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Proteomic profile approach of effect of putrescine depletion over Trichomonas vaginalis


Infection with Trichomonas vaginalis produces a malodorous seropurulent vaginal discharge due to several chemicals, including polyamines. The presence of 1,4-diamino-2-butanone (DAB) reduces the amount of intracellular putrescine by 90%, preventing the cotransport of exogenous spermine. DAB-treated parasites present morphological changes, which are restored by adding exogenous putrescine into the culture medium. However, the effect of polyamines over the trichomonad proteomic profile is unknown. In this study, we used a proteomic approach to analyze the polyamine-depletion and restoration effect by exogenous putrescine on T. vaginalis proteome. In the presence of inhibitor DAB, we obtained 369 spots in polyamine-depleted condition and observed 499 spots in the normal culture media. With DAB treatment, the intensity of 43 spots was increased but was found to be reduced in 39 spots, as compared to normal conditions. Interestingly, in DAB-treated parasites restored with a medium with added exogenous putrescine, 472 spots were found, of which 33 were upregulated and 63 were downregulated in protein intensity. Some of these downregulated proteins in DAB-treated parasites are involved in several cellular pathways such as glycolysis, glycolytic fermentation, arginine dihydrolase pathway, redox homeostasis, host cell binding mediated by carbohydrate, chaperone function, and cytoskeletal remodeling. Interestingly, the intensity of some of the proteins was restored by adding exogenous putrescine. In conclusion, the presence of DAB altered the proteomic profile of T. vaginalis, resulting in a decrease in the intensity of 130 proteins and an increase in the intensity of 43 proteins that was restored by the addition of putrescine.

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Fig. 1: Proteomic approach to putrescine depletion/restoration effect on T. vaginalis.
Fig. 2: Distribution of spots in proteomics approach control, DAB, and exogenous putrescine-treated parasites.
Fig. 3: Analysis of proteomics approaches of putrescine-regulated proteins in T. vaginalis.
Fig. 4: Putrescine effect over the intensity of trichomonad proteins in proteomics approach.
Fig. 5: The effect of putrescine depletion/restoration in the morphology of T. vaginalis.
Fig. 6: Proposed model of putrescine depletion (+DAB) and subsequent restoration (+PUT) effects over protein abundance in T. vaginalis.


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Correspondence to María Elizbeth Alvarez-Sánchez.

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Alvarez-Sánchez, M.E., Quintas-Granados, L.I., Vázquez-Carrillo, L.I. et al. Proteomic profile approach of effect of putrescine depletion over Trichomonas vaginalis. Parasitol Res 117, 1371–1380 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-018-5821-y

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  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Putrescine restoration
  • 2-DE
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteomic approach