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Investigation of non coding RNAs in Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis

Grant number: 15/16684-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2015
Effective date (End): March 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal researcher:Angela Kaysel Cruz
Grantee:Natália Melquie Monteiro Teles
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Leishmaniases, severe public health problem worldwide, are caused by the protozoan parasite of the genus Leishmania. The genetic plasticity of the parasite and the consequent difference in the pattern of parasite gene expression may explain the pathogenicity of the spectrum observed among species or strains of the same species. The comparative analysis of the genomes of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum and Leishmania (Leishmania) major showed high conservation of synteny and coding sequences of proteins and demonstrated high divergence of non-coding sequences. In this context, it is interesting to study elements and mechanisms involved in the regulation of gene expression that occurs at the post-transcriptional level in these parasites. The possible roles of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in gene expression regulation, poorly explored in Leishmania, and the possibility of discovery novel mechanisms of gene expression control make it attractive to investigation. Therefore, the main goals of this research proposal is to identify and characterize ncRNAs possibly involved in the regulation of gene expression in L. braziliensis during the life cycle of the parasite. In this direction, we will identifythe set of non polysomal transcripts, through the construction and sequencing of RNA libraries of procyclic promastigotes, infective promastigotes and amastigotes, the three major life stages. Subsequently, we will use reverse genetics to investigate the role and targets of action of potential regulatory ncRNAs. A set of identified ncRNAs will be functionally characterizedand their targets and "partners" will be investigated. We aim to contribute to the understanding of the machinery involved in the regulation of gene expression in L. braziliensis.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RUY, PATRICIA DE CASSIA; MONTEIRO-TELES, NATALIA MELQUIE; MISERANI MAGALHAES, RUBENS DANIEL; FREITAS-CASTRO, FELIPE; DIAS, LEANDRO; AQUINO DEFINA, TANIA PAULA; DE VASCONCELOS, ELTON JOSE ROSAS; MYLER, PETER J.; CRUZ, ANGELA KAYSEL. Comparative transcriptomics in Leishmania braziliensis: disclosing differential gene expression of coding and putative noncoding RNAs across developmental stages. RNA BIOLOGY, v. 16, n. 5, p. 639-660, MAY 4 2019. Web of Science Citations: 3.

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