Editor's Choice Article for May 2014

Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis (EMM) Editor's Choice - May 2014

The Editor's Choice for May is “Unveiling Benznidazole’s Mechanism of Action Through Overexpression of DNA Repair Proteins in Trypanosomacruzi” by Matheus Andrade Rajão, Carolina Furtado, Ceres Luciana Alves, Danielle Gomes Passos-Silva, Michelle Barbi de Moura, Bruno Luiz Schamber-Reis, Marianna Kunrath-Lima, Aline Araújo Zuma, João Pedro Vieira-da-Rocha, Juliana Borio Ferreira Garcia, Isabela Cecília Mendes, Sérgio Danilo Junho Pena, Andrea Mara Macedo, Glória Regina Franco, Nadja Cristhina de Souza-Pinto, Marisa Helena Gennari de Medeiros, Angela Kaysel Cruz, Maria Cristina Machado Motta, Santuza Maria Ribeiro Teixeira, and Carlos Renato Machado.

Chagas disease is caused by the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi.  Benznidazole (BZ), a drug used to treat this illness, operates by generating free radicles and electrophilic metabolites, which causes oxidative stress in the parasite.  Dr. Machado’s group investigated the nature of the DNA damage caused by BZ treatment and how the damage is repaired, as a means to understand how trypanosomes can become resistant to the drug.  They observed that BZ treatment oxidized nucleotide pools, which when incorporated into the T. cruzi genome causes double-strand breaks and parasite cell death.  In addition, Rajão et al. genetically manipulating the expression of a number of different DNA repair proteins in T. cruzi and evaluated the effect on survival of the parasite exposed to different amounts of BZ. Therefore, this important new study provides insight into how T. cruzi repairs the oxidative DNA damage caused by BZ, information that may guide the development better drugs to treat Chagas disease.  Environ.Mol. Mutagen. 55:309-321, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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