By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In search of treatment for Chagas disease, which kills thousands each year, Cal State Fullerton infectious disease researchers have discovered an important new mechanism that can be exploited as a target for potential drug development.
Veronica Jimenez, associate professor of biological science, and her former students describe how Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, can sense its internal and external environment in a new study published in eLife.
“These sensing mechanisms were not previously known. Our work is pioneering the field of mechanosensation in parasites,” said Jimenez, co-author of the research.
Jimenez’s former student Noopur Dave is lead author of the publication, which was the basis of her master’s thesis.
“This is the first scientific work that highlights the functional role of a mechanosensitive channel in the human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Mechanosensitive channels are a unique group of ion channels that are used by humans in functions such as sense of touch and hearing,” explained Dave.
Read more at Cal State Fullerton