(Antofagasta) Role of GAP junction proteins in Chagas Disease.
Universidad de Antofagasta
Experimental Physiology Laboratory (EPhyL), Antofagasta Institute
Fredi Cifuentes
Jose Luis Vega
English and Spanish
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Chagas disease affects low-income nations with health consequences that impact the economy of those countries. Interestingly, inhibitors of channels formed by proteins of the gap junction family such as suramin and boldine exhibit trypanocidal activity. Gap junction proteins are integral membrane proteins present in both vertebrates and invertebrates that participate in cellular communication. These proteins form gap junction channels, which connect the cytoplasm of neighboring cells or non-junctional channels that connect the intra- and extracellular milieu. Interestingly, Trypanosoma cruzi modulates the expression of proteins of the gap junction family or modify the activity of the channels formed by these proteins in host cells. Moreover, Lucifer yellow microinjected into fibroblast was incorporated into associated trypanosomes of Trypanosoma musculi, suggesting the presence of gap junction channels between them. Our lab In this chapter, we summarized the current knowledge about the possible roles of gap junction family proteins in Chagas disease.
What is the aim of the project?
To determine the role of connexin/pannexin and innexin proteins in infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi.
What techniques and methods are used?
You should perform cell culture techniques, such as preparing culture media, freezing cells, maintaining cell lines, T.cruzi infection and using confocal microscopy and/or flow cytometry.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The role of the student will be to actively participate in the research project. As results, it is expected that the student will be able to contributing to a scientific publication.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster
- The student will prepare a presentation
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
- A white coat is obligatory for this research project. - There are approximately 6 hours of work per day required. - The exchange students participating in this project should be a student who has knowledge about Cell biology, Biochemistry and Physiology and has skills for research laboratory work.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Students in biomedical fields
- Vega JL; Subiabre M; Figueroa F; Schalper KA; Osorio L; Gonz
- Güiza J; Barría I; Sáez JC; Vega JL. Innexins: Expression; Regulation; and Functions. Front Physiol 2018. 9:1414. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01414.
- Barría I; Güiza J; Cifuentes F; Zamorano P; Sáez JC; González J; Vega JL. Trypanosoma cruzi Infection Induces Pannexin-1 Channel Opening in Cardiac Myocytes. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2018. 98:105-112. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0293.