Proteome expression and carbonylation changes during Trypanosoma cruzi infection and Chagas disease in rats

Jian Jun Wen, Nisha Jain Garg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Inflammation and oxidative stress, elicited by Trypanosoma cruzi infection, are important pathologic events during progressive Chagasic cardiomyopathy. In this study, we infected Sprague-Dawley rats with T. cruzi, and treated with phenyl-α-tert-butylnitrone (PBN-antioxidant) and/or benznidazole (BZ-anti-parasite). We employed two-dimensional gel electrophoresis/mass spectrometry to investigate (a) the plasma proteomic changes associated with infection and disease development, and (b) the beneficial effects of PBN and BZ in controlling the disease-associated plasma profile. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization/time of flight (MALDI-TOF) tandem MS (MS/MS) analysis of differentially expressed (total 146) and oxidized (total 48) protein spots yielded 92 unique proteins. Our data showed that treatment with PBN and BZ restored the differential expression of 65% and 30% of the disease-associated proteins to normal level, respectively, and PBN prevented development of oxidative adducts on plasma proteins. Western blotting to detect dinitrophenyl-derivatized carbonyl-proteins revealed plasma proteins were maximally oxidized during acute infection. Functional and disease/disorder analyses allocated a majority of the differentially expressed and oxidized proteins into inflammation/immunity and lipid metabolism categories and to molecular pathways associated with heart disease (e.g. cardiac infarction, contractile dysfunction, hypertrophy, and hypertension) in chagasic rats, and to curative pathways (e.g. ROS scavenging capacity, immune regulation) in infected rats treated with PBN and/or BZ. We validated the two-dimensional gel electrophoresis results by Western blotting, and demonstrated that the disease-associated increased expression of gelsolin and vimentin and release of cardiac MYL2 in the plasma of chagasic rats was returned to control level by PBN/BZ treatment. Increased plasma levels of gelsolin, MYL2 and vimentin were directly correlated with the severity of cardiac disease in human chagasic patients. Together, these results demonstrate the plasma oxidative and inflammatory response profile, and plasma detection of cardiac proteins parallels the pathologic events contributing to Chagas disease development, and is of potential utility in diagnosing disease severity and designing suitable therapy for management of human chagasic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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