altered during the infection. The normal radial distribution of microtubules extending from the center of the cell to the periphery was destroyed. The remaining microtubules were observed at the periphery encircling, but well removed from the proliferating parasites. The complete transformation of the parasites was monitored throughout the infection with the end result being the liberation of parasites and the near complete destruction of the microtubular framework of the host cell. A residual population of dividing spheromastigotes was observed in cells liberating trypomastigotes. Colloidal gold labeling of thin sections as seen in the electron microscope affirmed the specificity of our monoclonal antibody to all subpopulations of microtubules in T. cruzi.[1]


  1. A monoclonal antibody to alpha tubulin recognizes host cell and Trypanosoma cruzi tubulins. Paulin, J.J., Keith, C.H., Tarleton, R.L. J. Protozool. (1988) [Pubmed]
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