A developmentally regulated neuraminidase activity in Trypanosoma cruzi

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Science  25 Mar 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4591, pp. 1444-1446
DOI: 10.1126/science.6338592


The human pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi (Y strain) contains a neuraminidase activity that varies widely in the different developmental stages of the parasite. The specific neuraminidase activity of infective trypomastigotes obtained from tissue culture and from the bloodstream of infected mice is 7 to 15 times higher than that of the acellular culture forms. Amastigotes were devoid of enzyme activity. The enzyme has a pH optimum of 6.0 to 6.5. Live trypanosomes released sialic acid from human erythrocytes and plasma glycoproteins. Several sialyl compounds were hydrolyzed by the parasite, but the best substrate was the protein orosomucoid. Erythrocytes from infected mice with T. cruzi parasitemia were agglutinated by peanut lectin and the hemagglutination titer was correlated with the degree of parasitemia.

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