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Epigenetic markers responsive to sodium valproate in the heterocrhomatin of Triatoma infestans (Klug)

Grant number: 19/20833-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Maria Luiza Silveira Mello
Grantee:Douglas Silva dos Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/10356-2 - Action of valproic acid on chromatin structure and function, AP.TEM


The somatic cells of Triatoma infestans, a blood-sucking hemipteran, vector of Chagas Disease, exhibit conspicuous heterochromatic bodies (chromocenters) containing an AT-rich DNA. Treatment using sodium valproate/valproic acid (VPA), a well-known histone deacetylase inhibitor, induces chromatin remodeling in T. infestans chromoceneters. However, it is not accompanied by H3K9 and H4K8 acetylation, differing from the usual response in many other cell systems. It is not known whether VPA would cause some effect on DNA methylation in T. infestans chromocenters where the presence of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) is still uncertain. It is also unknown whether VPA would affect histone methylation previously demonstrated for this material. On account of the uncertainties regarding the metabolic pathways through which VPA would act on this chromatin type, the presence of 5mC and of relationships among H3K9me3, H4K20me3, H3K27me3 and HP1-± in chromocenters of VPA-treated T. infestans will be investigated in depth. Data will be obtained for Malpighian tubule cells in different developmental phases that involve DNA endoreplication (3rd or 4th nymphal instar) and cell cycle arrest (5th nymphal instar or adults). The methodology will comprise immunoassays and 3-D confocal images. Protocols for chromocenter isolation using laser microsurgery for DNA isolation and 5mC investigation will also be pursued. (AU)