For a study, the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (Tbg) in West and- Central Africa and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in East Africa caused sleeping sickness (also known as Human African Trypanosomiasis). Tbg had previously been shown to excrete/secrete many proteins in vitro, including Translationally Controlled Tumor Protein (TCTP). In addition, the TCTP gene was previously been shown to be expressed in Tbg-infected flies. Apart from its involvement in various cellular processes, the researchers looked into a potential alternative role for it in the interactions between the trypanosome parasite, its tsetse fly vector, and the bacteria that live in the midgut. The Tbg tctp gene was generated and cloned into the baculovirus vector pAcGHLT-A. The matching protein was made utilizing the baculovirus Spodoptera frugicola (strain 9)/insect cell system in the process. The pure recombinant protein rTbgTCTP was incubated with bacteria taken from the guts of tsetse flies and found to bind to 24 of the 39 bacterium strains examined, representing a variety of taxa. Furthermore, it was discovered to affect most of these bacteria’s growth, particularly when grown under microaerobiosis and anaerobiosis. Finally, the researchers examined how TCTP might influence the composition of the fly microbiome in favor of trypanosome survival.
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