A novel cell surface trans-sialidase of trypanosoma cruzi generates a stage-specific epitope required for invasion of mammalian cells

Sergio Schenkman, Man Shiow Jiang, Gerald Warren Hart, Victor Nussenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When trypomastigotes of T. cruzi emerge from cells of the mammalian host, they contain little or no sialic acids on their surfaces. However, rapidly upon entering the circulation, they express a unique cell surface trans-sialidase activity. This enzyme specifically transfers α(2-3)-linked sialic acid from extrinsic host-derived macromolecules to parasite surface molecules, leading to the assembly of Ssp-3, a trypomastigote-specific epitope. The T. cruzi trans-sialidase does not utilize cytidine 5′ monophospho-N-acetylneuraminic acid as a donor substrate, but readily transfers sialic acid from exogenously supplied α(2-3)-sialyllactose. Monoclonal antibodies that recognize sialic acid residues of Ssp-3 inhibit attachment of trypomastigotes to host cells, suggesting that the unusual trans-sialidase provides Ssp-3 with structural features required for target cell recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1125
Number of pages9
JournalCell
Volume65
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 28 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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